Monday, January 25

4:00 - 5:30 PM - LSFY 103 Meeting
Wilson Center

Tuesday, January 26

10:45 AM - Student Recital-Various student musicians
Wallenberg Hall, Denkmann Building

11:30 -11:50 AM - Tuesday Reflections - Ashley Fuqua, '10
Ascension Chapel, Founders Hall, 2nd Floor

11:30 AM - Explore Lunch "Janet Macon: Eat Right"
Board Room, 2nd floor, College Center

4:00 PM - Women's & Gender Studies Tea-Hour Series:  "Descendents of Black Hawk: Telling Gendered Stories about Identify in Portraits of Sauks" by Jane Simonsen
Old Main 128

7:00 PM - Augustana Center for the Study of Ethics Lecture:  "How Morals Can Be Objective Without Being Factual" presented by Dave Hill
Refreshments will be served following the lecture
Wallenberg Hall, Denkmann Building

Wednesday, January 27

9:30 AM - Coffee and Conversation
Evald Hall

12:00 - 1:00 PM - Bible Study "Life's meaning and purpose"
Chicago Room, College Center
Bring your lunch if you wish. Bring your Bible, or there are extras to use.

7:00 PM - 15th Annual Hispanic Film Festival - "Walkout"
Science Building Auditorium
In Spanish with English subtitles. Free of charge

9:30 PM - Evening Prayer & Holy Communion
Ascension Chapel, 2nd floor, Founders Hall

Thursday, January 28

10:30 - 11:30 AM - Convocation: Dr. Michael Shermer "Why People Believe Weird Things: A Celebration of Science and Rational Thinking"
Centennial Hall

10:30 - 3:30 - Blood Drive
Board Room, 2nd Floor, College Center

5:00 - 6:00 PM - Dora Malech Reads from her Poetry
Library, second floor, south end

6:00 PM - Black History Month Jazz Poetry Jam
featuring the music of Galen
Brew by the Slough

7:00 PM - Who's Afraid of Multiculturalism-and Why?
Peter Kivisto gives an inaugural lecture in honor of the College's new Center for the Study of Pluralism and the Civil Sphere
Wallenberg Hall, Denkmann Building

7:00 PM - French Film Festival:  "Un Secret"
Olin Auditorium

7:00 PM - Center for Leadership and Service sponsors a lecture/discussion:  "Almighty God Created the Races: Christianity, Interracial Marriage, and American Law" by Dr. Fay Botham, University of Iowa
18 Evald Hall

Friday, January 29

2:30 PM - Discussion of Possibility of Islamic Civilizations or Middle East Studies program with Cyrus Zargar
Old Main 12-A

4:00 PM - Friday Conversations: Ann Boaden "Finding Anna, Finding Ourselves"
3:30 PM - Refreshments
Wilson Center

6:00 - 9:00 PM - Augustana Sights and Sounds
Student photography exhibits and musical performances
Bucktown Center for the Arts, 225 East 2nd Street, Davenport, Iowa

7:00 PM - Explore "Chad Crittenden: Will to Survive" lecture
Olin Auditorium

7:30 PM - The Secret Garden (Theater)
$12 general, $10 seniors and students.  Order tickets
Potter Theater, Bergendoff Hall

8:00 PM - Student Recital-Annie Chang & Katie Alms, organ
Centennial Hall

Saturday, January 30

5:00 - 7:00 PM - International Food Festival
Sample cuisine from East Asia, South/Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe, topped off with Whitey's ice cream!
$12; $5 for those under 10
College Center Cafeteria

7:30 PM - The Secret Garden (Theater)
$12 general, $10 seniors and students.  Order tickets
Potter Theater, Bergendoff Hall

Sunday, January 31

10:30 AM - Sunday Morning Worship
Ascension Chapel, 2nd Floor, Founders Hall

5:00 PM - Sunday Catholic Mass
Ascension Chapel, 2nd Floor, Founders Hall

7:30 PM - The Secret Garden (Theater)
$12 general, $10 seniors and students.  Order tickets
Potter Theater, Bergendoff Hall

Volume 8, Issue 18 - January 25, 2010

An Augustana Story


 ...beyond Hasselquist's imaginings-but surely in part because of them.

Elisabeth Schmidt Nations

Photo courtesy of Augustana
Special Collections

Elisabeth Schmidt Nations wasn't Scandinavian, wasn't Lutheran, wasn't even on the Allied side in the Second World War.  Yet she taught for nearly three decades at Augustana (from 1961 to 1989), bringing expertise, zest, generosity, and a fierce sense of social justice during a time when the college was exploring its core values in the face of cultural transition.  One of her many bumper stickers read "ERA won't go away."  It's a fitting index to her character.  No effort for equity "went away" from Nations' agenda.

She was born just outside of Berlin, in 1921.  She joined the Hitler Youth, a decision that was to haunt the rest of her life and drive her commitment to inclusivity.  An ardent student with eclectic interests, she entered the University of Berlin in 1941 and was studying history and literature, German and English, when the Russian Army invaded Germany to break the Third Reich.  Her political affiliation put her in danger.  So she walked from Berlin to Heidelberg-nearly 400 miles-to safety.  Ultimately she came to America as a war bride.

And here, with the support of her husband William Nations, she began all over again.  She earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, and then, while she was teaching a full load and at an age when many faculty look wistfully toward retirement, she finished her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa.  She taught "any and every" course in the German department, according to Dr. John Sirevaag, then department chair, who hired her.  And that eagerness, that hunger for the life of the mind, spilled over into her research interests.  They included feminist studies, East German women writers, nineteenth-century German literature, local history-some supported by grants from Augustana and other organizations. 

A conversation with her rarely included small talk.  Shy and awkward in purely social settings, she bloomed in study groups, or among people who shared her interests.  She was a fearless and articulate observer.  More unusual, she was also a careful listener. 

She consumed life omnivorously, the way she read books:  art, politics, history, literature, cultural patterns, ecology.  She traveled the globe, often to remote regions outside the well-worn tourist track, always carefully studying the area she planned to visit.  Her postcards were amazing distillations of what she'd seen and learned.  She changed her hair style and color with astonishing frequency, loved her stiletto heels, took in a succession of eccentric dogs from the local animal shelter, cooked with flair and daring.  Students and faculty alike enjoyed her energetic, almost headlong hospitality.

It's as if, for her, life had veered when she was young, and now she had to race to catch up.  She seldom moved slowly.  She'd zip across campus, or down the halls of Old Main, because she had many places to go.  And yet no student or colleague who encountered her was an interruption.  She'd always stop, smile her wide warm smile, and invite them into her world of ideas as she invited them into her home.

She was a fighter, surviving serious illnesses.  But in the end life caught up with her. 

Or maybe not.  Maybe she caught up.  On one of her last outings, a colleague remarked what a rich and varied life she'd led.  Elisabeth nodded, her neat gray bob (the current hairstyle) shaking energetically.  "Yes," she said.  "And it is enough." 

--Ann Boaden, Department of English
with help from Drs. John Sirevaag and Nancy Huse

Tannenbaum Trimming 2009

Christmases past are living in my living room....
Today, it's Elisabeth shining from the tree.
In her twenties, she walked
From Berlin to Heidelberg
When the Russians came.
I knew her as war bride professor,
Not religious, but loving
This season of the burning tree.
Every Christmas she gave gifts the same-
Special ornaments now in my hands.
Here, blown glass of Monet blue;
There, velvet heart from Uzbekistan.
Long-ago friend, I hang these toys.
O, I am glad you walked,

                                          --Dr. Nancy Huse, Profesor Emerita, Augustana College