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2023 in review: Bergendoff renovations, Japan tour, and Slough draining and restoration

2023 marked a return for our music students traveling internationally, with a transformative band trip to Japan. We saw several campus improvements, including the Bergendoff and Sorensen renovations, and broke ground on the Lincoln Park tennis complex. Another in-progress improvement includes the draining and restoration of the Slough.

2023 new students

Augustana welcomes second largest group of new students

We made a lot of news at the start of the academic year welcoming the Class of 2027 — including 800 first-year, transfer and exchange students from 30 states and 35 countries.

This marked the largest group of new students and the first class to receive Augustana Possible grants, with 177 first-year students receiving grants from the innovative financial aid program.

Additionally, this is the inaugural year for the Brenda Barnes Leadership Academy, with 29 first-year female students engaged in the transformative program.

Bergendoff Hall

Take a look! Bergendoff Hall transformed

An $11.2 million investment has transformed Bergendoff Hall, ensuring state-of-the-art facilities for music students. The project updated many spaces, including Larson Hall, the piano lab, the ensemble rehearsal hall and practice rooms.

Old Main thumbnail

Augustana welcomes Dianna Shandy and Jon Enslin

New Augustana faces in 2023 included Provost Dianna Shandy. Vice President for College Advancement Jon Enslin will arrive January 2.

Students, faculty and staff

Augustana officials, students canvass neighborhoods for lead drinking water pipes survey

Our students dug deep contributing to the water line inventory project for the City of Rock Island. From knocking on doors and communicating with residents to number crunching and problem solving, students and faculty contributed to this influential multi-year project in many ways.

Slough drainage

Slough drainage and restoration project underway

We embraced the disruption of the Slough draining and restoration project with submitted photos from Slough fans near and far. The City of Rock Island project, which is due to wrap up in January 2024, will ensure the Slough’s beauty for years to come.

Dracula performance

Fall theatre performances wow audiences

Augustana thespians took the stage in October’s "Betrayal" and '"Dracula" (pictured). We also staged the area premiere of "Nine" in November.

John Murabito, Mike Gapen, Cheryl True

Murabito steps down; alumni Gapen, True tapped to lead Augustana Board

After leading Augustana through the pandemic, a presidential search and transition, and an increasingly competitive admissions landscape, John Murabito '80 stepped down from serving as Board of Trustees chair. The college welcomed new leaders Mike Gapen '91 as chair and Dr. Cheryl True '90 as vice chair.

Augustana Symphonic Band in Japan

Highlights from Augustana's music ensemble spring tours

The Augustana Symphonic Band traveled to Japan, performing concerts in Tokyo, Nagoya and Sagamihara. The trip was originally scheduled for spring 2020 but had to be postponed due to COVID-19.

Tennis complex groundbreaking

Augustana, Rock Island break ground on Lincoln Park tennis complex

We broke ground on the Lincoln Park tennis complex, which will serve our men's and women's tennis teams as well as the Quad Cities community. The project will be open for play in 2024.

Nelly Cheboi at 2023 commencement

Nelly Cheboi gives 163rd commencement address

CNN Hero Nelly Cheboi '16 shared her journey founding TechLit Africa at Augustana's 163rd Commencement Convocation on May 27. In April, Steve and Jane Bahls founded the Nelly Cheboi Endowed Scholarship, which will be awarded to Augustana international students with demonstrated financial need and academic merit. 

Step Afrika!

Step Afrika! bring world renowned step, storytelling

The Augustana and Quad Cities communities came together in February to pack Centennial Hall to capacity to enjoy Step Afrika!, the premier African step group. The group took the stage alongside Augustana’s own step group, Heavy Steppas.

Augustana Vikings Football

Football, men's water polo and women's volleyball score big

The Augustana Vikings football team celebrated eight season wins plus earned a trip to the Culver’s Isthmus Bowl.

In the program's third season, the Vikings men's water polo team earned a fourth-place national finish when it hosted the USA Water Polo Division III National Tournament. The team's season included 15 wins, the most yet, and also included its second consecutive conference title for Mountain Pacific Sports Federation East.

For the first time since 2003, the Vikings women's volleyball team took down the Carthage Firebirds, ending a 27-match streak.

Augustana students assess the fish population in a local stream.

Faculty, staff and research bolstered by grant funding

Significant grant funding propelled Augustana researchers and initiatives. A $361,276 grant was awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services' National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders to Associate Professor Dr. Ann Perreau to launch a hearing study to aid those with hyperacusis. A $118,062 grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust allowed faculty and students to engage in next-generation DNA sequencing research. And a $100,000 grant empowered the community-based learning opportunities and transformational work of Augustana’s Upper Mississippi Center and the Center for the Advancement of Community Health and Wellness.


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