Now firmly ensconced in its Rock Island home, Augustana was on firmer footing than it had been in previous decades, but it was not secure. Other Augustana Synod groups had established colleges more locally, leading to competition for students. Debt was a continuous problem, especially as the college undertook improvements to the grounds, and faculty complaints about low salaries were frequent. In spite of these issues, school pride never failed, and Augustana obtained a school song, by E.W. Olson, and its school colors. Gymnastics and athletics grew in importance, and their presence on campus was solidified with the construction of a new gymnasium, much hailed in college publications. This period also saw, at the request of the faculty, a major revision of the curriculum which allowed students to take electives for the first time. The dome on Memorial Hall (Old Main) was finally completed, allowing Augustana to be seen for several miles along the Mississippi.

June 1891
Olof Olsson is named the third president of Augustana College following the death in February of President Hasselquist. Olsson is a highly respected member of the synod, and has taught on and off at Augustana.
Anna Westman, first woman professor at Augustana
Augustana's first woman faculty member, Anna Westman, is named an assistant professor of mathematics upon her graduation from Augustana College. Westman is also the principal of the ladies' hall.
June 9, 1893
Jubilee celebrating the 300th anniversary of Sweden's establishment as a Lutheran nation. Bishop K.G. von Scheele of Sweden is a guest of honor, and many musical performances make the event a success. Approximately 20,000 people attend the event; some are brought by special trains chartered for the occasion. The celebration is combined with Augustana's commencement.
first Augustana football team
Fall 1893
The varsity football team plays its first season, winning against the University of Iowa and St. Ambrose but losing to Monmouth College. Their "break-neck performances" attract a great deal of attention on campus and earn them the nickname "The Terrible Swedes."
June 1898
A senior class petition to wear caps and gowns at commencement is denied by the Board, which rejects this "innovation" on the grounds that "our people within the Synod would undoubtedly look upon this movement with disfavor." The class of 1898 does carry the first school banner, in blue and gold, during graduation.
The first Augustana Library publication, Mechanical Composition of Wind Deposits, by Professor J.A. Udden. Library publications will continue until 1992, reaching 36 issues. Most of these publications feature the work of Augustana faculty.
Fall 1899
Mandatory morning prayers are held in English instead of Swedish for the first time. The change comes at the recommendation of the faculty. Some concern about this switch is voiced in the community, but President Olsson holds that "the times do not wait for us. If we do not follow along we remain behind."
fields at Augustana
October 1899
Augustana purchases the land between 36th and 38th Streets and 7th and 5th Avenues, ensuring room for continued expansion of the college. Part of the new land will be used for an athletic field, to be named Ericson Field in honor of donor C.J.A. Ericson of Boone, Iowa.
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