WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jane and I enjoyed visiting with alumni in downtown Washington, D.C. Though a member of our staff usually introduces me, this time the task fell to Lindsay Daniels from the Class of 2003. Lindsay graduated right before I came on board at Augustana. She was president of the student body and a member of the search committee. Brenda Barnes, who was chair of the Augustana board at the time, still comments on how well Lindsay represented the student body in the search.
Lindsay is from Waverly, Iowa, and now works on immigration policy for a large advocacy organization. It is always satisfying to visit with graduates, and learn the ways in which a class or a professor fanned a spark of interest into a passion bright enough to light a lifetime. Lindsay is one of the thousands of alumni of Augustana who are making a difference in the world, and I am grateful for the chance this tour gave to catch up with her.
Our alumni in Washington, D.C., represent a very nice mix. But whether they’re recent graduates starting out with various government offices or more senior alumni with accomplished careers, our Washington, D.C., alumni share a love for Augustana and their experiences here. Several mentioned that they will be returning for homecoming to see the new Center for Student Life, the renovated Old Main and the Knowlton Outdoor Athletic Complex.
INDIANAPOLIS — Our Indianapolis event was appropriately held at the NCAA Hall of Champions.
As I greeted the group, I talked about the NCAA Division III slogan: Discover, Develop, Dedicate.
One third of our students are Division III student-athletes. We work with them and all of our students to discover not only knowledge of the world, but knowledge of the self, as they discover who they are through growth in mind, spirit and body. Similarly, we urge our students to discern their calling and develop their skills in ways that enable them to pursue their passions. And finally, we urge our students to dedicate themselves to making a better world by connecting their skills and passions with the world’s deep needs.
In Indianapolis, I asked our alumni to reflect on who their favorite professors were and why. Some are still at Augustana and some have retired. There is a comforting commonality of experience, however, as these former students of various decades share the refrain of transformation. Whether they mention Parkander or Peters, Radloff or Jakielkski, our alumni describe faculty mentors who understood well what Oliver Wendell Holmes meant when he said “A mind stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions.”