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New Building for New Academic Programs at Augustana

Augustana College
a drawing of the new Lindberg Center at Augustana College

A new $18-million center for health and human performance at Augustana College will help prepare students for some growing career fields.

While site work for the 52,000-square-foot Peter J. Lindberg, M.D., Center for Health and Human Performance on 7th Avenue began in February, a ceremonial groundbreaking planned for April was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and likely will take place in the fall. That's according to Kent Barnds, Augustana’s executive vice president of external relations.

Credit Augustana College
Augustana College Executive Vice President Kent Barnds

“We do want to celebrate this with those who have supported the project, who are excited about the project, and as we always do with groundbreakings, we also want to make sure that the Augustana students who will benefit most from a project like this are available to participate in the excitement.”

Barnds noted the project is really a comprehensive building that focuses on new academic programs – kinesiology and an expansion of the growing public health program.

The Lindberg Center’s main objective will be to prepare graduates for health-related careers requiring a major in public health or kinesiology – the study of human movement, a new major at Augustana.

“There are a couple of reasons this is a really important project for Augustana. First and foremost, it’s a project that represents what is best about a liberal arts education in a residential environment. The blending of the in-classroom and out- of-classroom experiences for our students.”

Credit Augustana College
the pool in the new Lindberg Center at Augustana College

It also will house an aquatic center and natatorium, replacing the pool in the adjacent Carver P.E. Center, and bringing with it new teams in men's and women's water polo.

Barnds says kinesiology majors can go on to a variety of careers – such as physician assistants, athletic trainers, physical therapy, sports and fitness management, exercise therapy, sports medicine, nutrition and wellness counseling, rehabilitation therapy, and chiropractic.

“Careers in public health and kinesiology are growing significantly throughout the United States. As a result, we want to be on the front end of educating students who will go into those careers, because we believe their liberal arts education, their creative problem-solving, their understanding of the human element and their excellent communication skills will prepare them well to excel in these careers.”

The center will also highlight mental health, as Augustana’s first director of student well-being – who started last summer – will be housed there.

“We’re taking a holistic approach that reflects our mission statement at Augustana College, which is to educate students in mind, body, and spirit. There will also be a spiritual component. We have a meditation room that’s planned in the center and we hope this can be a place where students can not only focus on mind and body, but also on spirit.”

The Austin E. Knowlton Foundation made a lead gift of $8 million in support of this project, named for Augustana graduate Peter J. Lindberg, who died in 2016. Dr. Lindberg devoted his life to serving others as a medical oncologist. He graduated from Augustana in 1961 and then the University of Chicago Medical
School. His brother Charles was a 1950 Augustana alum, who served 29 years on the college’s Board of Trustees, and the football stadium is named in his honor. 

The new center is expected to open in the spring of next year.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.