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Natural light from atrium

White roof

High performance glazing on windows

Regionally mined Kasota stone

Regionally produced Hebron brick

Native landscape plantings

Updated mechanical system

Occupancy and daylight sensors on overhead lights

Reduced flow plumbing fixtures



The renovation of the Grant Center, home of the Offutt School of Business, received LEED Silver certification for its sustainable design and construction. LEED is a program of the U.S. Green Building Council that provides third-party verification of sustainable, green buildings. The Grant Center is the first building on campus, and one of a few in the region, to receive LEED certification. LEED-certified buildings cost less to operate and typically reduce energy and water bills by as much as 40 percent. President William Craft says the LEED status marks the beginning of a sustained commitment to faithful stewardship of resources. The renovation of the Grant Center reused more than 67 percent of the original structure, keeping those materials from going into landfills and reducing the amount of new construction materials required. Campus sustainability coordinator Kristin Brethova says another value of LEED buildings is a growing consciousness of their value to a community. “The broader goal is to reduce energy use, but also to improve things like air quality in places where people work every day,” she says. “Occupant satisfaction is an important factor in today’s buildings.” Brethova says the college will continue to aim for LEED certification as older buildings are renovated and new buildings are designed and built. Photos: Sheldon Green


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COVER Concordia students studying photography at the Summer School in Santorini, Greece, show off their joy at a beach near Oia. Photo: Tamara Weets


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Listen to plenary speakers from the 2013 Faith, Reason and World Affairs Symposium on “Happiness: Living the Good Life.”


Watch highlights from recent Hands for Change events.


See student photos submitted for the 2013 Global Learning Expo Photo Contest.


To see the online magazine, visit



Editor: Roger E. Degerman ‘84 Managing Editor: Erin Hemme Froslie ‘96 Online Communications Director: Amy J. Aasen ‘95 Media Relations Director: Amy E. Kelly ’95 Graphic Designers: Lori J. Steedsman, Briann Sandholm ‘06 Senior Writer/Photographer: Sheldon Green Chief Copy Editor: Tracey J. Bostick Online Communications Specialist: Gia Rassier ‘10 Online Content Editor: Emily Clemenson ‘10 Online Marketing Technical Specialist: Billy McDonald Online Designer: Andrea Wagner ‘12 Project Coordinator: Kaylin Walker Sports Information Director: Jim Cella Media Relations Assistant: Kim Kappes Print Shop: John Phelps, Becky Abele

Office of Communications and Marketing • (218) 299-3147 Campus Info • (218) 299-4000 Correspondence concerning Concordia Magazine Volume 52, Number 1, should be addressed to: The Editor, Office of Communications and Marketing, Concordia College, 901 8th St. S., Moorhead, MN 56562 or To change your address or unsubscribe from the Concordia Magazine mailing list, contact Alumni Records at (218) 299-3743, or Office of Alumni Relations, Concordia College, 901 8th St. S., Moorhead, MN 56562. Update your record online at Concordia Magazine is published two times a year (spring and fall) by the Office of Communications and Marketing, Concordia College, 901 8th St. S., Moorhead, MN 56562. © 2013 Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota 916727/41.5M/1113

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In Pursuit of By Erin Hemme Froslie

Walk into the office of Jodee Bock ’85 and you just might start to feel the happiness vibe. There are soccer balls and stuffed monkeys balanced on the bookshelves, a collection of rubber duckies on her desk and inspirational quotes posted to the walls. Even the windows in her office are covered with cheerleading reminders: “Celebrate the Victories!” The setting fits the high-energy Bock, who has built a career out of helping others find purpose and meaning in their lives. “I tell people that you can choose happiness when you get up in the morning,” she says. “It’s not a condition. It’s a choice.” As founder and owner of Bock’s Office Transformational Consulting, she has made a business out of getting people to listen to their guts and embrace what makes them happy. “It’s simple, but it’s not easy,” she says. Indeed, happiness and how we achieve it is more complex than most people think. That complexity is one reason the subject has garnered attention at Concordia this academic year. Incoming students read Daniel Nettle’s “Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile” for the Summer Book Read. The annual Faith, Reason and World Affairs Symposium focused on happiness and Dr. William Craft’s presidential seminars are also exploring the topic.

As it is, the Concordia community is adding its voice to a conversation that has been continuing for generations. Aristotle enshrined happiness as a central purpose of human life and a goal in itself. Our founding fathers declared the inalienable right to pursue happiness. And even the 1970s teen heartthrob David Cassidy urged us to “C’mon, Get Happy.” But happiness is more than smiley faces – it has real-life consequences. Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, widely considered the top happiness psychologist in the country, spoke at Concordia’s symposium this fall. People who are happy are more productive at work, they make more money and are more likely to marry and have fulfilling relationships, she says. They are better leaders and even have stronger immune systems. “There is good evidence that good things come to you if you’re happy,” Lyubomirsky says. But can you get happier? Maybe. Dr. Mark Chekola ’67, professor emeritus of philosophy at Minnesota State University Moorhead, spends one month a year working at the World Database of Happiness in Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands. He updates the bibliography of philosophical research on the topic.

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Throughout his career, he’s watched academic interest in happiness grow. Back in 1974 when he finished his doctoral work at the University of Michigan, his dissertation, “The Concept of Happiness,” raised a few eyebrows. Now popular bookstores are filled with titles that promise a quick and easy path to happiness. Change is possible, Chekola says, but it may not be easy. Some research suggests there’s a set point for happiness. Lyubomirsky says 50 percent of how happy we are is determined by genetics and personality – things we can’t change. Forty percent is determined by the activities we choose and 10 percent by circumstances outside our control. While Chekola believes more questions need to be asked about the “set point” view, he says it’s important for people to know that we can choose activities that make us happier. (Consider that the glass-is-half-full view.) Research shows good social relationships, engagement in a favorite activity, expressing gratitude and appreciation, practicing acts of kindness, learning to forgive, savoring the moment, practicing religion and meditating are all activities that appear to improve individual happiness levels. What doesn’t help? Engaging in passive activities like watching television and the pursuit of more money, Chekola says. This knowledge is good news for individuals, but the effects don’t stop there. “I think our lives and how our lives are going is important to us individually,” Chekola says. “But happiness influences social and political issues, as well.” Indeed, in 2011 even the U.N. General Assembly invited member countries to measure the happiness of their people and use the results to guide public policies. The annual World Happiness Report assembles international happiness data on how people rate both their emotions and their lives as a whole.

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Finding Happy Carol Tweten ’11 is one researcher who is exploring ways people can become happier. A psychology graduate student at the University of Northern Iowa, Tweten is researching the use of flow in college classrooms. Flow is a theory of happiness identified by psychologist Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Under his theory, the deepest happiness occurs when people become absorbed in a challenging activity in which he or she is prepared to succeed. Musicians, athletes, authors and awardwinning scientists enter the state of flow often, but positive psychologists believe we could all benefit from getting to this state more often. Tweten and her colleagues are studying how teachers can help their students enter the state of flow when they’re studying or completing assignments. “It’s about helping students get through the class in a more positive way,” Tweten says. The goal is to balance challenging work while making sure students have the skills to successfully achieve it. In the process, students improve their self-esteem and will be more motivated to take on tougher assignments. “Individuals who don’t feel they are intelligent don’t think they can change it,” Tweten says. “We hope our research will show that if students can find the state of flow, they’ll improve their abilities and learn that it is possible to improve oneself.” There’s an App for That Sometimes just being aware of how happy you are is helpful. Annika Asp ’14, St. Paul, Minn., tracked her levels of happiness for months with a phone app called Mappiness. The app, formulated by the London School of Economics, was designed to help researchers there discover how happiness is affected by a person’s local environment.

Asp started using the tool so she could map her own happiness data. Three times a day, her phone would beep to remind her to complete a short survey about what she was doing, where she was and how she was feeling. The results weren’t too surprising to her. “I was very happy at work,” she says, even though her job at the time was not exactly glamorous. She interned in soybean entomology at the University of Minnesota and counted aphids in a soybean field. “My family – we’re all happy working,” she explains. In addition, her co-workers were other college students who’d spend the hours walking bean rows, talking with each other. Another thing gleaned from her app is that she was happiest spending time with her boyfriend and peers. “It’s nice to (track) because it made me more aware of what makes me happy,” she says. “You usually don’t take time out of your day and think about how you’re feeling.” Helping Others Find Happy Reflection is one tool social workers often use to bring peace and contentment to people who struggle to make sense of their place in the world. Dr. Laurie Dahley, field coordinator for Concordia’s social work program, has conducted life reviews with individuals facing the end of their lives. As these individuals start telling their life story in the presence of family members, Dahley prompts with questions and provides positive frameworks for some of the tragic and frustrating events faced throughout a life. Structuring a life review in this manner can move people to a healthier and happier frame of mind. “It’s giving them a different perspective,” she says. “We don’t always see our lives as clearly as others do.” She recalls one woman who was hunched over with fatigue as she sat in a wheelchair telling her life story. She told Dahley how she took family members into her

home at a time when her energies and responsibilities were already spread thin. Dahley commented on how remarkable and strong the woman needed to be to accomplish this. The woman started sitting a little straighter. At the end of the taped interview, the woman gave a sassy wiggle of her shoulders and commented, “I’m feeling pretty good about myself.” That makes sense to Dahley. “It gives us a sense that I’ve done well. I’ve achieved something,” she says. “It gives me a sense of control over my world and I can face my future with competence and confidence. If I’m fearful of what might come, how can I be happy?” Which brings us back to Bock, the motivational speaker and author. As she meets with clients, she doesn’t question what makes them happy or their definition of happiness. When they come to her, they already sense things could be better. Bock’s job is to help them discover what better might look like. For years, Bock immersed herself in several careers and was, by most considerations, quite successful. But even as she climbed the corporate ladder, she felt like she was hiding part of her identity and tried desperately to fit into a culture that wasn’t her. Then, in 2003, she set aside the fear and started sharing what one former boss called “touchy feely” babble. She hasn’t looked back. In fact, in 2011 she was recruited to take the position of CEO/team leader for the North Dakota operation of Keller Williams Roers Realty, which she now balances with her Bock’s Office clients. Happiness was closer than she thought. She merely needed to take the leap. “Happiness shouldn’t be a goal,” Bock says. “Why wait to be happy?”

Images are from the Concordia art exhibition “From a Cup to Instagram: Art and Social Engagement in the 21st Century.” The public submitted images by tagging Instagram photos with #happycord. Photos were displayed at the Cyrus M. Running Gallery.

Photos: Sheldon Green/“From a Cup to Instagram” art exhibition

s extra

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Researchers at Concordia recently investigated how community and spirituality predicted overall happiness among Concordia students, faculty and staff.


Happy are Cobbers? By Emily Clemenson

We’ve all heard the phrase “Happy Cobbers.” We’ve probably been described as such at least once. Inspired by the theme for the 2013 Faith, Reason and World Affairs Symposium, a group of researchers set to find out how happy the Concordia community is and why. Dr. Darcie Sell, assistant professor of psychology, led the team and encouraged members to tighten their focus. “Doing research on happiness is pretty broad,” Sell says. “We thought, ‘how can we narrow that down?’” Sell and two of her students, Alexandra Benson ‘14, Hurley, S.D., and Maureen Wieland ‘14, Lake Lillian, Minn., dove into past research on happiness, trying to find measurements that would apply to Concordia’s students, faculty and staff. “We tried to pinpoint things that we thought would be important at Concordia,” Benson says. The team decided to investigate the degree to which a sense of community and spirituality predicted overall happiness. Their prediction was that having strong senses of both would be a good predictor of happiness. The team also asked responders to describe their most satisfying event of the past month. Responders were then asked to answer a series of questions about that event. Their hope was to figure out which human needs were met because of that experience. Online surveys were sent to the Concordia community in April. Within a few weeks, the team had received more than 200 responses. The responses were compiled during the summer and analyzed in August. “It was really interesting to finally put it all together,” Wieland says. The Happy Results Think of happiness on a number scale, where 16 is the neutral middle. Higher numbers mean more happiness and lower numbers mean less happiness. The responses to this survey averaged to 22, significantly tipping the scales to the happy side. In fact, 67 percent of respondents reported that they are happier than their peers.

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What Makes Cobbers H appy? Probably similar to what makes you happy. When asked by Concordia researchers about a significant event that made them happy, Concordia students, faculty and staff shared a few of the experiences below. J I was accepted into graduate school. All my hard work finally paid off. J Sharing peanut butter and Oreos with my friends who had never eaten it before. J My niece just celebrated her birthday and my whole family was there to celebrate with her. I really enjoy being with my family, especially my nephew and nieces. So any time with them is great, but it’s even better when we’re all together. J Getting to see my two best friends together for the first time in six months. J When my research was accepted for publication in a book. J I got a job that relates to my major. J Skyping with my girlfriend who is 5,000 miles away from my study away home. Among student responses, both spirituality and a sense of community were significant predictors of happiness. If a student feels connected to the Concordia community, and if the student is spiritual, the study showed that person was probably happy. Among employee responses, a sense of community was a significant predictor of happiness, but spirituality was insignificant. Sell, Benson and Wieland were surprised by that at first. But further analysis and consideration led the team to believe that the different life stages experienced by the two groups may play a role. “During college, you’re trying to establish your identity,” Benson says. “For many of the students who are attracted to Concordia, that might come through their faith.” Employees, she says, are older and may have already established themselves and their identities. While faith may still be important, it doesn’t necessarily predict their happiness. In the other part of the study, the researchers found that responders’ most satisfying event evoked the feelings of autonomy, relatedness, self-esteem and competence significantly more often than other needs. This led them to conclude that those four needs appear to be more important than the others in influencing our well-being. Benson and Wieland led a concurrent session during the fall symposium to present their research and conclusions. Sell also presented the conclusions during a president’s seminar in September for students and employees. “It was cool to have done some research and then be able to share the results with people,” Wieland says. “It feels pretty good to have the president [of the college] ask you for your research.” While there are no plans to repeat the research, Sell would like to look at some different variables next time, building off of the results that had been found. The students also think it might be interesting to compare the results from the April survey with one conducted at a different time of year, or compared to another college community. “It definitely invoked a wider discussion than I thought it would,” Benson says.

J Being a part of “Carmina Burana” at the Oratorio concert. J I called into a radio station and won tickets. I had to answer a trivia question in order to win them. It was a concert I really wanted to go to. J I was accepted into my top-choice medical school. J I got married. J Talking with my family on the phone. J Going on a date with my girlfriend. J Laughing hard on a road trip to a wedding with friends. J Spending time with grandchildren. J A student thanked me for how I advised her in her career goals. She said she would never have gotten into graduate school and made a success of it without my help. J Sitting by the fire at home reading a novel.

Photo: Sheldon Green Concordia Magazine



Happiness in a Divine Relationship By Roger E. Degerman

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NOT IN STANDS IN ETHE Christians have more than enough reasons to be happy. HT IS IN God calls us lovingly into a divine relationship, offering blessings indiscriminately, HISinLAW fact, universally. So why is it so often difficult to accept and embrace God’s offer? IS LIKE WATER ON, AND “If we’re doing our job right,” Tronsgard says, “church is where you can be your authentic self. THAT HE That authenticity has a lot to do with happiness.” RE NOT E WIND ED WILL OR SINE RIGHWAY OF E WICK-

It seems

The answer, in part, is perhaps found in a person’s orientation toward happiness, which is prone to be selfserving. Such a mindset tends to be unfulfilling. The Rev. Sarah Rohde ’07 asserts that thinking solely about what makes you happy draws you away from the dynamic, mutually beneficial relationships God desires for us. “Some people look to the church to provide the kind of happiness that the world gives,” says Rohde, associate pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in St. Charles, Ill. “They come to church to get some self-help. I fear they want to be passive recipients of happiness rather than active agents in the creation of happy churches and communities.” But Rohde is optimistic about the vibrant role churches can still play in creating communal happiness. Greatly enriched by her years growing up in active church life as a daughter of a Lutheran pastor, she has a deep appreciation for the meaningful connections it can create. “Growing up (in the church) I knew I was being drawn into something much bigger than myself,” she says. “I was part of a community that extended all the way back to the ancestors of our faith. I knew my life mattered to a lot of people and that their lives mattered to me. That’s the happiness I experienced as a young person of faith.” “That kind of community is essential to sustainable happiness. Namely, it’s not something we try to create on our own, but something we live out together – side by side, day by day.” The Rev. Derek Tronsgard ’07, pastor of Youth and Family Ministries at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Wayzata, Minn., agrees that living in community is essential to happiness. He sees his role as that of relationship broker. “As a pastor, it’s my job to get young people connected,” he says. “Getting them connected with their peers, their families, other people in our congregation that care about them, and ultimately connecting them to their relationship with God.” The intent, Tronsgard says, is to help youth discover a more fulfilling and lasting sense of happiness. “There are lots of things out there telling kids what will make them happy,” he says. “They think, ‘If I can be cool enough and get to the top of the popularity food chain, then I can be happy.’” As a youth minister, Tronsgard counters that message, underscoring that “there is no status ranking in the kingdom of God.” Every week is a fresh chance to reassure kids from

Golden hour overlooking a favorite campus hangout, “The Crazy Tree.”

a wide range of backgrounds about God’s unconditional love. The idea is to foster healthy relationships in a safe, supportive environment where students are free to express who they are and want to become.

The belief that authentic engagement in community is integral to happiness certainly aligns well with biblical principles. To fully grasp happiness, however, the concept also needs to be viewed from God’s perspective. “One of the interesting ways to think about happiness is to consider what makes God happy,” says Dr. Elna Solvang, biblical scholar and associate professor of religion at Concordia. Throughout the Bible, she says, the answer is found in many things – beginning with God’s pleasure in the many grandeurs of his creation. Perhaps most of all, as Solvang says is revealed time and time again through numerous biblical accounts, “God delights in having people flourish.” Flourishing and being happy, in God’s view, begins with obedience to God, as revealed in the first psalm: “Blessed is the one ... whose delight is in the law of the Lord.” That makes God happy, but what’s in it for us? The payoff for “forming your life around God’s instruction,” adds Solvang, is found in the very next verse, Psalm 1:3: “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.” The key here is not looking at prosperity in worldly terms. God’s favor is not reserved for the privileged few; to the contrary, God seeks to reward the very least among us. Solvang says this desire is profoundly illustrated throughout the beatitudes found in Matthew. Yes, God roots for the underdog. And God clearly takes great joy in extending redeeming grace, as shared in powerful biblical parables such as the woman and the lost coin and the prodigal son. “What you see is God searching out and rejoicing over what was lost,” says Solvang. “And then God invites people to share in that delight. For God, happiness and delight are really relational. God doesn’t party alone.” Photo: Gia Rassier

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Liberal Arts Colleges

& the Changes Ahead By Dr. Earl Lewis ‘78 President, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

More than 4,300 colleges and universities in the U.S. provide educational opportunities to more than 21 million students per year. How many of them are private liberal arts colleges? My guess is most would overstate the numbers, not realizing that the classic liberal arts college accounts for only about 5 percent of the total, about 225 institutions. Once aware of this modest representation, you may be inclined to ask about the durability of the model, especially given the increasing public critique of higher education, generally, and the liberal arts approach, specifically. But before we attempt to bury the liberal arts college, know that previous prognosticators have prematurely pronounced its death. Ever since the first established itself along the Charles River in the 17th century, the liberal arts college has endured. Wrecked by war and economic collapse, buffeted by new approaches and technologies, overwhelmed by a need to educate a far more diverse student body, it has adapted and remained relevant, anchored by its commitment to the link between education and democracy. There is no reason to believe that many, if perhaps not all, will continue to do so.

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For Concordia to be among those that endure, it must come to terms with the macro changes scheduled to disrupt higher education. Four factors stand out: shifts in the nation’s demographic profile; cost and affordability; the emphasis on science and technology and the demand for job-ready degrees; and online delivery systems. Two intersecting demographic factors have implications for all colleges and universities. First, the number of high school graduates peaked in 2012, and we won’t see a return to those levels before Of course those of us who care about 2024. Moreover, the a liberal arts education will need to decreases are not evenly distributed continue to assert that education, which across the nation. The always includes elements of training, Midwest is projected to is not just about the first job; it is about experience significant declines in its high preparing graduates for the seven or eight school age population career shifts they are expected to make in through 2024, and this is especially true their lifetime. of Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and Montana, the states that traditionally supplied most students attending Concordia. Second, the percentage of non-white students is expected to grow as a percentage of high school graduates. Combined, these two shifts will result in more competition among schools for those students who opt to attend college and in a need to diversify the applicant pool – geographically and in other ways. Let’s turn to cost. In 1973-74 a typical college student attending a private, not-for-profit four-year institution paid $3,220 for tuition, room and board, according to a report recently released by the College Board. Forty years later that same student would have paid, on average, $40,917. In 2013 dollars, this amounted to a 1,170 percent increase. That student’s counterpart at a public, four-year institution paid $1,596 in 1973-74 and $18,391 by 2013-14, which amounted to a 1,052 percent increase. Even though the growth rate in 2013 dollars was only 141 and 118.5 percent, respectively, it is obvious that today’s students pay far more for college than their parents did a generation earlier. As a result, critics inside and outside of higher education are asking about the return on investment, with a few going so far as to question the entire value of a college degree. Yet study after study shows that on average a college graduate earns more than a non-graduate, accumulates greater wealth and lives longer. As typical is a concern for job-ready degrees, especially in science, technology, engineering and math or medicine (STEM). From the White House through the halls of Congress, a bipartisan agreement has emerged that the nation’s welfare hinges on graduating more students, more cheaply, more quickly in the STEM fields. In September 2010 the president, in partnership with corporate executives, announced Change the Equation, which aims to improve education in science, engineering, technology and math. Earlier this year the president announced $3.1 billion to educate students and train educators in STEM fields, with the belief that such an investment is key to success in a STEM-focused economy.

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The emphasis on STEM education comes just as new delivery systems for mass education have emerged. Many colleges and universities have long had some form of continuing education. Many professional licensures require annual continuing education certification. And some continuing education students have used distance platforms to access the requisite information. Beginning with enterprises developed by Stanford University faculty called Udacity and Coursera, followed by the Harvard-MIT launch of EdX, a new word has entered the global vocabulary – MOOC. MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses. These free courses were designed to make the content of high-end institutions available to hundreds of thousands worldwide. And hundreds of thousands did enroll, underscoring the worldwide appeal of access to the best institutions – although only 10 percent completed the courses. MOOCs have done more than introduced a new word: they have shown the value of shifting from a facultycentered approach to teaching to a student-centered focus on learning. Most of the coursework is designed to elicit immediate assessments of what students are learning and how effectively they are learning. Communities of peer tutors and assistants help where once the interactions were limited to the professor, the student and the occasional graduate teaching assistant. Even if the MOOCs turn out to be little more than digital textbooks in the end, their focus on how students learn is potentially revolutionary. � Given the four factors, what should Concordia and other similarly situated colleges do? The short answer is adapt and adopt appropriate strategies. First, if the demographics are any indication, Concordia’s success will hinge on its ability to remain an attractive option for students in the region, even as it develops a plan to attract students from across the nation. In my view, nationally recognized institutions will survive the changes ahead because they offer their students greater exposure to diverse talent; they are far less dependent on local markets; and national recognition brings with it the marketplace standing that will be critical. Second, for all of the complaints about costs, private four-year liberal arts colleges have a far better graduation record than neighboring public institutions – 70-95 percent as compared to 30-55 percent in six years, with most of the private college students graduating in four years. In addition, many students at private schools receive some form of financial aid, which means they get assistance to attend, graduate earlier on average, and enter jobs or graduate and professional schools sooner. As a long-term strategy it may make more sense to invest more on the front end to realize returns sooner. Third, MOOCs and other forms of online learning may prove a godsend to smaller institutions. Courseware from Harvard, MIT, Stanford and scores of other schools may enable the private liberal arts colleges to enhance their curriculum in a modular format, without incurring

permanent costs. New experiments will undoubtedly lead to classroom and pedagogical innovation. And the correct platforms and partners may allow a Concordia student to learn next to a student from Duke, Emory, Amherst, Carleton and St. Olaf, without having to leave Moorhead. Here the permutations and combinations are limited by imagination alone. Of course, those of us who care about a liberal arts education will need to continue to assert that education, which always includes elements of training, is not just about the first job; it is about preparing graduates for the seven or eight career shifts they are expected to make in their lifetime. It is about knowing how to formulate questions and not just how to answer them. �

The other day I was reminded of a conversation I had with a business executive at one of the Big Three automobile companies in the United States. At that time I served as dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies at the University of Michigan. Colleagues at the university’s Dearborn campus arranged meetings to highlight their graduate programs, especially in engineering. The car company executive supported their efforts by extolling the virtues of engineering and the close partnership that had evolved between the manufacturer and the campus. I sat there and listened. As the only humanist in the room, I found myself intrigued by the narrative that had begun to take shape. So when the speaker spoke about gear ratios, aerodynamic angles and the marvels of engineering innovations, my mind raced ahead to the final product and the teams that it took to manufacture and sell the product. Finally, I asked: “So who on your teams thinks about color? After all, red is not just red, it is many shades of red.” “Who, also, asks if a particular shade of red has the same resonance in Barcelona as it does in Buenos Aires?” I continued. Before the speaker could answer, I peppered him with a few more questions. “What about word choice?

While El Diablo may seem innocuous in one setting, buying the devil may not be an optimum selling pitch in parts of Latin America.” And, I wondered, “Who thought about the size and scale of roads, driving habits and attitudes, and such things as upholstery and aesthetics?” When I concluded my barrage of questions, the executive acknowledged that manufacturing of a car was a team or interdisciplinary effort. They hired artists, linguists, sociologists, anthropologists, writers, and others to take the car from concept to showroom. He went on to explain that indeed they needed country experts because a shade of orange may conjure memories of an ancient war that still retain contemporary valences. Picking the wrong palette could doom sales from the start, no matter the sophisticated engineering of the vehicle. I like to think that the questions I posed resonated then and echo now. This encounter occurred about a decade and a half ago, long before the phrase STEM entered the daily lexicon and politicians from both parties championed degree attainment in STEM-related fields as national educational policy. It occurred long before the recent spate of articles and reports worried about a declining interest in the humanities and social sciences. And it occurred some years before the focus on the price of college tuition and the associated cost led more and more to speak of a college degree as the ticket to a secure life, focusing on education’s utilitarian purposes rather than its role in helping to build an informed citizenry that enlivened a participatory democracy. Perhaps the takeaway is simply that a vibrant democracy, ever alert to the imperatives of educating its citizens fully, will focus on the whole, where the whole is comprised of constituent parts. Concordia has an opportunity to highlight the whole by exposing all students to elements of the parts. Such is the liberal arts approach, and a reason schools that continue to adapt to new approaches and adopt new strategies will occupy a privileged place in the decades ahead: they prepare graduates for life. Photo: William Taufic

Dr. Earl Lewis ’78 has served as president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation since March. Lewis, a member of Concordia’s Board of Regents, is a native of Tidewater, Va. After earning an undergraduate degree from Concordia in history and psychology, he earned a doctorate in history from the University of Minnesota. Prior to Mellon, he served as provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs and the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of History and African American Studies at Emory University, Atlanta. He also has held faculty appointments at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Michigan. In recent years Lewis has championed the importance of diversifying the academy, enhancing graduate education, revisioning the liberal arts, exploring the role of digital tools for learning, and connecting universities to their communities.

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Eduardo and Romualdo

Preserving a Poet’s Legacy By Sheldon Green

After returning to Peru from Europe in the 1960s, Alejandro Romualdo (above) began advocating for social change with his poetry.

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It is a responsibility that Dr. Eduardo Gargurevich, professor of Spanish and Hispanic studies, did not expect. From a single serendipitous encounter, Gargurevich grew from being a young admirer of a national Peruvian figure to becoming caretaker of the man’s legacy. As a college student in his native Lima, Peru, Gargurevich became enamored with the writing and poetry of Alejandro Romualdo, one of Peru’s most well-known cultural figures from the 1950s through the turn of the century. Purely on a whim, one day Gargurevich decided to knock on the famous man’s door. “He lived just down the street from my parent’s house,” says Gargurevich. “I knew he had a reputation for preferring to be left alone, so I hoped he’d be home.” Romualdo was indeed at home, and he knew Gargurevich’s father, so the young Gargurevich was invited in. “I liked his work, and I wanted to talk with him about his poetry, so I took a chance,” says Gargurevich, never anticipating how that fateful knock on the poet’s door would follow him all his life. The student and the master soon settled into a comfortable routine of weekly visits, where they

would talk about the state of literature in Peru, about Romualdo’s frequent travels abroad, and what the poet was currently writing. Their relationship deepened when Gargurevich based his bachelor’s degree thesis on Romualdo’s poems, working from personal papers loaned by the artist himself. “When I made my public defense, Romualdo showed up, which was uncomfortable for my professors, having the famous poet in the audience,” says Gargurevich. As Gargurevich’s academic career brought him to the United States, he remained in touch with Romualdo, and the two visited each time Gargurevich returned to Peru. In 2008, Gargurevich learned that Romualdo had been found dead in his home. Given his outspoken political views, many people suspected foul play. But it was determined the artist died from a heart attack. He was 81 years old. Some time later, Romualdo’s daughter, a noted jazz singer in Brazil, sent Gargurevich an email asking if he would be interested in working with her father’s collection of papers. “She asked me to organize and make some sense of the materials,” says Gargurevich. In a Lima warehouse, Gargurevich was surprised to find 24 large boxes stuffed with Romualdo’s lifelong artistic output – published works, notebooks, letters, manuscripts, photographs, drawings and paintings, and complete texts of political debates. Gargurevich spent three months just sorting the collection into broad categories, but there is

Dr. Eduardo Gargurevich is looking for an institute that can help him preserve the personal papers of a national cultural figure in Peru.

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Romualdo during his student days in Italy (left) and his ID card from university years in Peru, indicating he was studying literature.

significantly more work to be done. He is now using some of the material for his own writing on Romualdo’s career and influence. “I am privileged to protect and use these papers. No one has seen much of this material,” he says. “It is a big responsibility to be entrusted with all of it. I am very careful whenever someone requests access to it.” Gargurevich doesn’t think he should be the sole interpreter of Romualdo’s art, and he is looking for an institute or museum in Peru willing to house the collection and make it accessible for study. Romualdo’s best-known work is the “Song of Tupac Amaru,” which exalts the revolutionary spirit of the 18th-century leader. The poem glorifies the Peruvian independence movement and won the Peruvian National Prize for Poetry. With the exception of a few poems, Romualdo is less known in countries outside Peru because his poetry has not been translated into English. He is widely known in European countries, especially Spain and Italy, where he studied; in Cuba, where he lived for several years in solidarity with the Cuban revolution; and in Russia and China, due to his socialist and ideological sympathies. Gargurevich believes Romualdo’s years as a student in Europe were a turning point for his thinking and writing. He understands why, reflecting on his own years away from Peru and Concordia’s emphasis on global learning. “I know how true this is, that when seriously assumed, experiences abroad have the ability to teach us the realities of our places of origin much more than books or living where we were born,” he says. “Looking from the vantage point of being away from familiar places, we see them in a new light.”

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Gargurevich says that in post-World War II Europe, Romualdo saw the consequences of war and it caused him to set aside pure, romantic poetry and prompted him to take a political stand in his writings. “He became a demonstrated leftist, and he never gave up,” says Gargurevich. “In Peru he is equally admired as a poet as he is for his political integrity and courage. He used poetry to call for social change.” Gargurevich says Romualdo’s early works call for peace, love and communion among all mortals but, after returning from Europe, Romualdo openly declared himself an instrument of change committed to the struggle for social transformation of an unjust society. “His poetry became the epitome of social poetry, and he actively plunged into radical politics and an affiliation to Marxism-Leninism,” he says. “For many, he was an icon of poetic and political consequence.” Romualdo also gained a reputation as an activist who did not run away from artistic or ideological confrontation, a sort of hard-liner in the arts world. “He liked to argue a lot,” says Gargurevich. “He never shut up. He could be grouchy, and for some he was a scary person who could be really irritating.” Romualdo took to publishing editorial cartoons featuring comments on what was going on in the country through the eyes of a Peruvian Indian and an AfroPeruvian. With this voice, he promoted changes in the Peruvian education system, and supported land reform and government negotiations with labor unions. Unhappy with a change in government and feeling there was no place for him as a public intellectual, Romualdo went back to Havana. There he quickly grew disappointed with the Soviet Union’s control over Cuban

The Writings of

Alejandro Romualdo This poem from Romualdo’s early period illustrates his thoughts on love, solidarity and resilience:

If They Took Away From Me Absolutely Everything Romualdo through the decades: painting in his art studio in the late 1960s, talking to newspaper reporters in the 1970s, and giving a speech in 2000 when he was awarded an honorary degree in his hometown of Trujillo, Peru.

life. Being openly critical, he was excluded from participation in international cultural exchanges. Gargurevich personally witnessed this snubbing of Romualdo when he visited him in Havana in 1978 as a member of the Peruvian delegation to the World Festival of Youth and Students. Romualdo returned to Peru in 1980. By this time, his wife, Teresa, and oldest son, Rodrigo, had both died. His two other children were living in Brazil and the United States. He retreated to write and paint, but anticipated income from rental property failed to materialize and he lived precariously. Secluded from public life, his writing and painting during the last period of his life became some of his best. He felt he was close to finding his true voice. Romualdo called his visual art form Kawata, which consisted of signs or symbols that resembled Chinese characters painted in black over white surfaces. “In his final years he became obsessed with the nature of these signs,” says Gargurevich. “It is as if every sign would be the culmination of a communion between the human hand touching the painted surface, the intensity of the movement and the duration of the contact with the surface. Each sign he painted would somehow be the testimony or story of a whole journey.” Gargurevich has found hundreds of these Kawata signs created by Romualdo as he searched for just the right word to describe his art. Unfortunately, he says, “death did not allow Romualdo to find such a word.” But in a broader sense, Romualdo’s words do live on today in Gargurevich’s classrooms, where students in beginning Spanish and upper-level literature classes study his poems. “His writing is good for learning language because he used language so precisely,” says Gargurevich. “Romualdo was a keen observer of life, and his gift to us is his ability to illustrate the power of his vision in a rich dimension.”

If they took away from me absolutely everything. If for example they took away the greetings of the birds, or the good morning of the sun upon the earth. I would still have one word. I would still have one word to support my voice. If they took away the words or the tongue. I would speak with my heart in my hands, or my hands in my heart. If they took away one leg, I would dance on one foot. If they took away one eye, I would cry on one eye. If they took away one arm, I would have the other one, to say hello to my brothers and sisters to seed the furrows of the earth to write your name on all the beaches of the world, my love.

“Poem XIX” was written during Romualdo’s later life during armed conflicts between the state and Shining Path guerrillas. Here Romualdo condenses all his poetic experiences by comparing how nature might experience the kind of suffering occurring in the Peruvian countryside:

Poem XIX The wind is the light tombstone over the grave, and the tombstone is a stump that bleeds, last fragment or sigh of a passion with no reason nor dream. So many things have happened, some many have passed as seasons, from one moment to another, in the corners, in the streets in the squares as mutilated statues. Eyes that see no more, hearts that by now don’t feel, next to their dead children, in open air. Poems translated from Spanish by Eduardo Gargurevich

Photos: Sheldon Green/Submitted

Concordia Magazine


Twenty years. Thirty-two thousand hands. One goal: Change the world. By Gia Rassier

It’s a lofty goal, really. But big dreams and lofty aspirations have to start somewhere. The story of Hands for Change, Concordia’s service-learning Orientation event, began more than 20 years ago with a small group of student leaders, a couple of dedicated Cobber staff and a vision. “We were in the early stages of integrating service with the whole college experience, including academics,” says Chelle Lyons Hanson ‘84, director of Student Leadership and Service. “It only made sense to introduce new students to that concept as they came into college.” Hands for Change started as a small pilot project in 1993 when several Orientation clubs volunteered for a twohour period in the Fargo-Moorhead community. It was a smashing success and became a full-fledged Orientation event the following year. That’s when longtime friends Kaia (Flam) Mahlke ’95 and Heather (Sewall) Torgerson ’95 teamed up to organize it. At the time, Torgerson served as Orientation chair and Mahlke as the director of SOS or Sources fOr Service, today known as Campus Service Commission.

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The roommates asked their organizations to help with calling, coordinating, painting and planning. “The students involved did amazing work to pull the event together,” says Lyons Hanson. “They made it happen.” Though influencing the affairs of the world through service had long been part of the college mission, the concept of service-learning was new to the curriculum – and community. “It took quite a bit of time and effort to introduce the idea to community organizations and to develop service projects that would be both helpful to the community and meaningful to the students,” recalls Mahlke. “Concordia was just starting to implement service-learning into some of the curriculum.”

Twenty years of Hands for Change: 16,000 students, 40,000 hours and 40 agencies served per year

Organizers coordinated two-hour service projects that included pulling weeds, painting buildings, mowing lawns, playing games, cleaning offices and everything in between. Torgerson vividly remembers the spectacle that ensued after buying more than 800 plain white T-shirts – nearly every one available in the Fargo-Moorhead area – to hand paint for the event. “It was quite the sight at our Moorhead apartment with clotheslines stretched from every tree, and the driveway and lawn covered with drying hand-printed shirts,” Torgerson recalls. “I remember getting in a little trouble with our landlord for getting paint on the garage.” Through the years, Hands for Change has become a signature event in the Orientation process. This fall, more than 700 first-year and transfer students spent a morning completing 40 different service projects in the FargoMoorhead community. Emily Honl ’17, Fargo, N.D., organized warehouse supplies at HERO, Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization.

“I’m really glad that we got to step away from Concordia and come work for a bigger cause,” Honl says. Lyons Hanson believes that Hands for Change, and the subsequent reflection, helps bring the college mission to life for incoming students.

“Participating in the Fargo-Moorhead community through Hands for Change gives students a clear connection to the mission – and the mission in action,” she says. And it has a lasting impact. For some students, participating in Hands for Change altered their career aspirations. Heather (Olson) Willman ’95 entered Concordia expecting to pursue a degree in communication. “But Hands for Change and my service at Concordia helped me decide on a career in public education,” says Willman, who helped coordinate the pilot event. “I knew my gifts were in the area of working with young people, so I ended up changing my major to English education.” Today, Willman works with instructional coaches in Rochester (Minn.) Public Schools to support K-12 teachers. “I’m committed to ensuring that all of our students get a world-class education and have choices in their lives,” Willman says. “This commitment started at Concordia and has strengthened throughout my career.” This year’s campus service commissioner and Hands for Change coordinator, Moriah Nelson ’14, Stephen, Minn., is the latest in a rich legacy of Cobber students and staff who have devoted time, energy and love to the continuation of Concordia’s rich history of community involvement. For Nelson, it’s all about the bigger picture. “If students have a positive experience with Hands for Change, it can open the door to a lifestyle of servicelearning,” Nelson says. Photos: Sheldon Green, Gia Rassier, Kelly Knutson ‘15 and Concordia College Archives

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NEWS Students Present at President’s Conference in Washington, D.C.

Russian Language Village Dedicated Concordia Language Villages dedicated the Russian Language Village, Lesnoe Ozero, in July. President William Craft was on hand for the event along with special guests from across the country and around the world. Yury Y. Melnik, second secretary of the Embassy of the Russian Federation to the United States, addressed the guests, praising the Language Villages’ teaching methods. Craft thanked donors along with current and former staff who supported the construction of St. Petersburg, the new great hall at Lesnoe Ozero. Modeled after the great hall of a Russian hunting lodge, St. Petersburg provides additional indoor space for programming and also adds even more adult-friendly rooms and services to the site. As the Language Villages explores more programs for adults and corporate clients, Martin Graefe, senior director of the Language Villages, feels confident that the new building will make the site much more conducive to the study of language and culture by adults. “It’s a beautiful building and one of the most welcoming spaces on our Turtle River Lake campus,” says Graefe.

Concordia College was among nine colleges presenting at the third annual President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge conference at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in September. Robyn Adams ’16, Littleton, Colo., one of Concordia’s interfaith scholars, presented for Concordia. Concordia was asked to speak on the topic of interfaith engagement and the curriculum. Chase Nelson ’15, Arthur, N.D., and Anastasia Young ’14, Butte, Mont., along with Dr. Jacqueline Bussie, director of the Forum on Faith and Life, also took part in the event. Young was selected by interfaith leader Dr. Eboo Patel to be one of four participants in a panel discussion he led. This national gathering gives colleges that are starting interfaith programs an opportunity to learn about successful programs. More than 350 colleges and universities participated. Bussie and Adams say the college’s partnership with Patel’s Interfaith Youth Core has helped Concordia gain wide recognition for its interfaith engagement.

Faculty, Administrator Recognized Four Concordia employees have been recognized for their dedication and service to the college. Dr. Cynthia Carver, chair of the Division of Professional Programs and Communication Studies, was presented with the Ole and Lucy Flaat Distinguished Teaching award. Carver has built a reputation for outstanding teaching and mentoring since beginning her career at Concordia in 1989. Dr. Donald “Chopper” Krogstad, chair and associate professor of chemistry, was presented with the Ole and Lucy Flaat Distinguished Scholarship award. Krogstad began his career at Concordia in 2002 and has distinguished himself as a model teacher-scholar. Dr. Krys Strand, associate professor of biology, was presented the Ole and Lucy Flaat Distinguished Advisor award. Strand began her career at Concordia in 2006 and invests a considerable amount of her time, talent and efforts advising students. Debra Lee Ross, director of Dining Services, was presented the Ole and Lucy Flaat Distinguished Service award. For nearly 24 years, Lee Ross has implemented programs that have resulted in high employee morale, taken a lead in campus sustainability efforts and supervises an accredited dietetics internship.

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Mayo Clinic Fellowship Kari Neutzling ’14, St. Cloud, Minn., completed biomedical ethics research this summer at the Mayo Clinic through the Vann Fellowship. Neutzling explored how physicians discuss potentially debilitating or even fatal diseases with their patients. Neutzling, a biology major currently applying to medical schools, competed against applicants from across the nation for the honor. She spent eight weeks working with physicians and research mentors within the Mayo Clinic Program in Professionalism and Ethics. During the fellowship she studied ethical issues in three areas: biomedical research, life-sustaining treatments, and genetic testing and therapies.

NEWS Harvesting Concordia’s History Cobber pride is one reason Dezmond Ward ’17, Milbank, S.D., came to Concordia. Now the history and political science major has helped document stories and items that are part of that tradition. He and his classmates in Dr. Joy Lintelman’s U.S. history course hosted Cobber History Harvest Homecoming weekend. Alumni who returned to campus were invited to share stories from their college days through interviews, photos, documents, letters and other items that will become part of the college’s digital archives. “These are the things that are often not documented, but they are part of our legacy,” says Lisa Sjoberg, college archivist. By documenting these stories and items, students will gain valuable critical thinking and research skills by handling primary history sources.

Better Together Receives Award Better Together, Concordia’s interfaith organization, won a national award for its work in engaging dialogue among all sectors of the campus. The club received the Biggest Campus Impact award from Interfaith Youth Core, founded by interfaith activist and author Dr. Eboo Patel, who spoke on campus at Opening Convocation last fall. Better Together encourages learning about similarities and differences among faith traditions while serving others. Better Together received $500 and two free registrations to attend the annual Interfaith Leadership Institute hosted by Patel’s organization, which teaches students how to become effective leaders and engage with interfaith on campus.

Carus Lecture Begins Concordia held the inaugural Carus Lecture in Philosophy this fall featuring Dr. Jonathan Lear. Lear is the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor at the Committee on Social Thought in the department of philosophy at the University of Chicago and works primarily on philosophical conceptions of the human psyche from Socrates to the present. Concordia created the Carus Professorship in Philosophy and the Carus Lectureship in recognition of gifts from the charitable trusts established by Alwin C. Carus and his sister, M. Elisabeth Carus.

Band and Choir Plan Spring Tours The Concordia Band will tour through Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan in February 2014. They’ll play at churches and high schools in Roseville and Eden Prairie, Minn.; Hudson, Lodi and Stevens Point, Wis.; and Interlochen, Mich. For more details, check out The Concordia Choir will tour the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii in spring 2014. More details will be posted at

100 and Counting Dr. Douglas Anderson, chair and professor of mathematics, recently had his 100th scholarly article accepted for publication in a professional journal. His area of research is differential equations, which describes the rate of change of a physical process over time. Specifically, he models theories of beam vibrations that have applications to physics and engineering. “This is a significant accomplishment,” says Dr. Darin Ulness, chair of the Division of Sciences and Mathematics. “Very few faculty, especially from a liberal arts college noted for teaching, do so much research and publishing.” Anderson began publishing his research shortly after arriving at Concordia in 1997 with a doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Anderson’s research has appeared in peerreviewed professional journals, and he has co-written papers with 42 mathematicians from 12 countries.

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NEWS Trolling for National Attention The ugliest trophy in college sports appeared on ESPN’s “College GameDay” during the live broadcast to hype North Dakota State University Bison football. With all eyes across the river for the “GameDay” broadcast, Jim Cella, sports information director for Cobber athletics, wanted to find a way to bring national media interest to the Cobber football game with St. Olaf the same weekend. Cella found his solution in the office of football coach Terry Horan – the Troll Trophy that goes to the winner of the Cobber-Ole game each year. “You have to go with something quirky,” Cella says. He began by tweeting “GameDay” host Chris Fowler about the troll, noting that ESPN frequently recognizes Cobbers as a top 10 nickname and Kernel as a fun mascot. Fowler tweeted back: Tell me more. The Troll Trophy was introduced nearly 40 years ago as a way to welcome St. Olaf back into the conference and to gain exposure for the rivalry of the two schools of Norwegian heritage. At the start of “GameDay’s” second hour, Fowler put the troll on his desk in front of the cameras where a television audience of millions saw it. His three co-hosts seemed to stare in disbelief. After a 33-29 Cobber victory, the “ugliest trophy in college sports” once again sits in Coach Horan’s office.

Milestone Moments in Fall Sports Concordia volleyball coach Tim Mosser celebrated his 400th career win this fall. Mosser began as Concordia’s head volleyball coach in 1993. During his 20-year Mosser tenure, he has led several teams to MIAC playoffs and the 2008 team to the NCAA Regional final. He was named MIAC Coach of the Year in 1995 by the MIAC Volleyball Coaches. The Concordia football team reached 500 career wins this season, becoming only the fourth college in Minnesota to reach the milestone. The 500th win came when the Cobbers beat the Auggies 47-20 in October.

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Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees Honored Six Concordia alumni were inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame and honored at a banquet Homecoming weekend. Paul Sanderson ’64 never lost a MIAC golf match while playing for the Cobbers from 1961 to 1964. He placed third in the 1961 NAIA national tournament and also won the Resorter’s Golf Tournament in 1961. He set a Worthington course record in 1962 with an 18-hole score of 59. He earned a degree in ophthalmology from the University of Washington Medical School and has been in practice in Edina, Minn. Darwin Kreft ’76 was a two-time All-MIAC basketball player and most valuable player in 1975 and 1976. His teaching experiences include the American Embassy School in New Delhi, India, and the International School in Manila, Philippines. Since 2000 he has taught and been a counselor at Osseo and Maple Grove (Minn.) high schools. Mark Heysse ’80 was a member of three MIAC football championship teams, the 1978 national championship team, and was the all-conference and second team All-American in 1980. He has been involved in high school coaching for 30 years in Fergus Falls and St. Cloud, Minn., where his football teams played in five state tournaments. Kent Kuball ’85 was a four-year letter winner in baseball and a member of the All-MIAC teams in 1984 and 1985. He holds records for career stolen bases and career runs scored. He was a member of the 1981 national championship football team and holds Cobber career records in punt and kick returns. He operates a dental practice in Hutchinson, Minn. Mary (Line) Sloan ’88 earned All-MIAC honors in track from 1985 to 1988 and was a seven-time All-American competing in the long jump, 400-meter run, heptathlon and the 1600-meter relay team. She was a member of the Cobber’s MIAC championship track team in 1988 and a two-year captain. She lives in Inver Grove Heights, Minn. Tammy (Krell) Anderson ’88 earned All-American honors in track seven times and All-MIAC honors 18 times from 1985 to 1988. She competed in the NCAA National Meet in the 400-meter hurdles, high jump and 1600-meter relay, and set Cobber records in four individual and two relay events during her career. She lives in Sartell, Minn.

NEWS Concordia Percussion Ensemble Performs at International Convention The Concordia Percussion Ensemble, directed by Dr. David Eyler, performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in November. The ensemble presented the “New Literature for Percussion Ensemble” at the Indianapolis Convention Center. This is the first time the Concordia Percussion Ensemble was invited to perform at PASIC and the first opportunity most Concordia students have had to experience this event. “Being selected is a remarkable achievement for the percussion program. Professor David Eyler has established a program with a truly national reputation,” says Dr. John Eyler Roberts, chair of the music department. This year celebrates the 20th anniversary of the New Literature Session. PASIC has been an annual event for more than 40 years providing educational and performance opportunities to thousands of percussionists from around the world. Last year more than 6,000 percussion enthusiasts attended the convention.

2013 Peace Scholars Nikolaj Hagen ’15, Osakis, Minn., and Anastasia Young ’14, Butte, Mont., represented Concordia in the 2013 Peace Scholars program this summer at the University of Oslo’s International Summer School, Norway. Students received a general introduction to peace and conflict studies, and to the work of peace institutions and organizations in Norway. Hagen, a political science and Scandinavian studies major, says this opportunity gave him new perspectives on the peace process and what it means for both sides in a conflict. The students were introduced at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, held this past March in Minneapolis. Each year, students from Augsburg, Augustana, Luther, Pacific Lutheran, St. Olaf and Concordia are chosen as peace scholars.

Students Receive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Karissa Mehr ’14, St. Cloud, Minn., and Ryan Smith ’14, Zimmerman, Minn., received the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, to participate in a study abroad or international internship program this past summer. More than 700 American undergraduate students from 270 colleges and universities across the U.S. received the award. Mehr was in the Summer School Abroad Program studying “Into the Wine Dark Sea: Ancient Greek Philosophy in the Greek Islands in Santorini” and Smith was in the Summer Field Study Program studying “The Ecology of East Africa.” Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad program costs. The program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go. The program was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000 and since then more than 13,000 students nationwide have received the award.

Drache Papers Archived The extensive collection of papers, publications, research documents and manuscripts of Dr. Hiram Drache, historian-in-residence, have now been processed and cataloged in the archives of the Carl B. Ylvisaker Library. Leah Hoblit ’13, Greybull, Wyo., who has worked in the library for three years, completed the threemonth project in August. Hoblit, a music education major, is now teaching music in Rock Springs, Wyo. A donation to the library from Drache enabled Hoblit to work full time archiving his papers and memorabilia. Drache is regarded as an expert in agriculture of the region, and his papers reflect his lifelong research, writing and speaking on farm policy and farming history. The collection of papers occupies 75 linear feet of space in the archives office. The papers include academic work from his teaching career at Concordia, official correspondence, interviews for some of the 20 books he has written, maps and papers from his service as a B-17 navigator in World War II, and various publications produced by Drache during his career.

Concordia Magazine



By Sheldon Green

At the 2011 Oratorio concert, Jim Parke ’68 (left) surprised his former roommate, Bruce Houglum ’68, and Dr. J. Robert Hanson ’51 (right) at Houglum’s final conducting performance with The Concordia Orchestra.

Giving a gift to support an institution like Concordia College can be a joyful process, and ribbon cuttings at new facilities are happy occasions. But before that, there is thoughtful deliberation about what a gift might do. For retired business executive Jim Parke ’68, the giving of a gift must have the objective of making a difference. “What gives me satisfaction is to have my gifts help change things to make them better,” he says. Parke is former vice chairman and CFO of GE Capital Services and former senior vice president of General Electric Co. He serves as director of buildOn, a nonprofit corporation. He prefers to target his gifts to make specific changes. He had a leading role in renovating Hvidsten Hall of Music, helping create an orchestra rehearsal hall to honor his former band conductor, Dr. J. Robert Hanson ’51, and his college roommate, Bruce Houglum ’68, who conducted The Concordia Orchestra. “Bruce and I roomed together all four years, and he went on to really elevate the stature of the orchestra, so it made sense to me to help the music program, which is one of the biggest and best at Concordia,” says Parke. Parke was student government president his senior year, leading an effort to build a student union.

Student leaders work in the spacious second floor offices of the Parke Student Leadership Center in the Knutson Campus Center.

“That didn’t work out, but when the Knutson Center was being expanded, it just made sense to me to do something to support student government,” he says. His targeted gift created the Parke Student Leadership Center where all student organizations now share workspace and offices. Parke says he prefers to do philanthropy where he can best use his expertise to affect change. “As one might imagine from Jim’s career at GE, he can be decisive and steely eyed when need be. Yet Jim has another side, perhaps a softer side, when it comes to his philanthropy. Yes, Jim expects change for the better and when these changes occur due to his philanthropy, one gets to see Jim shine in a different way – in a joyful way,” says Teresa Harland, vice president for Advancement. Parke’s latest gifts come from his desire to improve the delivery of the business curriculum at the Offutt School of Business, where he serves as chair of the Global Leadership Council. He is also an advisory member to the Board of Regent’s investment committee where his experience as the former chief financial officer at GE Capital Services plays a vital role. It’s one more way Parke brings his gifts to an identified need. His satisfaction comes from helping to make things better. Photos: Sheldon Green

By including Concordia College in your estate plans, you become a member of Concordia’s Founders Society, more than 500 members strong. To learn more, visit or contact the Concordia Advancement Office at (800) 699-9896.

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ALUMNI Alumni Achievement Award Recipients Honored at Homecoming Chosen by the National Alumni Board, the Alumni Achievement Award is given to alumni who have exemplified the ideals of Concordia College.

Murrae N. Freng ’46

Murrae Freng, Plymouth, Minn., has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a band and choral conductor in Brooten, Minn., and Alexandria, Minn., high schools. He served as executive director of the Minnesota State High School League for 15 years where he guided the activities of high school athletics, music, speech and drama. He was a leader in instituting gender equity and the evolution of high school women’s athletics in Minnesota. He is a charter member of the halls of fame of the Minnesota Music Educators Association and the Minnesota State High School League, and is the recipient of the F. Melius Christiansen Memorial Award.

George C. Halvorson Jr. ’68

George Halvorson, Sausalito, Calif., is chairman and former chief executive officer of Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest nonprofit health plan and hospital system serving more than 9 million members and generating $50 billion in annual revenue. He has chaired the World Economic Forum’s Health Governors meetings in Davos, Switzerland, and is the recipient of the Louis Sullivan Award for outstanding leadership in healthcare quality and the American Hospital Association’s 2013 Award of Honor. He is the author of several guidebooks on healthcare reform, and he has served as an advisor to foreign governments on issues of health policy and financing.

Morris L. Lanning ’66

Morrie Lanning served Concordia College for nearly 40 years as the primary advocate for students. As dean of students, he pioneered the development of a student leadership program that flourishes today. He made sure that students are “at the table” for discussions on curriculum changes, long-range planning and budget development. He also has lived a life of public service, including serving as mayor of Moorhead and as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. Most recently, he sponsored legislation that enabled state participation in building a new multi-use Vikings stadium.

Karen (Lattu) Polzin ’77

Karen Polzin enjoyed a successful 33-year career at Cargill where she held many high-level leadership roles. During her tenure, she was the controller of its global grain and oilseed businesses and a lead controller over many North American businesses. She is a longstanding volunteer leader at the Plymouth Christian Youth Center in Minneapolis where she is revered for her considerable skills in nonprofit governance, finance and strategic management. She has also served in a variety of capacities on behalf of the college as a member of the advisory board for the Offutt School of Business.

Pack Your Bags and Join Us Concordia continues to emphasize its global roots by taking alumni and friends into the world to learn and serve. In 2014, we have arranged six different opportunities. ENGLAND AND WALES • May 2014 Explore the legacies of figures such as King Arthur and Shakespeare, and visit famous sights as you take in the best of ancient and modern, magical and mysterious throughout England and Wales with Dr. Roy Hammerling. GREECE AND TURKEY • May/June 2014 Join Dr. Jim Aageson, professor emeritus of religion, on a fascinating trip to the cities of Paul and other early Christian sites in Greece and Turkey.

Ready for Homecoming 2014? We’ve barely packed away Homecoming 2013 (wasn’t it a great one?) and plans are already starting for next year’s celebration. The Class of 1954 will be among the classes arranging reunions. In honor of this class’s upcoming 60th reunion, we’re sharing thenand-now photos of Homecoming Queen Enid (Larson) Ikeda ’54 and one of her attendants, Mary Ellen (George) Diercks ’54. It’s not too early to mark your calendars for next year’s Homecoming, Oct. 10-12, 2014!

For more alumni resources, events and information, visit

SWITZERLAND, AUSTRIA AND GERMANY • July 2014 Experience breathtaking alpine scenery and classical Salzburg, and enjoy a quality tour experience on this trip with Madelyn Burchill as your expert leader and John Pierce as your host. SANTORINI • September 2014 Discover the history, cuisine, famous sights and culture of Greece on this global adventure led by Dr. Peter Schultz, Olin J. Storvick Chair of Classical Studies, and Eric Johnson, director of Alumni Relations. ECUADOR • September/October 2014 Take part in a life-changing mission experience with Dr. Bob Brunsvold ‘66 and Vicky (Everson) Brunsvold ‘69, as they lead a group to volunteer at Casa de Fe, a home for unwanted children of the rainforest. Concordia Magazine


CLASS NOTES Villages. Joel Schroeder, London, is director of the M2M program at Inmarsat.

1990 Tracie (Melander) Dury, Sumter, S.C., earned a Master of Science in Education degree specializing in adolescent literacy and technology from Walden U; she is a high school English teacher for Lee County School District.


Ten 1961 Cobbers Meet for 52nd-Year Reunion Inspired by good times at their 50th class reunion and feeling five years was too long to wait for their next reunion, 10 Cobbers from the class of 1961 gathered in Door County, Wis., where Don Just served as visiting guest pastor at Bethany Lutheran in Ephraim. (l-r) front: Gloria (Mathison) Serkland, Don Just, Janet (Rendahl) Hausmann, Elsa (Christiansen) Wilson; back: Don Burton, Jim Serkland, Ron Moen, Dayton Soby, Bob Dryden, Jim Hausmann

1957 Karl Williams and his wife, Shirley, Eagan, Minn., celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in July.

Walters, Duluth, Minn., celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in June.


Norman Holen, Minneapolis, entered “Embrace” in a love poem contest sponsored by Garrison Keillor and Common Good Books; Holen was one of 12 winners and read his poem at a presentation by Keillor.

Mark Gronseth, Breckenridge, Minn., received a Master of Divinity degree from Sioux Falls (S.D.) Seminary; he is the pastor of Breckenridge and Fairmount UMC. Dale Stensgaard, Grand Forks, N.D., retired after 35 years as an editor in the daily newspaper business, the last 31 at the Grand Forks Herald.




Roger Hanson, Denver, and former Minnesota Chief Justice Eric Magnuson made a PowerPoint presentation at the 2013 American Bar Association annual meeting on “Ethics, Appeals, and Challenges for Lawyers”; he also prepared a paper on “Visions of Courts in the 21st Century” with Brian Ostrom of the National Center for State Courts.

1968 Murray Sagsveen, Bismarck, N.D., is chief executive officer of Leadership North Dakota.

1971 Christine (Storm) Anderson, New Brighton, Minn., retired after 25 years teaching elementary and middle school education in Minneapolis Public Schools.

1972 Yvonne (Meyer) Johnson, Menahga, Minn., retired after 25 years as the librarian at Ridgewater College, Willmar and Hutchinson.

1974 Barbara Eiden-Molinaro, Athens, Ohio, is chief operating officer for Rural Action, The Plains. Mark ‘73 and Sharilyn (Nielson)

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Beverly (Andersen) Reed, Spokane, Wash., is vice president of financial development for the YMCA of the Inland Northwest.

1979 Lorna (Ringdahl) Halaas, Sioux City, Iowa, is assistant to the bishop of the Western Iowa Synod, ELCA, Storm Lake.

1982 Elizabeth (Blom) Files, Neenah, Wis., is a business consultant for Alta Resources. Lori (Hilde) Jorgenson, Rockford, Minn., is a senior IT business analyst for Tennant Co., Minneapolis.

1986 Paul Hanson, Sioux Falls, S.D., is president of Sanford USD Medical Center, Sioux Falls.

1987 Val Rae (Jorgenson) Boe, Plymouth, Minn., received a Doctor of Education degree in leadership from the U of St. Thomas, Minneapolis.

1988 David Manning, Moorhead, is associate director of finance for Concordia Language

Corine (Knutson) Borrero, Succasunna, N.J., is a youth and family ministry co-coordinator at Redeemer Lutheran Church. Troy Olson, Royalton, Minn., received his Certified Public Accountant license in Minnesota and became a partner in his CPA firm, Riitters Thompson and Olson, Little Falls. Laurie (Lager) Sorenson, Chaska, Minn., was promoted to senior vice president of marketing, communications and sales training/global treasury management for U.S. Bank, Minneapolis, where she has worked for five years.

1992 Kathrine Young, Seattle, is the artistic director for Trejdeksnitis, Seattle’s Latvian folk dance group, which performed at the National Song and Dance Festival in Riga in July; she also is the collections manager at the Puget Sound Navy Musem.

1994 Ericka (Johnson) Anderson, Redondo Beach, Calif., works in accounts payable for International Furniture Marketing, Torrance. Michael Swanson and his wife, Cheri Reese, St. Paul, Minn., own Far North Spirits, Hallock, the northernmost distillery in the contiguous U.S.

1995 Mark Olsgaard, Cham, Switzerland, is executive director of Global HRIS for Actavis. Douglas Wangen, Gooding, Idaho, was promoted to team leader/operations manager at Azumano Corporate Travel, Portland, Ore.

international development education from the U of Minnesota, Minneapolis; she is a research, evaluation and implementation coordinator for Miske Witte and Associates. Matthew Coomber, Davenport, Iowa, was co-chair of the St. Ambrose Conference on Bible and Justice at St. Ambrose U. Shana Heinricy, Albuquerque, N.M., is communications and marketing director for the Media Literacy Project.

1999 Jen Larson Roesler, Minneapolis, is a freelance writer and interviewer at her company, Throughline LLC.

2000 Susan Dahline, New York, is an associate attorney for Bousquet Holstein. Stacy Nielsen, White Bear Lake, Minn., earned a specialist degree in school psychology from Minnesota State U Moorhead; she is a student services assistant for Mounds View Public Schools, Shoreview. Zachary Thompson, Northfield, Minn., is lead pastor for Rejoice! Church, Dundas.

2001 Karen Babine, Fargo, N.D., earned a doctorate in English from the U of NebraskaLincoln; she is an assistant professor of English at Concordia College. Carrie (Strouth) Herrig, Grand Forks, N.D., received a Master of Business Administration degree in human resources management from the U of Mary, Bismarck. Katie (Juhl) LaFleur, Woodbury, Minn., received a Master in Education degree from St. Mary’s U, Oakdale; she is a fourthgrade teacher for Fridley Public Schools. Sarah Nathan, Springfield, Mass., earned a doctorate in philanthropic studies from Indiana U Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indianapolis; she is an assistant professor at Bay Path College, Longmeadow. Nancy Schauer, Backus, Minn., earned a bachelor’s

1996 Amanda (Hams) Crisalli, Scottsdale, Ariz., is a principal actor in a national Courtyard by Marriott commercial. Jenny Johnson, Minneapolis, earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree with an English as a Second Language licensure from Hamline U, St. Paul, Minn.

1997 Ben Bjorge, Glyndon, Minn., is a clinical research coordinator for PRA International.

1998 Heidi (Knutson) Bradshaw, Moorhead, was promoted to private label product manager at Swanson Health Products, Fargo, N.D. Lisa (Mahowald) Burton, Woodbury, Minn., earned a doctorate in comparative and

Decked out in Cobber Colors Pierce Bradley Trapp, son of Brandi (Doll) ‘08 and Nicholas ‘08 Trapp, was born April 24.


Being Cute is Hard Work Oliver Wyatt Worker, son of Dewey and Heidi (Young) ‘05 Worker, was born Dec. 16, 2012. degree in social work from The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth; she is a mental health practitioner for Northern Pines Mental Health Center. Beth (Dahlstrom) Walters, Grand Forks, N.D., earned a doctorate in teacher education from the U of North Dakota.

2002 Courtney Zinter, Washington, D.C., received a Juris Doctor degree from The George Washington U Law School; she was awarded the Order of the Coif from the university and the Order of the Coif legal honor society for being in the top 10 percent of the juris doctor class.

2003 Trent Hagen, Burnsville, Minn., is customer service lead for American Medical Systems, Minnetonka. Alicia (Denault) Holmgren received a doctorate in microbiology and immunology from Drexel U College of Medicine, Philadelphia. Leah (Johnson) Kastner, Fargo, N.D., was promoted to media planning supervisor at Forum Communications Co. Treavor Peterson, Moorhead, is customer supply chain manager for Border States Electric, Fargo, N.D. Marija (Haugrud) Reiff, Coralville, Iowa, received a master’s degree in English from the U of Virginia, Charlottesville.

2004 Erin Campbell, St. Paul, Minn., is a lobbyist for Messerli & Kramer’s government relations group. Joonhyung Cho, Chapel Hill, N.C., is a technology development/alliance manager for the U of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; he was appointed to the USDA Plant Variety Protection Board by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Kathryn (Borgen) Friberg, Minneapolis, is circulation quality analyst for the Star Tribune. Wendy (Croatt) Kosel, Eden Prairie, Minn., is a career development instructor for Rasmussen College, Bloomington.

Stephanie (Johs) Gravning, Mandan, N.D., is a hospitalist at Sanford Health, Bismarck. Andrew Gunderson, Rockford, Mich., completed a pediatric residency at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Grand Rapids; he is a pediatrician at Cascade Pediatrics. Kristine (Nelson) Martens, West Fargo, N.D., is a family medicine physician at Sanford Health, Fargo. Michael Merkouris, Blaine, Minn., earned a Master of Science degree in software engineering from the U of St. Thomas, St. Paul. Heidi (Young) Worker, Tustin, Calif., received a Master of Liberal Arts degree in management from Harvard Extension School, Cambridge, Mass.

2006 Nathan Clements, Lakeside, Mont., is associate director of Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp, Kalispell. William DeNet, Hubert, N.C., is an infantry officer for the U.S. Marine Corps. Katie (Rindahl) Jackson, Rolla, Mo., was promoted to assistant director of alumni relations for Missouri U of Science and Technology. Kristin Tramp, Eagan, Minn., received a Master of Arts degree in organizational leadership from St. Catherine U, St. Paul.

2008 Sarah Anderson, Williston, N.D., received a Master of Social Work degree from the U of North Dakota, Grand Forks. Kimberly (Vallevand) Gause, Coon Rapids, Minn., is a teacher at Kinderberry Hill Child Development Center, Minneapolis. Ryan Johnson, Denver, is co-founder of UsportsHub, a one-stop destination for fans to keep up with their favorite teams and gain access to professional insight from former players. Anna (Meier) Svennungsen, Bratislava, Slovakia, received a master’s degree in nursing with a family nurse practitioner certification from Winona (Minn.) State U. Grant Weller, Fort Collins, Colo., earned a doctorate in statistics from Colorado State U; he is a visiting assistant professor at statistics for Carnegie Mellon U, Pittsburgh.

2009 Andrea (Voorhees) Dinneen, West Fargo, N.D., is public relations manager for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, Fargo. Kali (Messer) Swift, Sioux Falls, S.D., received a Master of Science degree in genetic counseling from the U of Colorado, Aurora; she is a genetic counselor for Avera Medical Group.

2010 Ariel Aakhus, Baxter, Minn., is a support account manager for MicroNet, Nisswa. Nina Halvorson, Gary, Minn., received a Juris Doctor degree from the Roger Williams U School of Law, Bristol, R.I. Anthony Hanson, Brooten, Minn., received a Master

Letters Still Going ‘Round More than six decades ago, a group of eight alumnae from the class of 1952 started a Round Robin letter and gathered in each other’s homes from time to time. Three from the group, Dorothy (Dees) Sanda, Phyllis (Magnusson) Teie and Marsala (Moe) Schmidt, have passed on, but the remaining five continue the letters. Celebrating together at Homecoming 2012 were Loretta (Pederson) Larson, Anita (Gisvold) Anderson, Sally (Warner) Peterson, Ellen (Langemo) Heinecke and Carol (Wammer) Sellie. of Science degree in entomology from the U of Minnesota, St. Paul.

wheelchair basketball teams to national championships and international medals.



Kristina (Loken) Lankow, Brookings, S.D., is marketing and communications coordinator for South Dakota State U. Katherine (Brott) Musielewicz, Lititz, Pa., is a customer service representative for Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate North America.

Rodney Olson, Crookston, Minn., was inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame; he served 29 years coaching high school wrestling.


Jim Docken, Woodbury, Minn., was presented with Chemical Coaters Association International’s highest honor, The James F. Wright Lifetime Achievement Award, for his years of dedicated service.

Kendal (Christensen) Bjella, Bismarck, N.D., is a clinical dietitian for Sanford Health. Ryan Fellman, Las Cruces, N.M., is director of choirs at Oñate High School. Meagan LeMay, Asahikawa, Hokkaido, started a oneyear contract with AEON Corp. to teach English in Japan.

2013 Brooke Grussing, Columbia, S.C., is a dietetic intern for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Nathan Redford, Colorado Springs, Colo., is a middle school social studies teacher for Fountain School District 8.

Honors 1953 Gene Abelson, Deerwood, Minn., was inducted into the Richfield High School Hall of Fame; he served as girls golf coach for 15 years including top finishes and a Minnesota state championship.

1966 Terry Hanson, Crystal, Minn., was inducted into the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Hall of Fame for coaching women’s


1975 Dale Stensgaard, Grand Forks, N.D., won third place in the headline category for the 12,001 or more circulation division of the North Dakota Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

1980 Jeffrey Thoreson, Snohomish, Wash., won the teacher of the year award from Ivar’s, Seattle; he is a second-grade teacher.

1983 Scott Sheldon, Emporia, Kan., was named Kansas High School Principal of the Year by the Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals, Topeka.

1987 Jill (Burdick) Tiffany, Spearfish, S.D., received the South Dakota Citizenship Teacher of the Year award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars; she is a fourth-grade teacher.

Concordia Magazine




Heidi (Knutson) Hohn to Joel Bradshaw in September; they live in Moorhead. Searle Swedlund to Emmy Isaackson ’04 in August; they live in Valley City, N.D.

Corene Knutson to Tyler Freeman ’07 in June; they live in Fargo, N.D. Julie Soppeland to Randy Coffman in June; they live in Princeton, Minn.



Karin McKenzie to Nick Brinkhoff in July; they live in Maple Grove, Minn. Rebeccah Stavenger to Jesse Tollefson in May; they live in Rosemount, Minn. Melissa Wollin to David Hanna in September 2012; they live in Minnetonka, Minn.

Kaley Hanson to Jake Krause ’10 in September 2012; they live in Richfield, Minn. Kristen Hokenstad to Neil McKeone in August; they live in Shakopee, Minn. Kali Messer to Jonathan Swift ’10 in July; they live in Sioux Falls, S.D. Katie Quitney to Luke Okland in September 2012; they live in Willmar, Minn. Andrea Voorhees to David Dinneen in September 2012; they live in West Fargo, N.D.

2001 Kristen Abbott to Miles Harris in June; they live in Federal Way, Wash.


Future Roommates Anna Marcusen, along with Josie and Riley Pris, played together at a 10-year reunion in Montana for their mothers, Emily (Malm) Marcusen ‘03 and Kelly (Thuesen) Pris ‘03, who were roommates at Concordia all four years. Emily and Kelly’s husbands, Nathan Marcusen and Jeremy Pris, are also 2003 graduates.

1990 Shelly Streich, Farmington, Minn., received a Teacher of Excellence Award from BestPrep, Brooklyn Park; she is the business education coordinator at Eden Prairie High School.

1992 Sara Meslow, Lake Elmo, Minn., was one of 10 individuals named as a 2013 Bakken Invitation honoree; she is the founder and executive director of Camp Odayin, the only camp in the Midwest for children with heart disease.

1995 Heidi (Storbakken) Johnson, Duluth, Minn., received the Max H. Lavine Award for Teaching Excellence, The College of St. Scholastica’s highest award given to faculty in recognition of excellent teaching.

2003 Dustin Little, Silver Spring, Md., was honored with the Joint Service Commendation Medal from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda. Treavor Peterson, Moorhead, was honored by the National Association of Electrical Distributors as one of tED Magazine’s 30 Under 35 Rising Stars for outstanding excellence, superior performance and notable accomplishment. Marija (Haugrud) Reiff, Coralville, Iowa, was awarded the Balch Prize for Best Master of Arts Thesis in English by the English department at the U of Virginia, Charlottesville.

2005 Michelle Urberg, Urbana, Ill., received the Martin Marty Junior Fellowship from the Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study

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of Religion, U of Chicago Divinity School, for showing promise on integrating research into teaching.

2009 Thomas Beadle, Fargo, N.D., was awarded the 2013 BILLD Fellowship (Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development) for promising new legislators in the Midwest by the Council of State Governments Midwest; he is a representative in the North Dakota State Legislature.

2012 Elise Tweten, St. Paul, Minn., received a Presidential Scholarship and a Fund for Leaders Scholarship from Luther Seminary and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Kelsey Myhre to Ryan Moran in December 2012; they live in Plymouth, Minn. Ashley Sternhagen to Jonathan Riches in March; they live in Porthcawl, U.K. Melissa Zimmerman to Erik Whittemore in March; they live in Donnelly, Minn.

2004 Meghan Gunderson to Brian Robertson in April; they live in Cloquet, Minn. Lacey Igo to Matthew Gasper in July; they live in Moorhead. Brandy Norris to David Riddle in April; they live in Bothel, Wash.

2005 Andrew Gunderson to Julie Hardin in July; they live in Grand Rapids, Mich. Kristine Nelson to Eric Martens ‘07 in April; they live in West Fargo, N.D.

2007 Calan Hofland to Amanda Huggett in June; they live in Fargo, N.D.

2010 Alyssa Graber to Austin McCabe-Juhnke in June; they live in Columbus, Ohio. Erin Johnson to Jared Loucks in October 2012; they live in Minot, N.D.

2011 Kristina Loken to Brian Lankow in September 2012; they live in Brookings, S.D. Anna Rohlfing to Jesse Tucker in August; they live in St. Paul, Minn.

2012 Kendal Christensen to Kirk Bjella ’10 in June; they live in Bismarck, N.D. Nicole Rutt to Michael Eikmeier in August; they live in Lafayette, Ind.

Births 1991 A girl, Kari, to Juan and Corine (Knutson) Borrero, Succasunna, N.J., in April.

Marriages 1975 Lori Grindland to Steve DeLaney in May; they live in Long Beach, Calif.

1981 Neil Gladen to Rosalva Vargas in June; they live in Palo Alto, Calif.

1985 Blair Moe to Shelly Silvernail in June; they live in St. Louis Park, Minn.

1994 Kari Green to Kit Basso in July; they live in Marysville, Ohio.

1997 Benjamin Bjorge to Renata Cardoso in March; they live in Glyndon, Minn.

Two Families Intertwined The Slette and Ranum families are bound in maroon and gold. Mike Ranum and Mike Slette were roommates at Concordia, and their eldest daughters, Ruth Ranum and Kristin (Houdek) Slette, were also roommates. The Ranums’ younger daughter, Emma, roomed with the Slettes’ future daughter-in-law, Morgan Christian, and graduated with the Slettes’ son, Erik. The Slettes’ younger daughter, Anne, recently ordered her Cobber ring, so her finger was bare. (l-r): Mike Ranum ‘79, Mary (Sorenson) Ranum ‘78, Ruth Ranum ‘11, Emma Ranum ‘13, Erik Slette ‘13, Morgan Christian ‘14, Anne Slette ‘15, Kristin (Houdek) Slette ‘10, Kim (Remark) Slette ‘79, Mike Slette ‘79

CLASS NOTES 1995 A boy, Beckett, to Scott and Sarah (Berg) Chur, Elk River, Minn., in July.

1996 A girl, Isabella, adopted by Chad and Julie (Kalland) Tvedt, Eagan, Minn.; Isabella was born in October 2012.

1997 A girl, Geneva, to Brian and Rebecca (Waldoch) Foro, Maplewood, Minn., in June.

1998 A girl, Anna, to Matthew and Betsy (Peterson) Cole, Owatonna, Minn., in June. A boy, Phillip, to Zachary and Valerie (Williams) Magnuson, Farmington, Minn., in January.

1999 A girl, Eponine, to Christa Brown-Switzer and Sean Switzer, Apple Valley, Minn., in February. A boy, Brodey, to Brett and Elizabeth (Rode) Danner, Maple Grove, Minn., in January. A girl, Libby, to Jeremy ‘93 and Steffanie (Peschong) Jorgenson, Moorhead, in March. A girl, Arabella, to Toni Rahn and Brian Solsrud, North Oaks, Minn., in June. A boy, Nathan, to Brie Swenson Arnold and Quinn Arnold, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in December 2012. A boy, Easton, to Phil and Amy (Johnson) Velsor, Mound, Minn., in June.

Whittier, Calif., in April. A girl, Greta, to Brian and Kristy (Anderson) Rolig, Minneapolis, in January. A girl, Margaret, to Mike and Mari (Kadow) Willie, New York Mills, Minn., in May. A boy, Melvin, to Anna Zbacnik and Paul Geffre, Falcon Heights, Minn., in April.

2002 A girl, Ellen, to Amanda (Wolf) ’03 and Dan Biebighauser, Moorhead, in May. A girl, Jacqueline, to Chuck and Kirsten (Anderson) Bublitz, St. Paul, Minn., in April. A boy, Oliver, to Shawna and Andrew Dwyer, Durham, N.C., in May. A boy, Theodore, to Ryland and Stephanie (Boen) Fleming, Fergus Falls, Minn., in July. A girl, Clara, to Steve ‘01 and Jennie (Taylor) Meinz, St. Paul, Minn., in August. A boy, Grady, to Elissa and Jon Oman, Crookston, Minn., in March. A boy, Blake, to Nicolas and Kendra (Anderson) Razink, Benson, Minn., in April. A boy, Vincent, to Douglas and Nicole (Rau) Vandenberg, Boston, in July. A girl, Kathryn, to Donald and Alisa (Johnson) Whitley, Alexandria, Va., in February. A girl, Harriet “Hattie,” to Nico Zbacnik and Lucie Turcotte, St. Paul, Minn., in August.


A girl, Sage, to Steve and Jessica (Larson) Billings, Elgin, Ill., in April. A boy, Max, to Mark and Jan (Brubakken) Ensrud, Northfield, Minn., in March. A girl, Alexa, to Rhonda and Shawn Morse, Regina, Saskatchewan, in December 2012. A boy, William, to Todd and Rehanna (Zuelke) Olson, Missoula, Mont., in November 2012. A boy, Reed, to Jeremy Peterson and Amanda Forsythe-Peterson, Plymouth, Minn., in January.

A girl, Clara, to Rachel (Clarens) and Jim Farnsworth, Lino Lakes, Minn., in July. A boy, Drew, to Steve and Ann (Pirsig) Hagen, Moorhead, in November 2012. A girl, Tehila, adopted by Brandon and Mishell (Bergs) Lemons, Port Washington, Wis., in January; Tehila was born in February 2012. A girl, Rosalind, to Shannon (Engstrom) ’04 and Dustin Little, Silver Spring, Md., in December 2012. A boy, Seeley, to Travis and Christa (Evert) Moszer, Moorhead, in April. A boy, Simon, to Andrew and Carrie (Gustafson) Peltier, Cambridge, Minn., in June. A girl, Nora, to Elizabeth and Treavor Peterson, Moorhead, in January. A boy, Finley, to Tim and Ashley (Beller) Quanbeck, Hardin, Mont., in October 2012.




A boy, Tyler, to Peter ‘99 and Jill (Anderson) Christopher, West Fargo, N.D., in February. A boy, Levi, to Luke and Julie (Blackburn) Ende, Hanover, Minn., in July. A girl, Kyleen, to Dan and Carmen (Magnus) Heinecke, Bigfork, Minn., in December 2012. A girl, Charlotte, to Steven and Crystal (Ivanish) Kveton, Stacy, Minn., in December 2012. A boy, Blaine, to Hal and Katie (Juhl) LaFleur, Woodbury, Minn., in December 2012. A girl, Maren, to Kevin and Gina (O’Neill) McCusker, Roslindale, Mass., in May. A boy, Paul, to Rebecca and Christopher Miller, Bigfork, Mont., in December 2012. A boy, Dekker, to Krista and Pete Mithun, Baxter, Minn., in July. A girl, Emily, to Heather (Koskovich) ‘04 and Ryan Reithmeier,

A girl, Anja, to Alfonso and Karin (Sanden) Garduno, Chicago, in June. A boy, Samuel, to Michael and Rebekah (Lyman) Hazelrigg, San Antonio, in January. A girl, Ingrid, to Jonathan ‘05 and Sarah (Shaw) Kauffman, Bar Nunn, Wyo., in August. A girl, Paige, to Matt ‘06 and Rachel (Mathson) Kleber, Verona, Wis., in February. A girl, Cora, to Dan and Wendy (Croatt) Kosel, Eden Prairie, Minn., in December 2012. A boy, Gabriel, to Christopher and Carrie (Wright) McKay, Barnesville, Minn., in May. A girl, Kinley, to Kyle and Lisa (Melius) Mueller, Faulkton, S.D., in January. Twins, a boy, Brooks, and a girl, Georgia, to Brent and Alison (Tague) Nelson, Maple Grove, Minn., in April. A boy, Toren, to Tayt and Nathalie (Miller)

Future Orchestra Member Finley James Quanbeck, son of Tim and Ashley (Beller) ‘03 Quanbeck, was born Oct. 15, 2012. Finley is pictured with his grandpa’s bass. Both his mother and grandfather, Don Beller ‘68, played in The Concordia Orchestra. Rinehardt, Moorhead, in July. A boy, Henry, to Tom and Lisa (Owen) Saunders, Fircrest, Wash., in July.

2005 A boy, Abram, to Gabriel and Stephanie (Johs) Gravning, Mandan, N.D., in June. Two boys, Delfino and Jacob, and a girl, Serenity, adopted by Jennifer (Menze-Thorson) and Cameron Magnall, McPherson, Kan., in July; Delfino was born in 2007, Serenity in 2008 and Jacob in 2009. A boy, Aiden, to Erik and Danielle (Smedley) Mullen, Moorhead, in May. A girl, Alyvia, to Heather and Ben Nylander, New Prague, Minn., in February. A girl, Madelynn, to Ron and Julie (Allen) Ramirez, Bloomington, Minn., in May. A girl, Liv, to Jenny (Rick) and Aaron Siegle, White Bear Lake, Minn., in July. A boy, Rogan, to Chris and Kris (Sather) Spaeth, Otsego, Minn., in February. A boy, Sven, to Nathan and Christine (Johnson) Tallackson, Grafton, N.D., in June. A boy, John, to Mark ‘02 and Nicole (Knutsen) Tuchscherer, St. Louis Park, Minn., in February. A boy, William, to Daniel ‘04 and Emily (Crary) Turner, Toronto, in June. A girl, Natalie, to Katie (Cordell) and James Weaver, Pierre, S.D., in November 2012. A boy, Oliver, to Dewey and Heidi (Young) Worker, Tustin, Calif., in December 2012.

2006 Twin girls, Audrey and Claire, to Justin and Laura (Martinson) Bohan, Fargo, N.D., in February. Twin boys, Liam and Carter, to Adam and Kristin (Weatherly) Guderian, West Fargo, N.D., in July. A girl, Olivia, to

Rachel (Landby) and Adam Kopperud, Brooklyn Center, Minn., in April. A boy, Isidore, to Rachel (Tepe) and Stephen Mollick, Hopkins, Minn., in December 2012. A girl, Liliana, to Matthew and Cherie (Smith) O’Brien, Coon Rapids, Minn., in July. A girl, Adelynn, to Tiffany (Klang) and Ryan Templeton, Lakewood, Colo., in June.

2007 A boy, Kenneth, to Tom and Erin (Anderson) Aulik, Golden Valley, Minn., in August. A girl, Madelyn, to Ross and Lisa (Hagy) Evenson, Eagan, Minn., in September 2012. A girl, Anna, to Dave and Kati (Langlie) Nelson, Halstad, Minn., in June. A girl, Avery, to Paul and Breanna (Dalzell) Olsen, St. Cloud, Minn., in July.

2008 A boy, Aaron, to Jaime and Kelly (Nervick) Bacon, Lakeview, Ore., in June. A boy, Mason, to Steven and Laurel (Roby) Dreckman, Forest Lake, Minn., in September 2012. A girl, Isabella, to Angie and Paul Frykman, New Prague, Minn., in April. A boy, Micah, to Shane and Melinda (Finke) Hollenbeck, Moorhead, in May. A girl, Norah, to Chad ‘01 and Ashley (Askew) Quamme, West Fargo, N.D., in July. A boy, Pierce, to Brandi (Doll) and Nicholas Trapp, Frazee, Minn., in April.

2009 A girl, Annika, to Bret and Kelsey (Puffe) Brovick, Moorhead, in June. A boy, Edward, to Benjamin and Maren Jystad-Spar, Fargo, N.D., in June. A girl, Natalie, to Elizabeth (Elton) and Scott Schumacher, West Fargo, N.D., in June. Concordia Magazine


CLASS NOTES February. Helen (Skillingberg) Harvey, 86, Froid, Mont., in March. Philip Hetland, 88, Moorhead, in April; he is survived by his wife, Lorraine. Alfred Loktu, 88, West Fargo, N.D., in June; he is survived by his wife, Ruth (Vikse) ’48. Gwendolyn (Chilson) Moller, 85, Rugby, N.D., in May; she is survived by her husband, Thomas. Paul Ness, 85, Detroit Lakes, Minn., in June; he is survived by his wife, Janice (Dahl) ’59. Doris (Hilmo) Ordahl, 85, Colorado Springs, Colo.; she is survived by her husband, John ’48. Louise (Hanson) Rostad, 85, Minneapolis, in August.


Sweet Dreams Anna Joy Nelson, who was born June 21, is the daughter of David and Kati (Langlie) ‘07 Nelson and the granddaughter of Bob and Teri (Ackling) ‘84 Langlie; Teri teaches in the education department at Concordia.



A girl, Aubrey, to Ariel Aakhus, Baxter, Minn., in July. A girl, Harper, to Nicole and Neal Raskin, Walworth, Wis., in August.

Wilmer Bjugstad, 93, Glen Ullin, N.D., in August. Sigfred Lysne, 94, Vero Beach, Fla., in July.



A girl, Rhea, to Jack and Katie (Zachman) Berning, Pensacola, Fla., in March.

Kenneth Rosvold, 92, Richfield, Minn., in September.



A girl, Marly, to Amanda Follmer and Eric Hestness ‘11, Maplewood, Minn., in May.

Marie (Erickson) Heen, 91, Denver, in May.

Memorials 1933 Lloyd Mostrom, 104, Springfield, Va., in September; he is survived by his wife, Jean. Eloise (Johnson) Noble, 100, Eden Prairie, Minn., in September.

1935 Merlin Rostad, 100, Cedarburg, Wis., in August.

1936 Agnes (Wik) Skinner, 97, Arcadia, Calif., in February.

1937 Borghild (Brager) Cleveland, 97, Arlington, S.D., in May.


1945 Marjorie (Arveson) Mickelson, 89, Golden Valley, Minn., in May. Yona (Swearson) Toso, 89, Falcon Heights, Minn., in May. Eleanore (Farstveet) Ward, 90, Omaha, Neb., in August; she is survived by her husband, Vernon.

1947 O. Ardis (Thvedt) Burt, 87, Gallatin Gateway, Mont., in August; she is survived by her husband, Woodruff. Theodore “Mark” Langley, 96, Moorhead, in October; he is survived by his wife, Lucille. Jean (Edhlund) McNeil, 87, Eden Prairie, Minn., in July. Thorwald “Unk” Rykken, 89, Black River Falls, Wis., in October.

1948 Margaret (Eidbo) Melby, 87, Detroit Lakes, Minn., in July. Harriet (Kolke) Powers, 89, Casselton, N.D., in July.

Pernell Canton, 95, Moorhead, in August.



S. Elwood Bohn, 86, Allenspark, Colo., in April; he is survived by his wife, Dorothy (Solberg) ’51. Howard “Hap” Casmey, 87, Vienna, Va., in February; he is survived by his wife, Sandy. Audrey (Gunderson) Dick, 86, Canoga Park, Calif., in December 2012; she is survived by her husband, Walter. Edith (Sevalson) Flaten, 85, Eau Claire, Wis., in

Carl Sanderson, 95, Bismarck, N.D., in February; he is survived by his wife, Marie. Lenora (Scheffler) Schwartz, 94, West Fargo, N.D., in May.

30 Concordia Magazine

Merle Bah, 84, Maplewood, Minn., in March. Virginia “Vye” (Raaen) Bale, 87, Salem, Ore., in October. William Bates, 85, Erhard, Minn., in September. L. James Brooks, 87, Lawrenceville, Ga., in May; he is survived by his wife, Edith (Maasjo) ’48. Jesse Bye, 85, Hutchinson, Minn., in September; he is survived by his wife, Charlotte. Irwin Flaten, 87, Eau Claire, Wis., in March. Robert Olson, 90, Bloomington, Minn., in October; he is survived by his wife, Erlene. Daniel “Peter” Teisberg, 85, Minneapolis, in September; he is survived by his wife, Grace.

1951 Mary Lou (Bueide) Anderson, 83, Moorhead, in June. Lyle Dahl, 84, Coon Rapids, Minn., in August; he is survived by his wife, Marilyn (Pedersen) ’52. Vivian Forseth, 87, Red Lake Falls, Minn., in June. Carol (Fark) Grinaker, 83, Moorhead, in September. George Ivesdale, 89, Hutchinson, Minn., in August; he is survived by his wife, Lova. James Krause, 82, Pauma Valley, Calif., in May; he is survived by his wife, Roselyn (Olson) ’59. Robert Peterson, 84, Bismarck, N.D., in April; he is survived by his wife, Beverly (Henning) ’52. James Runsvold, 84, Scottsdale, Ariz., in August; he is survived by his wife, Doris.

1957 Marsha (Card) Bjorkmann, 78, Thief River Falls, Minn., in July. Donovan Moe, 78, Waleska, Ga., in December 2012; he is survived by his partner, Brenda Daly. Roger Olson, 77, Kenyon, Minn., in October; he is survived by his wife, Maurine (Eiken).

1958 Byron Fatland, 77, Fargo, N.D., in May. Bradley Karow, 77, in April; he is survived by his wife, Suellen. Janice (Norum) Knutson, 76, Nevis, Minn., in April; she is survived by her husband, Paul ’56. Lucille (Hall) Marinos, 76, Plymouth, Minn., in July; she is survived by her husband, Milton. Gertrude “Bobbi” (Dryden) Quibell, 76, Fargo, N.D., in June; she is survived by her husband, Wayne.

1959 Blanche Davenport, 86, Fargo, N.D., in October. Cleone (Daughterty) Witte, 75, Madison, Wis., in May; she is survived by her husband, Rod.

1960 Donald Bihrle, 74, Palm Springs, Calif., in March. Gail (VanDerGriff) Ewest, 76, Minnetonka, Minn., in August.

1961 William Bjerke, 75, Jacobson, Minn., in October; he is survived by his wife, Linda. Luverne Eid, 73, Tucson, Ariz., and Detroit Lakes, Minn., in May; he is survived by his wife, Vicky. Arland Erickson, 75, Minneapolis, in October; he is survived by his wife, Kathleen. Darwin Gorder, 73, Fargo, N.D., in August; he is survived by his wife, Kay. James Hoxeng, Arlington, Va., in August.

1963 Marvin Johnson, 71, Sierra Vista, Ariz., in July 2012; he is survived by his wife, Ina.

1952 Doris (Bry) Lorents, 82, Palo Alto, Calif., in July; she is survived by her husband, Don ’51.

1953 Delbert Ring, 84, Nisswa, Minn., in October; he is survived by his wife, Marvel.

1954 Marlow “Red” Davidson, 82, St. Paul, Minn., in May.

1955 Helen (Crow) Erickson, 80, Moorhead, in August.

1956 Curtis Mitskog, 78, Wahpeton, N.D., in May; he is survived by his wife, Meredith.

Global Family Stephen and Jamie (Lipe) ‘03 Bennett work at Bethel American International School, Fiditi, Nigeria; their children are Elizabeth and Aaron.

CLASS NOTES In Memoriam Dr. Gene Lund,

91, Moorhead, professor emeritus of religion, died July 27. After graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College, he attended Augustana Lutheran Seminary and was ordained in 1946. He served a number of parishes before pursuing his master’s degree while teaching part time at Hamma Divinity School. He earned his Doctor of Theology at Princeton Theological Seminay and joined the religion department faculty at Concordia in 1956. He retired in 1988 after 32 years. Lund pioneered a television program, “Religion in the News,” and translated eight books on theology, one on child development and a children’s story, all from Swedish. He also wrote a textbook, as well as many book reviews and articles, and edited “Deep Runs the River,” a history of the Red River Valley Synod of the Lutheran Church in America. He is survived by his wife, Louise; five sons, John ‘76 (Diana), Rolf ‘77 (Lisa), Victor ‘79 (Jolyn), Eric ‘82 (Danae) and Nathan ‘86; several grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Serving in Slovakia Claudia (Richman) Nelson ‘64, Krystal Mondor ‘12, Anna (Meier) Svennungsen ‘08 and Kyle Svennungsen ‘08 are serving with ELCA Global Mission in Bratislava, Slovakia.



Paul Arenson, 70, Butler, Mo., in May; he is survived by his wife, Nancy. Carole (Guderjahn) Kaleva, 71, Cut Bank, Mont., in July; she is survived by her husband, Larry.

Sharon Anderson Renier, 56, Springfield, Ill., in February; she is survived by her husband, Edward Renier.


Roy Bredholt, 55, Shorewood, Minn., in August; he is survived by his wife, Faith.

Donald Monson, 70, Moorhead, in September. Marian (Davis) Wegener, 69, Pine River, Wis., in August 2012; she is survived by her husband, Paul ’64.

1966 Dwain Gregoire, 68, Metairie, La., in December 2012; he is survived by his wife, Diane.

1967 Marc Melberg, 68, Richmond, Va., in March; he is survived by his wife, Gayle (Pachal) ‘69. Karen (Helland) Nordvall, 67, Richfield, Minn., in September; she is survived by her husband, Robert.

1969 Elaine (Riess) Krueger, 65, Stillwater, Minn., in April.

1970 Bonita “Bonnie” (Kespohl) Fisher, 64, Minneapolis, in June; she is survived by her husband, Scott.

1971 L. Kent Zimmerman, 64, Fargo, N.D., in June; he is survived by his wife, Jean (Aarthun) ’77.

1973 Alan Duppler, 62, Valley City, N.D., in September.


1983 Paula (Overman) Andrews, 52, Hopkins, Minn., in August; she is survived by her husband, Terry. Bradley Peterson, 51, Nisswa, Minn., in May; he is survived by his wife, Tammi.

1985 Virginia (Anderson) Sunford, 84, Saco, Mont., in July.

1986 Melanie (Roberts) Davis, 48, Spring Grove, Ill., in May; she is survived by her husband, Tom. Tom Reinhiller, 49, Fargo, N.D., in September.

1988 Marilyn (Morken) Honsey, 65, Stewartville, Minn., in February; she is survived by her husband, James.

1997 Shawna Ikola, 37, Osceola, Wis., in October 2012.

2002 Jessica Kjelden, 34, Forman, N.D., in September.

2010 James Hoggatt, September.



Vivian Wensel, 79, Moorhead, professor emeritus of physical education and health, died Oct. 2. Wensel taught at Concordia for 35 years until her retirement in 1997. She loved teaching and getting to know her students. She also led popular May Seminars. Wensel earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Minnesota State University Moorhead after graduating from Hawley (Minn.) High School. She was very active and enjoyed biking, skiing, volunteering, golfing and traveling. On her most recent trip to Norway, she both biked and golfed. Wensel was an active member of the Sons of Norway and volunteered with many different groups including the Moorhead Volunteer Police Department, Trinity Lutheran Church, the American Red Cross and Concordia. She is survived by her children, Jennifer ’82 (Kurt) Gummer and Fritz (Rhonda); four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. CLASS NOTES POLICY Because of space restrictions, we confine our class notes to news from the past six months. We do not accept announcements of upcoming marriage or acceptance to graduate school; please submit following the wedding or graduation. Memorials should be sent in by family, with an obituary if possible. Photographs should be accompanied by a brief description, including when it was taken and a list of those in the photo (including maiden names if Cobbers), their grad years, and cities and states of residence. Children of graduates should be pictured in Concordia clothing. Emailed photos should be taken in at least 300 DPI resolution in TIFF or JPEG formats. Submission of photos does not guarantee publication. Class notes and photographs may be submitted online at classnotes or mailed to: Class Notes, Communications and Marketing, Concordia College, 901 8th St. S., Moorhead, MN 56562. Deadline for the next issue is March 1, 2014. Questions? Email


Concordia Magazine




Writing about the journey is W. Scott Olsen’s style. The author and Concordia English professor has been examining the place between takeoff and landing for years. In his latest work, “Prairie Sky,” published by University of Missouri Press, Olsen pilots a small plane, taking colleagues and friends above the North Dakota prairie to hear their perspectives on topics ranging from theological thin place and thick time to looking for a wall of trees that was said to stretch from Canada to Mexico. The following excerpt is from a flight Olsen takes with campus pastor Tim Megorden looking for the geographic center of North America. “What towns will we be flying over?” Tim asks. I point to the moving map on the instrument panel, the little picture of an airplane and a line from us straight to Rugby. Town names appear on the left and right. Arthur. Page. Colegate. Galesburg. Hope. Cooperstown. Jessie. Binford. I tell him I have a paper chart too, if he wants to follow along. But the names are enough, and his eyes return to the prairie under the wings. A large radio tower goes by on the right. “Can you imagine building that?” I ask. “It’s as high as we are now.” Fields of small grains quilt their way to every compass point. Small drainages appear in the fields, wind their way toward lower ground. Canola appears, the bright-yellow crop a sharp and pretty contrast to the many shades of deep green. A wind farm appears in the distance. A semitruck heads down a gravel road, the white plume of dust rising behind him and lingering in the air.

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It’s the type of day where every sight is an invitation to wondering. See that town? Who lives there? See that road? I wonder what it’s like to be there. Where does this one begin? Who drives it so often the grooves are more remembered than seen, and who drives it for a first time? Look at that small lake. I wonder if there are any fish. We cross small streams and look for the Sheyenne River and Lake Ashtabula in the distance off the left side. Tim takes pictures of the meandering courses, the thick trees on each riverbank. Water, we tell each other, is a deep-rooted fascination. Ancient and genetic. On the prairie, it’s the break from the straight-line section roads and crop rows. Thomas Jefferson, I say, set up the surveying that created the grids we see, but water’s sense of history has nothing to do with measurement. We are flying at three thousand feet above sea level, about one thousand eight hundred feet above the ground here, at nine on a clear Friday morning. Below us, just farmsteads and waterways, roads and windbreaks and marks on the land. Evidence of agriculture, economics, culture, settlement, transportation, politics, history, geology, hydrology, limnology, meteorology, psychology, and art. Tag, I think. Pick a target. Reach. It all could not be prettier. I change radio frequency to hear the small airport traffic. “The difference in color would indicate it’s not as flat down there as it appears from the ground,” Tim says. “Wind is picking up,” I say. “We may be in for a couple bumps.” “This is so cool, so cool,” he says.

The center of North America is too good to pass, even if it’s not really true. Rugby claims the title and has a monument, a stone cairn with a sign on each side that reads: “Geographical Center of North America. Rugby, N.D.” People stop and have their pictures taken here. Across the parking lot, at the Cornerstone Café, people buy cups of coffee, milkshakes, and hamburgers and marvel at the wonder of being in the very exact precise middle of North America. It doesn’t matter that this version of the middle doesn’t include Mexico, much less the rest of southern North America. It doesn’t matter that the real center, even just considering the United States and Canada, is actually sixteen miles away, six miles west of Balta, North Dakota, population seventythree, in the middle of a large pond. There is a marker here, something people can touch and feel and see.

There is no such thing as the Geographical Center of North America. Nonetheless, we park the airplane and go inside the small terminal building. The airport has a courtesy car for pilots, and we drive through town to the Cornerstone Café. On the street side of the parking lot, a large stone cairn marks the spot. I take a picture of Tim, smiling, his hand on the rock. He takes a picture of me, smiling, arms outstretched. Even if it’s all a fantasy, we are standing in a place people need to define. The day is warm, and the sunshine is bright. There is no wind at all. We walk to the café and place an order to go. An oatmeal raisin cookie for me. A cup of coffee for Tim. Both are really very good. Back at the airport, I look at the pictures, and it dawns on me: I never touched the thing. Stood next to it, yes. But my hand did not meet the thing itself. Tag, I think. Or not. Just run, chase, reach.

Concordia Magazine


Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage 901 8th St. S., Moorhead, MN 56562

PAID Concordia College

Total Freedom


By Jessica Marken ‘14

s extra

Australia always seemed like an unreachable paradise to me. I have been fortunate enough to see the ocean multiple times with my family and always felt an overwhelming peace and excitement from it. Studying in Australia gave me inspiration to follow my dream of working for an extreme sports company, showed me I can do anything I put my mind to and opened my eyes to how big and diverse our world is. I took this photo on a hike during a camping trip my last week in the country. Four-wheeled vehicles could drive right on the beach, the ocean splashing the wheels. As I sat there listening to the sound of waves crashing, I started thinking. Thinking of all the things I had seen,

the people I encountered, how crazy it was I could actually surf among the locals and my future. This photo represents the breathtaking bliss I felt from exploring with no boundaries and all the days I spent with sandy toes and salty hair. I felt this photo best portrayed the freeing Australian beach lifestyle I could finally say I mastered. Photo: Submitted

Marken, Baudette, Minn., is the winner of “Per’s Pick” in the 2013 Global Learning Expo Photo Contest. Additional photos from students’ study away experiences can be viewed at

Concordia Magazine: Fall 2013  
Concordia Magazine: Fall 2013