Monday, December 7

NO LSFY Meeting today

Tuesday, December 8

10:45 AM - Student Recitals
Various student musicians
Wallenberg Hall, Denkmann Building

11:00 - 11:50 AM - Tuesday Reflection - Brittany Delcourt
Ascension Chapel, 2nd Floor, Founders Hall

Wednesday, December 9

9:30 AM - CVR Coffee and Conversation postponed till next week
Evald Great Hall

12:00 - 1:00 PM - Bible Study "Life's meaning and purpose"
Chicago Room, College Center
Bring your lunch if you wish. Bring your Bible, or there are extras to use.

4:00 PM - Tea-Hour Series - Sarah Horowitz presents "Early Illustrated Editions of Pride and Prejudice"
Old Main 128

9:30 PM - Evening Prayer & Holy Communion
Ascension Chapel, 2nd floor, Founders Hall

Thursday, December 10

10:30 - 11:30 AM - Convocation: Dr. Cyrus Zargar "What can we learn from Iran today?"
Centennial Hall

6:00 PM - Kwanzaa Celebration
Enjoy a free dinner and an encouraging message from Eric Rowell '93
College Center Loft

Friday, December 11

4:00 PM - Friday Conversations: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning I: Getting Started with SOTL
3:30 PM - Refreshments

Wilson Center

Saturday, December 12

8:00 PM - G.F. Handel's Messiah
Handel Oratorio Society, Chamber Orchestra
Centennial Hall

Sunday, December 13

10:30 AM - Sunday Morning Worship
Ascension Chapel, 2nd Floor, Founders Hall

2:00 PM - G.F. Handel's Messiah
Handel Oratorio Society, Chamber Orchestra
Centennial Hall

5:00 PM - Sunday Catholic Mass
Ascension Chapel, 2nd Floor, Founders Hall

 

Volume 8, Issue 14 - December 7, 2009

An Augustana Story

DORA CARLSON CERVIN:  THE DEAN WHO GAVE
"THE MIRACLE OF AN EDUCATION"

AN AUGUSTANA STORY

The young woman was bright and eager.  She'd completed three years at Augustana on scholarship, working summers to meet the rest of her college expenses.  But when her senior year came around, the scholarship money was no longer available.  Summer work couldn't bring in the two hundred dollars required for tuition in 1942.  Her parents were unable to help out, and in any case probably wouldn't have done so, since they considered college unnecessary.  The student concluded that she wouldn't be able to finish her degree.  So she made an appointment to see Dean of Women Dora Carlson Cervin and tell her that she'd be withdrawing from school.

Dean Cervin was no casual students' pal.  She was impeccably elegant and unshakably dignified.  Her white hair was gathered atop her head, its natural waves disciplined.  She dressed conservatively, sat with folded hands and crossed ankles.  Across her desk the cool serenity of her smile could be more intimidating than encouraging. 

The young woman swallowed hard as she entered Dean Cervin's office. 

She remembers:  "I was probably on the verge of tears.  I so much wanted to finish my degree.  After listening to my story, Dean Cervin said something like, I do not remember her exact words, 'I'll take care of it.'  I couldn't even think what this meant, it was so unreal.  I mentioned that I could not see how I could repay her and she indicated that was not necessary.  I left her office on a cloud of unreality.  I could not imagine how this bit of fantastic luck had come my way.  It was an outright gift and to this day I consider it a miracle."

Dora Carlson Cervin served as Dean of Women during two important eras in Augustana's history:  first, from 1928 until 1931, just after the new Woman's Building had opened and its residents were exploring the possibilities of self-governance with a newly-organized house council; then from 1937 until her retirement in 1946.  During those difficult war years she guided women students as they took on new roles and responsibilities, and listened as they worried or grieved over family and friends in military service.   But perhaps no official function she performed was more significant than the "outright gifts" given privately, and remembered as "miracles."

Dora Cervin knitting
Photo courtesy of Augustana Special Collections

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dora Cervin and student
Photo courtesy of Augustana Special Collections