Augustana College (Illinois): Wikis


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Augustana College
Established 1860
Type Private college
Endowment $88.2 million[1]
President Steven C. Bahls
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
Colors Navy Blue & Gold
Nickname Augie
Mascot Vikings
Affiliations Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Augustana College is a private liberal arts college located in Rock Island, Illinois. The college enrolls approximately 2,500 students. Covering 115 acres (465,000 m²) of hilly, wooded land, Augustana is adjacent to the Mississippi River. A large percentage of the student body takes part in a wide variety of groups and activities related to the performing arts, theatre, debate, publications, broadcasting, student government, and a broad spectrum of professional, religious, departmental, political, social, and service organizations.



Augustana College traces its origin to the Swedish universities of Uppsala and Lund, founded in 1477 and 1668, respectively. Graduates of these universities founded Augustana in 1860 in Chicago's Near North Side, providing leaders for the new churches being organized by Swedish immigrants and educating the youth of these new communities.

The school was the first of many educational and humanitarian institutions established by the former Augustana Lutheran Church. Augustana College and Theological Seminary, as it was first known, endured many hardships during its early years. The Civil War nearly depleted the roster of students and faculty. The college and seminary moved from Chicago to Paxton, Illinois in 1863, and finally to Rock Island in 1875. The seminary became a separate institution in 1948, and in 1967 returned to the Chicago area, while the college remained in Rock Island.

Augustana has grown from a small school serving Swedish immigrants into a nationally recognized college of the liberal arts and sciences. Students come from most states and many foreign countries and from a wide variety of social and cultural backgrounds.

The college has always maintained a close relationship with the church—first the Augustana Lutheran Church, and, after 1962, the Lutheran Church in America. In 1988 Augustana established ties to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a body of six million American Lutherans formed in that year. The ELCA gives substantial support to the college and is represented on the Board of Trustees.

The name Augustana derives from the origin of the Lutheran Church. The Latin name for the Augsburg Confession, the Reformation document drawn up in 1530, is Confessio Augustana.

Eight presidents have served Augustana since its founding in 1860. Its current president, Steven C. Bahls, was selected to serve the Augustana community in 2003. [2]




Since 1950, Augustana has had a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society. The College also has non-"Greek" collegiate fraternal organizations, including Alpha Phi Omega (APO)(service), Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI) (music), Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (Phi Mu)(music), Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA)(Service), Alpha Psi Omega (ΑΨΩ) (theater), and others.

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

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, Majestic Hearts, Majestic Gents, and many other organizations.


The Augustana Vikings compete in the NCAA Division III College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW). The Vikings compete in a combined total of 21 male and female team sports, and four out of five students compete in some form of varsity, club, or intramural sport. The Augustana College football team won four NCAA Division III national championships in a row from 1983 - 1986 under Coach Bob Reade. Coach Reade's overall winning percentage of 87% is second only to Knute Rockne on the all-time list. Augustana College was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1912-1937.


Augustana is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as an Arts and Sciences plus Professions institution, and ranks among the top 60 private undergraduate colleges in the country, based on the number of graduates who earn the Ph.D.

Admission is selective. Students accepted to Augustana typically rank in the top quarter of their high school classes and score well above national norms on the ACT and SAT. The middle 50 percent of enrolled students for the class of 2012 scored 24-29 on the ACT.

A third of Augustana’s graduates move on to graduate school. More than 90 percent of graduates have been readily successful in their job searches.

Ninety-one percent of the 175 full-time faculty hold Ph.D.s or the terminal degrees in their fields. The 12-to-1 student-faculty ratio allows students to pursue their own academic careers on a personal level.

Augustana’s curriculum and faculty also are consistently recognized through grants for innovative projects by major foundations, including the Kresge Foundation, Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Science Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Teagle Foundation, the Dow Chemical Company Foundation, W.M. Keck Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies. A $7.5 million grant from the F.W. Olin Foundation was based on academic excellence.

Augustana actively promotes, underwrites and administers research projects involving both professors and students. Research work has included major projects funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, Argonne National Laboratories and the American Heart Association. [3]


Augustana is situated on 115 acres of Mississippi River Valley hillside. Scenic walkways connect 26 buildings on the beautiful, landscaped campus, hidden but not far from the busy urban community. [4]

Augustana has five residence halls: Swanson, Westerlin, Erickson, Seminary, and Andreen. All are co-ed starting in the 2009-2010 school year. Augustana also offers several "TLA"s (Transitional Living Areas) in which Augustana students live in apartment-like rooms under school supervision, much like renting. The school takes care of basic maintenance in these areas, some of which are House on the Hill, Naeseth, and Andreen Apartments. These areas usually have 2-6 students who share a bathroom and a kitchen.

Augustana provides several services to attending students. Services include: campus ministries, career center, student counseling, academic advising, student employment, business office, food services, safety office, campus security, computer services, and campus recreation.

Courses of study


Accounting, Anthropology, Art, Art Education, Art History, Biochemistry, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Classics, Computer Science, Earth Science Teaching, Economics, Elementary and Secondary Education, English, French, Geography, Geology, German, History, Mathematics, Pre-Medicine, Multimedia Journalism, Music, Music Education, Music Performance, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Scandinavian, Sociology, Spanish, Speech Communication, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Studio Art, and Theatre.


Most major areas, plus Asian Studies, Environmental Studies, Latin American Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies.

Coordinated Degree Programs

Dentistry, Engineering, Environmental Management, Forestry, Landscape Architecture, and Occupational Therapy.

Pre-Professional studies

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

Study Abroad

Augustana College is home to an East Asian (which includes China and Japan mostly with a week long "debriefing" time in Hawaii) term, along with Latin America (countries visited include Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, and Ecuador among other) term, European (countries visited include Great Britain and Germany) term, Vietnam term, Vienna term, India term, Ireland term, West Africa (Senegal and Ghana) term where select groups of students are taken overseas to learn about and study cultures, economies, and histories for up to 12 weeks. Augustana College was the first college to have students in China when the "walls" came down in 1978 and foreigners were allowed inside. The esteemed Norman Moline led a group of approx. 40 Augie students on foot across a bridge out of Hong Kong and into Guangzhou, China. Since then, Augustana College has maintained a healthy relationship with the Faculty and Students of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China, along with many people and towns across the country. During the summer months, Augustana students are also able to travel abroad to further their language studies in France, Germany, and Spain.

Notable faculty

  • Van J. Symons is a noted scholar of China, with his focus on the Q'ing dynasty.
  • William R. Hammer is a noted paleontologist who found the first dinosaur, Cryolophosaurus, in Antarctica.
  • Peter Kivisto is a noted sociologist, former editor of the Sociological Quarterly, and written well over a dozen books on immigration, ethnic and racial studies. Dr. Kivisto is the current President-Elect of the Midwest Sociological Society and chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Welfare at Augustana. (Other members of the Department, Dr. Marsha Smith - Gerontologist and scholar of Asian Studies - is a board member of ASIANetwork and former president of the Illinois Sociological Association (ISA). Dr. 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 is also the coordinating chair for the Women's and Gender Studies program and institute at Augustana.

Notable alumni


External links


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