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Concordia St. Paul magazine FALL 2018


C SP NEWS Page 18


Innovators in Higher Education: CSAL, CUE-Net, and the laptop initiative Page 2

S P E C I A L E D I T I O N : C E L E B R AT I N G 1 2 5 Y E A R S Tim el in e o f o u r hi s to r y to d a te - p a g e s 2 -9 .

Concordia University, St. Paul


1282 Concordia Ave St. Paul, MN 55104


651-641-8810 1-866-GROW-CSP Publisher

Office of University Advancement Editor and Writer

Tad Dunham Additional Editing and Writing

Amanda (Och) Padula, BA '14, MBA '17 Rhonda (Behm) Palmersheim, BA '88 Danielle (Bredy) Sarim, BA '12 Thomas Saylor



Design and Layout

Makayla King, BA '17 Jackie Watters



2 Innovators in Higher Education

Elissa Boll Brian Evans, BA '07, MA '09 Nick Schroepfer, BA '18

14 CSP Celebrates 125 Years


18 CSP President Tom Ries to Retire

16 Legacy Family: The Spomer's

Ideal Printers Inc. St. Paul, MN

22 Homecoming 2018 Memories

About Us

26 Class Notes

Concordia University, St. Paul is a member of the Concordia University System, a national network of 10 colleges and universities of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.

24 Movin' On Up: CSP joins NCAA Division II 33 Advancement Update

From the Archives


The mission of Concordia University, St. Paul, a university of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, is to prepare students for thoughtful and informed living, for dedicated service to God and humanity and for the enlightened care of God’s creation, all within the context of the Christian Gospel. © 2018 Concordia University St. Paul

Concordia’s First Graduating Class - 1896 The first class of young men to complete their courses at Concordia included seven who would go on to be pastors, while seven others became teachers. Included in this class was August Schlueter, who was a faculty member at Concordia from 1916 to 1926.


from the President

This issue of Concordia St. Paul Magazine is dedicated to the university’s 125th anniversary, which we are celebrating during this 2018-19 academic year under the theme: Leading in Legacy. The theme was suggested by CSP alumna Sara (Sather) Pimental, BA ’10. In 2015, anticipating this upcoming anniversary, I appointed a committee to begin planning for the celebration. Faculty emeriti Drs. Carl and Barb Schoenbeck graciously agreed to serve as co-chairs of the committee. One of the first orders of business was to set about the task of choosing an anniversary theme. Frankly, the members of the committee were stumped. They tried this wording, and that wording, but couldn’t come up with what seemed the perfect reflection of the quasquicentennial. So, Director of Alumni Relations Rhonda (Behm) Palmersheim, BA ’88 put out a call for suggestions from our graduates. I was in the room the day that Rhonda shared some of them with the anniversary committee. When 'Leading in Legacy' was laid on the table, every face broke into a big smile and there was unanimous agreement that it was perfect. We particularly like the theme because it is rooted in the storied history of this great institution, yet at the same time reflects its dynamic and forward-looking nature. CSP was founded by Lutheran immigrants to be a college of the Church, primarily preparing young men for careers in ministry. Since then CSP has become a university of the Church, that prepares men and women of all ages for professions in the Church and a host of secular occupations. Along the way, this institution has truly become one of the most innovative institutions of higher education in the country. We are built on the rock of the Lord Jesus Christ, but are not immovable. We continue to change and adapt to new challenges and new opportunities. Innovation is at the heart of this institution. This spirit of innovation led the university to impressive accomplishments in each generation of its existence. As the current president of the institution, I feel that we are “standing on the shoulders of giants.” The leaders of the past have laid the foundation and contributed to building the structure that is upon it. Our privilege today is to add to that past even as we serve as the current stewards of its legacy. In the following pages, you will find many stories of CSP’s impressive history. But you will find even more looks forward to its promising future. In this anniversary year, we are thankful for the largest enrollment ever in a continually growing number of academic programs on a campus footprint that also continues to expand and in a virtual campus that is almost limitless. The future is bright because our God is great and our mission to prepare students is worthy. Join me in celebrating 125 years of Leading in Legacy!

Rev. Dr. Tom Ries, President Concordia University, St. Paul



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Innovators in Higher Education CSAL, CUE-Net, and the laptop initiative by Thomas Saylor

In 2018, Concordia creates and delivers a broad range of online courses and programs to students around the globe. Some programs, like the MBA, are fully online. In the early 1990s, though, this world of online learning was only a dream. But the expansive online presence CSP enjoys today is rooted in important foundations that were set around that time. Themes of innovation, transformation and change— hallmarks of the period 1993-2018—are in evidence as we examine some key programs from the past.

EST. 1893

Leading in Legacy

1893 Concordia was officially founded on September 13, 1893. The first class was comprised of 30 young men.


Rev. Theodore Buenger served as Concordia's first president from 1893 to 1927 and would continue on as a faculty member until retiring after 50 years of dedicated service in 1943.




The first class of young men to complete their courses at Concordia included seven who would go on to be pastors, while seven others became teachers. Included in this class was August Schlueter, who was a faculty member at Concordia from 1916 to 1926.

Currently the oldest building on campus, the present-day Graebner Memorial Chapel was first built as a gymnasium at a total cost of $10,654.

Originally named Recitation Hall, it was long known as the classroom building. Renamed Meyer Hall in 2006 in honor of Dr. Loma Meyer, the structure originally housed classrooms, administrative and faculty offices, science laboratories, museum and a chapel auditorium.


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To better understand where the university is today, we need to step back to the mid-1980s, and the Concordia School of Adult Learning (CSAL). When it began, however, it was the Concordia School of Accelerated Learning—as we will see below, the name change, and focus change, will come later. While the different names can cause some confusion, there’s no confusing that both iterations of CSAL were innovative game changers.


The degree-completion CSAL program, set up in a cohort model and offering an organizational management and communication degree major, was by the early 1990s being offered at off-campus sites as well. CSAL significantly expanded Concordia’s reach, student population and revenue. The Concordia School of Adult Learning and its progeny transformed how CSP developed and delivered education. The foundation of the university’s 21st century online programs was this innovative curriculum. So let’s learn something about it.

Carl Schoenbeck, who enjoyed a decades-long career as teacher and administrator, explains how CSAL represented a new direction—and that meant some challenging questions. There’s credit for life experience. Very controversial thing… It is not connected to church work. We’re off-campus. We purchased the curriculum. This is the first time we would take a curriculum that somebody else had, and we would start it. We delivered it. Just a whole lot of things that we were way ahead on. And successful. [CSAL] gave Concordia a little experience of getting into cutting edge stuff and working through problems [like], how do you create something that’s separate, and integrate it? It took a long time. But there was a lot of caution. I still remember President Harre saying, there’s a limited time CSAL will be with us. We knew the demographics of that, the high school populations and all that, traditional age students are down. Here’s a market, and we’re going to reach that market. I remember coming to the plenary faculty, and that’s a difficult thing because there are people that don’t have the research on that and they’re looking at it and saying boy, I can’t see what that’s going to do. So I’m not necessarily in favor of it.

1921 Concordia earns accreditation as a two-year college in 1921. Students complete their first two years at Concordia College then transfer to a Concordia senior college to finish their undergraduate degree.

More than 3,000 people attended the dedication of the Luther statue on Concordia's campus, which was unveiled as part of the quadracentennial observance of Dr. Martin Luther's courageous stand at the Diet of Worms in 1521. The statue stands 12 feet high and contains 3,700 pounds of bronze.

Bob DeWerff works with a CSAL class in the 1990s.

Carol Klempka started working at Concordia in 1998. Initially she worked as dean’s assistant for the College of Graduate Continuing Studies, where CSAL was a department. Bob DeWerff was the dean. Bob was really at the forefront of new programming and providing education for the growing adult student populations. CSAL was tapping into that new demographic of adult working students who had families and employment responsibilities and could not attend day classes, but needed BA degrees to advance in their careers. A huge contributing factor was that employee educational reimbursement was part of company benefit packages, and this wave of students really used that to their best advantage. It was a perfect storm of right pricing, convenient hours, and the acceptance of adult learning principles in academia, which meant that students could accelerate their learning based on prior knowledge and experience and could learn better in collaboration with other students (hence the cohort model) and it could all be paid for by the company. This type of programming was a transformative experience for the students and a revenue producer for the college.

Marilyn Reineck, who then taught in the Communications Department, was involved with CSAL from the beginning. I remember the early days. I was involved in teaching too, where we would send our faculty to Duluth, to Rochester, to other locations to conduct classes so that we could increase access. It really called for kind of a reconceptualization of access to education. There were a lot more weekends; I did some Saturday classes, evening hours and so forth.




Completed in just under six months at a cost of $143,000, East Dormitory (later named Luther Hall in 1947) was needed due to overcrowding from record enrollment. Originally built to house 100 students, the facility was the main residence hall on campus for the next 30 years.

Rev. Martin Grabner served as Concordia's second president from 1927 - 1946.

Increased enrollment in the 1920s led to the eventual construction of tvhe Dining Hall, which was completed in less than seven months and under budget at a total cost of $139,000.



Cover Story

We were fairly early I think to move in that direction, and I see it now as having really paid off for us. We had great instructors in the program, people that really developed it… But it was really a university effort, with faculty from many disciplines participating in it.

Paul Hillmer graduated from CSP in 1982, then returned to work at the college in 1988. By that time, he recalls, CSAL was already a part of the curriculum. CSAL and some of those early iterations of what we now think of as this panoply of adult graduate degree completion—and even PSEO and other sorts of programs that occur outside the sort of normal rhythms and auspices of our on-campus life—began in a very conventional way.… It really wasn’t all that different from a class environment that we might see for undergraduates on campus, but it was of course working adults. It was happening after working hours.

Some CSAL classes were held on campus, but others were held off-site, at a variety of locations. Hillmer remembers how it worked for faculty. There was a specified room where the boxes for instructors were stored, so they could pick those up and take them off site to wherever their class was being taught. Fred Bartling Senior was still teaching in CSAL at that time, and on occasion he would ask me to go with him to run a projector, which tells you something about the teaching methods of that era. He was still using a 16mm projector in the class! I think the times that I went with Fred, it was actually in Hudson, Wisconsin, or at least somewhere right across the border. It was still very much the kind of traditional lecture, note taking, brief discussion, reading assignments, and paper submitted sort of environment. This was still well before the digital revolution. There was no internet yet.

Craig Lien joined the Concordia Business faculty in 1991, first as adjunct instructor and later, in 1999, as a full-time member of the university. At the outset, CSAL was the only game in town. But by the mid to late 1990s, Lien explains, the market was shifting. And fast. The marketplace, two things happened. One is that all the colleges and universities saw that this was a new vista of opportunity for them, on the revenue side. And the other thing that really happened was, the whole supply change just blew up

when you had for-profits enter. And that started happening in the late 1990s: Capella, Phoenix. And what they did was, taking more business principles and academic principles, they created this extraordinary abundance of supply, which led to more choice on behalf of the students. So that made it more difficult for smaller universities, less resourced universities like us.

By the late 1990s, Carl Schoenbeck was Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs. He recalls that CSAL was also part of the financial equation by that time. And there were other challenges. It was a major source of revenue. CSAL can’t exist without the traditional program, the traditional program can’t exist without CSAL. But we still haven’t ironed out all of the details like, if you teach a class in CSAL you’re going to have fewer contact hours than you are if you’re [on campus], and how do you pay for that? How do you recognize that within the whole academic governance structure? CSAL would undergo changes in name and content, and remain a viable, if gradually less significant, part of the university into the 21st century. But the increasingly crowded market that Craig Lien described forced ongoing reassessments of the original CSAL program. On the other hand, advances in technology soon created new opportunities at Concordia. Rapid changes in computers, including personal computers, as well as the growth and development of the internet, allowed for new ways of thinking. CSAL—with innovative thinking and methods—had allowed CSP to reach new audiences. Computers, though, could in theory expand the reach of traditional program and course offerings even further. But now, this could be accomplished right from campus. That meant far fewer trips to Mankato or Rochester to deliver a class, and perhaps none at all. The internet held the promise of greater reach and collaboration, as well as growing student numbers. This next step had a name: the Concordia University Educational Network, or CUE-Net. The CUE-Net idea was developed in the mid-1990s, envisioned as a method for collaboration. It held much promise.






Rev. William Poehler served as the third president of Concordia from 1946-1970.

Concordia became coeducational as the first class of women were enrolled during the 1950-51 academic year.

The long anticipated Buenger Memorial Library officially opened to students on Nov. 11, 1951. Now named the Buenger Education Center, the building housed Concordia's library for 52 years before being replaced by the Library Technology Center in 2003.

Discussions for a new physical education building to serve as a memorial to Lutheran heroes and heroines who served during World War II gained traction in 1945. The Lutheran Memorial Center would finally become a reality with its dedication ceremony on Oct. 18, 1953. The final cost to build the LMC was $361,806.45.

Forty-three years after the first new building on campus was dedicated, Concordia's former gymnasium began a new function as a 600-seat campus chapel. Now named Graebner Memorial Chapel to honor Concordia's second president (Rev. Martin Graebner).



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Jonathan Breitbarth, at CSP since his student days in the 1990s and currently Director of Computer Services, recalls the birth of CUE-Net. As he explains, the beginning of CUE-Net was an LCMS idea. The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod said, how can we utilize technology and kind of bring different entities of the Lutheran Church together, the different campuses?


This was essentially distance learning; it had a document camera, CLASSROOM a couple of video cameras. … Ours was in Science Building room English professor Nan Hackett 104. It was like a television production studio almost. You could teaches College Writing toggle between every camera, and change the audio. So each campus, each Concordia, had one of these rooms and the idea was that if we didn’t offer a specific class, but for example Concordia Portland did, that the professor could be teaching both to the students in front of him at Concordia Portland and then a room full of students at Concordia St. Paul.

Paul Hillmer taught in the CUE-Net classroom, and recalls how the system worked in theory. This was very rudimentary stuff. It was basically a device that allowed you to put a transparency on a screen, and then the screen would be projected in a classroom remotely somewhere… This sense that, okay, there’s someone who’s probably facilitating this somewhere, but I don’t have to be there in the classroom. I’m going to be in the Science Building doing my thing and my head is going to be on the screen and I can put other things up there… These were the building blocks of what we think of as online education today. This is how it started.

In the mid-1990s, Joel Schuessler A DIFFERENT ERA worked in IT Services and was closely involved with installing Joel Schuessler conducts training on the CUE-Net system on administrative software P.O.I.S.E (People Oriented Information Systems for Education) campus. Accordingly, with Jan Sachs (Business Office), he says, there were Kay Rindal (Financial Aid), and certain difficulties. Greg Esala (Development Office.)

via Concordia University Educational Network, or CUE-Net (1999).

CUE-Net was a hardware-focused version (cameras and TV screens) of today’s web-conferencing software. … Some of the challenges were that it was a fairly new technology and there were a lot of moving parts. I remember sitting for hours, honest to goodness, sitting in the Science Building—I think it was Science Building Room 104—and putting different wires, crimping different wires to see if I could get the sucker to work. It was trial and error until I got the right combination of wires plugged in and voila! Good. And I said don’t move it, right. We also tried to install electronic whiteboards into the classroom to capture the instructor’s writing and transmit it through the internet to the other side. It didn’t work very well. So that was a challenge. Coordinating with other people on other campuses was a little bit of challenge. Different systems. Different campus hardware systems and differing levels of expertise.

Richard Brynteson was a faculty member, and recalls his own experience with how CUE-Net worked in practice. It was unwieldly technology. I would do it here and at [an offcampus site in] Rochester, and I’d have to spend most of my time making sure the technology was working rather than being a teacher. And it got very frustrating. You’d get kicked out, then you’d have to reboot. So it was a really disruptive classroom… We have it down to a science now and we’re doing really well with it, but there were stops and starts and frustrations and upset moments… It wasn’t all roses from day one.





Concordia's very first bachelor of arts degrees were awarded to 25 young women in education.

Over 1,000 people attended the dedication of the Edward L. Arndt Science Hall on Sept. 26, 1965. Built at a cost of $550,000, it was named in honor of Concordia's first professor of science. Professor Arndt served at the school from 1897-1910.

Concordia Academy High School begins its complete separation from the College as it merges with St. Paul Lutheran High. The 74-year era of a synodical all-male high school came to an end in 1971 when the last class of students who began their studies at Concordia Academy High School graduated.

Rev. Harvey Stoegemoeller was called to be Concordia's fourth president in 1971. He served in this role until 1976 when he accepted the position of executive director of the Minnesota Private College Council.



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By the middle of the 2000’s, concludes Schuessler, the CUENet idea just kind of faded away. While a number of classes originated at CSP, and others were received from other Concordia institutions, collaboration never reached the levels imagined in the late 1990s by proponents of the system. Still, working with CUE-Net did give both staff and faculty valuable experience with installing and using computer technology, and re-thinking ways course content might be packaged and delivered. Challenges with CUE-Net are part of the explanation why it was discontinued but, more importantly, Concordia by the 2000’s was well along with another major technological innovation, one that brought the possibilities of internet-based teaching and learning to each and all students and faculty: the laptop initiative.

THE LAPTOP INITIATIVE By the mid-1990s, computers for student use already were on campus. Paul Hillmer recalls that, “we had a computer lab in which we had, of course, IBM computers with DOS and Lotus 123 and 5¼ inch floppy disks. And we got our first Macintosh and oh, my goodness! This was a revolution: that you could type words into a text without needing code, without needing to switch disks back and forth to do various things.” But demand for the devices outpaced supply, Hillmer adds. “You would be limited to two hours of time on the computer, because people didn’t have their own computers.” ARRIVAL OF THE LAPTOPS Students use the first IBM Thinkpads (1998).



Rev. Gerhardt Hyatt served as Concordia's fifth president from 1976-1984. Prior to his time at Concordia, Rev. Hyatt became the first Lutheran to be selected as Chief of Army Chaplains, as nominated by the President of the United States.

Rev. Dr. Alan Harre was called to be the sixth president of Concordia in 1984 before resigning in 1988 to become the president of Valparaiso University.


Built in 1984, Hyatt Village was the first residence hall to be built on campus since Wollaeger Hall 20 years earlier in 1964. The 50-unit facility was named in honor of Concordia's fifth president. (Rev. Gerhardt Hyatt)




Concordia became the first private college in Minnesota to offer an accelerated degree completion program for adult students in 1985. The cohort-based model is wildly popular with adult students who want to earn their undergraduate degree and keep their full-time jobs. A master's degree option is added in 1990.

Rev. Dr. John Johnson became Concordia's seventh president in 1989 and would serve until 1991 when he left to become president of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.

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It wasn’t simply a matter of administration freeing up resources, either, and purchasing more computers. What kind of computers? Around that time, Carl Schoenbeck says, “In the Teacher Education program, we were all running Apple programs. The Business program was on a mainframe program, and some offices had terminals and some didn’t. In Science they were running on Windows.” Also, it cost money to acquire and service these multiple types of hardware and software—money, concludes Schoenbeck, the school just didn’t have. “With 1,400 students, we were really strapped financially. You look at the money that we were putting in, in order to just keep up with this and getting access to technology. So one faculty member here could have access to technology and the person right next door would not have access. So it’s costing us. It’s not efficient.” And not just the devices. Jonathan Breitbarth adds that another “of the pieces was the computer lab. With the buildings we had and the location we were at, trying to find space for additional computer labs specifically in and around residence halls … was one of those challenges.” Many other schools at that time, Breitbarth notes, tried with mixed results to juggle rooms and devices. Concordia chose a different path: “Our answer was, we’ll get the laptops to the students.” Several people were responsible for the monumental shift from the computers and labs model to laptops for every student and faculty member, but for Schoenbeck, then vice president of academic affairs, “the champion for the laptop is Eric LaMott.” Soon after starting at Concordia in 1994 as assistant professor of kinesiology, LaMott demonstrated an interest in technology and its possibilities. President Bob Holst encouraged him in his attempts to find new, cost effective ways to move past the computer labs model. Holst strongly believed that to be a multicultural campus, which was one of his goals, Concordia had to embrace the laptop initiative. “Basic segregation in the United States,” said the president, “is economic segregation, and that has created racial segregation… Here’s the Hmong and the African-American and the Asian-Americans that come from learning the English language in high school. They may have been valedictorian,”

he continued, “but they’re still not culturally adjusted… If we’re really concerned about being a school that serves across economic divides, then we have to go with it.” So he embraced Eric LaMott’s plan. And LaMott’s plan, Schoenbeck recalls, soon bore fruit. “He comes in with a proposal and A MODERNIZED says, here’s what we’re CLASSROOM spending right now on Students use their technology. If we give laptops in class (2008). everybody a laptop, including the students, and we track what the income is going to be on this, here’s what we’ll be spending— and it’s less.” This attracted people’s attention. “We’re going to spend less money than we’re doing right now? It’s a no-brainer. I mean there was not a debate on that.” When the program was announced in 1997, though, reactions among students proved mixed. On the one hand, Lucas Woodford, President of Student Senate, said "I fully support [Concordia becoming a laptop campus]. It is imperative for students to use them to be prepared for the work force. You will use laptops in any vocation, from church work to business." Others echoed this positive view. But an open forum in November 1997 in the Student Union showed student support for the laptop initiative (officially the Educational Technology Initiative, or ETI) was far from unanimous. Before the meeting started at 8:00 p.m., the space was filled with more than 100 students, parents and faculty members. President Holst and Eric LaMott provided information, then answered questions. A lot of them. Many in attendance were nervous about how the ETI would affect them, as every full-time student would be required to have one of the new laptops.





Rev. Dr. Robert Holst was called to the presidency of Concordia in 1991 and would serve for 20 years until his retirement in 2011.

Home of Concordia's basketball and volleyball teams, the Gangelhoff Center was built for $5 million and features four full basketball courts, a 200-meter indoor track, racquetball courts, a strength and conditioning room, a classroom and offices for athletics staff.

Concordia College officially becomes Concordia University, St. Paul in a move that more accurately describes the type of institution of higher learning it aspires to be.

CSP's athletic programs made the jump from NAIA to the NCAA Division II level, becoming the only private school in Minnesota to compete at this classification. The move also brought a new nickname as the school officially adopted "Golden Bears". To honor Concordia's previous "Comets" moniker, which stood for 75 years, the school's official mascot was named Comet the Golden Bear.



Cover Story

“The big downside to it,” Schoenbeck confesses, “is you have to standardize across [the campus]. So you want your Apple computer. That’s fine if you want to keep it, but we’re going to give you a Windows laptop and the person next to you is going to have a Windows laptop.” Some offices and faculty adjusted easier than others, but there was no going back—laptops were here to stay.

Concerns raised included what to do for commuters, mid-year transfer students, or students studying abroad? And how about student teachers, those on internships, and students taking part in exchange programs? Several wondered aloud how they would pay the new technology fee, announced as $400 per semester; others asked what would happen to the existing labs. Holst and LaMott addressed these concerns, but they admitted that not all individual situations had been fully thought through. Still, LaMott later concluded, “We, the community of Concordia, need to continue on into the future on a new and different road.” And so it was. Concordia embarked on this new, digital journey as scheduled, in Fall 1998. The ETI provided every full-time student with an IBM ThinkPad computer (faculty had received theirs a year earlier, in Fall 1997). Students had the technology fee added to their tuition bill; this included any needed service, if required. Carl Schoenbeck explains how and why the ETI worked. “The idea was lease and standardize… the money we were putting into purchasing exceeded what would happen if we would lease.” A large tech company showed interest in working with the school. “[We had a] partnership at that time with IBM. They said, this is innovative. We were far enough ahead on that, and small enough, so we were at the advantage. IBM couldn’t have implemented this at the University of Minnesota, but they could do it in a little place like this.” Leasing machines, and not buying, meant they would be the newest standard, too. The challenge noted above, though, with multiple computer systems being used across campus, had to be addressed once the ETI began.

ETI meant a campus filled with computers. Now, how to keep them all running, and also solve technology problems as they arose? The answer was the Help Desk, along with leasing and standardization the third piece of the puzzle. Concordia student workers played an important part in this office. Brock Behling, currently in Instructional Technology, worked there in the mid-2000s. “At that point I think we had almost 1500 machines that we were working with in the back room that we would have to re-image, prepare, get all the software on and make sure that they were running efficiently for the students.” Hiring the right kind of students was key, he says. “We’d get individuals who had experience with the software working the front desk, and then they’d come back usually to the tech shop and work on some of the details of taking machines apart.” And they had plenty to do. “Yes, definitely a lot of traffic with the machines. They get a lot of wear and tear. People moving from classrooms, throwing them in the backpack, having ten other books in there. A lot of screens got broken. A lot of spills on the machines happened, too.” There were adjustments for everyone, but the benefits were clear. Three stand out. Importantly, argues Eric LaMott, “it became a differentiator from our competitors, and for many, many years that was a huge differentiator. People chose us because we had that over and against other schools. Let us provide you with all these tools and resources… so that it’s not just in our classes that you’re getting education. Students have access to each other, to resources and everything else.” Enroll at Concordia, and get a computer; in the late 1990s, that provided a real marketing advantage.





The Library Technology Center was officially dedicated in October 2003. The 46,000 square-foot facility replaced and doubled the size of the 52-year old Buenger Memorial Library. The building was completed within budget and more than a year ahead of schedule and features three floors, nine classrooms, Pearson Commons, Frauenshuh Amphitheater, and the Concordia Fellowship Plaza.

Concordia won its first of seven consecutive NCAA Division II volleyball titles on Dec. 1, 2007, defeating Western Washington.

Opened in the fall of 2008, Holst Hall was built to replace the aging Centennial, Minnesota and Walther Halls. The 85-unit (300 students) residence hall was originally named the Residence Life Center, but was renamed in honor of Rev. Dr. Robert Holst in 2011.

Opened in 2009, Sea Foam Stadium went from a vision of the athletic department to a reality when Mr. Phil Fandrei's HS '51, generous donation of $5 million on behalf of Sea Foam Sales Co. moved the project forward. Upon Mr. Fandrei's gift, the University was able to successfully fundraise the entire cost of Sea Foam Stadium on behalf of benefactor donations.



Cover Story

And these laptops brought benefits for students, too, as Cheryl Chatman, Executive Vice President for Diversity, explains. The new devices were “a way to sort of place students on an equal level in terms of access in and outside the classroom, through a single instrument.” This closed a widening gap between students who could afford this new technology, and those who might struggle to do so. Paul Hillmer remembers how the ETI impacted teaching and learning. “The laptop initiative ensured that all students would have access to the same exact laptop … it ensured for faculty that all students had the same level of technology.” Planning a technology-based assignment, for example, whether in class or out, suddenly became a whole lot easier. “For one thing,” Hillmer continues, “it got rid of the need for overhead transparencies, another one of those old technologies that professors relied on quite a bit. I think it cut by half or more the amount of time that I spent preparing materials that I needed for the classroom. Instead of having to run to an audio visual center or hand make something or see if some publishing house had a particular set of visual aids that I needed to support a class, I could simply go onto the internet and find what I needed.” Finally, with the ETI came an increase in enrollments, and this meant a corresponding rise in revenues. And these monies were wellmanaged: Thanks to careful planning and decision-making by CFO Michael Dorner, the university’s financial health steadily improved. By 2018, the university had resources to invest in programs and facilities, and was well positioned for the future.

allow the liquids to kind of run past the circuits instead of actually frying the circuits. So fewer repairs.” Lonn Maly served during the 2000s and 2010s as Dean of the College of Education and also Vice President for Academic Affairs. He describes how changes in technology gradually made the ETI less relevant. We had a lot of students by 2010, 2011, 2012 who were saying, I don’t need the laptop. I have my own device. I don’t need your support to give me a technological equalizer or advantage that I needed before, because I’ve got my own device that’s even more powerful than what you can give me—and I have the freedom to choose whatever device I want. Thousands of Concordia students benefitted from the ETI during its existence. But over time, as Lonn Maly makes clear, the advantages it brought in 1998 slowly became less valuable. Accordingly, in 2014 university leadership took the decision to end the laptop initiative. And yet the many advantages of this innovative program over its sixteen years—for students, faculty and the university as a whole—demonstrate that the ETI truly was a game-changing idea. We can draw the same conclusion for CSAL and CUE-Net as well. Both programs no longer exist, but in their own way each opened a door to future developments. And taken together, all three of these ideas demonstrate how leadership has used innovative programs to continually transform the university.

During the years of the ETI, there were multiple generations of laptops, as leases expired generally every three years. And they got better, Brock Behling remembers. “The machines definitely improved… They basically designed them based on the repairs that were sent in.” Damages due to beverage accidents were one example. “A lot of spills happened as people were working at all different times, and a lot of devices had pretty bad spills. So they put drain channels throughout the machines that would



Current Concordia President Rev. Dr. Tom Ries became the school's ninth president on June 1, 2011.

Continuing its stance as a leader in higher education, Concordia St. Paul announced it would lower its tuition price by $10,000 for all new and returning undergraduate students beginning the 2013-14 academic year.


2016 Concordia replaced the CU logo previously used by Golden Bear athletic teams with the CSP that is currently being used. A distinguishing element of the new design is an embedded cross that symbolizes Concordia’s Lutheran heritage.

2017 An estimated 2,500 worshippers, including nearly 500 singers from 35 churches across Minnesota, filled the Gangelhoff Center for a worship service. This event celebrated the 500th anniversary of the posting of Martin Luther's 95 Theses onto the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, Germany, in October 1517.


2018 Concordia celebrates 125 years of leading in legacy!

EST. 1893

Leading in Legacy


Imagining the Future: CSP at 150 Concordia has been on a journey through the past twenty-five years of its history. Numerous dynamic, visionary leaders have developed innovative ideas that helped to transform CSP into the university it is today, in 2018. From new structures and programs to state of the art technology and a bold approach to affordability, the Concordia community has witnessed plenty of changes in the years since 1993. And who among those on campus in 1993 could have imagined even one of those changes? Yet here we are.

BUT NOW, LET’S LOOK AHEAD— TO THE YEAR 2043, WHEN CONCORDIA WILL CELEBRATE 150 YEARS OF EXISTENCE. How do members of the campus community envision that future? During 2017 and early 2018, nearly 200 people—students, alumni, faculty, staff and retirees—responded to a set of questions that asked them to close their eyes and imagine CSP@150. Their ideas form the body of this chapter. Enjoy what are, I believe, some interesting thoughts and concepts. Then, when you’re finished, close your eyes and imagine your vision of CSP@150. Student Artwork: Spencer Peterson , '19

WHO WILL BE CONCORDIA’S STUDENTS, AND WHERE WILL THEY COME FROM? There will be no certain type of student from any specific region. We will have a large variety of students from different races, backgrounds and regions of the world. – Stacie LeTexier, BA ‘18

I see students being young children, senior citizens, and everyone in between who wants to take a course, even if not for credit toward a degree. And students could be from anywhere around the world, including prisons, hospitals, hospice, schools, or workplace conference rooms. – Rose Osterbauer, BA ‘18

I really like how diverse our campus is and, just based on demographics, I think it will only continue to become more diverse. I don’t know that there is a way to predict where [foreign and international students] would be coming from at that point; numbers-wise I would still expect that those countries in the world with larger populations are going to be still there. As long as our programs stay affordable the way they are, I would expect that [the numbers] would grow quite a bit more than what we’ve seen. – Tiffanie Loeb-Schneider, Director of International Student Services

We will have robots and students in classrooms learning, barely being able to tell a human from a robot.


– Desmond Hudnall, '20 FALL 2018 • CONCO RDIA ST. PAUL MAGAZINE

Imagining the Future

WHAT KINDS OF MAJORS AND PROGRAMS WILL CSP OFFER? Students will come to class, but the classrooms will resemble the subject being taught. Students will do lots of in-class activities. Lots of hands-on experiences and less lecturing. Concordia will offer NASA programs, vet programs and all current programs. Concordia will teach its students to deal with real-life situations and how to take care of things in life that you’ll run into. – Molly Meyers, BA '18

I think we’re going to continue to be innovative and we’re going to continue to be cutting edge and we’re going to continue to thrive … We’re going to continue to look to the future and say, we can be part of the solution, whatever the problems are. – Lonn Maly, BA '81, Dean of College of Education and Science

The great challenge of higher education in the twenty-first century is again separating the market imperatives from the educational imperatives and, while I am all for making things as convenient for students as possible, there is a point at which we have to say no, that’s not in your best long term educational interests. So having those conversations I think is essential to our ongoing identity. By the same token, the market goes where the market goes, and one cannot ignore that. – Paul Hillmer, BA '82, Dean of College of Arts and Social Sciences

I think there will be micro credentials; specific majors will slowly decrease. This will allow students to have mini degrees in their choice of topic. Students will still be allowed to choose to have a bachelor’s degree in their choice of major, but I think many students will want the advantage of micro credentials, to graduate early with a variety of degrees. – Claire Lammers, '19

I think for universities like Concordia over the next 10-15 years, the challenge is going to be, if we don’t add more value than the commoditization of credits filled, then the prediction of half the universities not being around … will hold true. … Because remember, the choices coming down aren’t just going to be other competitors. The fear of the marketplace going forward [is that] Google and some of these others are going to create universities that are going to create technical knowledge in a matter of days, not months, not years. … So how do we compete in an age in which information is the commodity, not necessarily knowledge? – Craig Lien, Associate Dean of College of Business

Programs will be very different. If you want to work with animals, like be a vet, Concordia will have a separate building for that with animals in it. If you want to be a teacher, then there will be a building with different ages of kids to work with. A dentist building, to practice on people. – Ellie Gess, '21

I think [we’ll be] more diverse. Even more programs, more students. From where I stand, I’d like to see us feel like we have even more of a global perspective. It went from hardly anything from when I started [in 2008], to now it has grown so significantly. I would love in 2043 for people to say, “There was a time [in the past] that we weren’t so interconnected with the world at Concordia?” Like for that to blow their minds away. Also for the students here to feel like they have the world at their fingertips, or the community at their fingertips, at any given moment—that would be my hope for Concordia.

Concordia students will be from everywhere, and from many different countries, which makes the school get more ideas about the world. – Abdullah Alroheem, BA ’18

I hope Concordia will be a place for learning for ages 16 to 100, and from the US and abroad. Our international students enrich the experience at Concordia. – Elizabeth Coleman, Human Resources office

– Kelly Matthias, Director of CALL Center



Imagining the Future

HOW WILL TEACHING AND LEARNING TAKE PLACE? Higher ed is going to be delivered in a whole lot of different ways that I can’t even imagine… Knowledge transmission from one person that has knowledge to a person that doesn’t have the knowledge is going to be completely different, I’m sure. It might be a microchip that gives you all the knowledge you’ll ever need. The whole internet will be on one microchip, implanted in the palm of your hand. It’s really, how do you use that information to the betterment of humankind. Things will change dramatically. – Lonn Maly, BA '81, Dean of College of Education and Science

Probably more technology used, maybe tablets used like notebooks, no paper copies of things. Maybe more technology type majors will be offered, more environmental science subjects. Probably weird robotics courses, because the world will be taken over by robots then, I bet. – Alanna Pleasants, '20

Research shows that a majority of the jobs in 2030 will be those that aren’t currently in existence. This means teaching and learning must change, and will likely be self-paced and individually tailored. – Milissa Becker, Director of Human Resources

The majority of teaching is going to take place online. The requirement of having a uniform [semester] start and end date will fade. Students will have access to all the class material online, and this will allow them to have the option to sail through the entire semester's worth of classes in a few weeks. If students choose to stay on campus and have a professor teach them in person, the material given will be completely on technology such as iPads or a new system on learning strictly for school. – Claire Lammers, '19

I think there still will be face-to-face components, but even within the traditional classroom there will be more online components. And I think we will have more competency based education. My hope is that we are able to partner with elementary and high schools, colleges, and employers, and that we all work together, versus the current system that is a little bit more segmented. – Kim Craig, EdD '18, Vice President of Enrollment Management

The teacher wouldn’t have to come to class. We would all have advanced screens installed in each classroom showing a digital 3D effect of the teacher. Holograms everywhere, explaining specific important things. – Desmond Hudnall, '20

No textbooks might be an innovation. That might be one step forward. I think the cohort model has staying value to a certain degree, because I think people value connection. I think the web conferencing will get more dynamic; I think we need to get more creative in that. The whole threaded discussion thing might be gone. We have to find more dynamic ways to connect people to content. – Steve Manderscheid, Chair of Human Resources Management

Artwork: Gabriel Schmidt



Concordia will utilize faculty and staff to deliver on even a more personalized form of learning, and we will continue to evolve around our Christian ethos. I would hope that we will find out what it means to be a Lutheran Christian university… I think and hope that it will be a Christ-centered approach where people will say, like Jesus, we can allow people of different perspectives to voice their opinion and honor who they are as a person and find out who they uniquely are, made in the image of Jesus. That’s my hope. – Joel Schuessler, BA '82, Associate Professor of IT Management

Imagining the Future

Student Artwork: Cornel Beard, '19 The campus will have zip lines to go from the Gangelhoff Center to Holst and Luther Halls, so you don’t have to walk. The buildings will be built with huge glass windows, and the Dining Hall will deliver to your room. – Ellie Gess, '21

I think Concordia will be an intra-city university. We might have pockets elsewhere, satellite campuses I guess is one way to describe it. I actually think we should have some satellite campuses in other states—again, that’s a growth opportunity piece—and probably some abroad. … But definitely scaling. But I don’t think Concordia has to leave its roots in any way; I think all it does is just expand its opportunity. – Eric LaMott, Provost and COO

Campus buildings will be replaced as they age by new ones with more floors, to take advantage of our space. At least ten stories. I could see some buildings being used for employee living space, employees who then wouldn’t need to commute in what I’m guessing will be much worse traffic congestion. – Bob Bartel, Softball head coach

WHAT WILL CAMPUS LOOK LIKE? I think there’s always going to be some desire for brick and mortar, but if the trajectory of higher ed continues as it is, it might be that it is in partnerships with many other schools. Not unlike the [law school] partnership of Hamline [University] and William Mitchell… Eventually schools might all have to cluster together, maybe around programs and expertise, but colleges and universities will have to consolidate to survive. – Carol Klempka, BA '98, MA ‘02, Term Faculty of Business Leadership

The campus will be bigger and buildings will have more floors. There will also be tunnels so students don’t have to walk outside. – Peyton Holmes, '20

Who knows? I think clearly without some sort of earth shattering change, which I don’t foresee, it’s going to be much more online and co-work driven. It’s going to be much leaner in the number of tenure track faculty it employs. Whether it even has campus is an open question, although I think it is difficult for me to envision a college or university that has a coherent identity that doesn’t have a campus. – Paul Hillmer, BA '82, Dean of College of Arts and Social Sciences

Campus will look the same on the outside, but be unrecognizable on the inside. All classrooms will be set up with TV’s. Smart technology for learning and teaching, and comfy yet classy seating. Dorms will be fully furnished with high quality furniture, the Science Building will have a separate area for each subject field, and the Library will contain both physical and electronic books. – Olivia Erlanson, PSEO student



1 EST. 1893

Leading in Legacy


2 14


CSP Celebrates 125 years A partner in the St. Paul community since 1893, Concordia University, St. Paul reflects on its rich history and bright future as it celebrates its 125th anniversary during the 2018-19 academic year. From its first class of 30 young men preparing for the pastoral and teaching ministry in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, to its present diverse student body of more than 5,000 men and women of all ages and backgrounds, Concordia has prepared thousands of graduates for meaningful and purposeful lives, careers and service in a welcoming environment where Christ has always been honored. The theme for Concordia’s significant anniversary milestone is “Leading in Legacy”, which captures the continuing dynamic that characterizes CSP’s past 125 years, remembering the “Legacy” of past accomplishments and innovations, while also “Leading” toward the future by developing creative solutions to current and future challenges. A number of campus events took place on Founders Day (September 13, 2018) to celebrate Concordia’s 125th anniversary, marking 125 years to the day its doors first opened to students.


Leaders in Legacy: Presidential Perspectives from Across the Years The keynote event during the year-long quasquicentennial celebration featuring Concordia’s four living presidents: Rev. Dr. Alan Harre (1984-88), Rev. Dr. John Johnson (1989-91), Rev. Dr. Robert Holst (1991-2011) and Rev. Dr. Thomas Ries (2011-present).


Dedication of the Dr. Cheryl Troutman Chatman Diversity Center The Center will feature a variety of series, presentations and open dialogue where all can share, educate and learn about each other’s history, heritage, cultures and contributions.


Dedication of 125th Artwork For Concordia’s 125th Anniversary Commission, Artist Midge Bolt used historic photos on silk hung like scrims in front of present-day photos printed on canvas. One image will be displayed in the Pearson Commons, while the other will go in the new Cross Roads addition on the north side of Meyer Hall.

Leading in Legacy: A History of Concordia University, St. Paul, 1993-2018 by Thomas Saylor This university history illustrates 25 years of Concordia University, St. Paul from 1993 to 2018. Historian and CSP professor of history Thomas Saylor uses interviews with faculty, staff, students and administration to provide rich insights into CSP's innovation in higher education through academics, athletics and urban location. The book is bursting with images and is a vibrant narrative of the institution's legacy. Excerpts from three of the nine chapters in the book were repurposed for this magazine (pages 2-13, 24-25).

Available to download and read for free at

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Saylor has authored or co-authored three books, including two oral history volumes; written numerous reviews and articles; and worked on two public television documentaries. He has given workshops on oral history, and presents regularly at regional and national conferences. At CSP, he teaches courses on world and European history.



Legacy Family

Margaret "Peg" Spomer in Old Main dorm room

An Interview with the Spomer Legacy With thirteen family members having earned a degree from Concordia St. Paul, the Spomer legacy is one of the largest in the university’s history. Their presence on campus began in 1918 and continues today. In honor of Concordia's 125th year, members of the Spomer legacy were gathered on campus to share memories of their time on campus and explain the long-lasting impact that Concordia St. Paul has had on their family. John Spoomer was the first member in the family to come to Concordia St. Paul in 1918. His wife, Kathryn, also attended a few education Rev John Spomer and his 3 sons. methods courses on campus. All five of their children - Herb, Peg, Art, Lois and Chuck - followed in their footsteps. “Our local high school didn’t offer a foreign language at that time,” said Peg, “Our dad wanted the boys to have that skill so they could go into any type of job.” Like their father, Herb, Art and Chuck all attended the academy and junior college. “I took pride in what we considered the elite status of being a 6-year man,” Art said. Herb and Art also met their wives on campus. 1950 marked the first year of coeducation at Concordia, and that year Herb met his wife, Carla. The family jokes that he “married the first girl on campus.” Art met his wife Connie in the library “where I could sit and bother a coed while she tried to study,” he added. Peg and Lois share a unique experience in Concordia’s first coeducation offerings in teacher-preparation. Lois shared



“As women, it was always assumed that we’d attend college if we wanted to go.” Peg has the longest direct legacy with CSP, with her daughter and granddaughters having attended. After losing her first husband, Carlyle, in 1992, Peg reconnected with classmate Jim Johnson. “We always liked each other back in school, but both always had other dates,” added Peg. Lois graduated in 1964 in Concordia’s first graduating four-year class. Her and her husband, Wayne, met because Art married Wayne’s cousin. Lois laughingly shared, “Our daughter says ‘that’s as close to inbreeding as it gets!’” Peg’s daughter, Judy, knew it was fate coming to Concordia on her first day. “I happened to be placed in the same room my grandpa lived in while he was in high school.” Two of Judy’s children - Kat and Liz - decided to continue the family’s legacy at Concordia. Both women are currently studying education - Kat is back for her second degree, and Liz is in her third year. Judy shared, “I was thrilled when both my girls ended up here. I knew they would be taken care of and that people would take a personal investment in them.”

Fond Memories The family agrees that some of their favorite memories on campus took place during Homecoming, Snow Weekend and the Prima/Secunda Spring Formal. “One tradition that was always fun was seeing how the Luther statue had been dressed up for different occasions,” said Judy. Other favored memories came from the simplest of things. Peg lived in Old Main, which had its own telephone on the second floor. “When it would ring, everyone would run to see who it was for,” laughed Peg. Judy remembers the pink library where

Legacy Family

Liz, Judy, Kat and Peg at Kat's wedding

she often studied and fun times sledding on cafeteria trays in the Knoll. Herb recalled that “the best days, and the only day classes would be suspended, were on campus clean-up day.”

last year.

The family has enjoyed seeing the changes that Concordia has undergone over the years. “When I enrolled in 1946, tuition was a mere $180/year for tuition plus room and board,” Herb shared. Over time, some buildings have gone, new ones have been built and others have been repurposed. One such building that the family fondly remembers is today’s Graebner Memorial Chapel, which previously served as the campus’ gym. Judy explained that the biggest change she has witnessed between her time on campus and her daughters’ is that

“The vision of the school is much more far reaching. The tuition reset a few years ago strengthened the ability for Concordia to make an impact here in the cities and pulled in a much more diverse setting. Because of this, Liz and Kat get to learn what Christianity is about from various perspectives.”

A Lasting Impact When asked how Concordia has impacted their family, Art shared, “For me, it was important in our spiritual formation, finding kindred spirits who modeled and encouraged growth.” Judy also said she felt extremely prepared for teaching after being here and, “It was special being a part of a legacy - many professors knew others in my family. We felt like we got a good education here. Every one of us. It was a wonderful experience. ” said Lois. Herb added that the professors took an interest in each individual student and “knew you well. Inside and out you might say.” Art well-defines the lasting impact Concordia St. Paul has left on their family: “Concordia was an experience-in-common in our family. There is never a get together without lots of conversation that includes reference to the special years we spent there, with remembrances of friendships and faculty members. Our academic preparation at Concordia was second to none.”

Spomer's Concordia Legacy John Spomer, HS '22, JC 24 married Kathryn (Schamber) Spomer

Chap. Herbert “Herb” Spomer, HS '50, JC '52 married Carla (Farrell) Spomer, JC '52

Arthur “Art” Spomer, HS '56, JC '58 married Constance "Connie" (Rawerts) Spomer, JC '58

Margaret “Peg” (Spomer) Johnson, JC '54 married Carlyle Abel (deceased) married Rev. James “Jim” Johnson, HS '52, JC '54

Judy (Abel) Reynolds, BA '88, MA '97 married Scott Reynolds

Elizabeth “Liz” Reynolds (student)

Kathryn “Kat” Reynolds (‘15, student)

Rev. Dr. Charles “Chuck” Spomer, HS '65, AA '67 married Christine Spomer

Lois (Spomer, ‘64) Lehrer married Rev. Dr. Wayne Lehrer, AA ‘64

CSP News

CSP President Tom Ries to Retire Concordia University, St. Paul President Rev. Dr. Tom Ries has announced he will retire at the conclusion of the 2018-19 academic year. Only the ninth president in Concordia’s 125-year history, Rev. Dr. Ries has served in this role since June 1, 2011. “I count my years of service as president of Concordia University, St. Paul as some of the most fulfilling of my professional life. I am very pleased with what we have accomplished together during the last seven years,” Rev. Dr. Ries said. “From the perspectives of strategic direction, academic program offerings, number and professional strength of the faculty, development of key leaders, size and diversity of enrollment, condition of property and facilities, financial position and, most importantly, student achievements, the university has never been in a better position. My admiration for and appreciation of our students knows no bounds and being associated with them has been the best part of my job.” CSP has experienced incredible growth under Ries, highlighted by soaring enrollment, academic program expansion and a twofold increase of the University’s net assets. President Ries also oversaw the highly successful tuition reset, which lowered CSP’s traditional undergraduate tuition by $10,000 in the fall of 2013, making Concordia the most affordable private school among the 17-member Minnesota Private College Council. The positive enrollment gains Concordia has experienced the past seven years have been remarkable given current challenges in the higher education market. Overall enrollment has grown by nearly 2,000 students since Fall Semester 2011, with the overall headcount jumping from 2,800 students to a record-breaking 4,792 at the last student census in fall 2017. Enrollment totals have surpassed 4,000 students for the past four years and topped 5,000 this fall.



Here’s a look at other prominent University successes under President Ries’ leadership:

• Gained national recognition and positive media response due to successful tuition reset

• Added a number of emerging and high-demand programs, • • • • • • •

most notably Doctorate of Education, Computer Science, Nursing and Doctor of Physical Therapy Major renovations of the Winget Student Life Center, Buetow Music Center Auditorium and Thompson Hall to better student experience Completion of the 13,000 square foot Athletic Performance Center Expansion of campus footprint to the Central Midway Building (Alumni Relations/Advancement, DPT program, Nursing program, graduate offices) Overall net assets have doubled from $56.5 million to $108 million Awarded Higher Learning Commission full accreditation Wage increases for faculty/staff for seven consecutive years Guided completion of CSP’s Vision 2024 (strategic plan for fiscal years 2019-2024)

In a letter to the CSP Community, President Ries made mention of the recent Higher Learning Commission process affirming the University’s accreditation, which confirmed Concordia is on sound footing by virtually every possible measure.

CSP News

"The visitation team also took admiring notice of less easily measured qualities such as spirit of community, unified commitment to common goals and capacity to partner with other institutions. I was not surprised to hear these comments, since I have experienced them in abundance during my various tenures with the University.” Rev. Dr. Ries noted. Prior to being elected Concordia’s president, Rev. Dr. Ries served seven years as president of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod Foundation and Vice President for Finance and Operations at CSP. He also served as a pastor for 12 years, in an auditing company for four years and as Assistant to the President and Vice President for College Relations at Concordia for three years. As for his plans moving forward, President Ries said he will turn his attention to some business matters which have been increasingly demanding, as well as focusing time shared with his wife and family, which has grown to include five grandchildren.

“I am enjoying our celebration of 125 years as a university under the theme Leading in Legacy,” President Ries said. “Certainly, the Lord has been our dwelling place throughout all the generations of this institution and has established the work of our hands (cf. Ps. 90:1, 17). I have every confidence in Him as we move ahead. Grace and peace to each of you.”

Concordia Receives Notification of HLC Accreditation Approval Concordia University, St. Paul received official word from the Higher Learning Commission on Aug. 3, 2018, that its Institutional Actions Council (IAC), at its meeting on July 30, 2018, has affirmed the recommendation of the Peer Review Team and continued the accreditation of CSP, with the next Reaffirmation of Accreditation in 2027-28. “I’d like to thank the CSP community for all the contributions made to this massive effort,” said Associate Vice President for Assessment and Accreditation Dr. Miriam Luebke. “This approval is a testament to the dedicated work our leadership, faculty and staff continue to provide on a daily basis to help make this institution stand out.” In its final report summary, the IAC lifted up the following in its review of CSP: “Its faculty and staff are sincerely committed to the success of the institution and many are veteran employees. CSP's degree programs are appropriate to a higher education institution, and are regularly reviewed through a Comprehensive Program Review process that is extraordinarily well organized, thorough, and productive of insights that are used to generate program improvements. Curricular and co-curricular student learning outcomes are regularly evaluated and those evaluations are also productive of insights for improvement upon which CSP has taken action. The institution is closely managed and, as a result, is blessed with more than adequate resources — financial, personnel, physical and technological — to sustain it in the present and for the foreseeable future. “In addition, the visiting team was asked to evaluate the adequacy of the organization of graduate education at CSP as it seeks to expand further with anticipated new graduate level degree programs. In all of these areas, the visiting team found that CSP has ably and adequately addressed all concerns. CSP is well organized to handle expansion at the graduate level, if and as the institution seeks to offer new degree programs in that regard.” The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation that was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region, which includes 19 states.



CSP News

Original Copy of Book of Concord Found in Special Collections In preparing an exhibit for Concordia St. Paul’s celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in October 2017, Megan Johnson-Saylor, Dr. Rhoda Schuler and Dr. Suzanne Hequet reviewed the Special Collections section of the CSP Library, focusing on sixteenth century pamphlets and rare books. Hequet found one book to be very interesting—a 1581 edition of the Book of Concord published in Dresden, which had what appeared to be a complete hand-written provenance for the book in the front covers. There were three “families” of original editions published in Dresden in 1579, 1580, and 1581. Concordia’s book is the latter 1581 version. It belonged to the descendants of Joannes Hunnenberger, one of the signers of the Book of Concord. It was brought by the Saxon Lutherans who immigrated to America and came into possession of the University perhaps at its founding 125 years ago. As the volume records more than 8,100 signers, Dr. Hequet and Johnson-Saylor have announced a project involving student volunteers to document the signatures and make them available online in a searchable database. “While the library and archives are committed to preserving these artifacts, we are not the scholars that will shed light on their historical and societal significance— this is where our faculty and student body can shine,” Johnson-Saylor, Digital Scholarship Librarian and University Archivist, said. “The new scholarship that can come out of research using our special collections is a valuable and exciting contribution to not only our library but our university as a whole.”

CSP Signs Purchase Agreement to Acquire Central Midway Building Concordia University, St. Paul has announced it has signed a purchase agreement, subject to specific contingencies, to buy the entire Central Midway Building on the northern side of I-94 across from Holst Hall. CSP has been leasing a number of floors in the nine-story facility since 2015 as program growth made it necessary to expand the campus footprint. “This acquisition allows Concordia the strategic opportunity to continue serving the needs of our students by providing muchneeded space to grow and expand our academic offerings,” CSP President Tom Ries said. “As we celebrate the 125th anniversary of this institution, we look forward to our continued community partnership in the Lex-Ham neighborhood.” CSP currently utilizes three full floors and a portion of a fourth in the Central Midway Building as it houses Concordia’s Doctor of Physical Therapy and Nursing programs, as well as the Office of



Advancement, Office of Alumni Relations and a number of graduate program faculty offices. “With ‘Vision 2024’ launching this fall, the Midway facility will allow an amazing opportunity for CSP to expand programs serving our growing population of metro learners and provide a location for opportunities of students to engage in community clinics within the St. Paul community,” said Provost and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Eric E. LaMott. Concordia has been a constant anchor in this area of St. Paul for over a century and has witnessed a tremendous amount of change, including losing its own football field in the 1960s due to the construction of I-94. The Midway and Lex-Ham areas are currently undergoing even more changes with the construction of Allianz Field (opening in Spring 2019) and new Midway Peace Park, which will be adjacent to the Central Midway property.

CSP News

Bucking Trends in Higher Ed, CSP Sets New Enrollment Record for 7th Straight Year Concordia University, St. Paul has exceeded the 5,000 student mark in total enrollment for the first time in its 125-year history as the Office of Institutional Reporting indicated an overall headcount of 5,038 traditional, graduate and online students at the fall 2018 census. The total also includes the largest incoming traditional class in school history. Concordia set a new all-time enrollment record for the seventh consecutive year and has recorded overall enrollment growth 12 of the past 13 years. “We are so thankful for the increasing number of students who are choosing CSP for their undergraduate and graduate school education to prepare them for their career goals,” said Concordia University President Tom Ries. “We have a lot to celebrate on campus with this being our 125th anniversary, and reaching our strategic goal of 5,000 students is certainly

a significant milestone we are proud of. It’s a testament to the quality of education CSP provides to serve learners throughout all 50 states as well as 24 countries.” Retention rates, which indicate students who continue their studies the following year, stand at 76 percent for freshmen and 81 percent for transfers. The freshman retention rate was nearly 12 percent higher than a year ago. Persistence to graduation pays off for CSP students as 95 percent of recent graduates reported receiving job offers within one year of graduating. University enrollment has surged by 1,400 students since Concordia’s bold decision five years ago to address the rising cost of affordability with its tuition reset, and has nearly doubled in just 10 years despite higher education enrollment challenges regionally and nationally.



Strategic Goal: 5,000


















2,816 2009



- President Ries



“We have a lot to celebrate on campus with this being our 125th anniversary, and reaching our strategic goal of 5,000 students is certainly a significant milestone we are proud of. ”

Cross Roads Addition The new Cross Roads addition is located between Meyer Hall and the Winget Student Life Center. This modernization to one of Concordia’s most iconic buildings will allow for enhanced accessibility as it includes an elevator to all three floors of Meyer Hall and restrooms on each level. The facility is scheduled to be complete in December 2018.









CSP Athletics

Movin' On Up:

CSP moves to NCAA Division II, 1999 By Thomas Saylor On Aug. 20, 1998, President Bob Holst announced that Concordia was leaving the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC), CSP’s long-time athletic home. Concordia had been accepted into NCAA Division II, and would begin to play in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) in fall 1999. The decision to leave the UMAC was controversial and led to differences of opinion across campus; some students as well as faculty and staff saw the move as risky or even misguided. But this move to Division II would prove to be successful; it would transform not only CSP Athletics, but campus demographics as well. With more athletes on campus, the student body would become larger than ever before. It would become more diverse, too. And through news coverage and team accomplishments, more people would become aware of Concordia. But this move didn’t just happen on that August day. Let’s follow the path to the news President Holst shared that afternoon. Dan O’Brien had been named interim Athletic Director prior to the 1997-98 academic year. Not long thereafter, when leadership approached him about taking on the position permanently, O’Brien replied, yes, he was interested. “I loved the idea of leading, and trying to grow and improve our programs.” But he added that he was determined to “make some significant changes here, [and] get us more competitive.” Specifically, O’Brien says, “my mindset was Division III, to try to get into the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference [MIAC]. To leave the NAIA.” President Bob Holst liked the idea as well. “One thing that influenced me was, we were viewed by many as a Bible college. We were not viewed as a liberal arts institution. People view who you are,” Holst explains, “by who you’re playing with. If you’re playing with small Bible colleges, then



that’s your type of blood. … People would say to me, ‘do you do more than teach pastors nowadays?’ ‘Yes, we do.’” Holst saw CSP’s image as a challenge. “There was that impression out there, that we were basically an LCMS school, a feeder school for the LCMS—and that era was past. So to me, to get into MIAC would be a good thing.” This move seemed to offer a good fit for Concordia—all thirteen conference schools were private institutions, and located in Minnesota. Like NAIA, there were no athletic scholarships. And the level of competition would be a step up, O’Brien knew, but manageable. He believed CSP could hold its own. During 1997 and early 1998, conversations took place internally, as leadership grappled with the question of whether to leave the friendly confines of the UMAC. Simultaneously, talks with representatives of the MIAC moved ahead. CSP formally applied to join that conference, expecting a positive vote—but was turned down. At this point the story takes an interesting turn. O’Brien had a chance encounter with the thencommissioner of the NSIC, Kurt Patberg, and casually inquired whether Concordia might consider applying to join. Coincidentally, that conference was looking to expand. But add Concordia? Among Northern Sun member schools were the state universities in Bemidji, Moorhead and Winona, not to mention the University of Minnesota Duluth. All were much larger than CSP. Patberg, reports O’Brien, was initially skeptical. In that conversation and others that quickly followed, O’Brien made the case: above all, CSP offered a Twin Cities location (the conference lacked one), and would diversify the NSIC by

adding a private school (at that time, all schools were public). He also needed to pivot, though, and sell the move internally. After all, while the UMAC had schools similar to Concordia, the NSIC was filled with public institutions with student bodies numbering in the thousands. Perhaps this was a mountain too tall to climb? Fortunately, several in leadership were outspoken supporters of the move to Division II. Speaking at the time, President Holst said the switch would be a "means to enhance the value of a Concordia St. Paul education. We will be able to recruit more and better students because the level of competition will be higher." And enrollment mattered. As we’ve seen previously, low student numbers during those years caused ongoing concern. This, Holst believed, could help to address that. O’Brien argued that the move to Division II could add 100 students by 2001-02, thus boosting the student body by more than 20%. Athletics represented an innovative way to address enrollment. Eric LaMott, currently the Provost, was part of the tough conversations about whether to go down the NSIC path. He also was a supporter. “We talked about ways to garner visibility for the institution. … Again, you’re associated with who your competitors are in that environment. We had the desire to move into a different space, and so it took a little bit of thought on the front end.” He argued that this “raised the visibility and credibility of the institution, from being a small college that is faith-career focused only, to a broader constituency.” Raising visibility, LaMott said repeatedly at the time, meant more than just in the metro area. It also represented “every one of those pockets where other competitor schools were. Before, Concordia had no name visibility, no name recognition. All of a sudden it was recognized in Duluth, and other places.”

Exactly right, adds O’Brien. “When you drive by the Gangelhoff Center and see those national championship banners—the Volleyball program has been unbelievable. It has given national attention to Concordia University, and I’m convinced it’s brought students in who never would have come to this school. And I think that’s great,” he says proudly. “That’s how the world is—it’s a melting pot of different people from different places. It’s given young men and women an experience of what the world’s going to be like when they are done here at Concordia.” LaMott admits some called the move risky, pointing to the increased costs that came with athletic scholarships, the extra on-campus housing that would be required, additional staff in Athletics, and facilities upgrades required by the NCAA. But he pushes back. “I would say it was a greater risk not to do it. … The risk in not doing it is that we continue to lose market share from a business standpoint in terms of the ability for the institution to grow and have a different or an expanded frame of reference relative to its capacity to deliver education. Whether people like it or not,” he says, “sports is tied to universities, and a university’s values are associated with that.” Holst put the matter more succinctly when asked about the risks. Speaking in Fall 1998, several months after the announcement, he stated that there were two risks: "to expect different results by doing the same thing, or to change." Once again, as with the decision to move from college to university, add graduate programs, or create the laptop initiative, Concordia had taken a bold step and embraced change. Next stop: NCAA Division II. 

Concordia debuted its new Golden Bears nickname and logo in 1999. CONCO RDIA ST. PAUL MAGAZINE • SPRING 2018




1940’s Rev. Dr. Willard Burce, JC ’43 celebrated the 70th anniversary of his ordination and commissioning. Dr. Bruce and his wife Elinor served for 40 years as missionaries to Papua New Guinea. These anniversaries were celebrated on July 20, 2018 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, in Eau Claire, Wis.




1990’s On April 1, 2018, Rev. Jason Wolter, BA '95 was named the Offensive Coordinator for the Benson Braves High School football team in Benson, Minn. This is Jason's 23rd season as a football coach. He was installed as the sole Rev. of St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Benson, Minn., on Sept. 27, 2017.



Rev. Dr. Charles Lopez, JC '68 has published an article, "Hospice Chaplains: Presence and Listening at the End of Life," in Currents in Theology and Mission, Volume 45, Number 1, 2018, 45-51. See this publication and more on the Alumni Bookshelf at

Jake Hollatz, BA '00 recently coauthored a book, published by Concordia Publishing House, titled Faithfully Connected: Integrating Biblical principles and digital citizenship.

Joanne (Hilk) Ahlschwede, BA '69 is a retired student services teacher.

1970’s 3 Rev. Doug Wahlberg, BA '70 retired on July 1, 2018 after 42 years in pastoral ministry.

Gene Stark, BA '72 had his eighth book released on June 27, 2018: "God in a God-Forsaken Land". Read more on our Alumni Bookshelf at 1

Rev. Rick Pfaff, BA '78 retired from full-time pastoral ministry in September 2018 completing 35 years of ministry. Rick and his wife Kim (Lees), BA '79 have a new granddaughter, Catherine, who joins older brother Caleb, 8 years old.




Michael Ellingson, BA '03 has been announced as the soonto-be head coach of the Triton football team in Dodge Center, Minn. Eric Selle, BA '04 completed his Master's Degree in Music Therapy at the University of Minnesota on March 30, 2018. His wife, Haidee (Kuehne) Selle, BA '09, successfully finished student teaching and has earned her Minnesota K-15 English Language Learner license. Joy (Wubben) Tietz, BA ‘05 has joined the Concordia St. Paul volleyball coaching staff for the 2018 season. Since 2006 she has had a passion for teaching in the classroom and coaching volleyball in many capacities, including 10 years as an assistant at the University of St. Thomas. Rev. Michael Grannis, BA '06 has accepted a call to serve Calvary Lutheran Church in Lincoln Park, Mich. He and wife Kristy (Abel) Grannis, BA '06 currently reside in Michigan with their six children.

Class Notes





Dr. Michael Zimmermann, BA '07 is an Assistant Professor in the Clinical and Translational Science Institute and Director of the Bioinformatics Research and Development Laboratory at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Michael is married to Elizabeth (Ehlenz), BA '08 and they have a one year old son, David John. Pamela (Tacquard) Rice, MA '08, a veteran National Park Service (NPS) manager, has been named superintendent of Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve. 5

6 Sarah (Zanzot) Panetta, MA ‘09 is now the executive director of development for Reed College in Portland, Ore.

2010’s James "Jason" Langevin, BA '11 has been a math teacher for the past 10 years at Shattuck - St. Mary's School in Fairbault, Minn. This fall, Jason will be transitioning into the role of Assistant Middle School Director at Shattuck - St. Mary's School. Ashley Farrington, MA '15, EdS '17 has been appointed as the new associate principal at Central Middle School in Plymouth, Minn. Prior to this role, he served as the student support specialist at Meadow Ridge Elementary School. Lynne Gatz, MA ‘15 is now the preschool teacher and director at Trinity Lutheran School in Manistee, Mich. 2



1950’s Gloria (Schedler) Schultz, JC '56 was selected as Volunteer of the Year at Path Rescue Mission where she has led the women in Bible Study for six years and helped in other ways.

1970’s Jim Charleston's, BA '78 screenplay, "Plastic Dad," was nominated for best screenplay at the 2018 Hoboken International Film Festival.

2000’s The Minnesota science selection committee for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program has chosen Dr. Bonnie Laabs, BA '02 as a 2018 Minnesota finalist for this award. Ruth Gutierrez Hafoka, BA '06 was selected by Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal as a 2018 Women in Business Award recipient. 8

2010’s 9 Wilshire Park Elementary School second grade teacher Greg Truso, MA '16 is one of 12 finalists for this year’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year award.

Marisa Tejeda, BA '16 accepted a full-ride scholarship to MFA Acting Program at UMKC - Kansas City Conservatory in Missouri. 7

Jackson Larson, BA ‘18 is now the director of outreach and advocacy at Spare Key. CONCO RDIA ST. PAUL MAGAZINE • FALL 2018


Class Notes









On March 13, 2018, Stanley Wade, HS '66 was blessed with his 18th great grand baby, Case James.

Richard, HS '48 and Louise Colenso celebrated 68 years of marriage on May 19, 2018.




Amy (Clausen), BA '01 and Evan Gough joyfully announce the birth of Ayela Melody Janae born Feb. 23, 2018 weighing 7 lbs. 7oz. She joins sister Aria, born on the same day! Ayela became a child of God on April 8 at St. Paul Lutheran Blue Earth, sharing her baptismal birthday with Aria and mommy, as well as Grandma's birthday! She was baptized by Amy's cousin, Pastor Ross Engel in Middleburg, Fla. 2

Tara (Johnson), BA '05, MA '13 and Ben Humlie are excited to announce the birth of their daughter Emma. Emma was born 5 weeks early on May 14, 2018 at 4 lbs 11 oz and 18 inches. She and family are doing great and we could not be happier! Emma was baptized into God's family on June 17, 2018. 3

2010’s 4 Jessica (Swenson), BA ‘10 and Tony Sunde welcomed their third baby boy, Greyson on June 11, 2018. Big brothers Owen (5) & Liam (3) and Uncle Jake (15) have been wonderful helpers at home!

Robert Holstein, JC '53 and wife Lucille are celebrating 60 years of marriage. Robert also graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis in 1958.

1960’s Rev. Dr. Paul, JC '63 and Ruth (Wuerffel) Rowley, BA '64 celebrated their 52nd anniversary on June 19, 2018.

1990’s Cory Eckstrom, BA '92 was married to Lissa Lipfert and her three children: Joshua (15), Matthew (12), and Emmaleigh (6) on Feb. 4, 2017.

2010’s 5 Summer Groth, BA '13, MBA '18 became engaged to Micah Steward on May 31, 2018.

Casey (Stage), BA '15 and Robert Stusynski, BA '15 were married in Graebner Memorial Chapel on the campus of Concordia University, St. Paul on Sept. 29, 2018. 6 Jenna Gehl, BA '13, Laura (Petterson) Riviere, BA ‘13 and Leah Timm, BA '13 lived together in Holst their junior and senior years and have remained close friends ever since. This last year has been big for them as both Leah and Laura got engaged in December 2017 and Jenna got engaged in July 2018. 7 Matthew Kinne, BA '16 and Lauren Chorowicz, BA '18 got engaged on May 25, 2018. Their wedding will take place in June 2019. Matthew is writing a wedding canata for the service, and it will be conducted by CSP's Dr. David Mennicke.




Class Notes













8 Doane Kositzke, JC '52, age 84, passed away on March 29, 2018. She taught at St. Paul Lutheran School as well as worked with special needs children at Jefferson School in Appleton, Wis.

Dennis H. Luther, husband of Pauline (Johnson) Luther, BA ‘75 passed away April 17, 2018.

Fiechtner Chair of Christian Outreach Emeritus Dr. Eugene Bunkowske, Acad. '53, JC '55 was called to be with the Lord on March 27, 2018. A theology faculty member at Concordia St. Paul from 2002-2013, Dr. Bunkowske served the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod for more than 50 years. Marvin Holstein, JC '53 passed away on July 3, 2018.

1960’s 10 Mary (Walz) Grassinger, JC '60 passed away on Nov. 15, 2017. Mary leaves behind her husband and fellow CSP alumni Rev. Timothy Grassinger, JC '61.

Alren Steinhorst, HS '60, age 76, of White Bear Lake, Minn., passed away in March 2018. 9

Arthur Plath, JC '61 passed away on Dec. 24, 2017.

Clark Adams, HS '60, JC '62 passed away in March 2018. Carol (Jessen) Klaustermeier, JC ’62 passed away on April 30, 2018.

Sonja (Stuehrenberg) Wuerffel, BA ‘76 passed away on July 30, 2018 following a five month battle with aggressive brain cancer. Sonja leaves behind her husband, fellow CSP alumni, Mark Wuerffel, BA ’73. 15

Christine Quinn, BA '75 passed away on March 8, 2018.


Daniel Rude, BA '75 passed away on April 26, 2018.

1980’s Rev. Michael Nirva, BA '85 passed away on June 10, 2018, after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer in March. Pastor Nirva was the senior pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Faribault, Minn. 14

David Kothe, BA '87 passed away suddenly of a heart attack on Dec. 10, 2017. 17

12 Becky (Bishop) Pearson, BA '88, of Deer River, Minn. passed away in her home on April 9, 2018.

2000’s 13

John Dearham, BA '04 passed away on March 26, 2018.

Dr. David Noennig, BA ‘66, alumnus and former CSP professor, passed away on July 17, 2018 from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident on July 3, 2018. David leaves behind his wife, Kay (Kunde) Noennig, BA ‘67. 16




Celebrating Alumni ALUMNI ASSOCIATION AW AR OCT. 5, 2018







an, JC '59

Rev. Dr. Allan Buckm

Margaret (Rickers) Hinchey,

BA ’75


Paul Wessel, BA ’97


Susan Hewitt, MA ’06

Timothy Hetzner. BA ’78

Alumni banquet images: Noah Wolf Photography Choir reunion image: Emilee Franklin

Lee Ann (Meyer) Eva

Left to Right: Brian Doyle, BA ‘05, Chris Was McNear III, BA hington, BA ‘0 ‘07, Jessica (L 4, Philip Fand ucia) Bray, BA BA ‘08, MA ‘09, rei, HS ‘51, Jam ‘07, Jill Kalvik Amanda (Beh es , BA ‘05, Katie nke) Johnson, Not pictured: (LaViolette) Fi BA ‘08, MA ‘14, Cailin (Terha scher, Joy (Wubben) ar) Minor, BA ‘06. Tietz, BA ‘05. ns, BA '81

Planned Giving

Joy in serving the Lord For many people, the financial benefits of a Concordia University charitable gift annuity are the reason they fund one. Friends of Concordia like the high payment rates, income tax deductions and even capital gains tax savings. However, for one Concordia family member, Helen Nolte, there are two other important reasons why she funded a gift annuity. She did it for her husband, and she did it for the glory of God. A few years ago, when her husband, Earl passed away, Helen called her friend, Pastor Tom, seeking comfort and to share memories of the man they both knew for decades. To most of us, “Pastor Tom,” is Rev. Dr. Tom Ries, president of Concordia University. However, Helen and Earl got to know President Ries when he was a young minister who helped start and grow the church the family attended. To them, he will always be Pastor Tom. As Helen and Tom talked about Earl, they reminisced about a remarkable man. Earl had served in World War II and fought in pivotal battles in the South Pacific, including storming a beach in the battle to take Leyte Island. The United States awarded Earl many commendations including the Purple Heart. However, Earl was a humble man, and turned down many accolades, including the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was so unassuming, even his wife of 60 years did not know all of his heroic acts and awards from the war. Yet, one thing was clear about Earl, despite all his accomplishments, his main goal was to be a godly man.

Earl did not talk much about the war. Although he saved many lives taking out an enemy position, he wanted to be remembered for how he later lived and not how he killed, no matter how courageous it was. When Helen talked about ways to honor Earl, Tom asked Helen to consider funding a Concordia charitable gift annuity. A gift annuity is a simple agreement between a donor, like Helen, and Concordia. In exchange for her gift, Helen receives payments back for life, at a fixed, attractive rate. The rate is based on her age at the time of funding. She received an income tax deduction the year she funded it, and she could have received capital gains benefits had she funded it with an appreciated asset like stock (by transferring, never selling the stock.

Although she routinely receives a good-sized check from Concordia each year, Helen does not talk about the significant financial benefits of her gift annuity. They are wonderful, and she appreciates them, but what she values more is what the gift annuity will do later. After a lifetime of payments to her, all funds left in the gift annuity will automatically support students in Concordia’s ministerial program. Her gift annuity will begin a fund named in honor of her husband and her. As she says, its purpose is to help the Lord’s Kingdom.

Gift annuity rates are as high as 9.5%. They are fixed and never change, no matter what the economy does. The humility and grace of Helen and Earl may be uncommon in the world today, but is common at Concordia. If you want to learn more about a gift annuity and what it can do for you and for Concordia, let us know. President Ries introduced Helen to Matt Steiner who now is Helen’s friend. Matt showed Helen all about gift annuities and how one would work for her. It fit her goals and plans perfectly. If you want to learn more about a gift annuity (without any obligation or commitment), or any of the many ways you can give to Concordia and get back, call Matt Steiner at 651-641-8243 or email him at You too, can realize many benefits while also serving the Lord or any part of Concordia’s mission you desire.

Upcoming Events Alumni

Art (cont.)

Theatre & Dance

TOMtalks: Celebrating 125 Years Dec. 6, 2018 | 12 p.m. Virtual

Priya Thoresen Feb. 7 - March 1, 2019 H. Williams Teaching Gallery

Student Directed One Acts Dec. 15 | 7 p.m. Westlund Theatre

New Alumni Receptions Dec. 15, 2018 | 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Buenger Education Center

The Lay of the Land March 14 - April 10, 2019 Concordia Galleries

Bremen Town Blues Nov. 29-30, Dec. 1 | 7 p.m. Dec. 1-2 | 2 p.m. Westlund Theatre

NADCE Conference Reception Jan. 1-4, 2019 Location TBD Best Practices Conference Feb. 21-23, 2019 Christ Church Lutheran | Phoenix, AZ TOMtalks: Diversity Through A Historic Lens March 21, 2019 | 12 p.m. Virtual

Art Nature Photo Biennial 2018 Nov. 29 - Dec. 20, 2018 Concordia Gallery 125 Concordia Alumni Exhibition Nov. 29 - Dec. 20, 2018 H. Williams Teaching Gallery High School Honors Jan. 17-30, 2019 Concordia Gallery Jodi Reeb Obscured and Revealed Feb. 7 - March 1,2019 Concordia Gallery

Athletics Visit CSPBEARS.COM to view all athletics schedules.

Music Instrumental Music Ensembles Fall Concert Nov. 13 | 8 p.m. Buetow Auditorium The Promise Fulfilled 2018 Fine & Performing Arts Christmas Concert Dec. 7 | 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 | 4:30 p.m. Dec. 9 | 3 p.m. Buetow Auditorium Percussion Ensemble Concert Dec. 11 | 8 p.m. E.M. Pearson Theatre Vox 9 & Blue Rondo Jazz Ensemble Concert Dec. 14 | 7:30 p.m. E.M. Pearson Theatre Christmas Vespers Concert Dec. 16 | 7 p.m. Graebner Chapel

Fall Student Showcase Dec. 17 | 5 p.m. E.M. Pearson Theatre Twelfth Night Feb. 21-23, 2019 | 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24, 2019 | 2 p.m. E.M. Pearson Theatre A Kind of Alaska March 21-23, 2019 | 7:30 p.m. March 24, 2019 | 2 p.m. Westlund Theatre

University Fall Commencement Dec. 15, 2018 Undergraduate Ceremony Buetow Auditorium Graduate Ceremony Buetow Auditorium



1 p.m.

10 a.m.

Donor Support: Creating Opportunities Double your impact with a gift to the Opportunity Fund by Dec. 31. This year earmarks our 125th anniversary at Concordia University, St. Paul. Together, let us lead in the This legacy of empowering students to discover and engage in their purpose for life, career and service. Your gifts have made this possible for students like Vannessa (pictured). Vannessa, a scholarship recipient, is one of the many students whose lives are impacted by the Opportunity Fund. By giving today, you’ll create even more opportunities for students like Vannessa, thanks to a year-end gift match! A longtime friend of Concordia, who knows our students are worthy investments, will match your gift to the Opportunity Fund dollar-for-dollar, up to $150,000 between now and December 31. With my retirement approaching at the end of this academic year, I am profoundly grateful for the blessing of God and the support of our alumni and friends over the years. Please consider helping us continue to lead in legacy for another 125 years and beyond with your gift to the Opportunity Fund today. “I came to CSP in hopes of new beginnings. I’m extremely grateful for the financial support that helped me achieve such a fantastic educational experience.” - Vannessa

Sincerely in Christ, Rev. Dr. Thomas Ries President P.S. You can make your gift go twice as far through Dec. 31 thanks to a year-end gift match. Give today at


GIVING HIGHLIGHTS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2018 Support from our generous benefactors in 2018 played a huge roll in the success of our students. Your support provides opportunities for our students to thrive in a dynamic, multicultural, urban environment where Christ is honored, and all are welcome. Thank you for allowing CSP students to thrive and grow into valuable members of our community.








Meyer Hall Initiative Opportunity Fund Luther Statue Restoration Student Scholarships

HOW CAN I GIVE? • • • •

Become a Responsive Partner by giving a regularly recurring gift Join the President’s Circle through giving of at least $1,000 per fiscal year Direct your Thrivent Choice Dollars to Concordia Discover if your employer matches your charitable giving

For these, and more giving opportunities at CSP go to Questions? 1-866-476-9277 or CONCO RDIA ST. PAUL MAGAZINE • FALL 2018




1282 Concordia Avenue St. Paul, MN 55104-5494



the Promise Fulfilled CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY, ST. PAUL 2018 FINE & PERFORMING ARTS CHRISTMAS CONCERT Friday, December 7 • 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 8 • 4:30 p.m. Sunday, December 9 • 3:00 p.m. Buetow Music Center Auditorium • 300 Hamline Avenue North, St. Paul, MN 55104 Adults $15, Students/Senior $12 • • 612.343.3390

Concordia St. Paul Magazine | Fall 2018  

Special Edition: Celebrating 125 years

Concordia St. Paul Magazine | Fall 2018  

Special Edition: Celebrating 125 years