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Annual Operations: Educating the Whole Person

Annual operations support the college's mission of educating the whole person-intellect, character and spirit. Nearly 200 student groups and activities on campus provide opportunities for students to explore their interests. Proud of its tradition in debate, the college plans to restore its team to national prominence with support from The Augustana Fund.

In 1950, a U.S. railway strike caused concern for two bright Augustana students scheduled to compete at the National Debate Tournament at West Point. How would Charles Lindberg and D.A. Koch make the trip east? Their debate coach Martin "Prof" Holcomb worked with Augustana College President Conrad Bergendoff to find the funding to pay for their flight. One result of this decision was that D.A., or Dorothy Ann, made history as the first female debater in the final round of the National Debate Tournament.

She was such an anomaly at West Point that hovering cadets wanted to carry her things everywhere; they even offered to carry D.A. herself when she broke her shoe heel while rushing up stairs. Impressed by the attention, D.A. was even happier when she and Charlie beat the team from the University of Pennsylvania, which included future U.S. Senator Arlen Specter. Charlie and D.A. went on to the final National Championship debate where a split decision (5-4) was softened by a later Speech publication finding the decision wrong. (William F. Buckley, Jr. and Brent Bozell, the Yale tournament team, did not survive the preliminary rounds.)

Charlie and D.A. returned to Augustana's campus amid a flurry of accolades. In time, D.A. Koch became D.A. Bjornson, and a beloved member of the speech faculty at Augustana. She passed away several years ago. Charles Lindberg is now Of Counsel for one of our country's most prestigious law firms—Taft, Stettinius and Hollister, LLP—and a member of the Augustana College Board of Trustees.

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