Augsburg News

News Archives - 2000

Augsburg College Adds New Marketing Major through Strommen Business Endowment

Jun. 23, 2000

Augsburg College will offer an academic major in marketing beginning with the 2000-2001 school year, thanks to a $250,000 endowment established by Lutheran Brotherhood in honor of its long-time employee and CEO Clair Strommen, with additional financial support provided by Strommen and his wife, Gladys.

The Strommen Business Endowment will allow Augsburg to become just the third private liberal arts college or university in Minnesota to offer a marketing major, said Lori Lohman, Augsburg associate professor of business administration. Augsburg previously offered marketing as one of four specializations (along with management, finance, and international business) within its business administration major.

"Naturally, we are very excited about the marketing major," said Lohman, who coordinated development of the major. "Given the strong economy and the need for employees who understand what marketing is about, we see this major as the perfect opportunity to provide our students with an education that will help them to succeed in their careers. Such an education blends both the liberal arts and professional studies, and it is in keeping with Augsburg's vision for the future."

William V. Frame, president of the College, regards the new major as a critical span in the new curricular bridge connecting the professional and liberal arts. He also sees it as a symbol of the school's new interest in market visibility. "We owe a great deal to the Strommens and to the Lutheran Brotherhood. Together, they are helping us learn and practice an art critical to our welfare in the 21st century."

Lutheran Brotherhood established the Strommen Business Endowment when Clair Strommen retired as the chair of its board of directors on May 1, 1994. In recent years, Clair and Gladys Strommen have shown their continuing support to their alma mater with additional pledges in excess of $200,000 to the Strommen Business Endowment. Together the Strommens have given or pledged more than $500,000 to Augsburg over their lifetimes.

Both Clair Strommen and Gladys (Boxrud) Strommen are 1946 Augsburg graduates. Clair Strommen served as director of public relations for Augsburg from 1951 to 1954 before joining Lutheran Brotherhood as a general agent in Fargo, N.D. He left in 1959 to start Strommen and Associates in Saint Paul, which later expanded throughout Minnesota and into Wisconsin and North and South Dakota.

Lutheran Brotherhood recruited Strommen to return as president in 1980, and he was named chief executive officer in 1982. He retired in 1987 to become chairman of the board. Strommen has been the recipient of numerous awards for his leadership at Lutheran Brotherhood, contributions to the insurance industry and society in general.

One such award was the 1992 Wittenberg Award for outstanding service to the church and society. These prestigious awards are made annually by The Luther Institute of Washington, D.C. to honor those who have served in their own special ways as inspiration to Lutherans everywhere. In 1982, Strommen received the G. Bennet Serrill Award, the highest award given to an insurance executive in the state of Minnesota. Strommen received the College¹s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1980 and is also a member of the College¹s Athletic Hall of Fame.

Gladys Strommen is a former two-term member of the Augsburg Board of Regents, having served on the board from 1984 to 1996. In 1982, she co-founded the Augsburg Associates, a service auxiliary of volunteers whose mission includes fundraising for special projects in support of the College.

The major in marketing is designed to provide students with the liberal arts background and knowledge in marketing that are necessary for professional careers in a variety of marketing-related fields (such as marketing research, product development, advertising, marketing communications and sales). Students completing the marketing major will be qualified to pursue graduate studies in marketing.

One of the unique components of the major will be a course titled "Building Working Relationships," which explores the roles the individual plays within the workplace, examining the individual¹s interpersonal, group and organizational relationships, and presenting modules to help work more effectively with others.

In addition to its business administration major and new marketing major, Augsburg¹s Department of Business Administration also offers majors in accounting and management information systems. The accounting major features specializations in general accounting, public accounting and managerial accounting.

Augsburg College is a private liberal arts college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, located in Minneapolis, Minn. Augsburg's 3,000 students come from diverse religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and are enrolled at the College in undergraduate day college, Weekend College and graduate programs.

Founded in 1869, the college emphasizes intellectual freedom in the search for knowledge; responsiveness to the needs of society and the world; and preparation of students for service and leadership in church and society.