Sandra Olmsted '69
What does Sandra Olmsted '69 love about Augsburg? "It's personal," she says.
It's personal because Sandra has played many roles at Augsburg over the years-from student to faculty to parent-and all of those roles have influenced her decision to give back to the college. Sandra and her husband, Dick, both graduated from Augsburg with degrees in chemistry. All three of the couple's children are alumni, and the Olmsteds both teach in the Augsburg chemistry department.
As a student at Augsburg, Sandra would not have been able to attend college had she not received scholarship help. "I remind my students today that somebody else gave the money for that scholarship so that we could go to school here."
As a member of the faculty, Sandra gets to know her students personally, which allows her to guide them toward their personal and professional goals. "I think it's important that we lend a hand to our students to help them get where they want to be," she said. Over the years she has written letters of recommendation, helped students write graduate school applications, commented on resumes, and assisted students with job searches. All of that personal attention is possible, she says, because she knows her students so well.
As a parent of three Augsburg students, Sandra has watched the reaching out from faculty to student first hand. "My kids have each had a personal experience here," she said. "I've watched my colleagues helping my children make sure their education was a perfect fit. We knew they were in good hands here."
Sandra is very committed to giving to her alma mater and about encouraging her students to give as well. "At some point we become responsible adults, so we are obligated to give back," she said. This is why some of her gifts to Augsburg have been specifically designated for the endowed Chemistry Alumni Scholarship Fund. "If you want to help students to succeed, you have to be willing to put your money where your mouth is."
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