C o n c o r d i a C o l l e g e // M o o r h e a d , M i n n e s o ta // w i n t e r 2 0 1 8
ROOTED AND OPEN
ca lle d to ri se
in te gr ate d sci e n c e c e n te r
c la s s n ot e s
Dear Alumni and Friends, What an extraordinary fall! New student enrollment is up more than 9% over two years ago, the Integrated Science Center opened the first day of class, and Concordia launched the public phase of its comprehensive campaign. Last fall, the biggest jump in new students came from international arrivals – an exceptional achievement at a time when students from other countries have sometimes been more inclined to seek a college education elsewhere. This fall, the gain came in U.S. domestic first-year students. Kudos to Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing Karl Stumo and all of his colleagues. Those new students arrived just in time for the Integrated Science Center to open: 10 years in the dreaming and designing, and 18 fast-paced months in the building, it invites students into 166,000 square feet for science and mathematics. Kudos to Vice President for Finance Linda Brown, to faculty shepherd Professor Ellen Aho, to Dean Eric Eliason and Rebecca Amundsen in Academic Affairs, and to Director of Facilities Wayne Flack. At Homecoming, under the leadership of Vice President for Advancement Teresa Harland, we launched the public portion of our comprehensive campaign. It calls on all of us who love Concordia to RISE to influence the affairs of the world, supporting learning that is integrative, inclusive, and innovative: • Integrative because it requires students to apply the discoveries of the liberal arts to the real challenges of life in community • Inclusive because it prepares graduates to flourish in the diversity of their world, and to practice faithful love of neighbor • Innovative because it offers new programs – neuroscience, computer and data science, finance, and much more – for undergraduates and new learning for post-collegiate professionals. Already, we’ve risen to 80% of our $150 million goal! Two examples of innovation for post-baccalaureate learners: This past May, the Offutt School of Business, with leadership from Dean Brewer Doran and Professor Susan Geib, inaugurated our Executive Education program to stellar reviews from more than 60 participants. Exec Ed opens again this February. This past year, the college, through the Concordia Language Villages and their Executive Director Christine Schulze and Senior Group Director Martin Graefe, was named one of only nine National Language Training Centers for the U.S. Department of Defense. Defense personnel now come to CLV for immersion in the critical languages they need in some of the world’s most demanding settings for service. Equally exciting have been developments for our undergraduates. This fall, Dr. Edward Antonio – born in Zimbabwe, doctorate in theology from Cambridge – began as our Chief Diversity Officer, leading us to embrace the common humanity of peoples from around the world who will come here to learn. The National Science Foundation grant for first-generation, low-income student scholarships, led by Professor Mark Jensen, will enrich the diversity of our student body. And thanks to the leadership of our faculty under Dean Eric Eliason and Integrative Learning Director Professor Joan Kopperud, the new PEAK requirement began: starting with this year’s new class, every Concordia student must complete two extended projects that tackle, in real time, the unscripted problems of the real world. Concordia isn’t chasing after what higher education will mean in the 21st century. We’re defining it, preparing our students for the great work of their lives.
President William J. Craft
ConcordiaCollege.edu/magazine On the Cover Concordia celebrated the Reformation, transformation, serving neighbors and journeying together with an ecumenical worship service in September. Liturgical artist Paul Oman captured the event on canvas as a lasting memory of the college’s celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
Classes Start in the ISC Students are taking full advantage of the bright light, new study spots and collaborative learning spaces in the new Integrated Science Center. features
iving the Mission L On being a Lutheran college in today’s world
Together we RISE Concordia announces comprehensive campaign
VP for Enrollment and Marketing: Dr. Karl A. Stumo ’92 // Editor: Joshua Lysne ’96 Managing Editor: Laura Caroon ’06 Art Direction: Caleb Fugleberg // Editorial and Design Team: Amy J. Aasen ’95, Evan Balko ’12, Tracey J. Bostick, James M. Cella, Kim Kappes, Amy E. Kelly ’95, Caroline Klinkmueller, Morgan Lewis, Eric Lillehaugen ’11, Danyel Moe ’17, Eme Otto ’17, Kaylin Pavlik, John Phelps, Lori J. Steedsman, Kayla Stenstrom
Immersive English in Africa Language program pilots in Tanzania
Introducing Executive Education New programming for professionals
Concordia Magazine Winter 2018 Volume 56 Concordia Magazine is published once a year by the Office of Communications and Marketing, Concordia College, 901 8th St. S., Moorhead, MN 56562 (firstname.lastname@example.org). To change your address or unsubscribe from the mailing list, contact Alumni Records at 218.299.3743, email@example.com, or update your record online at ConcordiaCollege.edu/alumniupdate
© 2018 Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota 921476/41M/0118
Students lined up to meet the authors of “March: Book Three” during a book signing.
SPEAKING FOR CIVIL RIGHTS
“We are one people. We are one family. We all live in the same house. The American house. The world house,” Rep. John Lewis said to the Concordia community and 250 area high school students. Lewis, a Georgia congressman and civil rights activist, Andrew Aydin, digital director and policy advisor to Lewis, and graphic novelist Nate Powell visited campus in October to present on Concordia’s Summer Book Read: “March: Book Three,” a best-selling graphic novel on the Civil Rights Movement and the first comic book ever to receive a National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Audience members greeted Lewis with a warm welcome and a standing ovation. They listened as he told his story about being denied a library card as a child solely based on the color of his skin, meeting Martin Luther King Jr. at the age of 18, and dedicating his life to fighting for civil 2|
rights. Lewis was part of a group of activists who were beaten while trying to board segregated buses. He was arrested 40 times in the 1960s and ’70s, and another five times as a congressman. Co-author Aydin spoke of the difficult process of getting “March” published. He wanted to find a way to accurately depict Lewis’ amazing life as an activist. The authors, along with graphic artist Powell, faced many rejections until one publisher finally said yes. “This book is for all of America,” Lewis said. “It is for all people, but especially young people, to understand the essence of the Civil Rights Movement, to walk through the pages of history to learn about the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence, to be inspired to stand up, to speak out, and to find a way to get in the way when you see something that is not right, not fair, not just.” ◊
NEW LEADERSHIP ANNOUNCED
FINANCE LAB OPENS
The Offutt School of Business’ new cutting-edge James Parke Technology Center opened for spring semester 2017. Live trading simulations and access to professional finance software offer students real-world application of portfolio management. The lab was funded by Jim Parke ’68, a retired chief financial officer of GE Capital Services, one of the largest financial services companies in the country. He was regarded as one of the nation’s top chief financial officers. Parke served on the Board of Regents and was chair of the 13-member Global Leadership Board that played a vital role in the renovation of the Grant Center, home of the Offutt School of Business. ◊
CONCORDIA CHRISTMAS CONCERT EARNS EMMY
The production of the 2016 Christmas Concert, “Christmas at Concordia: Gather Us In, O Child of Peace,” earned a regional Emmy. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences held the Upper Midwest Regional Emmy Gala in October, where the award was announced. Produced by Twin Cities Public Television, the award was given in the category of special event coverage and featured the 2016 Concordia Christmas Concert. “It is a tremendous experience to collaborate with such committed artists to create this Christmas experience each year,” said Dr. René Clausen, artistic director of the concert. “To have our work recognized with this award is gratifying.” “Christmas at Concordia: Gather Us In, O Child of Peace” showcased the talents of nearly 400 student musicians in four choirs and the orchestra. The program aired across the country this year. ◊
Dr. Lisa Sethre-Hofstad has been named Concordia’s vice president for Student Development and Campus Life. Sethre-Hofstad took over the revised division leading student support, student development, and campus life. Now in her 22nd year at Concordia, Sethre-Hofstad is a professor of psychology and previously served in several academic roles, including associate dean of the college and dean of Collegetown. She has been recognized on campus through leadership roles and through Centennial research grants. Beyond Concordia, she has been honored as a Fulbright Scholar, a Scholar of the American-Scandinavian Foundation, a Thrivent Fellow, and a participant in the HERS Summer Leadership Institute for Women in Higher Education. Jeff Bretherton was hired as the first full-time athletic director in the history of the college. Bretherton has experience in Division III athletics and the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. He was a senior development officer and assistant football coach at St. John’s University, vice president of development for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, principal with the Lost Cowboy Group in Missoula, Mont., and director of development for the Heart of the Rockies Initiative in Missoula. Dr. Stephanie Ahlfeldt, professor of communication studies and theatre art, was named associate dean of the college. Ahlfeldt joined the CSTA department in 2004. Prior to joining the Concordia faculty, she worked as a lecturer and adjunct instructor at North Dakota State University, Minnesota State University Moorhead and M State. ◊
WINTER winter 2018
CHIEF DIVERSITY OFFICER HIRED, DIVERSITY OFFICE CREATED
Dr. Edward Antonio has been hired as Concordia’s inaugural chief diversity officer. This new position was created to embrace diversity on campus and increase and support diversity in all areas of campus life. It was formed as part of an initiative for diversity and inclusion that began in 2016. Antonio comes to the college from Denver, where he has been part of the Iliff School of Theology since 1997. He served as the Harvey H. Potthoff associate professor of theology and social theory, associate dean of diversities, and director of the peace and justice programs. He also taught at the University of Denver as part of the core faculty of the Conflict Resolution Institute in the Korbel School of International Studies. The Office of Diversity also includes Amena Chaudhry, diversity coordinator for student support services, and Farhiyo Abdulkarim, administrative assistant. ◊
FACULTY, STAFF RECEIVE AWARDS Prestigious Ole and Lucy Flaat awards were presented at Concordia’s State of the College event in August.
Ole and Lucy Flaat Distinguished Teaching Award presented to
Dr. Joy Lintelman chair and professor of history
Ole and Lucy Flaat Distinguished Scholarship Award presented to
Dr. Aileen Buslig professor of communication studies and theatre art
Ole and Lucy Flaat Distinguished Service Award presented to
Jill Walker head teacher of toddlers for Cobber Kids
Ole and Lucy Flaat Distinguished Service Award presented to
Craig Soliah audio visual technician for digital media services in Information Technology Services
The Flaat awards were endowed by Ole and Lucy Flaat, lifelong farmers in the Red River Valley.
STUDENTS RECEIVE FULBRIGHTS
In the spring of 2017, three Concordia seniors were awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistant awards. Jenna Scarbrough, Oliver Reitan and Ruth Peterson are providing assistance in English classrooms overseas while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. Scarbrough, an English and global studies double major, has a background in German. She has a minor in the language and had experience at Waldsee, Concordia’s German Language Village. She decided to step out of her comfort zone and chose to teach in Malaysia. Reitan, a German and education double major, is teaching in Rhineland-Palatinate, a state that sits on the German border with France. It fits with his plans to teach German in the U.S. upon returning and he’s also looking to gain deeper insights into the culture of Germany. Peterson, an art and German double major, is working as an assistant to an English teacher in Rhineland-Palatinate. She studied during the 2015-16 academic year in Bamberg and wanted to return to experience a different aspect of German life through teaching. ◊
STORY EXCHANGES PUT EMPATHY INTO ACTION
Concordia is a pioneering member of Narrative 4, an international organization that understands the power of storytelling and the empathy it creates. Dr. Dawn Duncan, professor of English and global studies, started a chapter at Concordia with the help of Micaela BrannanGerhardt ’17. Narrative 4, co-founded by National Book Award-winning author Colum McCann and Lisa Consiglio, is a nonprofit that strives to build empathy by allowing people to step into someone else’s story. The organization is working to help develop the first generation of truly empathic leaders and citizens. Hundreds of members in five countries and 10 states in the U.S. explore the role stories play in our global culture. The process begins by pairing people off randomly. The pairs share a personal story to their partner and then return to the group to share, each individual taking on the persona of their partner and telling their story in first person. “We have to be reminded of how to practice empathy by looking eye to eye, listening to the narrative and telling it,” Duncan said. “It takes practice.” The N4 team at Concordia hosts story exchange events and facilitator training workshops to help ease tensions and build bridges of empathy in our community and globally. A recent N4 story exchange hosted by Concordia captured the attention of the BBC. Duncan also participated in a Narrative 4 event on gun rights and control that was co-sponsored by New York Magazine. Out of more than 80 N4 ambassadors, Duncan was one of eight to fly to New York for the exchange and work with the 16 participants. New York Magazine published an article about the event and produced a documentary, “Guns and Empathy.” “It was an incredibly powerful experience,” Duncan said. “I hope we can work to bring such experiences to our community and beyond.” ◊
Participants of a Narrative 4 story exchange at Concordia.
CONCORDIA SIGNS CLIMATE COMMITMENT
Concordia joined the Climate Leader’s Network consisting of more than 600 universities and colleges when President William Craft signed the Climate Commitment alongside Second Nature President Dr. Tim Carter in April. Concordia’s dedication to sustainability through energy efficiency, LEED renovations, campus landscaping, and student initiatives has set the foundation for the college to make this ambitious next step. “Concordia has shown we’ve cared about sustainability and our environment for years. The commitment will give us a bigger platform to continue to do this good work in addressing climate change,” said Samantha Westrate, sustainability coordinator. The commitment is set out by Second Nature, an organization that works with universities and colleges to build the foundation for sustainability and set bold commitments for a better future. Concordia will work to reduce and offset greenhouse gas emissions to become carbon neutral. The commitment also requires the college to work with the City of Moorhead to create a more resilient campus and surrounding community. The climate action plan, including a date of neutrality, will be created over the next three years with the help and expertise of several task groups within the campus and the Moorhead community. ◊
FACULTY, STAFF RETIREES HONORED
Seven members of the faculty and staff retired in spring 2017. They have a combined total of 87 years of service to Concordia. They are Pat Bastion, dean’s office, 13 years; Rich Glas, athletics, nine years; Dr. Linda Keup, Offutt School of Business, 16 years; Linda Nelson, Concordia Language Villages, 21 years; Dr. Sue Oatey, Student Affairs, four years; Dr. Zacharie Petnkeu, world languages and cultures, 11 years; and Thomas Staker, Concordia Language Villages, 13 years. ◊ (back row) Dr. Zacharie Petnkeu, Rich Glas, Dr. Linda Keup; (front row) Pat Bastion, Dr. Sue Oatey
100TH YEAR OF COBBER FOOTBALL
Concordia’s 2017 season marked the 100th campaign of Cobber football. “I am honored to be a small part of the incredible football tradition at the college,” said head coach Terry Horan. “It’s amazing to think of all the great players and coaches who have put on the uniform to represent Concordia.” Concordia started football in 1916 but did not field a team in 1918 or 1919 due to lack of interest. The Cobbers then continued the program in 1920 and have played every year since. Concordia captured the league crown 18 different times in the program’s history with the last conference championship coming in 2004. The Cobbers have appeared in the NCAA playoffs on six different occasions, most recently in backto-back seasons in 2004-05. The Cobbers have also claimed three NAIA National Championships (1964, 1978 and 1981) in the storied tradition of the program. Concordia has only had nine coaches in the first 100 years of the program. Jake Christiansen’s arrival in 1941 marked the start of a 76-year period where Concordia would only have three coaches: Christiansen for 28 years from 1941-68, Hall of Famer Jim Christopherson for 32 years from 19692000, and Horan, who just finished his 17th year. Christiansen, Christopherson and Horan are the only coaches in Cobber football history to win 100 games. ◊
FOUR INDUCTED INTO ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME
Concordia inducted three former student-athletes and a former coach/current administrator into the Athletic Hall of Fame in September: former men’s and women’s soccer coach and current Sports Information Director Jim Cella, women’s basketball standout Brandi (Myers) Rostad ’02, women’s swimming All-American Shana Letnes Erickson ’01 and football standout Tory Langemo ’97. ◊
A COBBER CROWNED MISS MINNESOTA 2017
After years of involvement in Minnesota pageants, including being named Miss Thief River Falls, Miss North Star and first runner-up to Miss Minnesota 2016, Brianna Drevlow ’16 was crowned Miss Minnesota in June. “Winning Miss Minnesota has been the culmination of hard work, determination and self-growth, so it is truly an honor to be serving and representing the place I call home,” Drevlow said. She graduated from Concordia in 2016 with a Bachelor of Music degree in theory and composition and is currently enrolled at Bowling Green State University pursuing a master’s degree in music composition. This came in handy for the talent portion of the competition. On top of competing in talent, fitness and poise, the competitors are also required to speak about a platform. Drevlow’s chosen platform is dedicated to her younger sister, Brenna, who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. Her platform is titled, “Brenna’s Brigade: Juvenile Arthritis Awareness.” Drevlow is grateful for the community that has surrounded her leading up to her crowning. “Having the support of these communities is invaluable and, as they say, ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’ so thank you to the communities of Middle River, Thief River Falls, Bowling Green in Ohio, and especially Moorhead and Concordia College for instilling in me the value of service and being thoughtfully engaged in the world,” Drevlow said. ◊
PAULA PRESTON PHOTOGRAPHY
COBBER WRESTLING MOVES TO RIVERSIDE
Wrestling began its 2017-18 season in a new home. Riverside Center, which houses Cobber Kids, Communications and Marketing, Concordia Language Villages, and Northwestern Minnesota Synod of the ELCA, underwent an $800,000 renovation of the former elementary school’s gym, locker room and surrounding space. “The new facility will allow us to enhance our training in a significant way by giving us more space and additional training options in the same area,” said head coach Phil Moenkedick. “We’ve had to be very creative in the past with having 3040 guys in a practice room consisting of only one
mat. The additional space will allow us to train in a more effective and time efficient way.” The Riverside Wrestling Facility includes a 2,800 square foot wrestling room with two full mats, an adjacent cardio area, wall graphics throughout, an open locker room with 46 lockers and shower/bathroom area, a public bathroom, an athletic training room with a recovery cold tub area, a coaches locker room, a coaches suite with office, and a recruiting and film space. The wrestling room will have a 14-foot ceiling and space for climbing ropes, gymnastics rings, wall anchors for bungees, and more. The new training facility should have a positive impact on both current Cobber wrestlers and future recruiting. “For the guys in this program to have space that is solely theirs, where they can go hang out, study and build team comradery is huge,” Moenkedick said. He credits Concordia Athletics, college administrators, alumni and supporters with making the project a success. ◊
concordiamagazine magazine 88| | concordia
â€œTransforming the World One Door at a Timeâ€? by Paul Oman (2017)
ROOTED OPEN by Laura Caroon
o you remember the mission of Concordia College?
We celebrated 125 years of excellence and living out our mission.
If you’re an alum reading this magazine, I would take a safe bet that you, like most Concordia graduates, can conjure up some if not most of the mission statement. We may not all remember the words in the right order, but the sentiment is emblazoned on our hearts forever.
This year, we are thinking critically about what our legacy for the next 125 years is going to look like. We are digging deep into what it means to live the mission now, in today’s world and context, and what it means as we venture forward together.
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.
Looking back to the beginning of the college’s history, Concordia’s founders were very intentional about creating a place where future generations could receive an education in the context of the church. Essentially, it was an education for Lutherans, by Lutherans. But over the last few decades, our scope has expanded to not only permit those with varying backgrounds to partake, but to invite, welcome and celebrate the diversities they bring.
For our community of Cobbers, 2016-17 was a year of celebration and reminiscing. Not only did the college celebrate 500 years of reformation, but also the anniversary of its dedication, remembering our humble beginning as a school founded by Norwegian Lutheran immigrants committed to educating and developing future generations.
We’ve come a long way in the last century. But Concordia’s roots in the Lutheran tradition aren’t going anywhere.
The Protestant Reformation was one of the major turning points in Western history and encompassed not only the relationship of faith and reason in religion but also impacted many other dimensions of society including economic, political, social and educational. Learn more about how Concordia observed the 500th anniversary of the Reformation: ConcordiaCollege.edu/reformation
Rooted In FaitH Students on campus today still have access and opportunities to explore faith in traditional ways through daily chapel, Campus Ministry, and Christmas Concerts, but also through service and examination and dialogue. “By being rooted in our faith, we are offering young people something that they would not be getting at other places in higher education,” says Dr. Jacqueline Bussie, director of the Forum on Faith and Life and professor of religion. In the liberal arts praxis, all areas of life are worth examination and inform our understanding of the world in which we live. That includes matters of faith and spirituality. Along with requirements in mathematics, natural and social sciences, world languages, communication, and the arts and humanities, Concordia students are exposed to religion courses. The required classes are not intended to indoctrinate, but to enlighten students about the varied faith traditions of those in our community and world, and provide an opportunity to think critically about their own beliefs. “College is a time to look fearlessly at everything, even the things we cherish most,” says the Rev. Dr. Larry Wohlrabe, bishop of the ELCA’s Northwestern Minnesota Synod. There has always been a high emphasis on education in the Lutheran tradition. Education is an expression of faith, not something to be separated from faith. Martin Luther was a vehement advocate for learning and expressed that Christians are free to look at the world and everything in it without closing anything off from inquiry or exploration. To Luther, examination should not be feared but used as a tool to sharpen one’s convictions. Because the college is rooted in faith, “it automatically opens the door to conversations about spirituality, faith practices, and deepest beliefs about who we are and who we are to one another,” says Jon Leiseth, minister for Faith and Spirituality in Action. Concordia is no longer a monoculture of cardcarrying Lutherans of Scandinavian descent. The current student body hails from 35 states and 31 countries, and represents 41 religions and thought traditions (with just 60 percent of students selfidentifying as Lutherans).
“Students are longing for space for spiritual reflection with peers, teachers and experts so they can better understand the people they’re growing up alongside,” Bussie says. Through classroom discussions, intrafaith and interfaith events, Campus Ministry offerings and personal interactions, Concordia strives to create space for those conversations and connections to happen.
Free To Be Open Our world is a marvelously diverse place. While steadfastly rooted in our rich history and founding, Concordia is positioned to welcome and celebrate the gifts of an increasingly diverse student body. “Our understanding of ourselves is enriched, not diminished by our encounters with those whose lives, cultures, experiences are not just the same as our own,” President William Craft says. “We know from research that students’ ability to think critically, imaginatively and analytically is greater when it happens in a diverse setting. Diversity is a condition of excellence.” And while we know that diversity is the nature of our time, and we’re all living in an increasingly interconnected world with more interaction with people of different backgrounds, cultures and religions every day, change can be scary. Some of us may worry that opening our doors to people of all walks of life could dilute who we are. Will we lose our Lutheran identity? If we embrace interfaith dialogue, does that mean we need to drop “dedicated to the Christian life” from our mission statement? When asked these questions at the opening convocation of the 2012-13 academic year, worldrenowned author and interfaith scholar Dr. Eboo Patel strongly objected, saying that it is precisely “because of who you are, because you are Lutheran that you welcome people of other faiths and traditions and send them out to serve the world.” Because we are rooted in our faith, we can be open. Craft believes that “openness is the fruit of our rootedness.” The two are not at odds, as fear may lead us to believe. Our Lutheran tradition provides rootedness in understanding of the gospel as a foundation for witness and openness. “Being a Lutheran frees us to be open to people of other faiths. If we are acting true to our tradition,
we can be open and should be as open as Jesus is open. Arms as wide as Jesus would include as much diversity as we could imagine. That’s who Lutherans are at our best,” Wohlrabe says. “We have nothing to fear from that.”
of meaning, of service to neighbor,” Simmons says. Luther’s 1520 essay “The Freedom of a Christian” says that caring for one another, working for good in the world, and bearing one another’s burdens are the hallmarks of the Christian life.
And aside from reasons of faith or morality, there is practicality in openness.
In this context, “... sending into society thoughtful and informed men and women dedicated to the Christian life,” refers to working for the good of one’s neighbor and for the good of creation.
“To avoid diversity is to inadequately prepare ourselves for the world in which we live and our students will be living and working in,” says the Rev. Dr. Ernest Simmons, professor of religion. Martin Luther famously asked the question, “How dare we not know what we could know?” Dr. Karl Stumo, vice president for Enrollment and Marketing, says the next question should be, “How dare we not know who we could know?”
Bussie says she sees students living out the mission statement “every time they take a stand for something they believe in, sign a petition or seek justice.”
“Arms as wide as Jesus would include as much diversity as we could imagine.” – Bishop Larry Wohlrabe
“In order to be fully educated, we need to know what we don’t know, and who we don’t know,” Stumo says.
For The Good Of The Neighbor As a liberal arts college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Concordia has a particular purpose and a type of work that we’re called to do in the world. “Because we are set free by the love of God to focus our lives on our neighbor, our responsibility is to create an education that enables our students to discover who they are, what their gifts may be, and how they can turn their lives inside out toward a world that is deep in need of those gifts,” Craft says. Our job is to empower students to discern and become equipped to express vocation across many areas of life and to serve the world in a variety of capacities. In the Lutheran sense, “vocation” is more than a trade or an occupation, but a calling to serve the neighbor in all that you do. “From Hands for Change service projects their first week on campus, through courses in the core curriculum, Concordia is preparing students to be responsibly engaged in the world regardless of occupation, discipline, or field of study. Here, technical skills are learned in a larger framework
When students are participating in integrative learning, they’re often leaving their comfort zones and taking opportunities to learn from others of different faiths, backgrounds or ethnicities. Not only are they influencing the world, but they’re allowing their own worldviews to be influenced.
“Concordia students are actively volunteering at places like the Dorothy Day Food Pantry, hosting Welcome Week for refugees and immigrants, and serving the community. We don’t just stay on campus, but we venture out and we invite in,” Bussie says.
Dedicated To The Future It’s true that being a Lutheran college doesn’t look like it did 50 years ago, 30 years ago or even a decade ago. Chapel attendance and the number of Lutherans on campus are no longer benchmarks to measure against. But as we look ahead to our next 125 years in higher education, we can wholeheartedly honor our roots by continuing our commitment to providing exceptional education and upholding the Lutheran values we were founded on. Our dedication to the mission shows in our students’ hearts for service, our commitment to our community, our inclusiveness of students of all faith or nonfaith backgrounds, skin color, abilities and orientation, and in all that we do to prepare our students to flourish as ethical leaders in a diverse world. Soli Deo Gloria. ◊
TO G E T H E R WE
concordiamagazine magazine 12 12| | concordia
by Laura Caroon
This yearâ€™s Homecoming Banquet not only left alumni with warm feelings of Cobber pride and nostalgia, but with a challenge. A call to RISE.
The comprehensive campaign supports the college in mission to champion:
INTEGRATIVE LEARNING so Concordia students can apply their classroom discoveries to the unscripted challenges of work and citizenship. Funding initiatives include: Career, PEAK, Integrated Science Center, undergraduate research, faculty development, endowed faculty/staff positions, athletics, fine arts, scholarships across the curriculum, Concordia Annual Fund
INCLUSIVE LEARNING so Concordia students can flourish in the abundant diversity of people and cultures that we are called to serve. Funding initiatives include: global education, diversity, faith in action
INNOVATIVE LEARNING so Students of every age and stage of life can grow through the virtue and value of a Concordia education. Funding initiatives include: Concordia Language Villages, New Ventures, sustainability
The 2017 Homecoming banquet included the launch of the RISE campaign.
midst a crowd of more than 450 alumni, family and friends, campaign co-chairs Rachel Hollstadt ’70 and James Senske ’75 announced the launch of the most aggressive fundraising campaign in the college’s history. The campaign is called “RISE,” signifying the intention to elevate the college and its mission through additional funding. To date, $122 million has been raised toward the goal of $150 million by Dec. 31, 2019. “It is such an honor to work with the loyal alumni and friend donors who support Concordia. We have great confidence that we will RISE together to raise at least $150 million for Concordia’s present and future learning initiatives,” said Teresa Harland, vice president for Advancement. “The dollars raised for the RISE campaign will position Concordia to thrive as a liberal arts institution well into the 21st century.” ◊
The resources we raise together will: Create scholarships to provide access for every accepted student to afford an education of the highest quality and character Build an endowment that sustains innovative student learners and develops the faculty that guide and challenge them
President Craft and Teresa Harland speak at the campaign launch in September.
Fund Concordia’s state-of-the-art Integrated Science Center to continue our leadership in natural and health science education Sustain the mission identity of Concordia through support for a variety of faith expressions on campus that promote engagement in faith and service
“Through our mission that inspires and in innovation that moves learning into action, Concordia generates leaders ready to meet the world’s unscripted challenges with imagination, analytical insight and generosity of soul.” – President William Craft
Continue to build upon the successful launch of the Offutt School of Business as a premier business school in the region and beyond Enhance the life-changing involvement of Concordia students in global learning, music, athletics, and the visual and dramatic arts Launch Concordia’s New Ventures to serve post-baccalaureate learners as they become professional innovators and community leaders
WATCH THE VIDEO and learn more about the RISE campaign: >> riseforconcordia.com
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Classes Start in the ISC By Amy E. Kelly
concordia concordia magazine magazine
he new Integrated Science Center could have been named the “Integrated Student Center” for its success in creating wonderful learning spaces that students have embraced. The $45 million renovated science buildings opened for the beginning of classes in August, and biology professor and project shepherd Dr. Ellen Aho said the bright common areas and glass-paneled walls have been magnets for students to collaborate and study. “What’s really visible is students working and learning,” Aho said. “What’s been most delightful to me is having students take ownership of this space.” Dr. Daniel Biebighauser, associate professor of mathematics, agreed that the new research, teaching and study areas have made an impact on learning since the building opened. “I really appreciate the student study areas in the ISC, and how accessible these areas are to our classrooms and offices,” Biebighauser said. “I’ve had many great conversations with students that wouldn’t have happened without these spaces.” At a dedication ceremony in October that honored donors who made the building possible, biology major David Supinski ’19 said it best: “On behalf of my fellow students, we do not take your generosity for granted.” ◊
Read Dr. Biebighauser’s blog post, “51 Reasons to Love the New Integrated Science Center” ConcordiaCollege.edu/51reasons
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WINTER 2018 winter 2018
2017-18 ENROLLMENT UPDATE
As we welcomed students to campus this fall, we recognized the important role of alumni, parents, and friends of the college in promoting Concordia to qualified prospective students.
FALL FIRST-YEAR CLASS This fall’s class of 568 first-year students was 4% larger than last year’s and 9% higher than fall 2015. Of the 17 schools in the Minnesota Private College Council, Concordia’s first-year class ranks the fifth largest. Only St. Thomas, St. Olaf, Bethel and Gustavus Adolphus had larger classes of first-year students this fall.
TOP10 HIGHSCHOOLS SENDING THE MOST FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS: - Moorhead
19 U.S. STATES 16 COUNTRIES
- Davies, Fargo - Fargo North - Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton - Alexandria - Sheyenne, West Fargo - Fargo South - Fergus Falls - Brainerd - Staples-Motley
Most popular academic programs: biology, business, education, nursing, chemistry, psychology, music and neuroscience
More than 50% expressed an intention to participate in one of Concordia’s music and fine arts programs.
Involvement in co-curricular activities continues to be a strong reason students choose to enroll at Concordia.
More than 40% reported an intention to play Division III athletics.
Did you know >> The Wall Street Journal recently ranked Concordia eighth for campus engagement.
69% from MINNESOTA 18% from
By DR. KARL A. STUMO
This fall, 44 transfer students arrived on campus (compared to 50 new transfers last year). The largest sources of new transfer students were North Dakota State University, Minnesota State Community and Technical College (M State), Minnesota State University Moorhead, Ridgewater College (Willmar, Minn.) and North Dakota State College of Science (Wahpeton).
The BREW (Becoming Responsibly Engaged in the World) scholarship recognizes students demonstrating leadership in their schools, churches, and local communities. These scholarships range in value from $1,000 to $4,000 annually.
International Students A total of 29 new international students (24 first-year students and five transfers) enrolled at Concordia this fall. These students provide a rich diversity of culture, faith and worldview to the overall learning environment at the college. The top-sending countries include Nepal, China, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.
Fall 2017 Enrollment A total of 2,059 undergraduate and graduate students were enrolled for fall 2017 (compared to 2,132 total students in fall 2016). The decrease is, in part, a product of larger graduating classes in the past three years compared to the size of new classes starting each fall.
Fall 2018 Admission Campaign The recruitment campaign for fall 2018 is well underway. The enrollment targets for the upcoming year include a freshman class of 575 and a new transfer class of 50 students.
STEM scholarships provide funding to students interested in pursuing study in science, technology, engineering and math. The STEM scholarship is valued at $6,000 annually. College Access and Diversity scholarships will be awarded to students who have participated in some form of college access program (AVID, Upward Bound, College Possible, etc.) and bring diversity of culture and perspective to the class of new first-year students. These scholarships range in value from $1,000 to $4,000 annually.
Cobber Countdown Admitted students are invited to attend Cobber Countdown March 23-24 or April 6-7, 2018. These special visit programs are designed for admitted students to experience life at Concordia, including an overnight stay, before making a final college decision. Information sessions are available on academic programs, student life activities, residential life and financial aid. Parents and family supporters are invited to attend and participate in specially designed information sessions. â—Š
We could not reach our enrollment goals without your help and support. If you know a high school student who would thrive as a Cobber, please complete an online referral form: ConcordiaCollege.edu/refer
Photos: Maddie Malat ’18
IMMERSIVE ENGLISH IN AFRICA BY AMY E. K EL LY
t the crossroads of some of the world’s greatest natural beauty and immense poverty is the Serengeti. This wild landscape of Tanzania, Africa, is home to the great wildebeest migration. Gazelles, zebras, hyenas, lions and other animals roam the region – as do poachers.
concordiamagazine magazine 20 || concordia
Shouts of “Karibu! Karibu sana!” or “Welcome! You are most welcome!” greeted Concordia students and staff as they arrived at the Grumeti Reserve adjacent to the Serengeti. The team was there to launch an English Language Village pilot project and the locals welcomed them warmly. The project was organized through the Singita Grumeti Fund, which has a strategic goal to strengthen the English skills of local children. A Singita Grumeti Fund staff member familiar with the immersion-style teaching of Concordia Language Villages proposed the partnership. “While we have offered English language camps before in other locations, what was different was being approached by a nongovernmental organization that had an intentional philosophy,” said Christine Schulze, executive director of Concordia Language Villages. “Singita Grumeti ties English proficiency to long-term development of northern Tanzania.” The Grumeti Reserve was created more than 20 years ago by the Tanzanian government to protect wildlife. Along the northern border of this 350,000-acre concession, managed by the Singita Grumeti Fund, are 21 villages. The children attend elementary school taught in Swahili with 40 minutes of English each day, but that’s not enough for many students to be ready for secondary school, which is taught in English. Katherine Cunliffe works with community outreach for the Singita Grumeti Fund and knows the wide-reaching effects for students with limited English – including not passing national exams to graduate. “Without a degree, formal employment opportunities are immediately limited,” Cunliffe said. “In the local communities bordering the Singita Grumeti concessions, it is not unheard of for people to turn to wildlife poaching when other reliable sources of income are unavailable.” Intensive English in the immersion style seemed to be the answer. During the summer of 2017, five Concordia students led by Dr. Patricia Gulsvig, assistant professor of education, spent a month in Tanzania. Three of the students were education majors and two had Concordia Language Villages experience. All had a spirit for adventure but few assurances that this type of language-learning would work in this location. “We didn’t fully know what we were getting ourselves into,” said Lacy Tooker-Kirkevold ’18,
who has served as a staff member at Waldsee, the German Language Village. “We didn’t know much about the kids, the setting or Singita Grumeti itself.” Ninety children from third and fifth grades were selected to participate in the day camp program, which included two one-week sessions and a two-week session. They were bused to the Singita Grumeti Fund’s Environmental Education Center, which became the English Language Village experience. When they arrived, the children were very quiet. “By the end of the first day, the third-graders realized that we had a little bit more informal relationship than they were used to with their teachers,” Gulsvig said. “It was interesting to get them to relax and understand it’s OK to make mistakes.” The children were introduced to a new set of words each morning and then that vocabulary was built on during activities throughout the day. Songs, crafts and dances made the learning less daunting and the English more conversational. “We’re giving them an opportunity to see that English can be taught in a way that’s constructive but fun,” Gulsvig said. The children who participated were given both pre- and post-tests in English, which proved skills increased. Cunliffe says another sign that camp was successful was the number of parents who have requested that their children be part of the program in future years. Next summer, the program will expand to two sites serving 240 students with the plan to double that number in 2019. Dr. Per Anderson, associate dean for global learning, believes the collaborative program among the college students and faculty, Concordia Language Villages and the Singita Grumeti Fund is integrative learning at its best. In addition to creating and implementing an English immersion camp, the Concordia students were exposed to a wide variety of societal issues that affect how people and wildlife live together in a sustainable fashion. They also got a glimpse into the animal kingdom that surrounded them through tours of the reserve. “This new program epitomizes integrative, problem-solving study away,” Anderson said. “We need to put our students in extraordinary places and engage what they know.” ◊ WINTER 2018
ENHANCING LANGUAGE AND CULTURAL CONNECTIONS IN THE MILITARY
BY A M Y E . KE LLY
anguage can be a barrier or a uniter and the U.S. Department of Defense, with assistance from Concordia Language Villages, is using it as a bridge-building tool for military personnel. In 2016, Concordia Language Villages was designated as one of nine Language Training Centers in the country by the Defense Language National Security Education Office. In the first year of the designation, six languages were taught in the isolated-immersion style at the Concordia Language Villages site in Bemidji, Minn. Forty members of the Army National Guard participated in the program. Language proficiency results were successful with the number of participants tripling to 120 in 2017-18. “We have had an overwhelmingly positive response to our iso-immersion setting from military linguists so far,” said Martin Graefe, the senior group director for Concordia Language Villages who is coordinating all aspects of the program. “They value having access to multiple native speakers from a variety of backgrounds and countries where the target language is spoken, and they are all in one place for two weeks at a time.” The Department of Defense knows through experience how helpful it is for their personnel to learn the primary language or languages of the
countries in which they are working. Program trainees range from military linguists to general purpose forces. In addition to learning language, participants are also learning ways to fit in and be culturally relevant whenever possible. From eating customs to appropriate hand gestures, the participants observe and practice being in a different culture from breakfast until they go to bed. “At Concordia Language Villages, we’ve created an unparalleled immersion setting in the middle of the Minnesota North Woods,” said Christine Schulze, the executive director of Concordia Language Villages. “We call our program a ‘grand simulation’ and we’ve found the formula to make you think that you’ve actually crossed the border. Once there, and with our staff surrounding you with language 24/7, you quickly switch gears and leave English behind.” Graefe says participants have even been known to say phrases such as “well, back in America,” when they haven’t even left the country. This year, in addition to Arabic, Chinese, French, Korean, Portuguese and Russian, the program added Persian Farsi and Spanish. While teaching language to K-12 students is still the primary focus for Concordia Language Villages, adding more adult learners is yet another way to bring language to the world. ◊
EDUCATION By Er ic L il l eh augen
s a private liberal arts institution, Concordia College’s first commitment has always been to set undergraduate students seeking a transformative education on the path to a successful and responsibly engaged life after college. Now, in support of that mission and in response to a rapidly changing higher ed landscape, new efforts are being made to develop programs that broaden and diversify the college’s offerings.
Introducing Executive Ed Executive education is one such program. After a successful inaugural summer of programming, it has proved the value of seeking opportunities outside of Concordia’s traditional focus. Made up of several intensive two- to threeday courses on topics ranging from “Data Analytics” to “Preparing for Leadership” and “High Performance Teambuilding,” the program was designed to fill a gap in the region’s market for leadership development, said Dr. K. Brewer Doran, dean of the Offutt School of Business. “It was very clear to us that this was an open space in the market,” Doran said. “There were lots of degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level; there were some early career programs but there was really nothing … to target a specific skill for mid- to upper-level managers who wish to move up within their organizations.” By pairing academic instructors from the Offutt School of Business with leading industry professionals from across the country, exec ed’s series of courses is built to fulfill an ambitious goal: to provide high-potential managers with the training they need to advance their careers, address the specific needs of local businesses, and build a regional network of business leaders all at the same time.
A Winning Combination With an overwhelmingly positive response to the program’s first round of courses, it seems like the program is off to a great start.
Susan Geib, director of the executive education program, said exec ed’s success is due at least in part to the fact that the skills CEOs want for their high-potential managers match Concordia’s strengths: soft skills like communication and leadership training.
“This was a great course for my senior leader and me to be in together at the point we are at in our company. I know we can guide and challenge our staff to hone their skills with the background and techniques provided. Keep up this incredible work in guiding and empowering others to be their best.” – Kari Bucholz, Founder and Director, Haley’s Hope
“We only provide those courses that [CEOs] told us were urgent,” Geib said. “And we’re not creating courses that aren’t in our ‘wheelhouse.’ [CEOs are asking for] people with critical problem-solving skills, people who can persuasively speak, people who can resolve conflicts, etc.”
What’s Next? Looking ahead, Geib sees opportunity in developing customized programs for individual organizations and, in general, to build bridges with the local business community both to offer the excellent skills within the Cobber network and to create opportunities for both exec ed participants and Concordia undergraduate students. “[Executive education is] a bold outreach program for us,” Doran said. “But it’s very consistent with who Concordia and the Offutt School of Business are, and I think it has the potential for tremendous impact within the region.” ◊
To learn more and to check out the slate of upcoming spring courses, visit ConcordiaCollege.edu/execed
WINTER winter 2018
Save the Date!
Save the Date
Family Weekend 2018 Friday, Sept. 14-Sunday, Sept. 16 ConcordiaCollege.edu/familyweekend Homecoming 2018 Friday, Sept. 28-Sunday, Sept. 30 ConcordiaCollege.edu/homecoming
Family Weekend 2018
Friday, Sept. 14-Sunday, Sept. 16 Want to stay in the loop on Alumni events ConcordiaCollege.edu/familyweekend and activities all year? Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter, News & Notes. Homecoming 2018 concordiacollege.edu/subscribe Friday, Sept. 28-Sunday, Sept. 30 ConcordiaCollege.edu/homecoming
ADVENTURE IS CALLING
Mentor a Cobber
Join Cobber alumni and friends to explore the world with us this year. Global travel opportunities:
Become an important connection for students who are interested in your occupation or field of study. For more information, contact Karen Carlson at 218.299.3734 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 29-June 9, 2018
France Come along with Dr. Roy Hammerling, professor of religion, and Joshua Hammerling, cellar master at Donkey and Goat Winery, Berkeley, Calif., to enjoy museums, world-famous art, wine, fine food, and the French countryside.
Stay Connected Want to be in the loop on alumni events and activities all year? Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter, News & Notes. ConcordiaCollege.edu/newsnotes
Feb. 23-March 8, 2019
Tanzania Discover wildlife on a drive through the Serengeti Plains and Taranguire National Park with Dr. James Aageson, retired dean of arts and sciences, and witness the missionary work of David â€™51 and Eunice (Nordby) â€™52 Simonson at the Maasai Girls Lutheran Secondary School. To learn more and to register for these adventures, visit ConcordiaCollege.edu/alumnitravel 24 |
Young alumni teamed up to serve at the Emergency Food Pantry in Fargo.
2017 ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS The Alumni Achievement Award (AAA), the college’s highest honor, is conferred upon alumni who have distinguished themselves in their careers and service to others.
’63 trained under operatic experts Lotte Lehmann, Fritz Zweig and Tilly de Garmo. She made her debut at the San Francisco Opera and won the 1966 Western Regional Auditions of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In 1986, she and her director husband, Götz Friedrich, cofounded The American Berlin Opera Foundation Inc., which awards scholarships to American singers wishing to study at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. She was awarded the Kammersänger, the German honorific title for distinguished operatic singers, and the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Federal Cross of Merit). She gives master classes in Europe, Asia and the U.S., and most recently performed at the Komische Oper Berlin.
Dr. Allan Carlson
’61 is widely recognized at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and throughout the world as a leading expert in neutron cross section data development and evaluation. As the foremost U.S. physicist for the standards on the effective cross sectional area of the nucleus of an atom, his work is vital for understanding the performance of nuclear power reactors, nuclear defense systems and nuclear medicine applications. Now retired, Carlson works as a NIST contractor, with DOE support. His work directly impacts the nuclear data needs of the U.S., Europe and Japan.
Dr. Philip Noss
’61 served more than 40 years in Bible translation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon (ELCC), the Eugene A. Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship of the American Bible Society, and the United Bible Societies with Bible translation projects in 34 African nations in 200 languages. Noss founded the Gbaya Translation Center of the ELCC and established undergraduate and postgraduate programs in African languages and literature at the University of Calabar, Nigeria. He led an interconfessional translation team whose work culminated in the publication of the Bible (1995), with the Apocrypha (2011), in the Gbaya language of Cameroon and the Central African Republic.
Mary (Sorenson) Ranum ’78 is chair of the board at
Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., making her one of few female law firm leaders nationally. Ranum joined the Minneapolis law firm in 1984 and became a partner in 1990. She served on the board of directors of The Advocates for Human Rights and assists OneVillage Partners, a nonprofit in Sierra Leone, West Africa. As a member of the Concordia College Board of Regents, Ranum recently co-chaired a task force exploring new ventures for Concordia. She was made a fellow of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys and the American College of Real Estate Lawyers. She has also been noted as an industry leader and volunteer of the year.
2017 SENT FORTH AWARDS The Sent Forth Award is conferred upon young alumni who have distinguished themselves in their careers and service to others.
Dr. Meelad Dawlaty ’04 is the
youngest faculty member in the department of genetics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, where he teaches graduate school curriculum and mentors doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows. He leads a research program concentrated on understanding the epigenetics of stem cells and cancer with a focus on enzymes that modify DNA and regulate gene expression to define cell fate during development. His work has been published in multiple scholarly journals.
Dr. Susan Webb Yackee ’97 is a tenured professor of public affairs and political science and the director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In 2015, the university named Yackee a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor in honor of her exceptional research contributions. An award-winning expert on policymaking, regulation and bureaucratic politics, Yackee’s work is published in many academic journals. ◊
WINTER winter fall 2016 2018
CLASS NOTES 1963 Terry Anderson, Jamestown, N.D., celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination in the ELCA at the 2017 Synod Assembly in June; he serves Montpelier (N.D.) Lutheran Church and was named 2016 Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce.
1968 Brian Nockleby, Silver Spring, Md., retired from Government Employees Insurance Company in August 2016 after 25 years.
1969 Jim Splitt, Wahoo, Neb., has a short story, “Being Still,” published in “Progressive Feast in Parabolic Story” (Presbyterian Writers Guild, 2017).
1970 Douglas Larson, Shirt Lake, Minn., retired from ELCA ministry after 42 years; he served the last 13 years as senior pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Mora.
1972 Muriel (Hagan) Budzeyko, Slidell, La., is an administrative assistant for the Southern District Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. // Joel Jeppson, Corinth, Texas, is
a simulator instructor for American Airlines Flight Academy, Fort Worth.
Department of Employment and Economic Development.
Merrill Piepkorn, Fargo, was elected as a state senator of North Dakota and began his service in January 2017.
Doug Brekke married Kristi Bummer ’87, Big Timber, Mont., in June; Doug passed away in October after a fouryear battle with cancer.
Karen (Quanbeck) Grandstrand, Maple Plain, Minn., received the Outstanding Director award from Twin Cities Business for her work on the board of TCF Financial Corporation, Wayzata. // Peggy Schlough, Eau Claire, Wis., earned Cardiac Surgery Certification from the American Association of Critical Care Nursing, Anaheim, Calif.
Lynn Johnson, Weatherford, Texas, was elected Judge County Court at Law No. 2, Parker County, in November 2016; her swearing-in ceremony was in January 2017.
1979 Michael DeKraai, Webster, S.D., is pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church. // Laura Hansen, Little Falls, Minn., was a finalist for her poetry book “Midnight River” in the Poetry Category of the Midwest Book Awards, sponsored by Midwest Independent Publishing Association. // Carol Preston, Damariscotta, Maine, is a self-employed violin teacher. // Marianne (Askegaard) Wygant, St. Paul, Minn., is a state program administrator for the Minnesota
1982 Christine Bellefeuille, Bayport, Minn., is lead pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Stillwater. // Kathi (Winegar) Tunheim, Orono, Minn., is special assistant to the president for strategy at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter; she was honored as a Thrivent Fellow by the ELCA College and University Network in March.
1983 Michael Lloyd, Los Angeles, is a partner at Fowler Law Group.
1984 Lisa Ahlness, Bismarck, N.D., is pastor of Lutheran Church of the Cross. // Joanie Eppinga, Spokane, Wash.,
co-authored her second book, “Transforming Schools Through Systems Change” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). // Kathlynn Kinnear married Dale Hewitt, Valparaiso, Ind., in July 2016.
1985 Monique (King) Anderson, Lake Park, Minn., is vice president of development for North Dakota State University Foundation and Alumni Association, Fargo. // Linda Anderson-Little, St. Louis, published her first book, “Motherhood Calling: Experiencing God in Everyday Family Life” (HenschelHAUS Publishing Inc., 2016); she took part in the annual Listen to Your Mother event in St. Louis, sharing an essay from the book. // Jane (Norman) Hermansen, Rochester, Minn., is president of Clinical Laboratory Management Association.
1986 Kris Erickson married Kevin Eipperle, Dubuque, Iowa, in October 2016. // Joyce Jacobson married Jerry Cole, Fridley, Minn., in December 2016. // Roberta Wentworth, Chelan, Wash., is a downlake lead for Holden Village Bed & Breakfast.
class notes »
1987 Chris Bonnell, Minneapolis, is vice president of external affairs for Western Governors University, Salt Lake City. // Kristi Bummer married Doug Brekke ’80, Big Timber, Mont., in June; Doug passed away in October after a four-year battle with cancer. // Thomas Eide, Fargo, is director of field services for the North Dakota Department of Human Services.
1989 Marci (Olson) Butcher, Lewiston, Mont., was named 2017 National Diabetes Educator of the Year by the American Association of Diabetes Educators. // Kevin Doely, Plymouth, Minn., is senior pastor of Faith Lutheran Church, Coon Rapids. // Carol (Schotzko) Sylvester, Rosemount, Minn., is a business researcher with Line of Sight Group, Minneapolis.
1990 Stephanie Gober, Washington, D.C., is senior associate at Banyan Global consulting firm. // Gregory Kaurin married Mahareta Paubert, Tacoma, Wash., in December 2016. // Carrie (Smith) Olson, Ortonville, Minn., is extension educator and associate extension professor for U of Minnesota Extension, Morris; she was honored for 25 years of service by the National Association of 4-H Extension Agents.
1992 Shane Burton, Andover, Minn., is lead pastor of ReaLife Church, Bloomington. // A boy, Leo, was adopted by Daren and Elle (Lorenson) Grothaus, Minnetrista, Minn., in April. // Sarah Hinz, Phoenix, is
director of professional services for Arivis Inc. // A boy, Bjorn, was adopted by Mark and Kari (Morgenthaler) Knapp, Excelsior, Minn., in February 2016. // Jessica (Greco) Lance, Lakeland, Minn., is a secondgrade teacher for St. Paul Public Schools. // Stan Nelson, St. Paul, Minn., earned an MBA from the U of St. Thomas.
Representing Concordia The Minneapolis law firm of Nilan Johnson Lewis has more than its fair share of Cobbers: eight of its 54 lawyers are Concordia grads, representing four different decades. All share a common affection for Concordia and gratitude for the foundation it provided, leading each to success in his or her chosen field. Top row: Lori (West) Johnson ‘93, Courtney Ward-Reichard ‘89, Matthias Niska ‘04, Erik Salveson ‘79 and Katheryn Andresen ‘82. Seated: Cortney Sylvester ‘89, Joe Schmitt ‘89 and Heidi Neff Christianson ‘92
1993 Christie Manisto, Vancouver, Wash., is the solo pastor of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church.
1995 Kristina (Clark) Gaalaas, Grand Rapids, Minn., met the requirements to be a Certified Financial Planner in April; she works for Edward Jones. // Andrea Hanson married Matthew Jorstad, Grand Forks, N.D., in May 2016. // Ryan Malmin, Kalispell, Mont., was named Class AA American Legion Baseball Coach of the Year by American Legion Baseball. // Keani (Tamaria) McKenzie married Richard Blake, Daejeon, South Korea, in July 2016.
1996 Jon Birkeland, Hermantown, Minn., completed the 25-month Graduate School of Banking program at the U of Wisconsin-Madison. // A boy, William, was born to Dawn and Christopher Byars, Washington, Ind., in November 2016. // Molly (Krueger) Enz, Brookings, S.D., was awarded a Fulbright scholar grant in Senegal, West Africa, by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. // Tammy Merkins, Detroit Lakes, Minn., was appointed Becker County Attorney in July 2016. // Joan
(Urbaniak) Wodiska, Falls Church, Va., was honored for her service as vice president of the Virginia State Board of Education by the Commonwealth of Virginia; she was subsequently appointed by the governor to represent Virginia on the Education Commission of the States. // Steven Woyen, Lyle, Minn., is pastor of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.
1997 Jon Prischmann, Fergus Falls, Minn., is a self-employed commodity broker.
1998 Brad Anderson, Fargo, is producer/sports broadcaster for Midwest Radio of Fargo-Moorhead and was named a 2016 North Dakota Sportscaster of the Year finalist by National Sports Media Association, WinstonSalem, N.C. // Justin Antonson, Minneapolis, earned an MBA in finance from Capella U. // Darrell Ehrlick, Billings, Mont., received the National Media Award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars at its national convention for outstanding contributions
to a better understanding of the American way of life and its institutions and interest by honest and forthright reporting. // A girl, Parker, was born to Amber and Bryan Frandrup, Rosemount, Minn., in August 2016. // Briana (Gilbertson) Lucas, Bozeman, Mont., is director of operations for Winegardner’s Wines. // A girl, Harper, was born to Tiffany and Ryan Siggerud, Dilworth, Minn., in November 2016. // John Staub, Silver Spring, Md., was appointed to the Senior Executive Service and serves as director of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels Analysis at the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Washington, D.C. // A girl, Beatrice, was born to Clarence and Carin (Bratlie) Wethern, Minneapolis, in September 2016. // Kevin Wollin, St. Paul, Minn., is a healthcare phone representative for Minnesota Department of Human Services.
1999 A boy, David, was born to Amy Becker-Perez and Pablo Perez, Libertyville, Ill., in December 2016. // A boy, Russell, was born to Nick and
« class notes
STAND UP AND CHEER Cobbers gathered in Albert Lea, Minn., at the Drommerhausen residence to reminisce and celebrate 40 years of friendships made at Concordia. They traveled from Kansas, California, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Minnesota to Stand Up and Cheer! (l-r): Ray Julson ’78, Pam (Wilson) Lynner ’77, Pat Lund-Moe ’78, Dave Drommerhausen ’78, Kari (Mathsen) Harrisville ’78, Julie (Haaland) Drommerhausen ’77, Mary (Graalum) Mohl ’77, Doug Mohl and Denise (Nelson) Seguine ’77
Healy and Chris Lindseth ’96, Fargo, in August 2016. // Jon Magerøy, Ås, Akershus, Norway, is a researcher II for the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research. // Nicole (Anderson) Rittenour, Zimmerman, Minn., earned a doctorate in educational leadership from St. Cloud State U. // Amanda (Hastad) Thompson, Willmar, Minn., co-authored articles in Renal Failure (Sept. 8, 2016) and Clinical Hypertension (Nov. 23, 2016).
2003 Karin (McKenzie) Brinkhoff, Hanover, Minn., in June 2016. // A girl, Solveig, was born to Jason and Erin (Hewitt) Burggraff, Rochester, Minn., in January 2017. // Evan Graner, New York, is director of brand engagement for Landor.
2000 A girl, Anika, was born to David and Carmen (Davidson) Burleigh, Dimondale, Mich., in August 2016. // A girl, Olivia, was born to Kathryn Gardner, Minneapolis, in May. // Erik Lien, Andover, Minn., was named 2015-16 Smart/ Maher VFW Minnesota High School Teacher of the Year by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. // A girl, Kika, was born to Andrew and Maren (Stone) Rotering, Bloomington, Minn., in January 2017. // A girl, Alexandra, was born to David and Kaira (Brekke) Stewart, Costa Mesa, Calif., in March. // A girl, Solveig, was born to Travis ’99 and Laura (Kjelland) Thorvilson, Euclid, Minn., in September 2016. // Twin girls, Chloe and Ada, were born to Thor and Gina (Caven) Toftely, St. Louis Park, Minn., in April 2016; Gina is
product manager for Quality Park, Minneapolis.
2001 A girl, Julia, was born to Andrew and Catherine (Dicken) Burelle, Coon Rapids, Minn., in December 2016. // A girl, Ivy, was born to Stacy (Stromstad) and Chad Christianson, Halstad, Minn., in October 2016. // Carolyn (Hooker) Dube, Austin, Minn., earned a doctorate in educational leadership and management from Capella U, Minneapolis; she was elected to a four-year term on the Austin Public Schools school board. // A boy, Dalton, was born to Daniel and Carrie (Strouth) Herrig, Grand Forks, N.D., in July 2016. // A girl, Ivy, was born to Now and Megan (Roth) Winter, Thousand Oaks, Calif., in June.
2002 Abby Buhaug, Blaine, Minn., published her first novel, “Noble” (2017). // A twin boy, Matthew, and girl, Annika, were born to J.D. and Erica (Tangen) Crouch, St. Paul, Minn., in December 2016. // A girl, Aine, was born to Megan
Mandelin Arola, Antioch, Tenn., is marketing manager for Nashville Software School. // A girl, Julia, was born to Nick and Lisa (Waldrup) Erickson, St. Paul, Minn., in June. // A girl, Maren, was born to Erika Foss, McGregor, Minn., in September 2016. // Elizabeth (Lerohl) Hiller, Moorhead, is pastor of Dilworth Lutheran (Minn.) Church. // A boy, Shepherd, was born to Aaron and Alison (Blake) Jones, West Fargo, N.D., in August 2016. // Casey Lankow, St. Paul, Minn., earned a doctorate in psychology from St. Mary’s U of Minnesota, Minneapolis. // A girl, Gemma, was born to Ryan and Kelsey (Myhre) Moran, Osseo, Minn., in November 2016. // A girl, Solveig, was born to Marija Reiff and Michael Long, Charlottesville, Va., in January 2017. // Tally (McEvers) Tinjum, Moorhead, earned a doctorate in nursing from the U of Nevada Las Vegas. // A girl, Rebekah, was born to Michael and Rachel (Hockert) Wagner, Brandon, Minn., in September 2016.
2004 Nate Jorgensen, Roseville, Minn., is system administrator
for TIES, St. Paul. // Laura (Kadow) Lamb, Perham, Minn., is a preschool teacher for Perham Public Schools. // Erica (Grinde) LaPorte, Missoula, Mont., is director of risk management and benefits for Missoula County. // Joseph Lindquist, Moorhead, earned a Master of Music degree in music education from North Dakota State U, Fargo. // A boy, Quinn, was born to Alyssa (Adam) and Jonathan Mudd, Guangdong, China, in February 2017; Jonathan is school director for QSI International School of Haiphong, Vietnam. // Emily (Chrissis) Myallis, Lititz, Pa., is children’s minister for St. Paul Lutheran Church. // A boy, Oscar, was born to Gretchen Nordstrom and Jonathan Davis, Washington, D.C., in April. // A boy, Peter, was born to Michael and Heather (Frank) Olivier, Lakeville, Minn., in February 2017. // Angie (Fernelius) Ryan, Moorhead, is product marketing manager for Dynamic Communities, Fargo. // A girl, Ivy, was born to Mike and Allison (Thompson) Walton, Pine Island, Minn., in May; Allison is a child protection social worker for Olmsted County Child and Family Services.
2005 A girl, Freya, was born to Emily and Patrick Amundson, Monterey, Calif., in May 2016. // Oby Ballinger, St. Paul, Minn., is pastor of Edina Morningside Community Church. // Sara Berge, Tampa, Fla., was named 2016 Teacher of the Year by the Hillsborough County School District. // Erinn Brauer married Brian Brown, McCook, Neb., in March. // A girl, Ericka, was born to Curtis and Heidi (Thompsen)
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Hjort, Farmington, Minn., in February 2017. // A girl, Makenna, was born to Shane and Kayla (Wald) Howard, Rochester, Minn., in April. // A boy, Wesley, was born to Kevin and Lisa (Gutsche) Muellerleile, Maple Grove, Minn., in August 2016. // A boy, Jaxson, was born to Erik and Danielle (Smedley) Mullen, Moorhead, in July. // A boy, Eli, was born to Julie (Miller) and Nicholas Myran, Albertville, Minn., in December 2016. // A boy, Jerome, was born to Timothy and Jennifer (Bremser) Rankin, South St. Paul, Minn., in October 2016. // A girl, Margaret, was born to Kristin (Almjeld) and Aaron Schmeling, Vermillion, S.D., in May 2016. // Michelle Urberg, Seattle, earned a doctorate in music history from the U of Chicago and a Master of Science degree in library and information science from the U of Illinois; she is a metadata librarian for ExLibris (ProQuest). // Julie (Hagen) Wilson, Moorhead, is director of children and family ministry for Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd.
2006 Rachel (Willgohs) Bollerud, Canby, Minn., is a mental health professional for Woodland Centers, Dawson. // Derek Holt, Hallock, Minn., earned American Federal Bank Sales Star recognition for 2016 in the ag and business banking division. // A boy, Ethan, was born to Sam and Brittany (Lowe) Jacobson, Watertown, S.D., in September 2016. // A girl, Maya, was born to Sangam ’05 and Chelsea (Sapa) Napit, Signal Hill, Calif., in July 2016. // A boy, Soren, was born to Bjorn and Chasity Odden Heide, Fargo,
in April. // A girl, Eliana, was born to Angie Pfeiffer Bedard and Louis Bedard, St. Cloud, Minn., in August 2016. // A boy, Henry, was born to Tom and Katie (Kluver) Rentschler, Alexandria, Minn., in September 2016. // A girl, Cora, was born to Martin and Julie (Tickle) Schwartz, Northfield, Minn., in December 2016. // Lyle Stutzman, Elnora, Ind., won first place in Wichita Chamber Chorale’s Kansas Choral Composition Prize for his piece “I Am the Lord.” // A girl, Alyssa, was born to Carla (Larsen) and Joseph Turner, Buffalo, Minn., in August 2016. // Dena (Hammond) Weinberger, Murray, Ky., is assistant professor of biological sciences at Murray State U. // A boy, Gabriel, was born to Christopher and Amanda (Gades) Wurtz, West Fargo, N.D., in July.
2007 A girl, Grace, was born to Jonathan and Meghan (Arveson) Anderson, Lakeville, Minn., in May. // A girl, Claire, was born to Erika (Blanck) and Reece Bierman, Rock Rapids, Iowa, in August 2016. // A girl, Macy, was born to Josh and Marie (Flagstad) Brewers, Burnsville, Minn., in April. // A girl, Emerson, was born to Katy (Nelson) and Dan Dahle, Golden Valley, Minn., in September 2016. // A girl, Adele, was born to Casey and Christine (Otis) DeLanghe, Menomonie, Wis., in December 2016. // A boy, Benjamin, was born to Thomas and Jackie (Erickson) Friend, Decatur, Ill., in August 2016; Jackie is a nuclear medicine technologist for Decatur Memorial Hospital. // A boy, Nicholas was born to Angelo and Krista (Olson) Naccarato, Canonsburg, Pa.,
in February 2017. // A boy, William, was born to Aaron ’06 and Stephanie (Parezo) Schumacher, Zumbrota, Minn., in March. // A girl, Kally, was born to Reid and Becky (Duehn) Strand, Worthington, Minn., in October 2016.
2008 Maureen (Munt) Bartelt, Fargo, is a licensed realtor for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Premier Properties. // A boy, Baxter, was born to Tyler ’07 and Corene (Knutson) Freeman, Fargo, in April. // Kari Kalway married Timothy Buck, Seattle, in October 2016. // Zackary Kenz, Durham, N.C., is a postdoctoral fellow for DILIsym Services. // A boy, Rhett, was born to Megan and Brent Moen, Glyndon, Minn., in September 2016. // A boy, Milo, was born to Amanda (Simon) and Joshua Smith, Maple Grove, Minn., in April. // Grant Weller married Rita Hurd, Minneapolis, in September 2016.
2009 A girl, Valentine, was born to Tyler and Jennifer (Froemming) Braathen, Grand Forks, N.D., in November 2016. // Elizabeth Ellens, Moorhead, is a biomanufacturing operator for Aldevron, Fargo. // A boy, Luke, was born to Scott and Kaitlyn (Ferguson) Forster, Medina, Minn., in October 2016. // A girl, Nora, was born to Scott and Kristin (Reding) Franks, Black River Falls, Wis., in March. // Rachel (Biessener) Granholm, Bloomington, Minn., is a kindergarten teacher for Pilgrim Lutheran School, Minneapolis. // A girl, Grace, was born to Kayte (McGuire) ’10 and Peter Haagenson, Medina, Minn., in February 2017. // A girl, Joella, was born to Benjamin and Maren Jystad-Spar, Fargo, in July; sisters Mara and Quinn were placed with them in June 2016 and the adoptions were finalized in December 2016. // A girl, Josephine, was
celebration of life and love Doug Brekke ’80 and Kristi Bummer ’87, Big Timber, Mont., were married in June with nearly 30 Cobbers in attendance. This was a first marriage for both. Doug had terminal cancer and passed away in October. Photo includes: Joel Westby ’79, Diane Beirwagen ’79, Lori (Kolodejchuk) Rohrich ’87, Vicki (Manternach) Fredrikson ’72, Lorna (Ringdahl) Halaas ’79, Rhea (Blaiotta) Gorseth ’98, Mary Helen (Brenden) Halaas ’49, Mark Halaas ’73, Eric Brenden ’97, Paul Bummer ’89, Philip Bummer ’93, DiAnn (Vollmers) Jacobson ’66, Steve Tjeltveit ’80, Rebecca (Nelson) Hulden ’80, John Halaas Hulden ’81, Lois (Brenden) Gorseth ’66, Anne (Keeley) Christensen ’07, Lisa Johnson ’79, Carol (Brenden) Nadlonek ’77, Carol (Rein) ’63 and John ’63 Brenden, John Pierce ’65, Carol (Barness) ’62 and Neil ’60 Overby, Beth Halaas ’86, and Gayle (Brenden) ’57 and Curtis ’52 Bummer
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born to Thomas and Sarah (Walker) Livesay, Coralville, Iowa, in December 2016; Sarah earned a doctorate in English literature from the U of Iowa, Iowa City, and is the assistant director of the Hanson Center for Technical Communication, U of Iowa. // Ashton Madsen, Carbondale, Ill., is an adult outpatient counselor/ intake specialist for Family Counseling Center, Cairo. // Kelly McGannon, Wright, ACT, Australia, is a visitor experience guide for National Zoo and Aquarium, Canberra. // A girl, Hildy, was born to
for MidMinnesota Federal Credit Union. // Paul Sommerfeld, Arlington, Va., earned a doctorate in musicology from Duke U, Durham, N.C. // A girl, Violet, was born to Jonathan ’10 and Kali (Messer) Swift, Sioux Falls, S.D., in January 2017. // Karen Wamsley married Lee Khambounmy, Minneapolis, in April; Karen is an accounting manager for TripleTree, Edina, Minn. // Jake Winchester, Englewood, Colo., earned a Master of Arts degree in clinical mental health counseling from the U of Colorado Denver; he is a
and legislative associate for the Navajo Nation Washington (D.C.) Office. // Megan Knox, El Paso, Texas, is executive director of the FEMAP Foundation. // Nick Lewis married Betsy Hutchinson, Detroit Lakes, Minn., in August 2016. // A boy, Tate, was born to Meg Martin and Craig Miller, Minneapolis, in May 2016. // A boy, Adrian, was born to Ken and Lisa (Suckstorff) Maus, Alexandria, Minn., in November 2016. // A girl, Anne, was born to Karin (Koenig) and Allan Rau, Clear Lake, Minn., in October 2016.
// A boy, Ivan, was born to Josh ’12 and Brook (Moseng) Herzog, Detroit Lakes, Minn. in May. // Kristen Johnson, Fargo, earned a family nurse practitioner master’s degree from the U of North Dakota, Grand Forks; she is a nurse practitioner for Essentia Health. // A boy, Archer, was born to Anthony ’07 and Whitney (Derks) Mitchell, Helena, Mont., in March. // A boy, Rowan, was born to Sean and Laura (Laufmann) Otis, Sioux Falls, S.D., in May 2016; Laura is an enterprise risk management analyst for Great Western
Neil and Kristen (Hokenstad) McKeone, Shakopee, Minn., in August 2016. // A girl, Luella, was born to Nicole and Joseph Raasch, Fargo, in July. // Daniel Ram, Providence, R.I., earned a doctorate in immunology from Tufts U, Boston; he is a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. // A daughter, Grettel, was born to Dustin and Heather (Arneson) Richter, Detroit Lakes, Minn., in August 2016; Heather is a consumer lending sales consultant
behavioral health provider II for Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.
// Leah Ryan, Eveleth, Minn., is a reporter and columnist for Mesabi Daily News, Virginia. // Marly Simmons, Baxter, Minn., earned a Master of Science degree in education with a mathematics focus from Southwest Minnesota State U, Marshall. // Danielle (Curtis) Stoll, Havre, Mont., is the choir teacher at Havre High School. // Emily Wells married Jeffrey Sivertson, Fergus Falls, Minn., in August 2016; Emily is director of marketing for Park Gardens Senior Living. // A boy, Duke, was born to Lee and Abby (Tisdale) West, Grafton, N.D., in October 2016; Abby is nutrition services director for Life Skills & Transition Center.
Bank. // Steven Reuter married Caitlin Johnson, St. Paul, Minn., in May 2016; Steven earned a Master of Arts degree in marriage and family therapy from Adler Graduate School, Richfield. // Sean Sorteberg, Thief River Falls, Minn., was promoted to manager of production control and logistics for Arctic Cat/Textron Off Road. // A girl, Anna, was born to Eric and Lucy (Oehler) Swanson, Aitkin, Minn., in September 2016. // A girl, Rebekah, was born to Jesse and Anna (Rohlfing) Tucker, Peyton, Colo., in December 2016; Anna earned a Master of Divinity degree from Bethel Seminary, St. Paul, Minn. // A girl, Brynlee, was born to Daidre Vaala-Logeais and John Logeais, Hutchinson, Minn., in July. // A girl, Eliese, was born to Dale and Beth (Weinzierl) Yurs, Belleville, Wis., in September 2016.
NOT READY FOR COLLEGE Elaina, the daughter of Travis ’12 and Carrie (Johansen) ’12 Loch, was born in July 2016; she has a few years before following in her parents’ college footsteps.
2010 A girl, Finley, was born to Nathan and Rebecca (Grotluschen) Aamodt, West Fargo, N.D., in November 2016. // Abby Boggs-Johnson, Fargo, is director of marketing and creative services for Discovery Benefits. // A girl, Bentlee, was born to Amber (Jackson) ’11 and Brady Blomberg, Fargo, in October 2016. // Alison Brennan, Moorhead, earned a doctorate in developmental science from North Dakota State U, Fargo; she is an extension parent educator/Region V Parenting Resource Center coordinator for NDSU Extension Service/ Cass County. // A boy, Jack, was born to Lucas and Samantha (Florian) Brown, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., in March. // A girl, Elouise, was born to Tyler ’11 and Sami (Beilke) Burington, Otsego, Minn., in October 2016. // Sarah Jesperson, Edina, Minn., is an American Indian outreach worker for Richfield Public Schools. // Natasha John, Arlington, Va., is a government affairs
2011 A girl, Bentlee, was born to Brady ’10 and Amber (Jackson) Blomberg, Fargo, in October 2016. // A boy, Trey, was born to Nathan and Sasha (Bergsagel) Dykema, Fargo, in November 2016. // Kayla Goetz married Michael Anderson, Fargo, in March. // Peter Graff, Cleveland, was awarded an Alvin H. Johnson AMS 50 Dissertation Fellowship.
2012 Mary Beenken married Nathan Johnson, Eden Prairie, Minn., in August 2016. // Amanda Boike, Longmont, Colo., is a Spanish teacher at Loveland High School. // Erin Colenso married
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Parker Kruckenberg, Billings, Mont., in July 2016; Erin is a seventh-grade teacher at Laurel Middle School. // Paul Cravens, Hutchinson, Minn., earned a Master of Arts degree in music composition from the U of New Hampshire, Durham; he is director of music and worship for Faith Lutheran Church. // Ashley Dahl married Thomas Gilbertson, Willmar, Minn., in July 2016. // A boy, Leo, was born to Matt ’11 and Krystal (Maroney) Enger, Park Rapids, Minn., in March. // Nicholas Ganoe, Fergus Falls, Minn., earned a Master of
Inter-American Development Bank. // A girl, Elaina, was born to Carrie (Johansen) and Travis Loch, Robbinsdale, Minn., in July 2016. // Joe Marion, Rochester, Minn., earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from the U of Nebraska College of Medicine, Omaha; he is a radiology resident for Mayo Clinic. // Amanda May married Kyle Devine, Minneapolis, in June 2016. // A girl, Reagan, was born to Brandon and Liz (Redman) Neseth, Waseca, Minn., in April; Liz is a seventhand eighth-grade teacher for Medford Public School
Science degree in educational leadership from Southwest Minnesota State U; he is the band director for West Central Area School District. // Joanna (Nysetvold) Green, Alexandria, Minn., is a sales specialist for Profile by Sanford. // A boy, Henry, was born to Jim and Noelle (Hiedeman) Green, Wahpeton, N.D., in November 2016. // Erin Gunderson, Breckenridge, Minn., was named 2016 Volunteer of the Year by the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. // Maren Hamilton, Fargo, earned a master’s degree in communication with an emphasis in digital media from the U of Washington, Seattle; she is the social media manager for The Integer Group. // A boy, Crosby, was born to Chris and Britt (Lorentz) Ingersoll, Moorhead, in January 2017. // Allison Lampman, Fargo, earned a Master of Science degree in counseling and student affairs from Minnesota State U Moorhead. // Gerardo Leon, Washington, D.C., earned a master’s degree in project management from ULACIT, Costa Rica; he is an instructional designer for
District. // Estelle Richard married Blake Hickman, Cottage Grove, Minn., in April. // Jared Sander, Phoenix, is a resident physician for Banner Health. // Marta Stolen married Wade Hermunslie, Fargo, in October 2016.
2013 A boy, Milo, was born to Kirstin (Iverson) and Charlie Alvarez, Northfield, Minn., in August 2016. // Jennifer Buchanan, Minneapolis, is an initial assessments social worker for Hennepin County. // Jenna Carlson, Chinle, Ariz., is a clinical dietitian for Indian Health Services. // Megan Casper, Rochester, Minn., is a pastoral intern for People of Hope Lutheran Church. // Kristi Del Vecchio, Chicago, earned a research master’s degree in theology with a focus on interreligious dialogue from Catholic Theological Union. // Brooke Grussing married Kerry O’Connell, Glen Ellyn, Ill., in November 2016; Brooke is a clinical dietitian for Loyola U Medical Center, Maywood. // Arthur Gutnik, Sioux Falls, S.D., earned a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from
COBBER FISHING TRIP The Stand Up and Cheer bag wasn’t large enough to hold all the fish from the annual Cobber classmate fishing trip to Lake of the Woods, Minn. (l-r): Ron Johnson ’72, Gerald Paulson ’73, Royce Holland ’72 and Roger Chase ’72
Oregon Health and Science U, Portland. // Paige Johnson married Timotheus Knorek, Lake Park, Minn., in July. // A girl, Grace, was born to Jimmy and Christina (Lantz) Jorgensen, Dickinson, N.D., in March. // Laura Kuisle married Ben Hoebing, Hayfield, Minn., in August. // Regina Laufmann married Dalton Reed, Jasper, Minn., in October 2016; Regina is treasury analyst for Great Western Bank, Sioux Falls, S.D. // A girl, Cara, was born to John and Stephanie (Paulson) Mattson, Moorhead, in September 2016; Stephanie is regional system administrator at Institute for Community Alliances. // A girl, Adeline, was born to Colleen (Kelly) ’14 and Matt Moenkedick, Dickinson, N.D., in December 2016. // Renée Nygren, Fargo, is assistant news director at Valley News Live. // A girl, Adeyn, was born to Andrew ’12 and Alissa (Bahn) Peterson, Byron, Minn., in November 2016. // A girl, Camile, was born to Kellie (Isaacson) Quesada and Juan Quesada-Olarte, St. Peter, Minn., in November 2016. // Brittany (Pearson) Schroer, Columbus, Ind., is a QC documentation specialist for Lannett (Kremers Uran Pharmaceuticals). // Dannelle
Verghis married Trevor Doering, Moorhead, in September 2016; Dannelle is a banker for Choice Financial. // A girl, Evelyn, was born to Ryan ’11 and Ingrid (Jasper) Wielenberg, Morgan, Minn., in October 2016.
2014 Katie Barkley married Erik Olson ’13, Detroit Lakes, Minn., in July 2016; Katie is a clinical nutrition manager for Sodexo. // Julia Cater, Tallahassee, Fla., earned a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the U of Illinois, Urbana; she is the STEM research and learning librarian for Florida State U Libraries. // Bria Dimke, Milwaukee, is an NBA dancer for the Milwaukee Bucks. // Kirsten Hoaby, Minneapolis, is an English consultant for iTutorGroup and a wish coordinator with Make-A-Wish Minnesota. // Victoria Richmond married Leif Sundberg, Lakeville, Minn., in March; Victoria is a K-5 music specialist for Lakeville Public Schools. // Nicole Wagner, Minneapolis, is a secondary English teacher for Prairie Seeds Academy.
2015 Katie Minn.,
Ahlstrom, is an
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HONORED FOR HER SERVICE Joan (Ubaniak) Wodiska ’96 was honored for her service as the vice president and member of the State Board of Education in the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2013-17; she was subsequently appointed by the governor to represent Virginia on the Education Commission of the States. Wodiska is pictured with her daughter, Ava Victoria Stanton Wodiska, members of the State Board of Education of Virginia and State Chief School Officer Dr. Steven Staples (back right).
MEMORIALS 1935: Allen Hanson, 101, Northfield, Minn., in November 2016. 1937: Ruth (Rygg) Engelstad, 101, Moorhead, in February 2017. // James Wilkins, 101, Fargo, in July. 1939: Donald Gilbertson, 98, Gold River, Calif., in January 2017.
manager for W2O Group. // Abigail Berglund married Sam Barney, Minneapolis, in July 2016. // Catherine Bruns, Harrisonburg, Va., earned a master’s degree in communication and advocacy from James Madison U; she is the communications and administrative assistant for Arts Council of the Valley. // Michael Chambers, Coon Rapids, Minn., is project manager for FRWD Co., Minneapolis. // Sam Fouts, Eagan, Minn., earned a Master of Music degree in choral studies from U of Cambridge, U.K. // Hannah LoefflerKemp, Duluth, Minn., is an ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission volunteer in Manchester, England. // Jenna Morris, Jacksonville, Fla., is a K-2 art teacher for KIPP Jacksonville. // Rachael Pishtek, Fargo, is director of marketing development for Northern Lights SADD, Hillsboro, N.D. // Kristen Solbrack, Litchfield, Minn., is a client service specialist for Ameriprise Financial. // Katharine Spencer, Chicago, is coordinator of annual fund and alumni relations
for Chicago Seminary.
2016 Ben Gislason, Urbandale, Iowa, is director of broadcasting and media relations for Buccaneers Hockey LLC. // Alyson Kasemodel married Patrick McGuire, Fargo, in August 2016. // Wesley Kimball, Spring Grove, Minn., is a math teacher for Spring Grove Public Schools. // Tayler Klimek married Joseph Bjornson ’15, Fargo, in June. // Adam Nelson, Stewartville, Minn., is director of youth and family ministry for Zion Lutheran Church. // Ashley Thompson, Lansing, Mich., is a research assistant for Michigan State U.
2017 Chantelle Blackowiak, Delano, Minn., is a financial representative for Northwestern Mutual. // Elizabeth Hiller married Michael Brossart ’15, Alexandria, Minn., in June. // Alexandra Thom, Fargo, is a client relations specialist for Aldevron.
1940: Evelyn (Bjorge) Nockleby, 99, Kalispell, Mont., in July 2016. // Mary (Garberg) Peinovich, 98, Sun City West, Ariz., in February 2017. 1941: Beulah (Irwin) Hodges, 97, Grand Forks, N.D., in June. 1942: Alan Hopeman, 96, Minneapolis, in April. // Clayton Klakeg, 96, Goleta, Calif., in October 2016. // Eunice Sandven, 96, Leeds, N.D., in March. // Carol (Sanstead) Shubeck, 95, Beresford, S.D., in July; she is survived by her husband, Fred. 1943: Robert Brunet, 95, Bethesda, Md., in May; he is survived by his wife, Mary. // Irene (Langseth) Olson, 94, Horace, N.D., in January 2017. 1944: Odell Barduson, 95, Hastings, Minn., in October 2016; he is survived by his wife, Barbara. // Orville Erickson, 94, Mesa, Ariz., in October 2016. // Esther “Marky” (Marquette) Johnshoy, 93, Longmont, Colo., in October 2016. // Joseph Lee Jr., 95, Knoxville, Tenn., in February 2017.
1945: Lorraine (Omlie) Skaalure, 94, Helena, Mont., in June. 1947: Dorothy Fortney, 91, Williamsburg, Va., in February 2017. // Merlyn (Olson) Hvidston, 93, Moorhead, in October 2016; she is survived by her husband, Alden “Hvid” ’50. // Gordon Langseth, 90, Fargo, in July; he is survived by his wife, Ione. 1948: Jean (Sanders) Ekern, 91, Cottage Grove, Minn., in September 2016. // Leona (Kragness) Hektner, 91, Fargo, in May. // Betty (Olson) Johnson, 90, Darwin, Minn., in November 2016. // Beverly (Erickson) McGee, 89, Minneapolis, in November 2016. // Orville Sunde, 90, Edinburg, N.D., in June. // Lyle Tweten, 89, Pelican Rapids, Minn., in March; he is survived by his wife, Yvonne. 1949: Mavis (Wennberg) Aasland, 89, Moorhead, in October 2016. // Joel Belgum, 94, St. Paul, Minn., in April; he is survived by his wife, Bernice (Garnaas) ’48. // Clarice (Noben) Ernst, 90, Lake Park, Minn., in May. // Robert Larson, 89, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., in September 2016. // Allen Lavanger, 92, Hopkins, Minn., in February 2017. // Orene (Gilbertson) Sjolander, 90, Fargo, in September 2016. 1950: Robert Anderson, 88, Minneapolis, in March; he is survived by his husband, Randall. // Clay Brady, 89, Minneapolis, in November 2016. // John Harkness, 91, Moorhead, in September 2016; he is survived by his wife, Margaret. // Ethel (Houglum)
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Hest, 88, Ada, Minn., in March. // Charles Lindberg, 88, Wahpeton, N.D., in May. // Mardell (Rydland) Nienas, 88, Hatton, N.D., in November 2016. // Helen (Narveson) Rudie, 88, Fargo, in October 2016. // David Thrane, 89, Fairview Park, Ohio, in March.
1957: Abner Jonas, 82, Athens, Ohio, in February 2017; he is survived by his wife, Kathleen (Ristinen). // Karen (Hinman) Zajic, 81, Grapevine, Texas, in February 2017.
1952: Earl Kolke, 86, Cambridge, Minn., in January 2017. // James Roy, 87, Walker, Minn., in July; he is survived by his wife, Ruth.
1958: John Hartje, 80, Bellevue, Wash., in February 2017; he is survived by his wife, Marilyn. // Gordon Olson, 80, Golden Valley, Minn., in May; he is survived by his wife, Mary (Swenson) ’60.
1953: Harvey Glommen,
1959: Barbara Barr, 79,
88, Blaine, Minn., in January 2017; he is survived by his wife, Ina Mae (Wollertson). // Phyllis (Lysaker) Grabow, 89, Hawley, Minn., in June.
Edina, Minn., in June. // Dona (Hitterdal) Hadland, 79, Owatonna, Minn., in August. // William Nelson, 80, Clear Lake, Minn., in June; he is survived by his wife, Kay. // Lois (Gilbertson) Olsen, 79, Fort Collins, Colo., in October 2016; she is survived by her husband, Gerald ’58. // Gordon Thorkelsson, 80, Edmonton, Alberta, in November 2016; he is survived by his wife, Catherine. // John Ylvisaker, 79, Waverly, Iowa, in March; he is survived by his wife, Fern.
1954: Helen Fritchie, 86, Harvey, N.D., in September 2016. // Virginia (Franklin) Lueth, 84, Bemidji, Minn., in December 2016. // Ronald Thue, 85, Williston, N.D., in July; he is survived by his wife, Jan. 1955: Alida Gulsvig, 83, Moorhead, in May. // Wyman Holland, 85, Fargo, in December 2016; he is survived by his wife, Helen (Schiefer) ’56. // E. Robert “Kris” Kristensen, 86, Winthrop Harbor, Ill., in May; he is survived by his wife, Florence. // Elmer Nies, 83, Bemidji, Minn., in December 2016. // Edris (Meier) Rust, 83, Alexandria, Minn., in January 2017; she is survived by her husband, Herb ’58. 1956: Lawrence Leervig, 87, Hopkins, Minn., in January 2017; he is survived by his wife, Marlene. // Ruth (Tolo) Siegle, 83, Moorhead, in April.
1960: Joel Agrimson, 90, Chanhassen, Minn., in January 2017; he is survived by his wife, Kathleen. // Dorian “Pete” Cordes, 78, Tucson, Ariz., in February 2017. // Donald Foss, 78, Little Canada, Minn., in July; he is survived by his wife, Jane. // William Greenan, 82, Citrus Heights, Calif., in February 2017; he is survived by his wife, Judi. // Richard Keszler, Phoenix, in September 2016; he is survived by his wife, Mary. // Dianne (Larson) Kimm, 79, Pelican Rapids, Minn., in December 2016. // June (Skavang) Smith, 83, Hackensack, Minn., in April.
// Carole (Ulven) Ziegler, 79, Fargo, in May; she is survived by her husband, Gilbert. 1961: Sharon (Ferguson) Gunderson, 78, Corona, Calif., in July. // Corinne (Stene) Hurd, 77, St. Augusta, Minn., in September 2016; she is survived by her husband, Richard. 1962: Elmer Bonnell, 81, Loveland, Colo., in December 2016; he is survived by his wife, Marie. // Dorothy (Hagglund) Kiffmeyer, 77, St. Louis Park, Minn., in September 2016; she is survived by her husband, Vernon. // E. Arne Kolbjornsen, 76, Plymouth, Minn., in January 2017; he is survived by his wife, Kathie (Erickson) ’65. 1963: R. Juanada “Jo” (Paulsrud) Camrud, 88, Moorhead, in April. // Joyce Monson Tsongas, 75, Portland, Ore., died in January 2017; she is survived by her husband, Dennis Brooks. // David Quarve, 75, Ocala, Fla., in February 2017; he is survived by his wife, Catherine. 1964: Mona (Getz) Becker, 74, Minneapolis, in March. // Carol Cromey, 74, Oakdale, Minn., in July.
A MEMORY FOR MUSIC Ted Homdrom ’41, a member of St. Anthony Park Lutheran’s choir, sang “Lamb of God” by F. Melius Christiansen from memory 77 years after singing it with The Concordia Choir. (l-r): Homdrom, Frank Steen ’73 and Blaine Thrasher ’77 1965: Harold Hellekson, 73, Menan, Idaho, in January 2017; he is survived by his wife, Barbara. // Elwood “Ike” Isley, 73, Burlington, Vt., in June; he is survived by his wife, Ann. // Keith Larsen, 73, Rochester, Minn., in November 2016; he is survived by his wife, Karen. 1966: Dorothy (Lindfors) Christen, 72, Duluth, Minn., in July; she is survived by her husband, Harry. // Karen (Neyssen) Gunderson, 72, Lakeville, Minn., in March; she is survived by her husband, Ronald. // Sarah Jordheim, 72, Ann Arbor, Mich., in August 2016. // Cleo (Reichmann) Koppelman, 72, Moorhead, in August; she is survived by her husband, Vernon.
SPORTIN’ THEIR FAVORITE JERSEYS Concordia was well represented on Favorite Team Jersey Day at Bayview Elementary in Waconia, Minn. Go Cobbers! (l-r): Nate Larsen ’09, Ann (Jaeger) Swanson ’95, Kay (Jensen) Young ’89, Todd Berger ’95, Heidi (Berg) Wamre ’87 and Heather Weniger ’09
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THE RING While helping a friend move, Kris (Erickson) Spangrud ’87 found a local church to attend. Sherman Bishop ’76 happened to be the pastor for Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Westlake, Ohio, and his ring caught her eye.
survived by his wife, Donna “Joy.” // John Rehkamp, 59, Plymouth, Minn., in May; he is survived by his wife, Cindy (Berglund) ’82. 1981: Lori (Ueland) Hoyum, 57, Bainbridge Island, Wash., in October 2016; she is survived by her husband, Ronald. // Robert Vaage, 57, Milford, Iowa, in November 2016; he is survived by his wife, DeeAnn (Simpson) ’83.
1967: Edith Steinhaus, 70, Enderlin, N.D., in February 2017. 1968: Cleo (Svangstu) Carlson, 72, Fargo, in July; she is survived by her husband, Thomas. // Paul Donley, 71, Bloomington, Minn., in June; he is survived by his wife, Merry (Skoglund). 1969: Jeffrey Livingston, 69, Deadwood, S.D., in July 2016; he is survived by his wife, Chris. // Donald Nelson, 69, Whitefish, Mont., in February 2017. 1971: Charles Kindem, 67, Farmington, Minn., in May; he is survived by his wife, Lynn. // Daniel “Mike” Reber, 67, Prescott, Ariz., in September 2016. 1972: John Tanis, 66, Rensselaer, Ind., in July. 1973: Caroline Jaffray, 65, Arden Hills, Minn., in May. // David Jorgensen, 65, Fargo, in March; he is survived by his wife, Patricia. // Kenneth Rustad, 65, Lynnville, Tenn., in March; he is survived by his
wife, Vickie. // Carol (Hicks) See, 65, Waleska, Ga., in April 2016; she is survived by her husband, Randy. 1974: Linda (Borchert) Hageseth, 66, Elk River, Minn., in June. // Barbara (Carriere) Holmquist, 63, Buffalo, Minn., in June; she is survived by her husband, John. 1975: Betty (Nellermoe) Hase, 63, Fairview, Ore., in March. 1976: Loretta (Holm) Main, 63, St. Paul, Minn., in January 2017; she is survived by her husband, Cleon. 1977: Gregory Grant, 63, Fargo, in December 2016; he is survived by his wife, Debra. 1978: Brian Chally, 60, Henderson, Nev., in June; he is survived by his wife, Sheila. 1980: Douglas Brekke, 59, Big Timber, Mont., in October; he is survived by his wife, Kristi Bummer ’87. // Richard Johnson, 67, Argusville, N.D., in January 2017; he is
1993: Jeannette (Hahn) Lund, 46, Dawson, Minn., in January 2017; she is survived by her husband, Bruce. // Rebekka Wahala, 46, Minnetonka, Minn., in July; she is survived by her life partner, Marc Geiselhart. 2001: Colleen (Kauffman) Mackowick, 37, Moorhead, in November 2016; she is survived by her husband, Marlon.
1982: Lynette Sheffield, 57, Huron, S.D., in July.
2003: Elizabeth “Betsy” (Reck) Reiff, 34, Plymouth, Minn., in March; she is
1983: James Fawbush, 69, Moorhead, in June; he is survived by his wife, Merryll “Casey.” // Gary Martinson, 56, Bonita Springs, Fla., in July. // Marcia (Bredeson) Overton, 55, Willmar, Minn., in December 2016; she is survived by her husband, George.
survived by her husband, Daniel ’00.
1985: Randall Harms, 58, Dilworth, Minn., in October 2016; he is survived by his wife, Cindy. 1986: Paul Morlock, 52, Moorhead, in October 2016; he is survived by his wife, Jean. 1987: Nathan Johnson, 52, Myrtle Beach, S.C., in March. 1988: Sheri (Wunch) Thureen, 50, Avondale, Pa., in October 2016; she is survived by her husband, Dean ’86. 1991: Christopher Yarger, 48, Ely, Minn., in March. 1992: Julie (Bronson) Fjeld, 47, Lino Lakes, Minn., in April; she is survived by her husband, Jeff.
2020: Eli Johnson, 19, Moorhead, in September. editor’s note: Class notes and photographs may be submitted online at ConcordiaCollege.edu/ alumniupdate.
class notes »
IN MEMORIAM Dr. Eduardo Gargurevich, 57, Fargo, N.D., died March 12. Gargurevich, originally from Peru, started working at Concordia in 1994 and served as professor of Spanish and Hispanic studies for 23 years. He co-created the May Seminar to Latin America and led the program with other Spanish faculty members several times. For a few years, Gargurevich served as dean of the Concordia Language Villages’ summer program to Argentina and was the faculty advisor for the Spanish Studies Abroad programs in Argentina and Spain. He taught summer school in Peru and Spain. He also served as the Spanish department chair twice. Gargurevich earned his bachelor’s degree in Lima, Peru, before earning his master’s and doctorate at the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to Concordia, he taught at Auburn University in Alabama. In addition to articles and papers, his many publications include poetry and novels. He is survived by his daughter, Erin Gargurevich-Gorman.
Dr. Max W. Richardson, 73, Ransom Canyon, Texas, died Oct. 31. Richardson, professor emeritus of political science, retired and moved to Texas in 2015. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Texas Tech University and a doctorate in political science from the University of Georgia, Athens. Prior to joining the faculty at Concordia, he taught at Black Hills State University, Spearfish, S.D., worked in the Peace Corps in Libya, and taught in the Glen Rose School District in Texas. He came to Concordia in 1990 and quickly became known as a master teacher, who made great use of humor and stories to engage his students. Generations of undergrads learned constitutional law from him and more than 90 percent of the students he advised in pre-law were admitted to law school. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Lisa Lee Sawyer, a former longtime member of the music faculty at Concordia; his daughter, Sarah Whitney Bigham; son, Trevor; and three grandchildren.
Joyce Monson Tsongas, 75, Portland, Ore., died Jan. 15, 2017. She grew up in Moorhead near Concordia where her father, Dr. Allwin Monson, taught speech for 33 years. Monson Tsongas graduated from Concordia in 1963 with a degree in speech, communication and theatre art, and earned a master’s from Purdue University. After teaching speech and debate for several years, she spent the remainder of her professional life as a trailblazer in the trial consulting arena. She founded Tsongas & Associates (now Tsongas Litigation Consulting) in 1978. She helped launch the American Society of Trial Consultants in 1982, later serving as president. In collaboration with her father and Dr. Paul Dovre, she spearheaded the creation and fundraising for the endowed Allwin and Dorothy Monson Forensics Excellence Fund. She and her husband, Dennis Brooks, hosted alumni gatherings, including corn feeds and a Concordia High Impact Leadership Trip. She received the Alumni Achievement Award in 1995 and became a member of the Board of Regents in 2009. During her seven-year tenure, she served on several committees and was serving as secretary at the time of her death. She is survived by her husband, Dennis Brooks; children, Christopher Tsongas and Mika Tsongas Bassett; and three grandchildren.
Helen (Narveson) Rudie, 88, Fargo, N.D., died Oct. 19, 2016. Rudie graduated from Concordia in 1950 with degrees in English and music education. She then earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education from Moorhead State College (now Minnesota State University Moorhead) and a sixth-year diploma in media education from Mankato State University (now Minnesota State University Mankato). Rudie spent most of her 27-year career at Concordia, where she served in several roles, including curriculum librarian in the Carl B. Ylvisaker Library before retiring in 1993. She was active in numerous women’s organizations including the League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women, where she served two years as state president. She was also active in several professional, community and cultural organizations, and was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead. In retirement, she spent four years working as a high school librarian at the Evangelicke Lyceum in Bratislava, Slovakia. Throughout her life, she enjoyed working with young people as an educator. She is survived by her children, Shirley Schoberg-Hebda, Alan Schoberg and Paul Schoberg; two grandchildren; and three greatgrandchildren. ◊
BY K AY L A STENSTROM
r. Earl Lewis ’78 has been president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation since March 2013. As members of Concordia College’s Board of Regents, Lewis and Fay Ferguson ’73 founded the Diversity Student Endowed Scholarship to recognize students who bring diversity, broadly defined, to Concordia College. From these advocacy roles, Lewis calls for the crucial consideration of diversity, the arts and humanities.
While a Concordia student, Lewis anticipated a graduate degree in psychology. As an undergraduate research assistant, Lewis “came to understand the value of independent research” with his design of an experiment on biofeedback techniques for prehypertensive young men, published soon after. Yet, it was Lewis’ undergraduate senior thesis, which was also published, that propelled him onto the trajectory of a historian. Called to the University of Michigan after four years at University of California, Berkeley, Lewis was already asking questions beyond that of most faculty members. “I was interested in the overall health and finances of American public higher education and what it means to build an institution,” Lewis says. Lewis later served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and professor of history and African American studies at Emory University, Atlanta. His desire to create and sustain institutions of higher learning tied these experiences together. Lewis first encountered the Mellon Foundation in 1997 by inheriting a grant as dean of Michigan’s graduate school. Under Lewis’ leadership, the foundation has refined its strategic priorities, overhauled its operational structure to match its ambitions and created its first communications department. Over the last five years, the foundation’s primary work has been elevating scholarly work on the importance of diversity in order to impact U.S. policy and general understanding, and, in turn, diversifying the pool of its own grant recipients. The foundation now supports prison education programs, partnerships between community colleges and four-year institutions, and Latino- and Hispanic-serving institutions. The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program, designed to diversify the ranks of higher learning faculty, has more than 700 doctoral fellows and over 100 tenured faculty members. Additionally, the foundation is raising the next generation of academic leadership across the African continent and recently launched the Our Compelling Interest publication series (Princeton University Press), which points to diversity and social congruence as critical components of a productive democracy. Lewis challenges his team at Mellon to “look past the next quarter, asking ‘how do we make decisions now that will effectively position us to embrace the next decade?’” This ability to probe deeper without fear of ambiguity, Lewis argues, is a chief quality of a liberal arts learner.
“It’s not about mastering a set of facts because anyone can learn that by going to a library,” he says. “Liberal arts at its best teaches you to ask the right questions.” Lewis notes that Concordia College was asking the right questions in the late ’70s with efforts to diversify its student body in “Diversity 1.0” but fell short in merely being hospitable and assuming that students would be changed by their experience in a new setting. Rather, a truly inclusive institution, he says, recognizes that “diversity is not about making people feel good” and that it must change, too. Lewis is certain that such a “period of inclusivity and understanding both conceptually and pragmatically will result in ‘Diversity 2.0.’” Just as the Mellon Foundation looks outward as an innovative foundation, institutions of higher education need to intentionally broaden public understanding of the humanities, arts and diversity if they wish to thrive and remain socially relevant, Lewis says.
“Colleges and universities have to continually restate why they exist and should continue to exist and be constantly reminded that they are part of a community that will look to it.” – Dr. Earl Lewis
Connecting with community takes on the form of students working with local agencies and an occasional rehaul of the curriculum to see if it touches on issues that directly impact where students come from and where they will return. A college like Concordia, Lewis says, “would err if it only thinks of its role as producing job-ready candidates for the marketplace.” A “fully educated” student is exposed to the sciences, technology, math, and the arts and humanities, which dig into the roots of the human condition and experience. The student is then prepared for multiple career changes and able to apply a wide range of perspectives in confronting “grand challenges – those gnarly, difficult, at some point bodacious issues that are never completely satisfied,” Lewis says. The Mellon Foundation and Concordia College are well matched in this shared commitment to develop literate national and global citizens. ◊
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@kali_vinson So very happy to have these a-MAIZE-ing women here with me to celebrate Family Weekend. #cordmn Kali Vinson â€™19, St. Louis Park, Minn., with her mom, Kathy Vinson and grandma, Clarice Vinson
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