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Augustanas come together to celebrate Synod

Augustana of Sioux Falls President Rob Oliver, left, and Augustana of Rock Island President Steve Bahls look on as the Rev. Mark Wilhelm of the ELCA signs a compact in recognition of the 150th anniversary of the Augustana Synod.

Read the Sesquicentennial Compact

View photos from the event

In what Augustana President Steve Bahls said likely was the first joint event in 140 years between Augustana College of Rock Island and Augustana College of Sioux Falls, the two schools came together Saturday, June 5 at Jefferson Prairie Lutheran Church near the Illinois-Wisconsin border to celebrate the 150th anniversary of their founding.

Just a few miles from the site of the founding, which took place on June 5, 1860, President Bahls and his counterpart, Rob Oliver, spoke to the few hundred in attendance about the history of their institutions and what the values of the colleges' founding fathers mean to students today. Along with the Rev. Mark Wilhelm of the ELCA, Presidents Bahls and Oliver signed a compact recognizing the significance of the anniversary.

Two Augustana of Rock Island students, Neil Friberg and Dorothy Williams, also presented a skit that was a telling of the experiences of Augustana's first President, Lars Paul Esbjörn.

Video gallery

Comments from Steve Bahls, President of Augustana College, Rock Island Comments from Rob Oliver, President of Augustana College, Sioux Falls Comments from Rev. Mark Wilhelm, Associate Director for Vocation and Education, ELCA
Two Augustana of Rock Island students present a skit highlighting the experiences of our first President, Lars Paul Esbjörn The signing of the Sesquicentennial Compact Prayer from Augustana of Rock Island Pastor Richard Priggie