Sue Grove a true ambassador for Austin

Published 7:02 am Monday, July 2, 2018

By Carolyn Bogott

American Association of University Women

Sue Grove is a familiar friendly face to many in Austin as she has been involved in our community in so many ways.  An expert in “networking,” she rarely forgets the name or the face of someone she has met in her various activities.

Sue Grove

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Her working career was as a faculty member at Riverland College from 1977 to 2015, teaching English, Speech, French and English as a Second Language.  While at Riverland Sue served on many faculty committees and was the very proactive advisor for Phi Theta Kappa, an academic honor society for two year colleges.  Sue helped develop many student leaders, and she continues this work as an emeritus advisor.

While she was teaching English as a Second Language, Sue and Bonnie Rietz led the development of “Amis Austin” (Austin Friends), a volunteer group who sponsored refugee resettlement. With the help of many others, including ESL and foreign language teachers, this group worked with Church World Service and Catholic Charities to help over 300 refugees to get a start at a new life, safe from persecution in their home countries.  Sue is still personally in contact with many of these folks to whom she very personally reached out in friendship.

Using her organizational skills and her facility in French made her a very effective leader for the Riverland College sponsored “French Folic” for four spring break trips to France

Sue has been a leader in the Austin AAUW Branch since joining in 1976.  She has served in every office of our branch, several of them more than once, plus several state offices.  Helping to lead the Women’s History Month contest and assembly at Austin High School and being a volunteer with the Science Fair Mentoring Project are two ways her AAUW connections served the school community.

Christ Episcopal church has also benefitted from her leadership skills. She is former senior warden there and currently serves as an administrative team leader, giving countless hours to church volunteer work.

A member of Austin’s planning commission for ten years, Sue helped with decision making on many projects large and small.  She also was the Education Chair for Apex Austin.

Currently she is a board member of the Mower County Historical Society, co-president of Friends of the Library, an officer of the Minnesota Association of Library Friends, a member of the Board of Austin Symphony, co-leader of the authors’ section of the Austin Artworks Fest  (for the sixth year), a member of Page  Turners (the group that chooses the book for the “city read “each year), and she regularly does translation from French for the Austin School district.   Besides all this, Sue is an “active grandmother”, involved in activities with her son and daughter-in-law and their two teenaged children.

Whew! No one who knows Sue understands how she is able to keep up her schedule. She is very “hands on” as a leader and may be sorting museum items at the Historical Society, up until the minute she leaves to drive somewhere out of town to help to serve a meal for a church group. She credits the strong support of her husband, Vern, with her being able to do all that she does.

Her words of wisdom are to “get out and volunteer.  Follow your passions and dreams.”  “Don’t sit on the sidelines and miss out!”

Austin owes many thanks to Sue for the many ways she has served our community.  It is truly amazing how much one person can do!

For more information about the Austin Branch of AAUW, contact program co-chair, Sue Grove  or Carolyn Bogott