Name change marks beginning of 2015-2016 academic year


After weeks of open secrets, Augustana unveiled its university title today at the school’s opening ceremony and on its 155th anniversary.

“Today we come together in a special way and for an extra special reason,” said campus Pastor Ann Rosendale. In reference to Augustana’s Christian core value, Rosendale compared the name change to those made biblically: Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Peter and Paul.

Board of Trustees Director Becky Blue also spoke on the name change, hailing it as a way to tell new students about the programs and partnerships the institution offers.

“It is time to call Augustana what it actually is: a university,” Blue said. “I want you to know that the Board of Trustees did not take this important decision lightly.”

A second debut, done by video, revealed Augustana University’s new logo and slogan: a yellow-and-white linked AU on a blue field, coupled with the phrase, “The place for possibilities.”

President Rob Oliver outlined these possibilities, including this year’s new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, two added graduate programs, the completion of the Froiland Science Complex, a new 125,000 square foot student activity center, and new student apartments to be built in 2016, and two additional graduate programs that Oliver hailed as “innovative and relevant to society.”

The ceremony concluded with an official opening of the academic year, rung in by Augustana Student Association President Paige Schwitters on Augustana’s official bell.

“It is my pleasure to be the first to welcome you to Augustana University,” Oliver said. “I can assure you in our 155-year streak, there has never been a day like today.”