Jessie Langenfeld, Contributor
Praise God! Praise God in her sanctuary!”
These words, taken from Psalm 150, kicked off the beginning of the All Hands meeting, an event meant to summarize the events of last year and give a vision for the coming school year. President Paul Pribbenow narrowed the wide range of events of last year to ten specific points.
First was the use of racist language in the classroom by former professor Phil Adamo and the response that came from the student body. “The energy that (students) brought out of that really tough moment is a source of great pride for all of us,” said Pribbenow.
Second was the incoming first-year class, which is both the largest and most diverse class in Augsburg’s history. Pribbenow called the historic class “a remarkable achievement”. As of press time, there are 636 full time first-year students, 65% of which are students of color and over 40% of which are first generation college students.
Third was Augsburg’s move to test-optional admissions last year, which Pribbenow believes removed a “barrier” for many prospective students.
Fourth was the six masters students that received Fulbright scholarships last year. Pribbenow noted that this places Augsburg in the top five schools for producing Fulbright scholars.
Fifth was the amount of fundraising that Augsburg did in the last year, outdone only by 2015, the year of the Hagfors campaign. Augsburg is projected to have raised 50 million dollars by next week.
Sixth was Augsburg’s becoming the home for the Forum on Workplace Inclusion.
Seventh and eighth were the work done by the University Council of Resources committee and the Higher Learning Commission to project revenue growth and improve staffing structures.
Ninth was the achievements by Augsburg’s athletic teams. Augsburg had eight teams in conference playoffs last year, four in NCAA tournaments, and won the NCAA division III wrestling championship for the 13th time in Augsburg’s history.
Tenth was the work done to update to the faculty handbook.
Pribbenow went on to highlight Augsburg’s place of 13th on US News and World Report’s ranking of Midwest universities. He also touched on the campus updates that had been done, including the renovation that A’viands had done for the Nabo cafe and the dishroom of the Commons. He announced that next year, the rest of the Commons will be renovated as well.
Highlighting the budget report, Pribbenow announced that Augsburg was about a $1.5 million over budget for the first time in ten years due to the large first year class. In comparison, last year Augsburg had a $1.1 million deficit.
Pribbenow finished by putting up a picture of the new first-year class.
“Look at that,” he said. “An amazing array of faces and life experiences in that picture.”
This article was originally published in the October 4, 2019 issue.