Posted on June 7, 2011 by Tia Lalani

June 3 – 5, Augustana commemorated its 100th year and recognized its centenary graduating class.

By Christopher Thrall –

To skip right to the photo galleries, please select Centenary Homecoming Weekend or Centenary Convocation.

On the weekend of June 3 to 5, 2011, the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta – formerly Augustana University College and the Camrose Lutheran College – commemorated its 100th year and recognized its centenary graduating class. Well over 1000 alumni, graduates, students, staff, friends and family travelled to the Camrose campus to celebrate and reminisce together.

The weekend began with a wine and cheese reception on Friday evening. Guests browsed through yearbooks, inspected decade-themed displays and admired award-winning student art pieces. Dean Roger Epp offered a warm welcome, and then choir members from the past 60 years filed into the Faith & Life Chapel for their first rehearsal as the Augustana Choir ReUnion. Afterwards, former Vikings gathered at a nearby lounge and parents collected their sleepy children from the Kids Korner.

By 7:30 am Saturday morning, cross-country runners of all ages and skill levels joined Gerhard Lotz for a Morning Fun Run through the Stoney Creek trails. Current and former professors hosted groups of alumni for breakfast, and then guests were treated to “Augustana Today”. Visitors experienced our Music with Children program and a chemistry magic show, learned Norwegian or viewed exotic bugs and butterflies. Open Houses dotted the campus, including the Learning and Beyond office, the Students’ Association, the Theatre and an enormous display of Athletics gear and awards through the century! Professors chatted with visitors in front of departmental displays and the Chester Ronning Centre held a session on Augustana’s legacy. The Golden Alumni Coffee Break featured students speaking about the Augustana spirit and a talk on how Augustana was more Lutheran than ever.

The afternoon kicked off with a local lunch served in the cafeteria, along with the Augustana Showcase Stage in the Forum: faculty band Quarantino performed, as did alumni bands The Vinyl Experiment and Blue Thistle, concluding with local comedian Paul Myrehaug. We took an aerial photo of visitors forming a huge “100” in the Quad, and then alumnus Martin Murphy performed in the Chapel. The afternoon ended with Luther’s Lattés in the Chaplaincy Open House and a Chester Ronning Centre consultation on why religion and public life matter to each other.

On Saturday evening, our alumni, graduands, friends and family gathered at the Camrose Regional Exposition for cocktails, banquet and a performance by the Alumni Choir ReUnion. Warm greetings were shared from city councillor and alumnus Greg Wood (’80), and from the province by Minister of Justice and Attorney General, alumnus Verlyn Olson (’74). After the banquet, the Alumni Lounge featured legendary Canadian rockers 54-40, who had the crowd on their feet and dancing all night.

Sunday morning began with the Baccalaureate Worship Service, featuring another Alumni Choir ReUnion performance. Later that afternoon, laughter and tears highlighted the Centenary Convocation Ceremony. University president Indira Samarasekera inspired the graduands with J.K. Rowling’s thoughts on imagination and honorary doctor of laws recipient Craig Kielburger stressed the necessity of reaching out to others and having an impact on the world. Odessa Sherbaniuk received the Augustana Medal for highest academic achievement in the faculty, and there were two eagle feathers and one Métis sash awarded to aboriginal students during the ceremony. Dean Roger Epp, in his final convocation before he steps down at the end of this month, shared a few final words before the Class of 2011 planted their tree as a gift to the campus and went off to embrace the next phase of their lives.

Thanks, memories and congratulations have been pouring in since the huge event, and we invite you to share your photos and memories as well. There will be a special edition of the Circle produced in July with photos from the weekend. Until then, please be welcome to view one of our two galleries: Centenary Homecoming Weekend and Centenary Convocation.

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