Alumni Events & Programs (2020)

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The purpose of Concordia College is to influence the affairs of the world by sending into society thoughtful and informed men and women dedicated to the Christian life.

Greetings from Concordia We hope that this mailer finds you and your family well in these unique times. As you may imagine, navigating our way through COVID-19 contingencies has been a challenging time for the entire campus and has required all of our creative problemsolving talents. We hope that you have joined us over the late spring and early summer for some of our virtual events, including our virtual commencement commemorating our newest alumni from the Class of 2020. As we move into the fall, we look forward to working to maintain our ties with an engaged Cobber community in every way – virtual and in-person where permitted by health guidelines. In the following pages you will find news, ways to engage with the college and upcoming events. Watch for program updates and additional events on our Alumni webpage. You will also see an update on COVID-19 campus operations and I also invite your attention to our campus COVID webpage to learn more about our college response to this challenging health issue. Thank you for all your support of Concordia College. We look forward to connecting with you in the coming year and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn! Roll Cobbs!

Eric Johnson ’82 Director, Alumni Relations

National Alumni Board The Concordia College Alumni Association sustains and advances Concordia’s mission by strengthening the relationship between the college and its alumni, and alumni and students, through active engagement, supporting enrollment, giving and career initiatives. Board members serve a four-year term, with the exception of officers, and are recommended by peers at OFFICERS President: Karen (Pfaff) Paul ’84 Vice President: Jeffrey Cadwell ’89 ALUMNI BOARD MEMBERS Ann Beck ’80 Eric Beenken ’88 Kathryn (Kathy) Benson ’64 Sharon (Muir) Buhr ’68 Tim Bye ’79 Karl Carlson ’93 Elizabeth (Maiers) Cheney ’03 Alexandre Cyusa ’15 Jon Evert ’68

Secretary: Chris (Lomis) Simon ’79

Sarah (Cobb) Guzman ’07 Anna Haugo ’14 Mary (Moe) Johnson ’73 Daniel Leingang ’92 Emily (Ortloff) McGarvey ’02 Rosemary “Rosie” (Sauvageau) Nestingen ’10 Rolf Pederson ’93 Karen (Lattu) Polzin ’77

Steve Rohr ’92 Pete Seljevold ’84 Aaron Siegle ’05 Cynthia Sillers ’70 Ron Stuxness ’63 Ashley Thompson ’16 Eric Warren ’74 1

ARE OUR BEST RECRUITERS What can you do? Share your Concordia experience with future Cobber students and refer them at


Working toward long-term career goals begins the moment you step on campus.


Current Cobbers are ready for what’s next in four years. Guaranteed.



Signature integrative learning opportunities (PEAKs) give an edge in future academic and occupational endeavors

Generous financial aid awards bring the average cost of attendance to just $23,393.



More than 87% of Cobbers continue their education or have jobs within nine months of graduation.


The Fargo-Moorhead metro area has a booming economy with an emphasis on entrepreneurship and tops the list of many nattional job market rankings.


Whether it’s been a few years or a few decades since you’ve been on campus, you’re still a huge part of the Concordia community. Stay connected by updating your contact info at Cobber Salt – Students And Alumni Linked Together With the core focus of connecting alumni and students, SALT emphasizes lifelong Cobber participation in the vitality of the college by developing class affinity, facilitating career networking, teaching students a lifestyle of philanthropy, enhancing existing Concordia traditions, and providing opportunities for students to learn and grow as leaders. Learn more about this dynamic student group, dedicated to building relationships between alumni and students, at Virtual Events: While we are unable to be together on campus, we continue to engage through virtual events. No matter where you live, you can join the Cobber community through online events. Watch for email and social media invitations and check the event webpage at Career Services We’ve still got your back whether you are job hunting or in career transition! Discover your ideal vocation with the help of the Concordia Career Center: 218.299.3020 or Schedule an appointment with a career advisor, view job openings, or mentor and provide career opportunities for students on the Concordia networking platform On-Campus Access and Worship When the health guidelines permit, remember that you are invited to use the Concordia pool, track and other spaces, which are open to students, staff and alumni. Please join us for chapel during the academic year through our live stream

News & Media News & Notes Know what’s happening by subscribing to the electronic Concordia newsletter at (weekly emails September-May; monthly June-August). Concordia Magazine Read campus highlights, class notes and Concordia stories by mail or online in the winter at


Share Refer a Future Cobber Help build the next generation of Cobbers! Tell the young people in your life about your Concordia experience and refer potential students to the Admission office at Social Media Join Concordia conversations and help spread the word on college happenings through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media channels. Be sure to use #cordmn. Concordia Class Ring The official Cobber ring is the recognized symbol of Concordia College, signifying its tradition and creating bonds between alumni worldwide. Repair and purchase info is provided at Little Niblet T-shirt Concordia celebrates the birth of future Cobbers! If you have a new addition (ages 0-2) to your alumni family, the Office of Alumni Relations will send you a free “Little Niblet” 18-month T-shirt. To request one, fill out the class notes form at License Plate Want to show your Cobber pride around town? Purchase a vanity plate that displays the Cobber “C” throughout the State of Minnesota. Search for “collegiate license plates” at Cobber Bookstore Update your Kernel swag at Give Our world is in need of brave and critical thinkers committed to loving their neighbor. This makes a Concordia education more important than ever. With your gift, you help make learning possible for current and future Cobbers. Thank you! Give Today:


SAVE DATE November




MAKE A PLANNED OR LEADERSHIP GIFT You can make a profound and lasting impact through your generosity. Many donors are surprised by the options available to them that make transformational gifts possible. Leave a legacy that strengthens the college and the experiences that equip students for lives of influence and service.

A Greeting from the Vice President Dear Alumni and Friends, It is so good to join this Concordia community! Are you surprised to learn a pastor is the new vice president for Advancement? I have long taught of God’s call to connect what gives us joy and purpose to our work in service to others. This Lutheran understanding of vocation is evident in Concordia’s mission and is what drew me to the college. Concordia is a place where ideas are born and discoveries are made. Like many of you, I am so aware of the complicated issues we face in our communities, nation and world. Over the years, as I pondered solutions, I have seen how Concordia not only prepares students for careers but equips them to boldly confront these complex challenges. As I witnessed Concordia preparing students for a life of meaning and purpose, I knew God was calling me to serve the college in a deeper and more impactful way. From the moment I began in January, I have experienced exceptional acts of kindness and enjoyed forging new relationships. It has been pure joy to meet students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. As we look ahead, there are so many ways you can help Concordia, and the students we serve, thrive. Share Concordia’s story with friends and prospective students, support the college financially, volunteer as a mentor, or pray for the future of our beloved mission. We look forward to partnering with you. Soli Deo Gloria,

Rev. Terry Brandt

Being a Cobber doesn’t stop when you walk across the graduation stage – stay connected with us as you move into the next stage of your life. With young alumni events in the Twin Cities and FargoMoorhead, a special Facebook group with updates and invites, and the chance to create events in your own community, we hope you’ll keep living the Cobber dream. Reach out to to get involved. 5




Distance learning began in response to the pandemic. Three hundred of our most vulnerable Cobbers received more than $59,000 in emergency funding for critical food, travel, and technology needs.


The newest class of Concordia graduates celebrated with a virtual commencement. Congratulations to the Class of 2020!


Concordia opened its first on-campus food pantry to help students experiencing food insecurity caused by the pandemic.



The Emergency Response Team continues to work closely with the Center for Disease Control and the Minnesota Department of Health. Students will return to campus with physical distancing measures and a modified academic calendar to protect the health and safety of our campus community. Learning at Concordia will look different – yet our commitment to providing rich academic and co-curricular experiences remains the same.

Learn more about Concordia’s response to COVID-19 at 6


This is a challenging time for students. Many are facing serious hardships that will make continuing their education difficult. Yet the Cobber Spirit remains strong, creative and resilient. Together we can ensure all Cobbers have the emergency financial aid, academic and emotional support, and enhanced safety measures they need to succeed this fall.


Join us with your gift using the enclosed envelope or online at

Thank you for caring for Cobbers.


Engage By sharing your ideas, time or resources, you make immense contributions to past, current and future Cobbers. If you’d like to participate, contact Alumni Relations at 218.299.3734 or visit Mentor/Professional Guide Get to know a Concordia student who’s interested in your occupation or area of study, answer questions about your career path and/or invite a student to visit your workplace. Post job opportunities for young Cobbers at Book Club Connect with fellow Cobber alumni, faculty/staff, current students, and current/former parents to read and discuss a variety of fiction novels in our new Concordia College Fiction Book Club. Join the group at Class Agent Write the annual summer class letter with updates on your classmates, and work with the reunion planning committee during your reunion years. Reunion Team Assist your class agent with class celebrations and fundraising goals. Invite classmates to your reunion and to give back in honor of the important milestone. Twin Cities or Fargo-Moorhead Cord Committee Plan social, educational, networking and service activities for alumni in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and the many alumni in Fargo/West Fargo/Moorhead. Corn Feed Host Gather area alumni to strengthen relationships between alumni, parents and students. Costs up to $200 are reimbursed. Minneapolis Concordia Women Connect Committee Organize speaker events twice a year, designed for alumnae to network and engage with world topics. National Alumni Board (NAB) Provide valuable feedback, recruit new students, encourage giving, support career readiness and recognize outstanding alumni contributions. Alumni Sustainability Network Encourage a lifestyle of sustainability among students and in your community. Regional Alumni Volunteer Engage local alumni through social, mentoring, educational or volunteer activities. 8

FALL EVENTS As we continue to plan for every COVID-19 contingency, campus leaders have made the decision to limit our on-campus fall events to students only. This decision was made to protect the health of our students and alumni who would be likely to interact for our fall events. Most notably this means that our centennial homecoming will be students only. We look forward to in-person events as soon as we are able and especially to homecoming 2021 which we hope will be an epic celebration.


Dates to Remember ALUMNI G OL F TO U R NA M ENTS Concordia Baseball Golf Scramble 11 a.m. July 27 Greystone Golf Club Sauk Centre, Minn. Concordia Football Golf Tournament Noon, Aug. 7 Moorhead Country Club

Cobber Golf Tournament 1 p.m. Aug. 20 Meadows Golf Course, Moorhead Clay Nagel Wrestling Golf Tournament 1 p.m. Aug. 29 Albany Golf Club, Albany, Minn.

MORE ALUMNI EVEN TS Family Weekend (this will be a student-only weekend) Sept. 18-20 Homecoming (this will be a student-only weekend) Oct. 2-4 Lorentzsen Breakfasts Feb. 12, March 12, April 9 Barry Auditorium, Moorhead Offutt School PresentsTwin Cities Spring TBD Offutt School PresentsFargo/Moorhead TBD Concordia Giving Day Nov. 19 Support student scholarships The Concordia Orchestra Tour TBD Twin Cities Concordia Women Connect TBD

Concordia Christmas Concerts TBD Moorhead Concordia Christmas Concerts TBD Twin Cities The Concordia Choir Tour Feb. 27-March 14, 2021 Northeast United States The Concordia Band Tour TBD National Book Awards at Concordia March 11-12, 2021 Readings and Conversation Thursday, March 11, 2021 Celebration of Student Scholarship April 14, 2021 Commencement Weekend April 30-May 2, 2021 11:30 a.m. May 2, Legacy Brunch


Spirituality of Wine Tour to Champagne, Alsace and Germany Mosel Regions // May 4-15, 2021 The Spirituality of Wine Tour offers its participants an immersion into French and German culture, history and wine with co-leaders Dr. Roy Hammerling, chair/professor of religion, and Josh Hammerling, MFA, owner, and winemaker at Blue Ox Wine Co. in Berkeley, Calif. Outlander Trip to Scotland // May 15-24, 2021 Follow the footsteps of Jamie and Claire with an Outlander tour through the Lowlands and Highlands of Scotland with faculty leaders Dr. Amy Watkin, associate professor of English, and Dr. Darcie Sell, associate professor of psychology. Visit the areas in Scotland that inspired Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” books and filming locations for the “Outlander” TV series. Cycling in Northern Spain: Catalunya // June 2-11, 2021 Join President William and Anne Craft on another European cycling adventure through the beautiful rolling countryside and gorgeous Mediterranean Coastline of Northern Spain. This region has a fascinating culture and rich historical past. Norway // June 17-27, 2021 Cross the Atlantic with Dr. Lisa Sethre-Hofstad, vice president for Student Development and Campus Life and professor of psychology. Each stop on this tour of Norway will surpass the last with breathtaking views and scenic splendor. Alumni Volunteer Opportunity in Tanzania and Haiti Experience alumni travel as global service learning with a team of volunteers from Concordia College and Concordia Language Villages. Join a team teaching English or French in Tanzania or Haiti in summer 2021 (exact dates TBD). Germany (Lutherland and Oberammergau) // May 15-28, 2022 Join faculty leaders Dr. Roy Hammerling, professor/chair of religion and Dr. Larry Papenfuss, director, Dovre Center for Faith and Learning, on this 12-day trip that will take you to the landmarks and countryside that influenced Martin Luther. Enjoy an opportunity to see the highly anticipated Oberammergau Passion Play, the 42nd decennial productions since the 1600s.


Honoring our Alumni

The National Alumni Board recognizes alumni who are notably carrying out the mission of the college and who have distinguished themselves in their careers and service to others by conferring upon them the Alumni Achievement Award (alumni of more than 20 years) and the Sent Forth Award (alumni of less than 20 years). We also honor alumni of any age who are devoted to local community service with the Called to Serve Award. Nominate an outstanding alumnus/a for and learn more about these awards at

Sent Forth Award Recipients Cmdr. Brian C. Kesselring ’00 joined the Navy in 2001. Following fighter jet training, Kesselring served with several squadrons and trained aircrew at the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN). He has more than 3,900 flight hours, 812 carrier arrested landings, over 120 combat missions, and received several medals and awards. Most recently, Kesselring was selected to serve as the Blue Angels’ commander leading a team of 141 members serving as ambassadors to the Navy and Marines. Tara (Steuber) Wilson ’06 earned her master’s degree and a doctorate, both in mathematical sciences, from Clemson University where she was honored with the Outstanding Citizenship Award in 2009. She is currently senior decision science consultant for The Walt Disney Co., based in Orlando, Fla. Her team performs analytical consultation, research, and applications/systems development to optimize business decisions for various segments across the company, including several resorts, the Disney Cruise Line, and ABC and ESPN. Called to Serve Award Recipients Jon Pederson ’72, president and owner of Ruffridge-Johnson Equipment Co., enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps serving in Vietnam before returning to Concordia. As a child, Pederson was active in Scouting and held leadership roles as an adult. He was instrumental in a $15 million remake of south Minneapolis, the National Norwegian Center in America, home to Norway House where he served as board chair and capital campaign chair, and Concordia Language Villages where he served on the National Advisory Board. Pederson passed away in August 2019.


Lynn (Fragale) Foulke ’82 is CEO of RE/MAX Results, the ninth largest real estate company in the nation with more than 1,200 sales executives and 200 employees. Foulke climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and, after witnessing the poverty in the nearby village, she formed a charitable organization, Safaris With A Heart. The foundation raises money for the village of Pasua, Moshi, Tanzania, East Africa, and she leads charity treks where part of the group climbs the mountain while the rest work on community projects.

Alumni Achievement Award Recipients Dr. Bennett Larson ’63 is Corporate Fellow Emertius in the Materials Science and Technology Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, Tenn., where he began his 45-year career as a research physicist in 1969. His work included development and application of new and innovative X-ray diffraction techniques. He has authored or co-authored numerous scientific papers, presented at national and international scientific meetings, and won a number of prestigious awards. Although formally retired, Larson remains actively involved in scientific research at ORNL. Rachel (Nelson) Hollstad ’70 founded Hollstadt & Associates Inc., an information technology and management consulting company, in 1990 and grew it to more than 185 employees before selling it in 2012. Hollstadt sponsored women in leadership events and gave back to the community including launching Big Give based on Oprah’s idea. Hollstadt is a member of Concordia’s Board of Regents and board member for the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota, among other organizations. Robert C. Johnson ’71, retired manager of music organizations for St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., passed away in October after a yearlong battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Johnson’s office was responsible for managing all aspects of the St. Olaf Band, St. Olaf Choir, and St. Olaf Orchestra, including arranging tours, production of the St. Olaf Christmas Festival, and managing St. Olaf Records. He was honored with several awards including the ACE award for lifetime achievement from the American Choral Directors Association. Karen (Quanbeck) Grandstand ’77, a shareholder with Fredrikson & Byron, is a nationally recognized financial services regulatory attorney and financial industry advisor. Prior to Fredrikson, she had a 14-year career with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Grandstand is a member of the Minnesota State Bar, the American Bar, and the Hennepin County Bar Associations. She is a past and current member of several boards, committees, and associations, including the Concordia College Board of Regents and received the Concordia College Regents Award in 2000.