A virtual Viking Days celebration

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Viking Days 2020 is going virtual this year with many traditions being altered or streamed online. Every year, Viking Days always brings much-needed fun for hard working college students.

A 2014 Viking Days

“The festivities, you know, are, obviously, the fun part of the weekend. You know, the parade and the get together stuff,” Olson said.

Augustana University Alumni Dayle Olson graduated in 1975. Since then, he’s come back for 5 Viking Days celebrations.

Courtesy: Dayle Oslon

“When you step foot on campus again, all of those memories, kind of, flood back: the good stuff that happened, the fun stuff that happened,” Olson said.

1970’s Viking Day Parade

Things have changed a lot since then, but no one could’ve expected how much in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. While student activities will happen with CDC restrictions, Alumni will have to join the party online.

“If we were going to care for our community well, bringing different guests in wasn’t going to be caring well for our alums who were going to be traveling and it wouldn’t be caring well for our students, so just looking at health and safety really dictated the move,” Gackle said.

Senior Director of Alumni Engagement Joel Gackle says alums are using an old school way of staying in-touch.

“Your mailbox was, kind of, your cell phone on campus in the 1970’s. It was that place where – like Joel said – you got messages from home,” Olson said.

Alumni, friends and family are encouraged to go online and write a digital postcard to students. The University will print it off and put it in their mailbox. Olson says he wrote a letter to whoever has his old mailbox.

“One thing I said to them was, ‘These are going to be the best 4 years of your life. Every day has to have an Augie memory,’ and I also said, ‘I hope to hear from you soon,'” Olson said.

A 1972 Viking Days Parade

Even though methods of communication have changed over the years, it’s what you say that can really make a difference.

If you would like to send a digital postcard to a student, you can visit Augustana University’s website.

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