Meet Augustana alums who explain their professional and personal achievements and how Augustana prepared them.
- 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
- 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
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- 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
- 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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- 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
- 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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- 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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- 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
- Preston Evans '92
(Deputy Sheriff Sergeant, Minnehaha County) "The success in my family
life, social life, and professional life are all linked to Augustana
- 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
- 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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- 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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