Posted on April 30, 2010 by Tia Lalani

Christopher Thrall watches the Scandinavian Trade and Cultural Society endow Augustana with $40,000 for Scandinavian studies.

By Christopher Thrall –

Augustana’s Norwegian heritage and Scandinavian commitment were honoured by an endowment this week. Wayne Nordstrom, Board President of the Scandinavian Trade and Cultural Society, presented Dean Roger Epp of the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus with a $40,000 cheque to enhance educational opportunities for students studying Scandinavian culture.

“Norway is not only a historic place to Augustana, but an ongoing relationship,” said Dean Epp. “This endowment is really an investment in the future, in our students and in our professors.” Augustana offers one of Canada’s few university programs in Scandinavian Studies and will host a small Camrose conference with a Norwegian university partner this fall.

The Scandinavian Trade and Cultural Society was established to set up a showcase for the 2003 Klondike Days exhibition. Afterwards, Nordstrom and his wife, Joyce, suggested the idea of doing a guide book of Scandinavian sites in Alberta. The heavy, full-colour Scandinavian Connections: A Guide to Sites in Alberta was published three years ago and has sold nearly 2000 copies throughout Alberta, Canada, the U.S. and northern Europe. Society Vice-President Birgit Wildenhoff even presented a copy to the representative of the Queen of Denmark. The surprising success of the book led to a question.

“We had to decide what to do with the considerable proceeds from the book,” said Nordstrom. “That was when we heard from Bonnie [Anderson, Director of Development,] and Dr. Epp about creating a Scandinavian studies endowment.”

The Scandinavian Trade and Cultural Society Endowment will encourage research on Scandinavian culture and heritage, and promote that culture both at Augustana and in the larger community. It could fund student research assistantships, travel grants, lectures or conferences.

The presentation was made prior to the 2010 Spring Soiree, after which the Scandinavian Trade and Cultural Society toured Augustana’s new library. They stayed as honoured guests at the Soiree, enjoyed refreshments provided by Camrose’s Lefse House and spent time meeting with Augustana’s friends and supporters.

For more information on how you might make a gift to support students and programs at Augustana, please call Bonnie at 780-679-1183.

Board members of the Scandinavian Trade and Cultural Society (STCS) with representatives of the University of Alberta (UA):
Back row, left to right: Roger Bruce, STCA Treasurer; Don Melin, SCTS Director; Carl Amrhein, UA Provost and VP Academic; Roar Tungland, Honourary Consul, Norway
Front Row, left to right: Bob Rennie, STCS Director; Irja Joljart, STCS Secretary; Birgit Wildenhoff, STCS Vice-President; Wayne Nordstrom, SCS President; Roger Epp, Dean UA Augustana Campus; Debra Pozega Osburn, UA Acting VP External Relations; Agnes Hoveland, UA Board of Governors.

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