PLAIN VIEW HERITAGE FARM,

RURAL BRYANT, SD, PRESENTS:

A SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO


AUGUSTANA ACADEMY


OUR ACADEMY 1960 CLASS PRESIDENT SPEAKS:

Class President Paul Knudson's Letter to Classmates


OUR HISTORIC ACADEMY MUSIC! AUGUSTANA'S SCHOOL SONG, "WE WOULD SEE JESUS," AND CLASS OF 1960'S SONG, "MAKE ME A CAPTIVE, LORD". BOTH SONGS ARE FEATURED AS TEXT IN THE BUTTERFLY PRODUCTIONS ACADEMY CALENDAR AND COME GRATIS FROM THE CYBERHYMNAL--WELL-WORTH TUNING INTO, FOR THE MUSIC, SCORE, AND EVEN THE BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION AND REMBRANDT'S PICTURE OF ST. PAUL!

"Make Me a Captive, Lord"


"We Would See Jesus"


MY INFANCY'S AA TRUST FUND


Even in my infancy, my destiny was linked with Augustana Academy! When I was but a few days or weeks old back in 1942, my grandparents, Alfred and Bessie (Bergit) Stadem of Plain View Farm, Bryant, South Dakota, sent me an official trust fund for monies to be set aside for my future enrollment at Augustana Academy in Canton, South Dakota. This dedicated Christian school, founded by pioneering Scandinavians in 1860, was the school that my grandparents supported with prayers, financial support, and the attendance of their nine children (seven daughters and two sons). They began my infant's A.A. trust fund with $1.00--surely a small amount even then, but, nevertheless, it represented a seed of faith that fifteen years later resulted in my enrolling at Augustana Academy!


A WONDERFUL, DIVINE ENCOUNTER OUR SECULAR HUMANIST SOCIETY AND THE THEORY OF EVOUTION COMPLETELY MISSES!


Attendance at the Academy literally transformed my life in every way imaginable (and not imaginable). I was found by the Savior, Jesus Christ, in the old boys' dormitory on campus--a decrepit hulk of an old hotel turned dormitory for boys that hardly seemed a promising site for spiritual regeneration and NEW BIRTH IN CHRIST. Whatever my childish faith thought of Him then, He surpassed what I had heard could happen to people when I asked for forgiveness and invited Him into my heart as I sat alone in my room, disgruntled because I had not been invited to a student prayer group on the floor above me. In divine response, I was suddenly flooded with God's warming presence, and I felt it physically, centered in my upper torso, or, to be more specific, in my heart region and extending up into my throat. This living presence in my breast and heart region lasted a week or even two weeks, only gradually fading. There was no way I could say I was mistaken, that it hadn't really happened, or my prayer hadn't been answered! It was GOD Almighty taking up residence in me. Of course, I hadn't asked Him to become my Lord in every aspect of my life, to be my Everything, for Whom I would endure every sacrifice of my selfish desires and even offer up my will gladly on every point of conflict between my will and His. All that was unknown to me. I had no idea He had commissioned me as a heaven-bound pilgrim instead of just being a church-attender (this took me some years to discover).


AN UNFORGETTABLE, LIVING LEGACY


Meanwhile, in the extremely favorable Academy environment, this teen-ager's greenwood talents were recognized in various fields and encouraged to blossom. I gained lifelong friends I would never have known. I enjoyed Christian life and was blessed with many good memories of Christian fellowship. I learned from mistakes, and was forgiven, and was able to profit from some lessons that came outside the covers of my books. The examples of Christian teachers and administrators were not only encouraging but unforgettable. They still remain my role models of what Christian educators should be like. Indeed, I can go on and on. Though I failed at points to be as good a role model in turn, though I proved myself a sinner saved by grace alone, yet I carried away a legacy that no one could take from me, though they might have no idea that I gained anything of worth. This school and the spirit of Christ that was so strong in it touched my life in such a way that I was never the same afterward. My grandparents knew it would, and so they never begrudged a cent offered to its support. They established, when blessed financially to do so, a larger trust fund for the Stadem descendants, so that each descendant could enter the Academy, providing money for each year that would enable us to go, though not covering the total expense.


A FEW FLIES IN THE OINTMENT, BUT MOSTLY ANGELS


Going to AA was a great privilege, but it came with real effort on my part, no cruising through without sacrifice on my part! I had to work very hard all three years I attended until graduation, laboring in the sweaty, hot, sticky, deafening dishwashing room of the cafeteria. It was definitely a sweatshop kind of job. I earned $20 a month, twenty cents an hour (two candy bars), working three hours a day or more, and all of it went toward my tuition not covered by my grandparents' fund. I had no spending money, not even for haircuts. It was not easy for me, particularly at an age when a boy is so conscious of his appearance.

I would have liked to go to the campus canteen and buy ice cream and candy with the other students, but that was out of the question on my non-existent budget. Somehow, I was blessed richly without the advantages given by pocket spending money, and I can look back on having had a lot of fun, fellowship, and good times that don't leave a bad taste in your mouth. I recall the almost unendurably long winters, the acute loneliness suffered at times when the choir was touring, which left the school and its remaining students like myself in a kind of morgue, the meanness of a few school bullies who were so bored with themselves they ganged up upon other students and thought that was good fun, but the price never equalled what good I received. Bullying was not going to spoil my whole experience for me! I knew I could have fought back with some mean tricks of my own, but I knew they would just get worse if I put up a fight, so I went to the Boys' dorm director, who called them on the carpet and made them see they were under scrutiny and might get kicked out if they kept at it. That worked. They eased off, thinking how their folks would be on their cases if they got kickedc out of AA.

A cook who knew my mother at A.A. when she attended volunteered to do all my wash (I could not afford to do it myself). I always had plenty of clean clothes because of this helping angel. My dear friend and buddy Paul, a son of missionaries in Columbia, South America who today is a most remarkable sculptor, gave me a whole closet of shirts. Friends invited me to their homes at vacation times, which meant a lot because I couldn't afford to go home between terms, it was too far to Washington State. I was allowed to participate on teams of representatives of AA at "extensions," journeying with a chaparoned group from the school to give programs to churches and youth groups all over the state and even neighboring states. Whatever our talent was--speaking, singing, playing the piano--we then used it in a program to other young people as well as adults.

My teen-ager's world expanded enormously by attending A.A., for students came from all over the country and from Alaska (please see the connection with Dave Anderson, Class of 1961, and two Alaskan Eskimo students, as referenced below in a special link) and from even Africa (a classmate, daughter of a missionary in South Africa was chosen Queen for the "prom"). We shared life and experiences together, and they enriched my understanding. The instructors, too, encouraged me to write, and held out to me the examples of C.S. Lewis, and Ole Rolvaag (who attended this school), and other Christian writers of world-class renown. I was encouraged in every way to cultivate my God-given potential and then to launch forth. What I gave to Augustana Academy was no doubt small, yet she gave her tremendous, golden legacy, in return, to me. It truly was worth many time over the cost and inconvenience of attending so far away a school from my home in Washington!


Incidentally, my beloved aunt, Mrs. Bernice Stadem Schaefer, was the only relative who was present celebrate in 1960 at my graduation. I felt very lonely, without my mother there, but my aunt so thoughtfully tried to fill in. Due to constraints of time and money, she was the only Stadem able to be with me at that event. Did I deserve having family there? No! But just the same, for a teenager about to set forth on the adult life, it was something that hurt at the time, as anyone who has undergone that experience can well identify with me about.

Much later in life, I did this pencil drawing.





Pearl Stadem Ginther as a Young Woman

Appearances Can Be Deceiving! My slim and delicate-looking Mother PEARL STADEM (eldest sister to Bernice Stadem-Schaefer above) as a Young Woman Attended and Eventually Graduated from AA, Working with Horses and Plow as Field Laborer for Hire at a Man's Wage, $1.00 a Day, to Pay for her Schooling!

A VERY SPECIAL RELATED LINK TO MY MOTHER'S MESSAGE GIVEN TO AA STUDENT BODY ON REQUEST OF PRESIDENT/REV. HOFSTAD IN 1948, NOT LONG AFTER HER HUSBAND DIED IN A PLANE CRASH IN BALTIC, SOUTH DAKOTA, LEAVING HER WITH A LARGE FAMILY OF YOUNG CHILDREN TO SUPPORT AND RAISE:

PEARL GINTHER, CLASS OF 1931, GIVES A TRIBUTE TO CHRISTIAN EDUCATION TO THE ACADEMY STUDENTS AND FACULTY AT CHAPEL, 1947



David Anderson, Class of 1961, graduated and went on to be a minister of song and the Gospel in evangelistic1 work. Founder of the Fellowship Ministries of Phoenix, Arizona, he has sung at a Billy Graham crusade. He and his wife have sung and ministered at 5,000 churches and events in the U.S. and many foreign countries. He and seven other missionaries, including his wife, suffered a catastrophe when their plane went down in the frigid waters of the Bering Sea off Nome, Alaska as they were returning back from a mission trip to Siberian coastal cities in 1993. How miracles happened and their lives were saved from certain death through hypothermia is recounted in this thrilling book, THE RESCUE. You can go and access it on the ministry website or by going to the page itself featuring the book and video:

Fellowship Ministries

"The Rescue Story

"A Spiritual Rescue at AA," 2013 Testimony by Cora Stadem Taylor,

AA Graduate Now 98 Years of Age!

Links to other pages on these Websites:

PLEASE GO ON TO PART TWO

AUGUSTANA ACADEMY PART TWO


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