Augsburg News

News Archives - 2007

Founder of Weekend College honored

March 20 , 2007

Rick and Linda Thoni

More than 150 friends, colleagues, and current and past students gathered at Bethel Lutheran Church in Rochester (the home of the Augsburg Rochester location) on Monday night to honor Rick Thoni as he retires.

President Pribbenow, John Schmit, Pastor and Regent Norm Wahl '57, and past student Jerome Taubel '06 offered tributes to Thoni during the program in Bethel Hall, with several impromptu accolades following.

Thoni joined Augsburg in 1972 as a part-time psychology professor and counselor in the Student Affairs Office and went on to fill such roles as Associate Dean of Students, Acting Vice President of Student Affairs, Vice President for Research and Development, Director of Weekend College, and Vice President for Enrollment Management.

He founded Weekend College, which grew from 69 students in 1982 to 1,260 students within nine years. In 1999, at the suggestion of Augsburg regent, Dr. Ruth Johnson, Thoni began a satellite location in Rochester, which he has spent the past several years directing.

“He ensured that we had the educational tools, resources, and quality instructors not only to succeed, but to excel,” said Taubel in his tribute. “His firm commitment to academic excellence has not only been of immeasurable value to us, but in Augsburg having a high value in society and in this marketplace.”

Thoni will be honored on the Minneapolis campus as part of Weekend College’s 25th anniversary celebration on Thursday, May 17.

Photo: Rick and Linda Thoni