Augsburg News

News Archives - 2004

Hoversten Family Continues Longtime Augsburg Support

Nov. 4, 2004

Major support for the national telecast of the 25th anniversary of Augsburg College Vespers has come from the extended Hoversten family, which has provided support for Augsburg College's worship, music and education programs over several generations. The family, an extraordinary group with a proud heritage of fellowship and service to others, made the primary financial commitment to bring this celebration to a national audience for the first time in its history. It is reflective of a family, comprised of a large number of giving and caring individuals, committed to making a difference in the world.

This latest effort, which provided two-thirds of the funding for the broadcast, follows closely after the family's contribution of Hoversten Chapel to the college, providing Augsburg with a much-needed, multi-faceted building for daily worship and to annually host hundreds of college and neighborhood events. The chapel also serves as home to the college's founding Lutheran congregation.

Thus, when given the opportunity to make yet another major commitment to Augsburg and the nation, the Hoverstens once again stepped forward with both their financial and spiritual support. In addition to multiple broadcasts of Vespers in Minnesota, this special telecast will be offered in numerous cities across the nation and will continue to be re-broadcast during the Christmas season for years to come.

In a letter to the extended Hoversten family members, Randy Hoversten noted, "The tradition of this Vespers service has long been a gift to the community...In today's world of terrorism and nuclear arms, it is even more important to share this message of Christian worship, music, and peace. Our commitment will help carry this message far across the country, and potentially out to the world."

The Hoversten Family story
In 1806, a young Norwegian teacher named Johannes Jacobson married Anna Hoversten. She was a woman of property on the rocky island of Rennesoy, up the coast from Stavanger. So he took her surname, which came from an outcropping of stone -called "hoved sten" or headstone- found on the farm she owned. Johannes and Anna had nine children, and the descendents of three of them -Jacob, Knud, and Gunvor- ultimately formed the Augsburg connection.
The first Augsburg College Hoversten was Knut (class of 1930), grandson of Knud and his wife Elen. Since then, four generations -- more than 40 members of the extended Hoversten family, including current students -- have attended and lived out Augsburg's motto, "Education for Service."

Many Hoverstens call Augsburg a unifying, central presence in their lives, and because of this, they made the commitment in the late 1980s to help build Hoversten Chapel - a monument that not only expressed their gratitude but also demonstrated their commitment to education, faith, and the college as a whole.
In recent years, the family has honored the College with gifts and pledges of over $1 million, also establishing the Hoversten Endowment, funding the annual Hoversten Peace Scholarship and the Jacob and Ella Hoversten Scholarship.

In 2003 the Hoverstens were honored with the Augsburg Distinguished Service Award, given annually to "formative families" who have made a difference in both the life of the college and in the world. The extended Hoversten families have lived Augsburg's motto "Education for Service" through long and distinguished service in the fields of education, ministry, medicine, law, business and agriculture.

Their support for the telecast of the Vespers program also continues a family tradition and effort to share the gift of peace with all.