New sculpture on display in Founders Hall
September 06, 2012
Augustana College was presented with an original sculpture in honor of the sesquicentennial of the Augustana Synod. The sculpture was the result of a commission organized by the Augustana Heritage Association, a group committed to defining, promoting and perpetuating the heritage and legacy of the former Synod.
The Augustana Sculpture, by Greg Mueller, honors the spirit of the Augustana Synod and serves as a tribute to the contributions of Swedish Lutherans in the United States.
Now on permanent display outside President Steve Bahls' Office in Founders Hall, the sculpture stands as a symbol of more than 150 years of excellence in higher education.
The sculpture, weighing approximately 50 pounds, combines three design themes. A ship’s mast symbolizes the triad of immigration, service through global missions, and the spiritual navigation of daily devotion. A plow represents both the planting of the church and planting of ground by the early pioneers. Finally, a rivulet of blue glass reflects baptism into a Christ-centered life.
Augustana Campus Chaplain Richard Priggie ’74 is impressed by Mueller’s work. “I thought the sculptor captured the immigrant [mast], pioneer [plow] and spiritual [cross] aspects of the founding of both the Augustana Synod and the colleges it established.”
The sculpture was commissioned by the three remaining colleges that were founded by the Augustana Lutheran Synod, a church body of Swedish-American Lutherans begun in 1860. The three colleges are Augustana (1860), Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter, Minn. (1862); and Bethany in Lindsborg, Kan. (1889).
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