Froiland Science Complex ‘officially open’


Generations gather to dedicate Froiland Science Complex


Last Friday, a crowd of a few hundred sporting an average age far exceeding 20 braved the uncharacteristically hot late-September weather to help christen Augustana’s newest building.

The Froiland Science Complex has been officially open for a few weeks, but its dedication was a long time coming.

The dedication featured three segments, one for each of the words in the building’s title: Froiland, Science and Complex.

After Becky Blue, the chair of the Board of Trustees and a 1981 Augustana graduate, welcomed the crowd “to honor, to be grateful and to celebrate,” and a passage of scripture was read, Tom Froiland reminisced about his father, Sven, the building’s namesake.

“[Sven] was an excellent teacher, an excellent administrator and an excellent father,” Tom Froiland told the crowd, which included nearly 30 of his relatives seated in the front few rows.

“Dad and Mom would be very proud yet humbled about having this beautiful building named after him and in his honor,” he added. “It is a beautiful facility. It is state of the art.”

The building was erected to serve science students, but biology professor Paul Egland included all          students when discussing the building’s utility.

“Everyone on campus can benefit from the Froiland Science Complex,” said Egland, referencing science’s portion of the general education curriculum. “Let us remember that it was a community that built this place and a community that will sustain its good work.”

Augustana’s emphasis on community was prevalent throughout the dedication, which featured scripture readings from students, prayers from pastors, reflections from past students and, of course, a speech from a president.

Augustana President Rob Oliver used a play on words to amplify the complexity of what goes on in the FSC, as well as the complexity required to build the complex.

“It is the most complex building on this campus,” he said.

Oliver also thanked a long list of individuals and institutions who, in some way, contributed to the FSC. He highlighted builders, banks, students, professors, donors and, especially, the Board of Trustees, which he said “never gave up” despite concerns about decreasing enrollment a few years ago.

Many years before that, Sven Froiland educated young minds at Augustana. According to, Sven Froiland served at Augustana from 1946-1976. He saw the Gilbert Science Center dedicated in 1966, and about a dozen members of last Friday’s crowd did, too.

In 1987, Froiland was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame as an “outstanding educator.”

Last Friday, Augustana showed that it agreed with that decision.

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