Augsburg College

Augsburg College is a selective, liberal arts college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was founded in 1869 in Marshall, Wisconsin as Augsburg Seminary and moved to Minneapolis in 1872. Undergraduate classes first began in the fall of 1874 with the first class graduating in the spring of 1879 In 1893 Augsburg leaders formed the "Friends of Augsburg", which became the Lutheran Free Church in 1897. Women were first admitted to the college in 1921. The school was officially known as Augsburg Seminary until 1942 when the name was change to Augsburg College and Theological Seminary although that name had been informally used since the 1910s. When the Lutheran Free Church merged with the American Lutheran Church in 1963 Augsburg Seminary merged with Luther Seminary in Saint Paul and the name of the school officially became Augsburg College.

A Lutheran college in the city

Augsburg College is located in the center of Minneapolis close to St. Paul with a program in Rochester as well.

As the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's (ELCA) most diverse college of the liberal arts and sciences, Augsburg strives to educate both traditional and non-traditional students, offering undergraduate degrees in over 50 major areas of study. The College also grants six graduate degrees:

Majors in the Sciences, Business-related fields, and the teacher licensure program - which has been preparing K-12 teachers since 1923 - are the most popular areas of study.

Student body

Augsburg's student body totals approximately 3,800 students. Reflecting its Minnesota location and historical roots, 88.5% of students are white, and 32% of students are Lutheran; approximately 90% come from inside Minnesota. However, the College makes strong attempts to diversify its student body and does of a range of students from diverse religious, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds, representing some 40 states, more than 40 foreign countries, and 24 tribal nations/reservations. The College also is a nationally recognized leader in providing services to students with physical or learning disabilities, and to students in recovery through its acclaimed “StepUP Program” (see below). This on-campus diversity is enhanced by Augsburg's location in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, the Twin Cities' most culturally diverse neighborhood. The largest concentration of Somali immigrants in the U.S. is located throughout the Augsburg neighborhood, and one of the largest urban American Indian populations is within one mile. The College has been designated as a Minnesota Indian Teacher Training Program site. The College's location also provides access for all of Augsburg's students to participate in community service, such as through Campus Kitchen, and internship experiences that not only enhance their classroom learning but also prepare them for life's work in a multi-cultural society.

StepUP Program

The StepUp Program is Augsburg's nationally-acclaimed program for students in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. The program provides a sober environment for about 60 students in the Oren Gateway Center (see below). The program has an excellent success rate: 84% abstinence over 538 people between 1997 and 2007.

Opportunities on campus

Augsburg's location in the heart of a major theater center makes it an ideal place to study theater arts. Students have the opportunity to explore the connections between theory and application through an annual series of events featuring visiting theater professionals from throughout the Twin Cities and at attendance and internships at Twin Cities theaters.

Campus Organizations

Augsburg students have opportunities for involvement in more than 50 clubs and organizations, including student academic societies, publications, student government, Campus Ministry, Pan-African and Pan-Asian Student Union, forensics, cheerleading, Amnesty International, Intertribal Student Union and the Hispanic/Latino Student Association.

The Echo

The Echo is the student-produced newspaper for the College.

The Echo consists of 12 pages divided into five sections: News, Opinions and Editorials, Sports, Arts and Entertainment, and Features. The paper is printed in black and white on tabloid-sized paper. The faculty adviser is Boyd Koehler.

In 2006, the Echo won Organization of the Year. The Echo is printed by Print Group Midwest on recycled paper.


KAUG is Augsburg's student radio station, based in Christensen Center. KAUG streams 24 hours-a-day online. In the past, KAUG could be heard on the airwaves on 91.7 FM.

KAUG provides a venue for a number of DJs, which play a several genres of music and talk radio. During the spring 2008 semester, 27 different shows were listed on the KAUG website.

Buildings and Facilities

Residence Halls

  • Urness Hall is the Freshman dorm building. It has 9 floors of dorm rooms (plus two other floors) and is coed by floor. Each floor is led by a Resident Assistant.
  • Mortensen Hall (known as Mort) is connected to the Urness lobby and has 13 floors of apartment style housing (eight apartments on every floor). It is the tallest building on the campus.
  • Anderson Hall is a four story building with four different styles of housing available. These include single person suites, four person apartments, eight person townhomes (two floors), and 15 person floorhouses.
  • Martin Luther Residence Hall (also known as Luther Hall and formerly known as New Hall until October 1, 2007) was built in 1999 from state funding (because of this there was no major contributor to name the hall after). As it is no longer the newest building with the completion of Oren (see below), the old name of New Hall is misleading. Luther Hall has studios, two bedroom and four bedroom apartments. The apartments all consist of single person rooms and have a full kitchen.
  • The Oren Gateway Center has rooms for 106 students.

Other Buildings

  • Old Main is the oldest building on campus and is still in use today. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The Christensen Center contains admissions offices, the cafeteria, a coffee shop, computers, an art gallery, and until August 2007, the bookstore (after which the bookstore moved to the Oren Gateway Center). On March 28, 2008, a student lounge opened in the former bookstore space. It is connected by skyway to Urness Hall/Mortensen Hall.
  • Sverdrup Hall (formerly known as Sverdrup Library until the completion of the Lindell Library in 1998) contains academic advising as well as several class rooms and computer labs on the upper level.
  • The James G. Lindell Library has four levels containing approximately 32000 items. The library is connected to Sverdrup Hall and the Oren Gateway Center by skyway.
  • The Oren Gateway Center is the newest building on campus and has six classrooms, an art gallery, and housing for 106 students.
  • The Foss, Lobeck, Miles, Center for Worship, Drama, Communication contains the chapel, a theater, and several classrooms.
  • The Sverdrup and Oftedal Memorial Hall contains offices for the college's professors.

Future Expansion

Several new facilities are currently planned, including the Center for Science, Business, and Religion, a new residence hall to replace Urness Hall, a parking ramp, and other buildings.


The Mission of Augsburg College is to nurture future leaders in service to the world by providing high quality educational opportunities, which are based in the liberal arts and shaped by the faith and values of the Christian Church, by the context of a vital metropolitan area, and by an intentionally diverse campus community.

Presidents of Augsburg

Number Years Name Notes
1st 1869-1876 August Weenass
2nd 1876-1907 Georg Sverdrup
3rd 1907-1911 Sven Oftedal
4th 1911-1937 George Sverdrup
son of the first
5th 1937-1938 Henry N. Hendrickson
6th 1938-1962 Bernhard M. Christensen
7th 1962-1963 Leif S. Harbo
8th 1963-1980 Oscar A. Anderson
9th 1980-1997 Charles S. Anderson
10th 1997-2006 William V. Frame
11th 2006- Paul C. Pribbenow

Church affiliation

Years Church
1869-1870 Scandinavian Augustana Synod
1870-1890 Conference of the Norwegian-Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
1890-1897 United Norwegian Lutheran Church of America
also Friends of Augsburg 1893-1897
1897-1963 Lutheran Free Church
1963-1987 American Lutheran Church
1988-present Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Notable alumni/alumnae

  • Peter Agre, M.D. ’70, 2003 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry and faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
  • Rev. Mark Hanson, ’71, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
  • Rev. Herbert W. Chilstrom, ’54, Retired (and the first) Presiding Bishop of the ELCA.
  • Martin Sabo, ’59, former U.S. Representative.
  • Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann (Johnson) Nelson, ’68, authors and winners of a Minnesota Book Award.
  • Paul Mikelson, ’70, President and CEO, Lyngblomsten Care Center.
  • Richard Green ’59 (Deceased) Minneapolis and New York City school superintendent.
  • Syl Jones, ’71, playwright, author and newspaper columnist.
  • Gene Hugoson, ’67, Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture.
  • Devean George, ’99, Professional Basketball, Dallas Mavericks. (NBA Champion with the LA Lakers)
  • Lute Olson, basketball coach at University of Iowa and Arizona, coached Arizona to a national championship.
  • Roger Huerta, Professional mixed martial artist currently fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Championships in the lightweight division.
  • Anne Panning, '88, writer, winner of 2006 Flannery O'Connor Award for Super America


Augsburg College is a member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). Augsburg College participates in NCAA Division III Athletics. The wrestling team has won ten NCAA Division III National team wrestling champions: 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2007. The men's hockey team had won 3 NAIA national ice hockey championships in 1978, 1981 and 1982.

  • Men's Varsity Sports (9): baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, ice hockey, soccer, track & field, wrestling
  • Women's Varsity Sports (9): basketball, cross country, golf, ice hockey, soccer, softball, swimming, track & field, volleyball

conference championships

MIAC Championships
Season Sport Number of Championships Year
Fall football, men's 2 1928c, 1997
Fall soccer, men's 4 1973, 1974, 1975, 1980
Fall golf, men's 1 1995
Winter hockey, men's 8 1928, 1977c, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981c, 1982, 1998c
Winter hockey, women's 2 1999c, 2000c
Winter basketball, men's 13 1927, 1946c, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1975c, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1998, 1999
Winter wrestling,* men's 31 1961, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
Spring baseball, men's 10 1931, 1943, 1947, 1948, 1959c, 1961, 1963, 1973, 1975, 1987
Spring softball, women's 3 1982, 1983, 1984
Spring tennis, men's 3 1948 doubles, 1951 single, 1968 doubles
Total 77

See also



  • Chrislock, Carl H. "From Fjord to Freeway: 100 years, Augsburg College" (Minneapolis: Augsburg College 1969)

External links

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