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Signing of the beam continues Old Main tradition

More than 200 alumni, employees and friends of Augustana gathered to sign their names on two large beams that will be used to support the floor of Old Main's restored dome. It was a special event for 2010 Homecoming on Oct. 9.

See a story about the tradition of signing one's name inside the dome in Construction unearths secrets of past from the student newspaper, the Observer.

Milton Hedquist ’47 was joined by his daughter, Shirley Hedquist ’68 Bridwell, who came from California to sign the beam.
 In this photo from the 1940 Rockety-I, sophomore Milton Hedquist is pictured in the third row from the bottom, third from left. He completed his studies at Augustana after service in WWII.
Shirley Hedquist ’68 Bridwell watches her father Milton Hedquist ’47 sign the beam. She was a year old when her father graduated from Augustana.
President Steve Bahls signs the beam.
President Bahls included a note of thanks to Dr. Peter Wallenberg of Sweden for the support of the Wallenberg Family Foundations in restoring the dome of Old Main.
Alumni ranging in age from their 20s to 90s took part in the ceremony.
The two signed beams will be used to support the floor of Old Main’s dome.
Former Quad Cities Poet Laureate Dick Stahl ’63 (center, signing) wrote several poems in honor of Augustana’s sesquicentennial. (Read them at
Alumni…and future alumni…took part in the signing.
 With the scaffolding-clad dome behind him, another alum adds his name.
When original beams were removed from the dome, graffiti dating back to 1895 was uncovered.
Signers included alumni from the class of 2009 to the class of 1947.
Though this pop can won’t make it to the dome, workers found beer cans more than a half-century old in remote corners of Old Main’s attic.
Original graffiti was mostly carved into beams -– we can only hope a Sharpie’s ink will last as long!