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Augustana University College
American Lutheran Church
Richard Husfloen is survived by his brother, James C. Husfloen, of Fargo ND.By academic background, Husfloen was both a sociologist and a theologian.His undergraduate degree was from Augsburg College in Minneapolis MN (1960) where he returned to teach sociology after finishing his graduate studies.His Master of Divinity was earned at Luther Seminary in St. Paul MN (1963) and his Master of Theology degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey (1964).He had a special interest in small town and rural communities and traveled widely in the 1960's holding seminars on Rural Ministry for the American Lutheran Church.President Husfloen worked his way through university as an employee of Capital Airlines and United Airlines.He had his own private pilot's license, honed by years of managing to get invited into the cockpits of airliners before airline security made that no longer possible.In recent years, his love of flying with commercial airlines led him to circumnavigate the globe many times as well as making hundreds of trips to Europe, Africa, and recently Australia.Husfloen was ordained by the American Lutheran Church in 1969, serving parishes that ranged in size from Mott ND to Sherwood Park in Winnipeg MB.He served as administrative assistant to the American Lutheran Church District bishops in both Western North Dakota and South-eastern Minnesota.He specialized in the area of stewardship, later moving into more direct hands-on work in resource development, both for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and later in educational institutions: first at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and then at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, affiliated with Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo ON.In 1996, he became president of Augustana University College in Camrose, a small college of 1000 students owned by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and affiliated with the University of Alberta.Husfloen's development skills came into play, raising money to reduce a $5,000,000 accumulated deficit by almost half and balancing the annual budget each of the last five years.Convinced that a small private college would never be able to obtain the kind of funding to enable it to continue as a top-flight school, he and the Augustana board worked to enable the school to become part of the University of Alberta educational system.During his time at Augustana, Husfloen put strong emphasis on continuing education opportunities for both graduates and members of the community.In 1999, the college acquired the former TransAlta Utilities building in Camrose and turned it into a Centre of Community Education as well as space for classrooms and offices.That year the Centre opened its first distance education program with a full house of 38 paramedic students from small towns in Alberta and Saskatchewan.The program used the internet, print curricula, electronic media and face-to-face teaching to deliver course content.Husfloen found great satisfaction with a Working Families Scholarship program that was established by an anonymous donor in 1998.Working parents could receive support for tuition and living expenses for up to two years of study. President Husfloen was always proud of his Norwegian heritage.He often visited with friends and relatives in Norway and brought important Scandinavian figures to Augustana to enhance its Norwegian tradition.By appointment of the Norwegian Government, President Husfloen served as a member of the Advisory Committee of the Norwegian Research and Technology Forum in the United States and Canada, the only member of the committee from Canada. This past May, Husfloen was honoured with the degree Doctor of Divinity (h.c.) by the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saskatoon SK.In August, Augustana College named the TransAlta building The Richard Husfloen Centre.Husfloen was a hard worker who never walked away from a difficult situation.He sometimes ruffled feathers but in the end most people came to realize that his positions were always well thought through and had the best interests of others at the core.His former pastor, the Reverend Dr. Gordon Jensen, once said, "He has often placed himself on the margins of the church, and has called for the church to face issues and realities that the church has often not wanted to face.