Alumni Sam and Kirsten Huebner support beloved alma mater with recurring financial gifts: “We could not have asked for a better college experience.”

Published by Amy Crawford 1 month ago on Fri, Mar 15, 2024 6:09 AM

Alumni Sam ’11 and Kirsten Kohlwey Huebner ’12 agree that their time at Concordia Nebraska was profoundly impactful on their lives. The two met at the university, but they said there are many other things about their time on campus that they give thanks for each day. 

“There are so many things we loved about Concordia. Most notable might be the friends that we made in our time at Concordia, many of whom we still keep in touch with. The shared faith in Christ had a huge impact in the relationships we developed at Concordia,” said Sam. “We always felt like our professors truly cared about our spiritual well-being. College can be a confusing time for a lot of people, and it was reassuring to have professors we knew personally and who encouraged us in finding our purpose beyond college.” 

The Huebners are so passionate about the university, they have committed to support Concordia financially each month through a program called Concordia Faithful. Concordia Faithful is a group of university supporters who make small, monthly gifts to Concordia Nebraska's operations and scholarship funds.  

“We’ve witnessed the effect of Concordia on people’s lives, ourselves included. As God has blessed us financially, we have felt fortunate to be able to support Concordia in a way that might help others attend the university,” said Sam. “We mostly contribute to a fund that supports church work scholarships. We believe the long-term success of Concordia depends, in part, on a growing and thriving church. In our opinion, Concordia Nebraska does [a good job] in preparing church workers. We’ve witnessed God’s work through church workers at local Lutheran schools, but it’s a career path with a lot of obstacles. We hope our contributions help with just one of those many obstacles.” 

Anyone can set up a month-to-month gift of any amount to any designation to become part of the Concordia Faithful program.  

“We could not have asked for a better college experience,” said Kirsten. “We have become huge advocates for Concordia and often find ourselves pushing high school-aged kids to Concordia. We now have friends who are also alumni who have been called to church work, and we find them incredibly inspiring. This has led us to support tuition assistance for church workers at Concordia on a regular basis. We hope to reduce the financial burden for those who have been called into church work.” 

Sam discovered Concordia Nebraska through his church and through basketball. Although he began college at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, shortly thereafter, God called him to Concordia. He has a degree in business and finance. Kirsten found her way to Concordia through her dad, former Concordia basketball coach Marty Kohlwey. She played volleyball for the university and earned a degree in business and marketing. 

“Our education at Concordia was a great foundation for our careers after graduating. We felt well-prepared for our first jobs right after college, and we both did not have any issues finding desirable jobs,” said Sam. 

But more importantly, their time at Concordia Nebraska helped to develop their faith. 

“Our college years, like many others, were a time of searching and inquisition,” said Kirsten. “We found so many great resources in faith formation at Concordia, including professors, friends and peers, teammates and coaches, and other members of the Concordia community.” 

Sam began his post-college career as an analyst for serial entrepreneurs in Denver.  

“I really wanted to learn from experienced entrepreneurs, and I did!” he said. “When Kirsten and I had twins in 2015, we started a small business selling baby products online. Around the same time, I transitioned to a new role at a boutique investment bank in Denver. I continued to grow the small business while working at the investment bank until I went full-time in the new business in 2017. We've continued to grow the business to over 15 employees across the world.” 

Following graduation, Kirsten served as an admissions assistant at Lutheran High School in Parker, Colorado.  

“I was blessed to work for this amazing ministry with some amazing people until we had our twins,” she said. “In the early years of Parker Baby Co., I helped anywhere and everywhere. When we had our third child in 2017, I decided to scale back my Parker Baby responsibilities and focus on being a stay-at-home mom. I've been doing this ever since.” 

Sam said he’d always wanted to be an entrepreneur but was just waiting for the right idea.  

“God blessed us with the idea of Parker Baby through the gift of our twins,” he said. “I'm incredibly grateful for my job, I find it very fulfilling to grow a business and to lead and raise other people up through the brand.” 

Kirsten said although she’s involved with Parker Baby on a small scale, she is thrilled to pursue her ultimate dream job. 

“Like Sam, I also have my dream job. I always wanted to be a homemaker and mom,” she said. “I wouldn't change a thing about my current role. I also get to stay involved in the family business occasionally, but my stay-at-home mom responsibilities with four young children always come first.” 

Sam said he spends most of his time at work managing people and building them up. He coordinates activities and efforts between departments and fills in where needed. He strives to be done with his work day around 4 p.m. so he can be available to his children at the end of the school day. He said the flexibility to do so is one of the primary benefits of being an entrepreneur. 

“I really enjoy pouring into people who work for us and seeing them grow with the business. We've also been able to support several non-profits through our business, including a local faith-based nonprofit that supports teen mothers,” he said. 

Kirsten said her days are busy and full, making breakfast for the family, making lunches for the kids, taking care of the family’s many animals. She enjoys taking the kids to school, helping in her children’s classrooms and navigating their family’s busy calendar. 

“We prioritize family dinners at home, so my afternoons and evenings are often spent preparing for that,” she said. “I'm so grateful to be able to serve my family as a homemaker. I love the home we have created here for our kids, and I feel blessed to be able to be present for my kids.” 

The couple has four children. Ava is eight years old and loves math, basketball and cats. Eleanor is eight years old and loves reading, volleyball and all animals. Greta is seven years old and loves reading, basketball and bunnies. August is five years old and loves every sport, the Husker and Bulldog Basketball. 

When they’re not working or spending time with family, Sam serves on the school board at Trinity Lutheran in Franktown, Colorado, and keeps busy with home projects and home automation. He also loves basketball. Kirsten enjoys reading, working out, cooking and baking (ask her about her sourdough!). 

As chaotic as life is, the Huebners err on the side of over planning, said Sam. They try to plan as much as possible, and tithing is one thing that the couple has always been intentional about. 

“Even 10 years after graduating, we still have great relationships with friends from our time at Concordia. They are timeless friendships that are rooted in faith. Beyond that, many of our “new” friends are also alumni who we did not overlap with at Concordia. It’s always fun to swap Concordia stories with new and old friends alike,” said Kirsten. “We’ve witnessed the effect of Concordia on people’s lives, ourselves included. As God has blessed us financially, we have felt fortunate to be able to support Concordia in a way that might help others attend the university.” 

Are you interested in discovering how you can financially support Concordia Nebraska as we equip and transform students to serve and lead in our communities, churches and the world? Learn more here