Dear Fellow Grads…
Peace to you and yours as you begin this New Year, 2019.
On many days, I am reminded of how our experiences as students at Concordia have shaped our lives. In the Alumni Relations role, I am privileged to meet some of us at various stages of the life cycle and then walk alongside as we graduate, marry, start families, work, retire, and so on. Sometimes, it is a one-time meeting and we go our separate ways. Other circumstances lead to a casual acquaintance, keeping up with each other annually. Occasionally, I am blessed to develop a lasting friendship that prospers and grows through time.
Regardless of how life unfolds, it is important to share my gratitude to have the opportunity to be let in for a look at how this place has affected us. As time passes, so Concordia changes. There are some in our midst who began their experience here as thirteen year old student and stayed for high school and two years of college. On the other end, I do suppose it’s possible there are some that, due to the power of technology, are graduates of this place without having ever stepped foot on campus. The rest of us are somewhere in between. But none of us leaves unscathed. This is a place where faith meets learning, where we aspire to be a caring community, where we wrestle with our calling and hopefully find deep meaning in our dedicated vocation.
Thanks for welcoming us into your homes and sharing your time, talent and treasure. It truly does make a lasting difference.
I want to mention one of us recently called home to heaven, Pastor Doug Rathgeber. Pastor was one of those students who came to Concordia in the late ‘50s and remained until he left for senior college in Fort Wayne, and then on to seminary in St. Louis. Remarkably, Pastor Rathgeber served his flock at St. John in Beaumont for over 43 years, after a short stay in Selma, Alabama. I spent only a short amount of time with Pastor and wife Karen, at a ‘60s reunion on campus several years ago. But I feel like I know him a little better due to my friendship with his brother, Rev. Ben Rathgeber of Cleburne. Pastor went to heaven on December 20, 2018. Rest in peace, Brother.
Looking (far) ahead, I ask you to mark your calendars for June 19, 2026. That day will mark one hundred years from the laying of the cornerstone to Kilian Hall on the historic LCC campus in Austin. And we will celebrate!
A little closer to now will be the third annual Concordia Crossing here on campus, March 8-10, with all kinds of fun activities going on. Hope you can come and join your classmates and fellow grads as we gather to celebrate Concordia!
Until we meet again,
Concordia Alumni Relations