Mary Loken Veiseth ’70 M.D.
Back in 1966, eight young women moved into French House, a house adjacent to campus which housed the remaining incoming freshman women who could not be accommodated in the residential housing on campus. Although none of these women knew each other before their arrival, they quickly formed a lasting bond that has endured throughout the years. Although French House is long gone, "six or seven of us still get together each year," Mary Loken Veiseth joyfully shared in a recent interview. "Augsburg fostered quality friendships that have remained with me today.
Augsburg is no stranger to Loken's family. Her mother, Gretha Halvorson, graduated from the college in 1938 when the campus was much smaller and class schedules and routines were much more structured than they are today. Growing up on the Halvorson family farm in Wanamingo, Minn., located between the Twin Cities and Rochester, Augsburg was considered a "big" college to her mother and opened Loken's eyes to an education she only dreamed about while on the family farm. Today, Loken lives on the Loken family farm maintained by her and her husband, Denny Veiseth. She remains committed to rural life and the warmth that it has to offer.
But it was Loken's four years at Augsburg that gave her the rich science background that formed the basis of how she lives her life and shares her gifts. She loved the anatomy, biology and chemistry foundation she received while completing her degree in physical education and health, graduating in 1970. More than 10 years after graduation, Loken made the decision to pursue a career in medicine after a rewarding career in genetics at the Mayo Clinic. Today Loken is a doctor in family practice at Apple Valley Medical Clinic in Apple Valley, Minn.
"Augsburg gave me the chance to see the value of my education and identify the future gifts I could provide to the world," Loken said. "It was my love of the sciences that motivated me to do more."
Recently, Loken made provisions for the college as part of her estate plans. As a contributing member to the annual fund and a planned giving donor, Loken would like to provide the opportunity for others to discover themselves as she found her giftedness in sciences and in medicine. She encourages other alumni to consider the college in a significant way so that other students may be supported in their journeys.
"By remembering Augsburg in my estate, I am helping the future of the college by fostering tomorrow's leaders who will find their vocation as I did," she said.
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