Class of 1977

Winter 2017 Class Agent Letter

Dear Augustana College (aka University) Alum of 1977!

Hello friends! I never seem to have time to write anything when the deadline for publication is due, and here is that time again, but this time, I’m putting together some thoughts fast!

Brian and I (class of 1977) have been Augustana Association representatives from Nebraska the last number of years. This is a wonderful day at Augustana the first Friday of December, as we get to see and hear firsthand the current status. We got in a little visit to the Froiland Science Complex (must-see!) and brought some treats to share with Doc and Phyl Krueger that afternoon. We’re so grateful for all those fine professors we had who taught us so very much. It’s most gratifying to be able to spend time with them today and tell them how grateful we are for their hard work and fine teaching!

Augie continues to be a wonderful place where such great learning takes place, and we are most proud that such great things are happening. I would encourage each of you to find some time to visit and see for yourself.

This fall will be the 40th anniversary celebration of our graduation! There are annual homecoming events to which we’ll be invited. Bob Boyce has created a Facebook Augie Class of 1977—40th Year Reunion Page, Augustana University, Sioux Falls. The main purpose is to determine a time when we can gather and enjoy fellowship together, so please check it out and share your thoughts. (Don't forget to join our official class Facebook page, too.)

Meanwhile, here are links to some highlights.
Enrollment at Augustana this fall was the highest it has been in 26 years. Our total headcount — including part-time, full-time and graduate students — was 1,937. That number includes students from 34 states and 38 countries.
Our Student Success Center reported that 98% of the Class of 2015 grads are employed in their major or chosen field. Grads are working in 20 states and four countries around the world.
After winning the NCAA Division II National Championship last March, the Augustana men's basketball team was then invited to play Duke University in an exhibition game in November. Many alumni, parents and fans traveled to Duke to cheer on the Vikings.
Last April, members of the Augustana Choir performed with music icon Barry Manilow during a concert in Sioux Falls. During interim, the Choir embarked on a two-week tour, performing and learning in Germany and Italy.
The new Froiland Science Complex was dedicated and opened for classes last fall. At 125,000 square feet, the facility represents the largest and most complex building endeavor in Augustana's 156-year history.
Last July, Forbes magazine again ranked Augustana among "America's Top Colleges," and in November, CBS News named AU the best college in the state of South Dakota. (But we already knew that!)

On Thursday, March 2, we will launch our first ever Augustana Giving Day and invite friends, employees, and especially alumni to join together on this one day to "Give Like a Viking." You will hear much more about it as the day approaches, but please know that during those 24 hours, you will have the opportunity to make an impact that will last for 365 days and potentially even a lifetime. 

Hope to see you in Sioux Falls Oct. 13-15, 2017.

Deb Piehl Lund, Augie Class of 1977

P.S. A note from the alumni office: It’s time to celebrate your class! This fall, you’ll be celebrating a milestone reunion during Viking Days. Mark your calendar to celebrate with us October 13 – 15. While this is a great time to reconnect with classmates and revisit campus, it’s also a great time to give a gift to your alma mater. We invite you to give in thanksgiving for the experiences you had while you were a student and for what you’ve accomplished since graduation. More information will be forthcoming about our Milestone Reunion Year giving program, but you can give at anytime. Visit www.augielink.com/milestone to make your gift today.

Augielink Class Notes


Gearhart (Olson), Nanda  - Posted 2/21/2017 4:00:59 PM - Deceased
Nanda (Olson) Gearhart passed away peacefully, on June 12, 2016, in Niagara Falls, New York, from complications of a neurological disease. Nanda taught elementary, junior and senior high Art for the Waterloo Public School District in Waterloo, Iowa for 18 years. Nanda will be remembered as a beloved teacher, artist, dancer, puppeteer and storyteller.
Booker, Robert  - Posted 1/19/2017 11:05:34 AM - Careers
Robert Booker
Robert Booker, 1977 recently retired as Chairman of Grantmakers for the Arts a national arts service organization. Booker continues in his full time work as the Executive Director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.
Praytor (Roe), Mary Posted 1/17/2017 9:46:12 PM - Just for Fun
Mary Roe Praytor,RN, is the Director of Quality at Kindred Hospital Clear Lake,Texas. In May, 2016, she and all the family attended her mother Barbara Swenson Roe (class of '47) 90th Birthday in Inwood, Iowa.
Blanchfield, Joel  Posted 1/17/2017 2:44:25 PM - Careers
Going back into sales with maintenance engineering - Brightest and lightest light available also the best.

Schmidt (Vance), Barbara  - Posted 7/3/2016 5:49:34 PM - Careers

Barb Vance Schmidt retired at the end of the 2016 school year after 39 years teaching biology and anatomy/physiology at Rapid City Stevens High School.
O'Connor, Eileen - Posted 6/28/2016 12:22:12 PM - Deceased
Eileen O'Connor , 74, passed away on January 26, 2016. She is survived by her sister and her nieces and nephews.
Winter (Anderson), Sandra - Posted 3/29/2016 4:29:27 PM - Careers
Hi, As you may have noticed, I am no longer a business owner. I sold my alterations business to my daughter Erin in April of 2015. I am actually semi-retired. I went through chemo for ovarian cancer this past year so the part-time nature of work went well with my reduced energy. I am in remission and regaining my energy. Mark was very helpful when I got used to asking him to do things I usually do. May everyone have a good year. Sandy (Anderson) Winter.

Previous Class Letters

Winter 2016

Winter 2015 

Winter 2014

Summer 2013

Winter 2013