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Glen Brolander, retired administrator and VP, dies

March  18, 2014

Glen Brolander of Stillwater, Minn., who served Augustana as an administrator from 1953-1992, including the latter 27 years as vice president for finance, died March 15.

Visitation is planned from 3-6 p.m. Friday at the Chapel at Boutwells Landing, Stillwater. A Celebration of Life is planned at 11 a.m. Saturday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater.

Brolander interviewed for his first position at Augustana while wearing his U.S. Army uniform, and a decade after his retirement the college named the courtyard ringed by Founders Hall, the Swenson Hall of Geoscience, John Deere Planetarium and Seminary Hall the Brolander Courtyard.

He was awarded the Order of the North Star (Nordstjärneorden) by order of King Carl XVI Gustaf in 1979, he was named Swedish-American of the Year in 1992 by the Vasa Order of America, and in 2012 he received the Great Achievement Award from the Swedish Council of America.

He was instrumental in building up the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center, and served on the center's advisory board. He helped found the college's chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, the national service fraternity. This spring, the chapter will host the Midwest regional APO conference.

Survivors include his wife Elaine, daughter Sheryl, and son Randall. (Obituary)

Brolander was honored last September by the Swedish-American Historical Society with the Carl Sandburg Medal for his long-time service to the Swedish American community.

"I think that as a person with Swedish heritage that it is important for us to know our roots and where we come from," he told the Stillwater (Minn.) Gazette. "A lot of the people looking into their backgrounds are third generation, like me. Their grandparents came from another country and the first and second generation seem to forget about their past. They moved to America because they wanted to become American so they made an effort to not use the language and didn't say much to their children about the old country.

"I think that third generation Americans realize that they can be American but still have an interest in the country of their forefathers. The research center helps many people find their roots and establish contact with their relatives. The Swenson Center is all about establishing that contact."

The Carl Sandburg Medal is given to those in the Swedish American community that have benefited the community through their work. Previous recipients include the late Conrad Bergendoff, former president of Augustana College.