Alumnus Wyatt Weller has historic family ties to Concordia University, Nebraska

Published by Amy Crawford 1 month ago on Tue, Apr 9, 2024 7:55 AM

Wyatt Burke Weller ’18 first discovered Concordia University, Nebraska through a high school baseball camp, but he has historic family ties to Concordia Nebraska, too. 

Reverend George Weller, first president of Concordia from 1894-1914 and professor for another 10 years after, is my fourth great uncle, a direct decedent of Reverend Johann George Weller’s brother Heinrich Weller,” he said. “Weller Hall is named in his honor. To my family’s knowledge, I am believed to be the first direct descendent to attend and graduate Concordia Nebraska since its founding.” 

Weller worked with Concordia Nebraska baseball coaches Jeremy Geidel CO ’96 GR ’00, Rich Eber GR ’13 and John Couch ’10 during his baseball camp which offered him his first experience on campus. 

“I had interest in playing [baseball] at Concordia,” he said. “Other schools I had visited never felt like home, but Concordia did from the first moment. After my visit, I remember telling my parents I didn’t want to visit other schools anymore and it was settled.” 

The summer before he came to the university as a freshman, he learned that baseball coach Geidel was transitioning to another position within the university and had been replaced with Ryan Dupic

“One of my baseball coaches at Bennington High School – Mike Hoffman - played for Coach Dupic when he was a coach at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Coach Hoffman could not praise Coach Dupic enough as a coach and human being and assured me I was in good hands,” said Weller. “Coach Dupic has had a profound impact on my life. He is an incredible coach who people gravitate towards not only because of his knowledge in the game of baseball, but because of his knowledge of life, perseverance and faith. He is an incredible leader, mentor and human being.” 

Weller earned a bachelor of arts degree in business administration and criminal justice from Concordia Nebraska. He said that both in and out of the classroom, the best thing about Concordia Nebraska is the people. 

“My favorite thing about Concordia was the people, from all the teammates I was privileged to play with, to the students in my class and the amazing professors at the university,” he said. “The professor that has had the greatest impact on me is Dr. Curtis Beck. He taught me what it means to be a leader with faith, humility, integrity and ethics. Choosing the hard right over the easy wrong. How to be a servant leader instead of being a follower. I directly apply his teachings every day at work and in my personal life.” 

He said that in addition to being supportive and providing an outstanding education, his professors at the university also helped him to discover his purpose. 

Dr. Tim Huntington ‘02 is one of the most brilliant minds I have ever encountered. His contagious positivity and enthusiasm in his teachings made every class a blast,” he said. “Professor Timothy Heidorn’s classes were always a joy due to his passion, enthusiasm, knowledge and ability to make students understand economics in ways they never dreamed of. Dr. Jamie Hink’s history classes were some of my favorites because of her knowledge and preparation of the lesson for the class.” 

Weller said his faith grew and developed during his time on campus as well. 

“Reverend Arnold Jurchen and Rev. Russ Sommerfeld’s wisdom and teachings from the Bible in both chapel and class were extraordinary. Every word they spoke was intentional and had meaning. They made you feel God’s love for you regardless of our sins. Dr. Andrew Langewisch ‘82 can help students learn everything from accounting, finances, to coding and everything in between. Dr. Langewisch would go out of his way to ensure each student not only understood the material but could retain and apply it to their lives.” 

Several professors helped him develop personal and professional skills, as well. 

Professor Bryan Moore pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me overcome my fear of public speaking. He taught me how to deliver to an audience, which I apply every time I conduct a brief or lead a meeting. Chief of Police Brian Peter’s classes were engaging from start to finish, and he helped me complete my internship with the Seward Police Department for my criminal justice degree. Compassion and dedication to serving others in the community is something he instilled in me. These professors and more have no idea the impact they have had on my life and how much it meant to me to be able to learn from them.” 

Weller said his experiences at Concordia Nebraska prepared him for his current vocation. 

“My professors instilled hard work and taught me the difference between knowing something and having knowledge on something,” he said. “Anyone can know a fact or piece of information but to have knowledge is diving deeper than the surface. The Concordia Nebraska experience taught me how to better myself each day and not take days off. Being a member of the baseball team taught me perseverance and understanding what I bring to the table. I was never the most talented or gifted player by any means. Coach Dupic taught me how to stay the course and that success is gained through improvements each day over time. Life is a journey and everything happens for a reason. There is no substitution for hard work and time. My interactions with coaches, teammates, students, professors and faculty taught me selflessness and how to be a piece of God’s creation on earth.” 

He added that his time at the university helped him develop his faith in God and discover His plan for Weller’s life. 

“I found my purpose to serve others through my faith. I remember Reverend Sommerfeld’s faith and life class where he referred to Hebrews 11:1 when he said faith is belief in the absence of evidence, and the evidence is in front of us each and every day,” he said. “People choose not to see it through sin and selfishness, but the evidence is apparent each day when you believe in the Lord. You see His marvels and feel His love every day in the creations around you. Faith is accepting His love and plan for you and knowing He forgives you despite our imperfections and sin.” 

Weller began the process of joining the U.S. Army as a commissioned officer at the end of the first semester of his senior year. His recruiter, SFC Joshua Lovellette, facilitated Weller’s Officer Candidate School (OCS) application and even attended his last college baseball game. After receiving recommendation from the selection board, Weller signed his contract as an Officer Candidate and attended Basic Training and Officer Candidate School where he was commissioned as an Armor Officer at Fort Benning (now Fort Moore) from August 2018 to December 2019. He was then assigned to Fort Riley, Kansas where he served as a Tank Platoon Leader and Battalion Operations Officer during Operation Atlantic Resolve in Europe and as a Task Force Executive Officer for the Georgia Defense Readiness Program (GDRP) in Vaziani, Georgia, and as a UAS Platoon Leader in Bulgaria during Operation European Assure, Deter, Reinforce when Russia invaded Ukraine. He spent June 2021 to June 2022 in Europe where he spent most of his time in Lithuania, Poland, Georgia, Germany, Romania, and Bulgaria.  

“I have done everything from testing the Joint Assault Bridge (JAB) Field Testing for the army as a Tank Platoon Leader to becoming the first soldier in 3-66 AR BN’s history to earn my expert soldier badge, to earning the Norwegian Foot March, to training with foreign partners and allies abroad at combat training centers,” he said.  

Once he redeployed, he finished out his time as a UAS Platoon Leader and then began the transition to a Military Intelligence Officer. He attended Officer Transition Course and Military Intelligence Captain’s Career Course (MICCC) at Fort Huachuca, Arizona from January 2023 to August 2023, where he finished top 10 percent in his class and graduated with honors. He was then assigned to Fort Stewart, Georgia, where he currently serves as the 2-7 Infantry Battalion Intelligence Officer. 

“Lately, I have been involved in drone training and certification for soldiers to operate SUAS. Other responsibilities consist of managing security clearances, incidents, physical security, personal security and providing training opportunities for companies to receive capabilities briefs or support among other things,” he said. “When I am in the field training, I assist in Tactical Operation Center operations where I update my commander on enemy disposition, composition, location, courses of action, strength/weaknesses, etc. in order to help my commander make an informed decision. Over the past month, I have been working on providing companies with drone injects and utilizing drones for intelligence collection on the battlefield. Our team was even selected to fly drones for the President of Poland when he visited Fort Stewart on March 13th.” 

He said his work is challenging and incredibly fulfilling. 

“I have the privilege of being a leader of men and women who serve their country. More importantly, I am a part of their lives, whether that’s a single interaction or many and that is very rewarding that I can impact their lives in some way,” he said. “Not many people get to find a calling where they are excited to go to work every day. I get to see individuals grow in their jobs, professional lives and personal lives with their families. There is nothing more rewarding knowing you can impact someone’s life so directly in so many ways. I strive to make each interaction I have with soldiers positive and upbringing in the same way Concordia Nebraska did for me.” 

His parents - Beth and Jeff Weller – live in Bennington, Nebraska. His older brother, Dillon is an engineer for John Deere in Iowa. When he’s not working, Weller enjoys reading, favoring military history focused on WWII to present day. He also enjoys running, working out, traveling and spending time with his fiancé, Taylor Ann Doescher.  

“Taylor and I have managed to visit some beautiful places with each duty station I go to while she finishes her residency,” he said. “We tend to go on adventures seeing historical sites or state and national parks whenever we get the opportunity.” 

Weller and Taylor will marry in November. She is completing her residency in Omaha at the University of Nebraska Medical Center as an internal medicine doctor. Weller is working toward a master’s degree in intelligence studies with concentration in intelligence operations with American Military University. Together, they have pledged support Concordia Nebraska to support others receiving their education at the university. 

“We decided to make donations to Concordia under the Institute for Ethical Leadership fund for the next five years,” he explained. “I received scholarships from private donors during my time at Concordia Nebraska, and it is my wish to continue to give back to the university as previous donors did for me. I have immense love for Concordia Nebraska and want to continue to see it thrive for the next 100 years and beyond.” 

Are you interested in learning more about Concordia Nebraska? Discover all that our business administration and criminal justice programs have to offer. Be known at Concordia Nebraska.