Augustana College (Illinois)

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This article is about the college in Illinois. For other institutions with the same name or other uses of Augustana, see Augustana (disambiguation).
Augustana College
Established 1860
Type Private college
Affiliation Evangelical Lutheran Church in America[1]
Endowment $115.9 million[2]
President Steven C. Bahls, J.D.
Dean Dr. Pareena Lawrence
Students 2,500
Location Rock Island, Illinois, United States
41°30′08″N 90°33′01″W / 41.5023°N 90.5504°W / 41.5023; -90.5504Coordinates: 41°30′08″N 90°33′01″W / 41.5023°N 90.5504°W / 41.5023; -90.5504
Campus 115 acres
Colors Navy Blue & Gold            
Nickname Augie
Mascot Vikings

Augustana College is a private liberal arts college in Rock Island, Illinois, United States. The college enrolls approximately 2,500 students. Covering 115 acres (46.5 ha) of hilly, wooded land, Augustana is adjacent to the Mississippi River.


Augustana College was founded as Augustana College and Theological Seminary in 1860 by the Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod. Located first in Chicago, it moved to Paxton, Illinois, in 1863 and to Rock Island, Illinois, its current home, in 1875.[3]

After 1890 an increasingly large Swedish American community in America promoted a new institutional structure, including a lively Swedish-language press, many new churches, several colleges, and a network of ethnic organizations. The result was to foster with pride a sense of Swedishness in the United States. Thereby there emerged a self-confident Americanized generation. Augustana College put itself in the lead of the movement to affirm Swedish American identity. Early on all the students had been born in Sweden but by 1890 the second generation of American-born students predominated. They typically had white-collar or professional backgrounds; few were the sons and daughters of farmers and laborers. These middle class youth developed an idealized view of Sweden, characterized by romanticism, patriotism, and idealism, just like their counterparts across the Atlantic. The new generation was especially proud of the Swedish contributions to American democracy and the creation of a republic that promised liberty and destroyed the menace of slavery.[4]

In 1947, the Augustana Seminary formally separated from Augustana College and became an independent body. It remained on the Rock Island campus until the 1960s, when the Seminary moved to Chicago.[5]


Augustana ranks among the top 40 U.S. liberal arts colleges in the sciences, based on the number of graduates earning Ph.D.s. Students accepted to Augustana typically rank in the top 30% of their high school classes. The middle 50 percent of enrolled students for the class of 2012 scored 24-29 on the ACT, well above the national averages. Augustana College is considered highly selective.[6] 73% of Augustana students graduate in four years and 78% graduate in six years.

The services offered through CORE (Careers, Opportunities, Research and Exploration) afford students an advantage in graduate school placement and the job market. Three distinguishing opportunities are: Augie Choice: $2000 offered to every student to support hands-on learning through research, an internship or international study The Viking Scorecard: a career and graduate school preparation guide A wide variety of faculty-led international programs ranging from 2 weeks to 3 months and covering all 7 continents

Augustana currently has nearly 90 academic programs and fields of study including nine pre-professional and eight interdisciplinary programs:

Academic Programs

Accounting, Africana Studies, Anthropology, Applied Mathematics, Art, Art History, Astronomy, Biochemistry, Biology, Business Administration, Chinese, Chemistry, Classics, Communication Sciences & Disorders (including Speech Pathology and Audiology), Communication Studies, Computer Science, Creative Writing, Economics, Education, Engineering Physics, English, French, Geography, Geology, German, Graphic Design, History, International Business, Japanese, Landscape Architecture, Mathematics, Multimedia Journalism, Music, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Scandinavian, Sociology, Spanish, Theatre, World Literature

Pre-Professional Programs

Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Veterinary Medicine

Interdisciplinary Programs

Africana Studies, Asian Studies, Environmental Management & Forestry, Environmental Studies, Latin American Studies, Medieval & Renaissance Studies, Neuroscience, Public Health, Women's & Gender Studies


American Culture Exploration (for one-year international students whose academic focus is American life), Non-Profit Leadership Development Certificate


Academic buildings[edit]

Old Main

Old Main was constructed between 1884 and 1893. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[7] On August 2, 2010, the New Science Building was officially named the Robert A. and Patricia K. Hanson Hall of Science after Robert Hanson, a former John Deere CEO. Mr. Hanson, who donated $8 million to the college, credits his success in life to his time spent at Augustana.[8] The science building, dedicated in 1998, is the largest academic building serving approximately 700 students in 17 majors, minors and concentrations.[9] The Hanson Hall of Science's facilities and resources include seven classrooms, 35 laboratories (including a cadaver lab), a 400 MHz liquid-and solid-state NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) spectrometer, scanning electron microscope, instrumentation for X-ray powder crystallography and a fully functioning 40-foot greenhouse.

Residential complexes[edit]

House on the Hill

Augustana has five traditional residence halls: Andreen Hall, Erickson Residence Center, Seminary Hall, Swanson Commons, and Westerlin Residence Center. All five of these residence halls are coeducational. The majority of first-year and sophomore-year students typically reside in one of these five residence halls.[10] For upperclassmen, Augustana also offers Transitional Living Areas (TLAs), apartment-like complexes or traditional off-campus houses administered by the college's Office of Residential Life, in which Augustana students live. The school takes care of basic maintenance in these areas, some of which are House on the Hill, Naeseth, and Arbaugh Apartments. These areas usually have 2-6 students who share a bathroom, a kitchen, and other living spaces.[11]

Fryxell Museum[edit]

The museum, named after Dr. Fritiof Fryxell, has become one of the largest and finest collections of rocks, minerals and fossils in the Midwest. Begun in the late 1880s with a modest natural history collection, the museum now boasts over 1,500 rock, mineral, and fossil specimens. On display are a complete skeleton of a Tylosaurus "sea serpent", skulls of Parasaurolophus, Ankylosaurus, Apatosaurus, Allosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex and a 2-billion-year-old fossil! Of particular interest is a state-of-the-art fluorescent mineral display and an exhibit of the complete 22-foot long skeleton of Cryolophosaurus, a large crested carnivorous dinosaur discovered in Antarctica in 1991 by Augustana paleontologist Dr. William Hammer.

Student life[edit]


Since 1950, Augustana has had a chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. The college also has non-"Greek" collegiate fraternal organizations, including Epsilon Tau Pi (ΕΤΠ)(Eagle Scouts), Alpha Phi Omega (APO) (service), Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI) (music), Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (music), Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA) (Service), Alpha Psi Omega (ΑΨΩ) (theater), and others.[12] The Omicron chapter of Phrateres, a non-exclusive, non-profit social-service club, was installed here in 1941. Between 1924 and 1967, 23 chapters of Phrateres were installed in universities across North America. (The chapter name "Omicron" was reused for the chapter installed at San José State University.)

Augustana has a local Greek system, which includes seven sororities Chi Alpha Pi (CAP), Chi Omega Gamma (COG), Delta Chi Theta (Delta Chi), Phi Rho, Sigma Kappa Tau (KT), Sigma Pi Delta (Speed), and Zeta Phi Kappa (Zetas) and seven fraternities Alpha Sigma Xi (Alpha Sig), Beta Omega Sigma (BOS), Delta Omega Nu (DON), Gamma Alpha Beta (GAB), Omicron Sigma Omicron (OZO), Phi Omega Phi (Poobah), and Rho Nu Delta (Roundels).[13]

Augustana has many other organizations, including a chapter of MENC: The National Association for Music Education, a National Band Association chapter, American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Paintball Team (NCPA), American String Teachers Association (ASTA), Psychology Club, Business Club, DDR Club, Anime Club, Asian Student Organization (ASO), Ladies of Vital Essence (L.O.V.E.), The Order of the Phoenix, Martial Arts Club, and Viking Pups, a club dedicated to training service dogs on campus.[12]


The Augustana Vikings compete in the NCAA Division III College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW). The Vikings compete in a combined total of 22 male and female team sports, and five out of seven students compete in some form of varsity, club, or intramural sport. Between 1983 and 1986, the Augustana College football team won four consecutive Division III national championships under Coach Bob Reade. Coach Reade's overall winning percentage of 87% is second only to Larry Kehres and Knute Rockne on the all-time list. Augustana College was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1912-1937.[14]

Current varsity sports include: baseball, basketball (m/w), cross country (m/w), football, golf (m/w), lacrosse (m/w), soccer (m/w), softball, swimming (m/w), tennis (m/w), track & field (m/w), volleyball, wrestling.[14]

Notable faculty[edit]


  • Pamela Druger is the S. James Galley Endowed Chair in Accounting.

Art History

  • Cathy Goebel is a professor, the Paul A. Anderson Chair in the Arts and current chair of the Department of Art History. Dr. Goebel oversees collaborative research and publication of faculty and student essays related to Augustana College Art Museum exhibitions. One example of this is her recent work to coordinate Origins of Modernity, a project that integrated first-year studies with essays from the Augustana community and an elaborate art exhibit and catalogue, as well as a community convocation event.[15]


  • Pamela Trotter is the Robert W. Beart Endowed Chair in Chemistry having been a leader in student-faculty collaboration at Augustana College, having organized summer research programs involving students from the departments of biology, pre-medicine, chemistry and education since 2002.[16]

Communication Sciences & Disorders (CSD)

  • Kathy Jakielski is an Associate Professor of (CSD), director of the Augustana Center for Speech, Language and Hearing, and the Florence C. and Dr. John E. Wertz Chair in the Liberal Arts and Sciences. Dr. "J" - as she is called by her students - is a noted clinician and scholar examining Childhood Apraxia of Speech.


  • Karin Youngberg is a professor and the Conrad Bergendoff Chair in the Humanities, Augustana's first endowed faculty position. Dr. Karin Youngberg joined the English department in 1967, and in 1980 became the first woman elected to chair the Faculty Senate. The Phi Beta Kappa Augustana graduate has a long association with East Hall Press, which gives students hands-on experience in book publishing.[17]
  • Jason Peters holds the Dorothy J. Parkander Chair in Literature. Recent publications include "Wendell Berry: Life and Work" (University Press of Kentucky, 2007).



  • Lendol Calder, professor of history, became the second member of the Augustana faculty to earn Professor of the Year honors from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Dr. Dorothy Parkander, professor emerita of English, was so honored in 1992 and Dr. Calder was recognized in 2010.
  • Jane Simonsen is an Associate Professor of History and Women's & Gender Studies, which she serve is the program chair starting with the 2010-2011 school year. Dr. Simonsen is the current president of the Mid-America chapter of the American Studies Association.


  • Tom Bengtson is the Earl H. Beling Chair in Mathematics and mentors 4-5 students, designated Beling Scholars, conducting research projects in mathematics. These students present their research at state and national mathematics conferences, as well as the Augustana Celebration of Learning.[18]


  • Jacob Bancks is an Assistant Professor of composition and music theory. Bancks is a celebrated composer, having new works performed by the United States Marine Band, the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, marimbist Makoto Nakura, and others. He is the recipient of many awards, including two BMI Student Composer Awards.
  • Randall Hall is an Associate Professor of Music and teaches saxophone, improvisation, electronic music, and composition. Dr. Hall is an international performing artist who is known for his free improvisations, the use of electronic music, and his mastery of extended techniques.
  • James Lambrecht is Professor of Music and Director of Bands, where he leads the Augustana Symphonic Band. Under his baton the band has toured much of the United States and has held international tours of England, Scotland, Italy, and Japan. As music director, Dr. Lambrecht is a champion for contemporary compositions for wind band and frequently programs the newest in wind band literature to complement a strong tradition in the classic 20th century repertoire as well as orchestral transcriptions. He frequently programs new works by Frank Ticheli, James Barnes (composer), David Maslanka, Philip Sparke, and Joseph Schwantner, among many others. In 2009, he was invited to become a guest conductor of the prestigious wind ensemble at the Musashino Academia Musicae, in Tokyo, Japan. He is part of rotation of several foreign guest conductors and has returned to the school for residencies in 2011 and 2014.


  • Heidi Storl is the William Freistat Chair for Studies in World Peace. She is a tenured professor in philosophy department; she is also the Director, and Founder, of Texas Medical Center Summer Research Internship Program for Augustana.


  • Peter Kivisto is a noted sociologist, former editor of The Sociological Quarterly, and author of over a dozen books on immigration, ethnic and racial studies, and social theory, most recently "Illuminating Social Life" (fifth edition, Pine Forge Press, 2010) and the forthcoming "Race and Ethnicity: The Basics (with Paul Croll, Routledge, 2012). Dr. Kivisto is the president (2010–2011) of the Midwest Sociological Society, holds the Richard A. Swanson Chair in Social Thought and chairs the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Welfare at Augustana. Other members of the Department:
  • Paul Croll is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Augustana College. His research, focusing on whiteness, critical race theory, race and ethnic relations, social inequality, quantitative research methods, and statistics, has appeared in the journals Social Forces, Social Problems, and The American Sociologist. He has been influential in the management of the American Mosaic Project Survey.
  • Marsha Smith - Gerontologist and scholar of Asian Studies - is a board member of ASIANetwork (2008–2011) and former president of the Illinois Sociological Association (ISA).
  • Vicki Sommer - Social Welfare and Gender Studies professor - is also a former president of the ISA and a current board member of the American Men's Studies Association (AMSA). Dr. Sommer was also the program chair for the Women's & Gender Studies program and institute at Augustana for twelve years.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Augustana College - Mission and History
  2. ^ As of FY 2012. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2012 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY 2011 to FY 2012" (PDF). 2012 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2013. 
  3. ^ Conrad Bergendoff, "Augustana...A Profession of Faith, A History of Augustana College, 1860-1935" (1969)
  4. ^ Dag Blanck, The Creation of an Ethnic Identity: Being Swedish American in the Augustana Synod, 1860–1917 (2006)
  5. ^ Thomas Tredway, "Coming of Age: A History of Augustana College, 1935-1937" (2010)
  6. ^ Princeton Review
  7. ^ "Old Main, Augustana College, 3600 7th Avenue". City of Rock Island. Retrieved 2011-03-29. 
  8. ^ Hansons donate $8 million to name Science Building
  9. ^ Science Building Fast Facts
  10. ^ Augustana College - Residential life
  11. ^ Augustana College - Campus
  12. ^ a b Augustana College - Student Groups
  13. ^ Augustana College - Greek Life
  14. ^ a b Augustana College - Athletics at Augustana
  15. ^ Augustana Endowed Chair - Anderson
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "EVANS, Lane Allen, (1951 - )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Ken Anderson". IMDb. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  21. ^ Nobel Autobiography
  22. ^ "Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 

External links[edit]