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benjamin knapper
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

​Benjamin Knapper

Graduation year: 2015

Majors: Applied mathematics, computer science

Activities: Augustana Choir, Chamber Singers, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Pi Mu Epsilon, Phi Beta Kappa

Post-grad plans: Work as an IT consulting associate for McGladrey in Des Moines

Why did you choose Augustana?

I came to Augustana because of the people and relationships. I felt like I was at home when I visited the campus and knew I would find success here. I wanted college to be a time where I could develop academically, mature intellectually and become who I wanted to be. Augustana has far exceeded my expectations, and I will be glad to call Augie my alma mater!

Are you where you thought you'd be four years ago?

I am not where I thought I’d be four years ago. I came to Augustana to pursue actuarial science but fell in love with computer science during sophomore year and decided to pursue a double major.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

I have to give credit to my high school calculus teacher for her influence in directing me towards the mathematical sciences. I was also greatly influenced by Dr. Clauss in the math department. I had my very first class with Dr. Clauss and he pushed me to change my perspective about taking control of my own learning, which would set the tone for the next four years.

A peak experience?

I really enjoyed my time touring with the Augustana Choir. In 2013, the choir toured the East Coast, and in 2014, we toured regionally. I have been looking forward to choir tour ever since my mom (Class of 1986) talked about her trip to Sweden. I have been lucky enough to have experienced choir tour for myself. There is nothing quite like singing extremely difficult repertoire at the highest level with all of your best friends while traveling around the country.

What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?

I learned that natural talent yields more rewards when paired with hard work.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I will be using Augie Choice to help cover the expenses associated with the Augustana Choir’s international tour to Germany, Denmark and Sweden this summer.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss the support and entertainment that comes from living with a community of peers and friends.

Advice for the Class of 2019?

Seize every opportunity that you can, work harder than you ever have, but most importantly, don’t take it all too seriously.

“I had the pleasure of having Ben in his first math class here at Augustana four short years ago. Ben quickly distinguished himself, even among a group of very talented students, as a bright, engaged, intellectually curious young man. He has continued to distinguish himself in everything he has done here at Augie. We were lucky to have Ben as a member of our community.”


- Dr. Jon Clauss, professor, mathematics and computer science