Celebrate Concordia

Please join us as we celebrate and honor the individuals receiving the prestigious Rev. Dr. George Beto Leadership Award, Christo et Ecclesiae Award, and Emerging Leader Award. This special event raises funds to support our students through The Concordia Fund which provides academic scholarships, enhanced student classroom and campus experiences, technology advancement and more.

March 7, 2020
6:00 p.m.   Heavy hors d'oeuvres and cocktails
7:00 p.m.   Program begins in the Chapel

Award Recipients:
Rev. Dr. George Beto Leadership Award- Melissa Knippa
Christo et Ecclesiae Award- Pete and Su Hames
Emerging Leader Award- Ted Doering

Early-bird individual ticket $10 (online only)
Individual ticket $15 (after Feb. 21)
Couples $20 (online only)
All tickets purchased at the door will be $15 per person.


Event Contact:
Chanee Carlson, Chanee.Carlson@Concordia.edu, 512.313.4102

If you are interested in being a sponsor for Celebrate Concordia, please see the information below.

Sponsorship Information

Melissa Knippa

Melissa Knippa

Rev. Dr. George Beto Leadership Award

Melissa Knippa’s connection to CTX was established through her husband, Rev. Dr. Bill Knippa, who served as the dean of men at then Concordia Lutheran College. After earning her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with honors from the University of Texas at Austin, Knippa moved into Behnken Hall on Concordia’s original campus, and she learned from Mrs. Jane Martens and Mrs. Pearl Hackmann how to serve as the wife of a Lutheran minister. 

Growing up Southern Baptist, Knippa became a Lutheran through adult confirmation at Christ Lutheran Church. Moving to South Austin for her husband’s call to serve Bethany Lutheran Church, Knippa became active in the church and PTA groups as she raised her children. While serving two elected terms as an AISD Board of Trustee member, Knippa also became a financial representative for Thrivent Financial. 

Knippa shifted her time toward her family, the congregation, and work with Thrivent Financial. She then received a call to join Concordia’s Board of Regents. She jumped at the opportunity to serve the University that has given her so much. Serving on the board for nine years, she held various roles, including chair of the Presidential Search Committee that brought in Dr. Tom Cedel as Concordia’s next president and as a supporting board member when Concordia moved to its new location. Knippa was then appointed as a member of the Concordia University System Board of Directors. 

In addition to holding board positions and memberships in a variety of organizations, she has served as a wealth advisor with Thrivent Financial for 26 years and is a partner of the Arbors Group. Knippa’s greatest joy is her six grandchildren, with a seventh on the way.

Peter and Suzann Hames

Peter & Suzann Hames

Christo et Ecclesiea Award for outstanding service to Christ & Church

Peter & Suzann Hames were first introduced to the University through their daughter, who graduated from CTX in 1995 with a degree in Early Childhood Education and a certificate to teach in a Lutheran school. Both Peter and Suzann devote countless hours and other resources to serving others, including students at Concordia University Texas. They began their contributions to CTX while Ginger was a student and have continued ever since.

The Hames were married on August 14, 1965, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Suzann graduated in 1963 from the Michael Reese School of Nursing in Chicago, Illinois, and she earned her BSN in 1967 from Fairley Dickenson University in Teaneck, New Jersey. Suzann worked as a surgical nurse for over 40 years.

Peter graduated in 1965 from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, Long Island, New York, earning a BS in Marine Engineering, a Third Assistant Engineer license issued by the U.S. Coast Guard, and a commission as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Reserve. In 1976, he earned an MBA from Adelphi University in Garden City, Long Island, New York. He began his career as an engineer on Texaco Oil Tankers, sailing out of Port Arthur, Texas. Peter worked in the Maritime Industry for more than 50 years, and he recently retired as a consultant for Quality, Safety and Environmental Management Systems.

Peter & Suzann live on Lake Conroe, which is north of Houston. Suzann has been a volunteer at their local hospital for the last 20 years, where she has logged more than 9,500 hours. Peter is a member of the Board of Regents of CTX. He previously served as president of Living Savior Lutheran Church in Montgomery, Texas, and currently serves as their treasurer. He also led the successful renovation of their 100-year-old historic church building, which was completed in September 2019.

The Hames have one son, Michael Hames, who lives in Cypress, Texas, one daughter, Ginger Evoy, who lives in Buda, Texas, and five grandchildren.

Ted Doering

Ted Doering

Emerging Leader Award

Reverend Ted Doering grew up in Kingwood, Texas, which is in Northeast Houston. He attended Concordia University Texas and worked with various ministries connected to the University. After graduation, Doering served as a high school youth minister at his home church.

Doering met his wife, Chelsey Urban, at CTX. She graduated with her BA in 2010 as a Director of Christian Education (DCE). They married in June 2010 and then moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where Ted attended Concordia Seminary.

Ted graduated from seminary in 2014, and the Doerings were called by Faith Lutheran Church in Georgetown, Texas, to plant a new congregation in the growing areas of Williamson County.

Narrative Church was launched in 2015 and continues to meet in the cafeteria of Hopewell Middle School in Round Rock, Texas. It has been a joy for Ted and Chelsey to return to Texas and watch the Lord work through Narrative over the past five years. Ted and Chelsey published a book in 2017 through Concordia Publishing House, Myth of the Millennial, which provides ways for generations in the Church to connect, specifically with Millennials.

In their spare time, Ted and Chelsey enjoy hiking the trails of central Texas with their dog, Gus; cooking up a storm in the kitchen and on the grill; learning woodworking; and enjoying time with friends and family.