Let the tour begin

While in Naples, Fla., for the first stop on his 10th anniversary tour, Augustana President Steve Bahls attended a performance by the Augustana choir, which is on its spring break tour.

While in Naples, Fla., for the first stop on his 10th anniversary tour, Augustana President Steve Bahls attended a performance by the Augustana choir, which is on its spring break tour.

Naples, Fla. — Jane and I have been looking forward to our 10th anniversary tour, and now it’s finally begun. We’re both looking forward to the opportunities these visits will provide for reflection on Augustana — its recent past, its present and its future.
We had a large crowd in Naples for dinner and an even larger crowd for our concert. The musical talent of our students never ceases to amaze me.  In 10 years, I have probably attended a few dozen Augustana choir performances.  I enjoyed last night’s selections the best. I appreciated the grouping around the various themes. And the performance of a relatively new setting of Amazing Grace was heavenly.

Augustana President Steve Bahls addresses alumni at the Naples tour stop.

Augustana President Steve Bahls addresses alumni at the Naples tour stop.

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Atlanta — We had about 30 alumni, friends and parents for dinner at Livingston Restaurant near downtown in Atlanta. Apparently, we brought the icy weather from the Quad Cities, with the temperature dipping below freezing!

The evening started with comments from Lynn Jackson, our vice president for advancement, and then Jane and me. Lynn is gracious in saying that Augustana has changed for the better over the last 10 years and I am quick to give credit for that change where it is due — to our faculty, trustees and staff.

Jane Bahls poses with 90-year-old Doris Pells in Naples, Fla. Pells' sons and late husband are Augustana alumni.

Jane Bahls poses with 90-year-old Doris Pells in Naples, Fla. Doris’ sons and late husband are Augustana alumni.

I was particularly touched by one comment about change that was made by an alumna. She mentioned to me that we had only met twice, the first time being 10 years ago when I was first introduced at a similar reception in Atlanta. She commented on how much Augustana had changed me in 10 years — from an earnest, newly appointed president from outside the traditional liberal arts’ fold, to a spokesperson not just for the liberal arts and sciences, but for the Augustana tradition, as well. What an honor it is to be at Augustana!

Next tour stops

  • Friday, Feb. 22 — Denver Museum of Art
  • Saturday, Feb. 23 — Phoenix Botanical Gardens

Full tour schedule

 

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