Concordia celebrates commencement weekend with events for classes of 1969 and 2019
The Class of 1969 returned to campus for its 50th anniversary, May 3-6, as part of the Concordia University, Nebraska commencement activities and led the graduation processional May 4.
“The Class of 1969 is excited to be back together and to be reconnecting with their friends and classmates, strengthening the relationships they built during their time here at what was then Concordia Teachers College,” said Jennifer Furr, Concordia’s director of alumni and university relations.
Class of 1969 members were honored at a luncheon along with current graduates Friday. Speaking on behalf of the Class of 1969 was Mira (Roeder) Wiegmann of Portland, Oregon, followed by a representative from the Class of 2019, Vincent Beasley of Houston, Texas. Representing the graduate Class of 2019 was Brad Molter of Lake Worth, Florida.
As Wiegmann addressed her classmates and the Class of 2019, she mentioned how her classmates were gifted students, singers, artists, actors, athletes and leaders. During her time at Concordia, Wiegmann said she explored new fields of study while her excellent professors made familiar subjects like U.S. History more complex and thought-provoking.
Her educational trajectory moved from a bachelor’s in elementary education to a doctorate in theater criticism and theory, which began with interactions with professors Walt Mueller and Bill Roundey on the Weller stage, Wiegmann said.
“These interactions led to a drama major and a career in theater education here at Concordia,” she said, “first as a graduate assistant, then as a part-time instructor and from 1986 to 2009 as the director of drama.”
Wiegmann said some of her students were more gifted than herself, and their dedication to living Christian values reflected what she experienced as a student and during the 30-plus years she spent as a professor in the classroom and in theater productions on campus.
“Campus life also founded lifelong friendships,” she said, “and for some us, led us to our spouse. We haven’t been spared from the dark times in life, we have dealt with grief and loss. Some of our classmates have died and most of us have experienced life-changing illness, if not our own, then among members in our families. But the faith that was nurtured at Concordia continues to support us through difficult times. I hope that you have experienced rewarding careers, deep friendships and loving families in the years since we began our adult lives in Seward, Nebraska. It’s good to be with you again.”
Beasley encouraged his classmates and alumni by sharing with them his outlook on life, and that greatness is not only reserved for elite athletes.
“When people hear the term greatness, they often think of people who are famous—Michael Jordan, Jerry Rice, Muhammad Ali and many more,” Beasley said. “But I learned that greatness isn’t this esoteric, elusive, God-like feature that only the special among us possess—it’s with everyone. I believe that I have come up with the four answers to life. Truly, only one, but of course that goes without saying, trust in God! The four answers are commitment, consistency, perspective and understanding.”
Beasley explained how his perspective on life changed after his car broke down the summer before his junior year. Instead of his father getting the car fixed, which he could have easily done, Beasley said—he made Beasley get a job—and Beasley had to walk 3 miles each day to get there.
“I believe that everybody should experience something in life that shifts perspective,” Beasley said. “I’m not saying that it has to be this huge life-changing injury—or something physically happen to you—but everybody should get hit with something in life and it will shift their perspective. It made me appreciate life. It made me appreciate people and moments. Perspective drives performance. How you view what you do will determine how you do what you do.”
Molter, who will receive his master’s in early childhood education, told the group, “We have all been able to accomplish one of life’s biggest milestones— graduating from college—whether we recently graduated with our bachelor’s, or master’s degree or are alumni who accomplished this amazing feat years ago. This is a major step in the journey of our lives.”
After degrees are earned, Molter said, people should continue making the effort to grow.
“In life, we continue to grow, and as a result of our achievements, we have all earned and enjoyed plenty of opportunities to continue growing and to learn new skills that we will carry and continue to carry with us for the rest of our lives.
“As we all continue on in our journeys, let us take each new problem on with confidence—knowing that we have all achieved great feats and continue to shape the future. From this day forward, let us believe in ourselves so that we may continue to reach our goals and continue living our lives as the best person we can be.”
A sending service was held Friday for Class of 2019 church work students accepting a Divine Call from The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Other reunion events include a dinner with Concordia President Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich before the baccalaureate service Friday night and a Sunday morning brunch.
Registered attendees include (alphabetical by last name):
Ruth (Kahre) Beiter, Anaheim, Calif.
Gerald Bergt, Fairmont, Minn.
Pauline (Henschen) Bergt, Fairmont, Minn.
Delicia (Keuck) Borchers, Sheldon, Iowa
William Borchers, Sheldon, Iowa
Brad Brauer, Bennett, Colo.
Karen (Cramlett) Brauer, Bennett, Colo.
Carolyn (Rink) Dierking, Scribner, Neb.
Betty Ehlers, Austin, Texas
Richard Ehlers, Austin, Texas
Clarence Eisberg, Merced, Calif.
Colleen (Smith) Eisberg, Merced, Calif.
Gretchen (Stohs) Erhardt, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Walter Erhardt, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Connie Jo (Dyer) Giesselmann, Doe Run, Mo.
Duane Giesselmann Doe Run, Mo.
Faye Ann (Roesler) Hall, Newark, Calif.
Dan Harries, Grand Island, Neb.
Dawn Harries, Grand Island, Neb.
Donna (Kretzmann) Henning, Deerbrook, Wisc.
Jim Henning, Deerbrook, Wisc.
Roger, Henning, Lincoln, Neb.
Mary Jo (Yost) Henning, Lincoln, Neb.
Karen Rubin Herbrich, Appleton, Wisc.
Rudy Herbrich, Appleton, Wisc.
LaVerne (Grossheider) Hoerchler, Eureka, Mo.
Christine (Meyer) Irmer, Oceanside, Calif.
Larry Irmer, Oceanside, Calif.
Dana (Rincker) Jones, Creighton, Mo.
Kent Jones, Creighton, Mo.
Kathleen (Hamilton) Kern, York, Neb.
Paul Kern, York, Neb.
Joan (Miller) Koerschen, Brighton, Mich.
Dave Koopman, Grafton, Wisc.
Jan (Pooker) Koopman, Grafton, Wisc.
Sybil (Kramer), Palatine, Ill.
Geraldine “Gerry” (Karmeier), Krigelski, Lake Wales, Fla.
Michael Krigelski, Lake Wales, Fla.
Shirley (Miller) Krone, Dearborn, Mich.
Walter Krone, Dearborn, Mich.
Betty (Sprehe) Kruse, Colby, Kan.
David Kruse, Colby, Kan.
Linda Kunz, Saint Paul, Minn.
DeVon Lark, Walton, Neb.
Sandy (Kaempfe) Lark, Walton, Neb.
Eugene “Gene” Menzel, Grant, Ala.
John Meyer, Seward, Neb.
Judy (Klusmann) Meyer, Seward, Neb.
Marilyn Moehlenkamp, Elmwood Park, Ill.
Martha “Marti” (Krueger) Mueller, Benbrook, Texas
Tom Mueller, Benbrook, Texas
Richard Paris, Winter Springs, Fla.
Robin (Schonscheck) Paris, Winter Springs, Fla.
Doris (Moentmann) Pflughaupt, Lincoln, Neb.
Jack Reynolds, Greensburg, Ind.
Mary (Reynolds) Greensburg, Ind.
James Rhiver, St. Louis, Mo.
Pearl (Heihn) Rhiver, St. Louis, Mo.
Ken Robbins, Houston, Texas
Bonnie (Kaczor) Rodenberg, Norborne, Mo.
Robert Rodenberg, Norborne, Mo.
Joyce (Schneider) Rosel, Sweetser, Ind.
Barbarakay (Seckel) Royuk, Arlington, Neb.
Carol (Fink) Sackschewsky, Antioch, Ill.
Roy Sackschewsky, Antioch, Ill.
Phyliss (Gress) Segebart, Denison, Iowa
MaryAnn (Schmieding) Steinbeck, Seward, Neb.
Linda (Niemeyer) Swanson, Fountain Hills, Ariz.
Rick Swanson, Fountain Hills, Ariz.
Gretchen (Meyer) Thomale, DeSoto, Texas
Faye (Mueller) Truwe, Indianapolis, Ind.
Gary Truwe, Indianapolis, Ind.
Howard Voelker, Walburg, Texas
Mary (Lochmann) Voelker, Walburg, Texas
Donna (Nugen) Walker, Lincolnville, Kan.
Karen (Baars) Warren, Los Angeles, Calif.
Eric Warren, Los Angeles, Calif.
Roberta (Dale) Weiss, Tucson, Ariz.
Mira (Roeder) Wiegmann, Portland, Ore.
Richard Wiegmann, Portland, Ore.
Angeline "Angie" (Warneke) Wiese, Haven, Kan.
William Wiese, Haven, Kan.
Margaret (Stueber) Wille, Watertown, Wisc.
Ronald Willle, Watertown, Wisc.
Judy (Ring) Wissner, McKinney, Texas
Larry Wissner, McKinney, Texas
Constance (Peters) Wobken, Pender, Neb.
Ronald Wobken, Pender, Neb.
Tom Wolfe, Columbus, Neb.
Gayle J. (Roepke) Wragge, Howells, Neb.
Amy (Ehlers) Ziegler, Waco, Neb.
Ellwood “Woody” Ziegler Jr., Waco, Neb.