Seven former Augustana athletes earn their way into the 25th Viking Hall of Fame


Lauren Pillion

Theresa Suwannapal Meisenbach was a member of the 2007 track and field team and was inducted into the Augustana Hall of Fame on April 9, 2022 in the Gavle Rooms.

Kosei Ogata and Stuti Shrestha

The 25th Augustana Tribe of Vikings Hall of Fame class was inducted on Saturday, April 9. It  consists of the following seven new members: George Annang (1989 – 1993), Keli Coleman (2005 – 2009), Mary Key Herman (1983 – 1987), Theresa Suwannapal Meisenbach (2004 – 2007), Jilian Widick Miller (2002 – 2005), Rob Narske (1989 – 1992), Dave Stone (1975 – 1980).

The Hall of Fame was started back on Feb. 19, 1997. According to George Annang, a former football athlete, the Hall of Fame is very prestigious and only a few selected people are inducted. 

“Hall of Fame means that you have done things to be at the top of the growth of the athletes that you have completed with previously,” Annang said.

Annang said he didn’t even know about this program. After knowing about the Hall of Fame, he feels honored and proud of himself.

“I didn’t even have a mindset that I could possibly be part of the Hall of Fame,” Annang said. “My wife explained to me about it and how I will be remembered 40-50 years from now. That really made my heart flutter.”

Mary Kay Herman, a former basketball student-athlete, feels honored to be remembered in this ceremony.

“Hall of Fame brings me back to remembering my years here and it brings me back to the school. I do not get up here very often. So, it’s nice to be thought of again after 30 plus years,” Herman said.  

Herman said she struggled with balancing academics and sports at the beginning of her first year, but her teammates and classmates helped her.

“I struggled, and it was so hard. I admitted it, but it took me a couple years to sort of get in the rhythm, ” Herman said. “I had help, I had friends and teammates who really pushed me because I wasn’t a good student at first.”

Theresa Suwannapal Meisenbach, a former track student-athlete, managed time very well and got help and motivation from the track while she was at college. 

“I was trying to be very disciplined and make a schedule,” Meisenbach said. “Actually, I think sports helped me to be motivated in the classroom, because I knew I wanted to perform at a high level in sports. But I had to get good grades to be able to still participate.”

Meisenbach said that liberal arts have been a great addition to her majors. She said she loved taking perspectives classes and she has learned a lot from those. 

“I think all my favorite classes didn’t go directly towards my major. I like music classes though I’m not any musician or good at music,” Meisenbach said. “I have benefited from my vocation because of the foreign language classes I have taken.”  

Keli Coleman, a former track and field athlete, said she feels that the learning perspectives that Augustana College provides has helped her grow in her field and encourages young students to take it as well.

“I encourage other students when I’m meeting with them to take things outside their majors. I was a Science major and a Spanish minor. Being a Spanish minor helped me to talk in Spanish with my patients,” Coleman said. 

Coleman said being a student-athlete has a lot of benefits, and she encourages people to try if they are interested in it.

“If you’re thinking about doing sports, go for it and give it a try. You might end up liking it more than you think. It gives you a place to find friends and family,” Coleman said.