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Institute for Leadership and Service

The Institute for Leadership and Service (ILS) derives its name from Augustana's mission statement and is intended to facilitate that mission by engaging students directly with scholars and opportunities to connect and serve our broad communities.  The fund is made available from generous donations by Terrie and Perry Waughtal ('58) in response to Perry's experiences at Augustana. As described in the Winter, 2002, Augustana College Magazine:

Perry Waughtal was a senior at Augustana when, on October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, which not only succeeded in going around the world, but also managed to turn it upside down. With all of the self-assurance and optimism so dearly bought by their decisive role in winning World War II, the citizens of the U.S. had every reason to believe the first satellite to achieve Earth orbit would be launched by the Free World; when the feat was in fact accomplished by the Kremlin it was as if, in a very real sense, the sky was falling.

"Sputnik caused a great deal of fear and uncertainty," Waughtal remembers. The Red Menace fears which had been simmering since the end of WWII suddenly boiled over, and American minds - including many young ones - were consumed with the notion that the Soviets might achieve primacy in the global power structure. But on one college campus, at least, cooler heads prevailed.

Responding to student's anxiety, Dr. Edward Hamming of Augustana's geography department organized an informal get-together in a campus lounge. The evening turned out to be a seminal experience in Waughtal's life, as Hamming offered perspectives of geography, politics and development to douse the many sparks of apprehension being stoked by fear mongers of the day.

Waughtal says the experience stuck with him. "Here was a much-renowned scholar - people thought so much of him, folks would sit in on his classes just to hear him speak - and right there in Rock Island, Illinois, we were given this knowledgeable exposure to something most Americans just didn't have access to."

Part of the lasting impact of the evening was its informal atmosphere, which Waughtal describes as being sort of a fireside chat. The image of a noted scholar talking with students, rather than at them, has stayed with Waughtal throughout his post-Augustana life, much of which has been spent as a real estate developer in Texas. In 1998, he decided it was too good a memory not to be shared, and with that in mind he made a gift to create Augustana's Institute for Leadership and Service.

According to the institute's inaugural director, Dr. David Snowball, the idea behind it is simple. "It's a vehicle by which we can create a meeting of the minds between distinguished citizens and interested Augustana students." The focus, Snowball says, is on active exchange. "The means by which we achieve that vary according to the needs of our guest and his or her message. With some speakers we construct a problem-oriented case-study, in other cases we have provided examples of our guest's writings to stir up questions. The goal is always the same - to provide for the liveliest possible meeting."

Since 1998, ILS has funded nationally and internationally known speakers, dignitaries, and scholars to interact with the Augustana community with an eye toward being "a vehicle by which we can create a meeting of the minds." 

ILS provides support for travel, food, honoraria, and other expenses to support these vital interactions for our students.  Amounts for awards vary by need and matching funds from other sources are highly encouraged. Funds are provided as reimbursements for actual costs of activities and expenses.

In addition to visitors for individual classes and events, ILS helps fund Symposium Days, River Readings and other campus-wide events that bring scholars in contact with our students. ILS also supports Service-Learning, Learning Community and First-Year Inquiry classes for field trips and other events that connect the classes to the community.

Applications for funds are considered on a rolling basis with funding determined by "fit" with the ideals included in the history of the ILS. To apply, complete the Application Form .

For more information about ILS, please contact the Office of Academic Affairs.