Alumni Profiles

Meet Augustana alums who explain their professional and personal achievements and how Augustana prepared them.

1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s

 

1950s

  • Richard Gregerson '57 (Attorney, Woods Fuller Schultz & Smith) "Augustana is at the top of the list of institutions that have had a positive impact on my life. There are few things in this life that are more important than your education."
  • Roger Haugo '58 (President and CEO, Valley Exchange Banks, Tea and Lennox, SD) "It is a community institution of which I am proud and of which I’m sure that my grandfather, mother and other relatives who attended Augustana were also proud."

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1960s

  • Carol Twedt '60 (Minnehaha County Commissioner) "Professors, whom I never shall forget, taught me and my classmates to never hold back but to boldly prepare for whatever we wanted our lives to be."
  • John Simko '61 (US Magistrate Judge) "For me Augie means opportunity. It is my hope that Augie will seize its own opportunity to take its place nationally as a standard of comparison for balanced academic and athletic excellence."
  • Evan Nolte '65 (President and CEO, Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce) "Augustana’s positive reputation in the state and Midwest region for academic quality has always been an advantage to me throughout my career."
  • Jim Reynolds '65 (Cardiologist, North Central Heart Institute) "Augustana is where it all began. The camaraderie with students and staff allowed me to develop my study and learning skills that served me well throughout the rest of my training experience."
  • Pam Sonnichsen '68 (Retired music teacher,Sioux Falls School District) "It is my sincere hope that along the way I was able to touch lives in a positive way and that I was able to help them learn the joy that music could bring them."

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1970s

  • Kathleen Digre '72 (Neuro-Ophthalmologist, John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah; Professor of Neurology and Ophthalmology, University of Utah) "I wouldn’t trade my education at Augustana for any other. An Augustana College education prepared me for my future profession and my life."
  • Gene Hoyme '72 (Chief Medical Officer, Sanford Children's Hospital) "My years at Augustana were invaluable to me, both personally and professionally. I credit Augie with my start in academia, by providing a unique, Christian, nurturing (yet demanding) academic environment."
  • David Krogman '75 (Pastor of St. Mary Parish, Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls) "The liberal arts format, classical studies, excellent course offerings, quality staff, and personalized education available at Augustana opened wide the career options available to me."
  • Erik Jensen '77 (Co-director, Rule of Law Program - Center on Democracy, Development and Rule of Law, Stanford University) "Genuine civility, good habits, initiative, productivity and humility are some of the virtues of the prairie that Augustana has always encouraged, nurtured and promoted. And I haven’t forgotten that."
  • Jay Powell '78 (President, Sioux Empire United Way) "Rob Oliver, administrators, faculty, staff and students give and volunteer at our United Way and through our funded programs like"Augie Reads," where Augustana students read to kids at the Multi-Cultural Center."
  • Emil Her Many Horses '79 (Associate Curator, Office of Museum Research - National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institute) He is a well respected voice for the Lakota people and currently is the only curator at the Smithsonian representing Northern and Southern Plains Indians.
  • Kevin Nyberg '79 (President, Nyberg's Ace Hardware) "I credit my degree from Augustana College in playing a pivotal role in giving me the communication skills, organizational ability, and entrepreneurial drive to operate my company."
  • Mel Antonen '79 (Baseball writer, USA Today): "It has given me a foundation of faith, friends and memories. What more could I ask? I wish I could do it all over again. Go Vikings!”

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1980s

  • Jenee Sinkule Woodard '80 (Founder and director of the resource website www.textweek.com) "Augustana also provided me with a safe, solid environment for learning and for personal development, which I have appreciated greatly."
  • Pam Baker Homan '81 (Superintendent, Sioux Falls School District) "Augie taught me to listen, to explore, to question, to engage, to find solutions."
  • Amy Jackson Protexter '83 (Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communication Officer for Alegent Health, Omaha, Neb): "The students, professors and staff were like a second family to me."
  • Maria Bell '84 (Gynecologic oncologist, Sanford Women’s Health) "The Augustana education I received prepared me for medical school, but also for the broader aspects of life."

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1990s

  • Alice Kuil King '91 (English teacher at Campbell County High School - Gillette, WY): "I look back fondly at my time there and appreciate everything the faculty did to prepare me for my career."
  • Scott Barth '91 (Managing partner of the Southwest Wisconsin Region for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans) "Augustana = wonderful people. When I reflect on my time at Augustana I was fortunate to be associated with outstanding people that shaped and molded me into the person I am today."
  • Preston Evans '92 (Deputy Sheriff Sergeant, Minnehaha County) "The success in my family life, social life, and professional life are all linked to Augustana College."
  • Amy Heinrich Arndt '93 (Partner, Lynn Jackson Shultz Lebrun, P.C.) "Augustana helped show me that you can keep your focus on excellent education, which is why I was there, but that other things also mattered. What an invaluable life lesson!"
  • Heidi Kostboth Binstock '95 (Associate Pastor, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church) "Augustana means passionate professors, good friends, and a solid education that prepares you for the next thing."
  • Kyle Pederson '93 (Owner, Learner’s Edge, Inc.) "Augie is central in my friendships, my career, my giving ... and it provided the solid foundation from which I could venture out into the world."
  • Billie Jo Waara '97 (Director of Account Planning & Research, Lawrence & Schiller) "The rigorous academic demands I experienced as a student prepared me to develop skills that not only allow me to understand the complexity of a variety of business environments, but also to develop insights that translate into real, tangible solutions."
  • Chad Wolbrink '98 (Chief Financial Officer for DoSomething):  "Currently, I see [Augustana] as a defining moment of my life where I learned to think critically and develop socially and spirituality."
  • Jackie Freeberg Just '99 (Owner and Principal Designer, Just Bloomed): “Internships were such a focus, and I’m so grateful for that. The internship I did with Lawrence & Schiller prepared me for the marketing and public relations career in Minneapolis that was a large part of my early career and shaped even the event business I own today.”

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2000s

  • Dominick Washington '00 (Communications Director, Bush Foundation): "The way Dr. Peter Schotten taught the class, in true Socratic Method, challenged your assumptions and your beliefs about what was right and what was wrong, forcing you to be rigorous in developing your own perspective and conclusions in anything, really.”
  • Laura Vardoulakis '02 (User Experience Researcher, Google): "The tight-knit Computer Science community at Augie was fantastic. Dr. Dan Swets, Dr. Marcia Entwistle, and Dr. Stephen Shum were some of the best teachers I had."
  • Heidi Bratland Golz '03 (St. Louis Business Journal’s 30 under 30): "In addition to fostering critical thinking skills, a liberal arts education also teaches students that they aren’t expected to know everything; instead, life is an ongoing learning process."
  • Tom Viereck '05 (Registered Nurse, Neuro Resource Nurse in surgery, Avera McKennan Hospital): "Augustana means a lot to me. The friends I met there, the professors that taught me, and the knowledge I gained all made me the person I am today."
  • Kayla Wiechmann '08 (Curator, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum): "Augustana helped me to become a well-rounded person: to work well with others, to work hard, and to do work that I’m proud of."

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