The 1980s saw a number of changes and developments at Augustana; two of the most significant directly affected the lives of women on campus. First, co-ed housing began in Anderson and Bartholomew in 1984. Although the college had been admitting women since the nineteenth century and had further integrated men's and women's lives throughout the twentieth, pre-1984 efforts to institute co-ed housing had failed, due, at least in part, to lack of student interest. But this first successful attempt led quickly to more co-ed housing on campus. Second, in the wake of Title IX in 1972 and the NCAA's 1980 decision to institute women's championships, Augustana participated in forming the Women's College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin, which brought women athletes into NCAA competition. At nearly the same time-late 1986-the Augustana football team made history by becoming the first (and in 2010, it is still the only) team in NCAA Division III competition to win the Stagg Bowl four years in a row. Combined with a new program for gifted students and a new research center for Swedish immigration in Denkmann Hall, these developments made for an exciting decade at Augustana.

broadcasters at WVIK
August 1980
WVIK begins broadcasting as a full-power public radio station, although Augustana still owns the site license. This development provides a service to the Quad Cities community, which previously did not have a public broadcasting option. Augustana continues to maintain a student-run station, WASR (standing for Augustana Student Radio); within a few years, WASR will revert to its original name, WAUG, which it retains to the present day.
Fall 1981
Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center (SSIRC) opens in the Denkmann Memorial Library. The SSIRC is a research facility focusing on Swedish emigration to the United States, as well as Swedish-American life, culture, and genealogy; the center also provides a centralized location for Augustana's collected documents on Swedish-American topics. Funding for the SSIRC comes from a donation by Birger ('24) and Lyal Swenson, for whom the center is named.
Fall 1983
Presidential Scholars program begins. Designed to draw a greater number of academically gifted students to Augustana, the program offers $3,000/year scholarships to talented high school students. Presidential Scholars must complete a one-credit seminar in addition to their other classes for each term they participate in the program. After significant changes to this model in the mid-1980s, the Presidential Scholars curriculum will become known as Foundations, but by the early 1990s keeping a Presidential Scholarship will no longer be contingent upon participation in Foundations. Logos, the science-focused alternative to Foundations, will first be offered in 1997.
Fall 1984
Co-ed housing begins in Anderson and Bartholomew. Students live in six-person apartments, with two groups of women and two groups of men in each hall; Anderson has a male Community Adviser, while Bartholomew's is female. Earlier attempts at co-ed housing on campus, in 1972-1973 and 1980, had both failed. However, the success in Anderson and Bartholomew will lead to more co-ed living: the first traditional residence hall to become co-ed will be Seminary in 1987.
women's swim team
Fall 1986
Women begin participation in NCAA athletics. After numerous earlier, unsucessful attempts to include women athletes in the Chicago Metro Conference, Augustana participates in the formation of the Women's College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW), thus bringing its women athletes into NCAA Division III competition. This development allows Augustana women to compete against a far greater number of other schools. In October, Augustana also becomes the first school to host a women's CCIW championship, in tennis.
December 13, 1986
Augustana football team wins NCAA Division III championship for the fourth consecutive year. In defeating Salisbury State 31-3 in the 1986 Stagg Bowl, the Vikings become the only team ever to win the bowl four years in a row. Augustana also defeated Ithaca College 20-7 in 1985; Central College, Iowa, 21-12 in 1984; and Union College, New York, 21-17 in 1983.
Queen Silvia
April 20, 1988
Queen Silvia of Sweden visits Augustana as part of a larger United States tour commemorating the first Swedish settlers in the Americas. In a press conference in Bergendoff, she speaks of the United States' acceptance of immigrants and its close relationship with Sweden. A public convocation in Centennial Hall follows.
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