Unsung Heroes of Augsburg: Dianne Detloff

Maayuk Eta, Contributor

Born and raised in Chicago, Dianne Detloff always dreamt of living the city life. She grew up in a very family-oriented surrounding with her great-grandparents and grandparents all living above the family home on their own levels. Dianne is no stranger to family love; she’s the oldest of five girls and has always felt a lot of responsibility to make not only herself proud but her family proud as well. She felt the need to set a solid example for her younger sisters.

Things weren’t always easy for her; she was a first-generation college student and with that came the struggles of the family not really understanding the value of obtaining a college degree. Despite all her struggles and feelings of pressure to achieve, Dianne dominated her college campus by being the first woman to ever win the student body president seat and organizing many local campaigns for those running for office. She accomplished these achievements without losing that spunk of hers, and today she is still spreading that joy as the Administrative Program Coordinator of our Wellness Center (CWC), advocating for those silently struggling as well as being that listening ear people may have longed to have.

Maayuk Eta: So tell me a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up and what’s your family dynamic like?

Dianne Detloff: Born and raised in the inner city of Chicago, I loved being in the city, and I knew I wanted to live in the cities when I graduated from college. We lived in a three-story building. Where my family lived on the basement flat, my grandparents lived on the second floor, and my great-grandparents lived on the third floor. It was very cool and an amazing family-oriented upbringing.

ME: You mention you wanted to go to college. What did you study and did you end up working in the same field as your degree?

DD: I went to Winona State University and graduated with a political science degree. I was the first female student body president there. I was very excited to pave the way for other women coming in behind me. As for career options, I always wanted to be a lawyer, but after four years of college, I decided I was done with school, so I became a legal assistant and worked at a firm in Minneapolis for many years, and then I had children and stopped working.

ME: So what drew you to Minneapolis? Why come here when you could’ve gone back to Chicago?

DD: Minneapolis is such a vibrant city with so many cultures that you can embrace and learn from. I love that about this city. Chicago, has a lot of different cultures, but it’s very segregated compared to Minneapolis. Besides, I wanted to start fresh and build my own life. I wanted to stand on my own two feet instead of moving back home.

Dianne has accomplished all these amazing things in her life, including being a mom. She stayed at home and took the time to raise her kids while volunteering at her kids’ school until her boys were grown, and she needed that next new adventure. Augsburg happened to be the place that would provide her that work-life balance. When asked to describe what the CWC was and how that helped students Detloff said, “It’s a culturally diverse safe stable zone for students. I love knowing I have made students feel comfortable to walk through those doors.”

The CWC is located on the ground level of Anderson Residence Hall. Their number is 612-330-1707, and their website is Augsburg.edu/cwc/staff/.

This article was originally published in the Nov. 30, 2018 issue.