Concordia celebrated the generosity of its donors with its annual Donor Thank You Celebration on March 22 at the Country Club of Lincoln. Concordia recognized Virginia Hughes as the recipient of its 2014 Sower Award, the university's premier philanthropic award.
“With their prayers, generosity and encouragement, Concordia’s donors have a profound impact on our students as they become equipped to learn, serve and lead in the church and world through the education they receive and experiences they have here at Concordia,” Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement Kurth Brashear said. “They are such a blessing to our students, and it’s an honor to be able to thank our friends for their support.”
Concordia junior Benjamin Sievert thanked donors on behalf of Concordia students. Brashear then recognized Hughes’ service to the Concordia Nebraska and Seward communities and presented her with the 2014 Sower Award.
“Thank you for this Sower Award, but I can’t emphasize strongly enough that I am simply one of many who support Concordia,” Hughes said in comments after accepting the award. “Let us give God the glory for placing Concordia in Seward and for sending faculty and staff who have faithfully prepared men and women for their vocation, using and maximizing their God-given talents throughout its history to serve His people. Truly, Concordia is blessed to be a blessing.”
Hughes graduated from Concordia Teachers College in 1960 and took a call to teach in Hyattsville, Md., for a year before returning to Seward where she taught as a substitute teacher at St. John Lutheran School. She earned a Master of Education degree with an early childhood emphasis from Concordia in 1995.
Hughes has been as a member of Concordia’s Board of Regents and director of the Concordia Foundation Nebraska. She also has been a member of the Centennial Celebration Steering Committee, the Concordia Guild and the Heritage Society.
She is an active member of St. John Lutheran Church in Seward, where she has led Bible studies, taught Sunday School and served on the Worship Board. Hughes was also a member of the Seward School Board, co-chair of the campaign to build the Seward Memorial Library and a member of the Seward Library Foundation. She also served on the Seward School District-Middle Level Steering Committee and the Seward Foundation Board of Directors, among other volunteer roles.
“I am just interested in a lot of things I guess,” Hughes said. “If I can help, I would be happy to do that.”
Hughes currently lives in Seward. She has three grown children, Ted and John Hughes and Vikki Gremel, and nine grandchildren.