A Time to Build - Concordia College


A Time to Build - Concordia College



Concordia College

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity

under the heavens ... a time to

tear down and a time to build.

Ecclesiastes 3

Mission Statement

Concordia College Alabama prepares

students through Christ-centered education

for lives of responsible service to the

Church, community, and world.

Vision Statement

Concordia College will be a diverse,

global institution of excellence, and a leader

in developing intellectual, spiritual and moral

leaders of Christ-centered justice.

Dear Alumni, Friends, Faculty and Staff,

The opportunities before us are extraordinary, and now is the time to act boldly and wisely in faith to strengthen and

expand Concordia’s role in building Christ’s Kingdom on earth.

Concordia’s mission is to prepare students through a Christ-centered education for lives of responsible service in the

Church, the community, and the world. At this moment in time, we turn to faithful friends and alumni to embrace our

vision of becoming a diverse, global institution of excellence, and a leader in developing intellectual,

spiritual and moral leaders of Christ-centered justice.

From 2008 to 2011, Concordia’s enrollment grew by more than 24 percent, and the trend for increasing numbers of

students is expected to continue during the next decade. This growth in spite of a difficult economic environment is

indeed significant. The rising cost of higher education is a tremendous challenge for nearly all of Concordia’s student

families; yet God is drawing to our campus talented young men and women who seek the Christ-centered higher

education that Concordia provides.

“Is Concordia important to the future of our church Yes! If we are going to

reach people for the sake of Jesus Christ, we must be able to reach all ethnic

backgrounds. This institution is so diverse that it‘s really a microcosm of what

the world is. That is why we need Concordia.”

Rev. Kurtis Schultz

President, Southern District, Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

(and member of Concordia College Board of Regents)

I believe God is leading college students to Selma to accomplish His purposes, and it is our responsibility to provide an

excellent caliber of Christian higher education to fully equip these future leaders to serve the changing needs of

our Church, communities and world.

Emboldened by a gracious God and a dynamic mission, Concordia College Alabama is on the threshold of unprecedented

growth and expansion. For this reason Concordia College Alabama has launched a capital campaign under the banner

“A Time to Build.” The goal of the campaign is to improve and expand our campus with both new and

renovated facilities that will invigorate our college community.

In the book of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon writes there is “a season for everything under the sun.” Now is our season:

A Time to Build.

May our gracious God lay it on your heart to join with us as we walk in faith, sure of our cause and depending on your

prayers and generosity.

On behalf of the College’s Regents

and with joy in serving Christ,

Tilahun Mekonnen Mendedo, St.M, Ph.D.


A Message from the Co-Chairs

We have a passion for Concordia College Alabama: Concordia offers a wonderful opportunity for a Christian education to

students who would not be able to afford to attend a private four-year liberal arts college without the school’s

commitment to service.

This is a gem of a ministry that has been overlooked for far too long. President Tilahun Mendedo has impressed us by

his passion for education, commitment to Christ, and love for the students to create a campus community committed to

excellence. We believe there are great things ahead for this college.

The recent purchase of a new “west campus” adjacent to Concordia’s original campus sets the stage for exciting growth

in the College’s enrollment and academic offerings. Yet in order for the College to accommodate and educate a growing

student body, many campus improvements are urgently needed.

As Co-Chairs of Concordia’s “A Time to Build” campaign, it is our prayer that many hundreds of Concordia alumni and

friends will step forward and work with us. Concordia College needs your loyal support. Please pray for Concordia, and

please give generously for the facilities required to make Concordia the best Christian college in the south.

Now is the time for Concordia College to build for the future. Let us move forward with boldness, firm in the

knowledge that Concordia College is in God’s hands. This is His work, and it is our sincere privilege to be a part of it.

Rod and Mattie Olson,

Campaign Co-Chairs

Lloyd and Ruth Probasco,

Campaign Co-Chairs

Ross and Gloria Edwards,

Honorary Campaign Co-Chairs

“The reason I came to Concordia is not

the reason I’m still here. I came to play

football. However, I’m very close to

graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in

Elementary Education. I’m here now

because I want to promote the good in

others and to inspire positive change to

all those with whom I interact.”

Joshua R. Stewart

Class of 2012

A Time to Build

Concordia’s Founding

The leadership that gave rise to this unique and historic

institution of Christian higher education is nothing short of

remarkable. Concordia is the only Lutheran historically black

college in America. It was founded in 1922 as Alabama

Lutheran Academy by educator Rosa J. Young, known as

the “mother of Black Lutheranism in central Alabama.”

The College has a legacy of preparing students from a

variety of backgrounds to serve the Church and world

through numerous worthy vocations including pastoral

ministry, business, law, education, music, and medicine.

Concordia alumni teach children in schools throughout the

United States and around the world, bringing the light and

hope of the Gospel to communities in need of Christian

witness, positive role models, and educational excellence.

Since its founding, Concordia has benefited from the

enthusiastic leadership of its Board of Regents, the

faithful generosity of dedicated alumni and friends, and the

ongoing partnership in mission with the Lutheran Church.

The vision and commitment of beneficiaries throughout our

history are the foundation of the academic community we

celebrate today.

Rosa J. Young, born in 1890,

was an educator who dedicated

her life to Christian education

for her people and the founding

of Concordia College.

“People are looking to us for strength and help. They need our best efforts, our bravest

words, our noblest deeds, our tenderest love, and our most helpful sympathy. Give light

to those who are in darkness; sustain the weak and faltering; befriend and aid the poor

and needy. There is nothing more reputable to a race or nation than Christian service.”

Concordia’s Recent Past

Thanks to God’s bountiful blessing and much hard work

on the part of faculty, staff, regents, and loyal donors,

Concordia celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2012 with

enthusiasm and joy. We recognize and give thanks for the

following achievements:

• Reaffirmation of accreditation was secured in

2011, an acknowledgement of strengthening

academic programs and financial support.

• Enrollment has soared, growing by 24 percent

from 2008 to 2011.

• The Concordia community and the Lutheran

Church have rallied with prayerful and generous

support to restore the financial health and stability

of the College.

In 2012, Concordia College acquired 37 acres with 17

buildings adjacent to its existing campus which previously

served as a children’s home. Several of the buildings were

suitable for adaptation for student housing needs. By the

fall of 2011, all 10 cottages on the new campus had been

remodeled to provide housing for 200 Concordia students.

Even so, more campus housing is urgently needed for

Concordia’s growing student body.

Light in the Dark Belt, by Rosa J. Young

Keziah Thompson, ‘12,

volunteers in local schools as

part of Concordia’s partnership

with Rotary International.

A Time to Build

A Time to Build

Concordia Today

Students are the heartbeat of Concordia College Alabama.

Each story is unique, yet they share a common thread. The

great majority of Concordia students are the first generation

in their families to obtain a college education. Many come

from families with household incomes below the poverty

level. Nearly all Concordia students rely on financial aid,

and scholarship assistance in order to pursue Christian

higher education.

Simon Ajak’s journey to Concordia was difficult and dangerous.

Thankfully, our loving God directed his every step in safety.

Simon is one of the “Lost Boys of the Sudan.” During the

1980’s, government troops attacked Christian minorities in

the south where Simon and his family lived. Over a period

of eight years, Simon fled on foot from one refugee camp to

another, from Sudan to Ethiopia, back to Sudan, then Kenya

... on the verge of starvation, with little clothing, shelter or

medicine. Millions died from the conflict, thousands more

of starvation and sickness. Simon lost his entire family; his

mother, father, sisters and brothers.

Yet Simon survived. “The Lord was so helpful to me that I

stayed alive,” he says, quietly reflective. “All through my

life, the Lord has provided.”

While in Kenya, Simon joined in the work of Lutheran

missionaries. “With God’s help we planted six congregations

among refugees.” When the American government offered

to settle Sudanese orphans, Simon came first to Michigan,

then Concordia College Alabama.

Simon is one of hundreds of students God brings to Concordia

each year. While most students come from communities in

Alabama and neighboring Southern states, others come to

Selma from Africa, the Caribbean, South America and other

parts of the world. God is working out His special plan in

the life of each student.

As you prayerfully consider the future of Concordia, please

hold in your heart the lives of each and every student.

Please cherish the dream for the future that will help us

better prepare young people for lives of service to the

Church, the community and the world.

It would be difficult to overstate the degree to which

Concordia’s students rely on the generosity of dedicated

friends in order to enroll. For students like Simon, a

Concordia education is the bridge.

Student Center: A Student Center is the heart of a

college and college experience. A new multipurpose center

will position Concordia College students for the future with

excellent access to resources from around the world, and

space to meet, study and discover.

The Center will incorporate a library resource center, dining

hall, offices for student organizations, and conference/

meeting rooms. This building will become the focal point

and unify the campus.

The traditional library on Concordia’s campus has limited space

for expansion. Additionally, students need better access to

technology, as many first-generation college students do not

own laptops or computers. The current Library’s computers

are limited and heavily used. The Student Center will unite

information access and information generation with an increased

library space and an ever-changing array of research tools for

teaching, learning, and research.

The Student Center can provide the congenial atmosphere

sought by students committed to excellence. A friendly

and attractive Student Center benefits all students—those

who live on campus and commuters – by providing a

welcoming space to study and interact. The Student Center

traditionally provides the sense of community that deepens

college life and a commitment to the school.

Currently Concordia students have few socializing spaces

and no spaces where they can get a snack or cup of

coffee, other than a small room with vending machines in

the education building. A game room with pool and ping

pong tables is located on the first floor of the Kreft Center,

however there are no areas to sit and talk or get a snack.

The current dining space is too small to meet the needs

of a growing student body, thus students must eat in shifts,

and cannot gather together at one time for a meal. While

staggered eating times are not a problem in campus life,

the Kreft Center is crowded and does not afford good

socializing opportunities.

A modern dining area, student organizational space, a

learning commons and various activity areas will give students

a strong sense of the Concordia community. With wireless

internet access throughout the building, students can enjoy a

cup of coffee while doing research and studying, individually

or in small groups. Students will be able to sign out laptops

at multiple locations in the building. It is our hope that the

center will foster a sense of community on campus that will

cultivate enduring loyalty to the school.

• Library Space

• Dining Space

• Meeting areas, independent study areas

• Offices for students and faculty

• Technology upgrades

A Time to Build

Intercollegiate Athletics: Successful athletic programs

transform the college experience for all students. They

appeal to all who find the camaraderie inherent in athletic

programs an exciting and unifying element of a college

community. At Concordia, intercollegiate athletics is often

the portal through which first generation college students

pass as a means to achieving their goal of a college degree

and a better life. Currently, Concordia does not have basic

athletic facilities and must rent time at the City of Selma

field for football, soccer and track events. The lack of a

sanctioned outdoor athletic facilities makes it more difficult

to attract students and host athletic events.

At Concordia, student athletes are provided with the tools

to be successful in both the classroom and playing field.

We encourage our student athletes to take ownership of

their academic, athletic, social, and spiritual responsibilities.

Further, intercollegiate athletics builds a sense of school spirit

and loyalty that highlights the Christian mission of Concordia.

A Time to Build will help Concordia College implement

Phase I of the Campus Master Plan. In Phase I, the College

will build its first outdoor athletic facility to accommodate

football, soccer, track and field, and intramural programs.

The facility will feature:

Academic Programs: Today, Concordia College

offers undergraduate general studies, early childhood

education, elementary education and business

administration. Undergraduate education offerings will

be expanded to offer degrees in social work, criminal

justice, nursing, pre-engineering, pre-medicine, and

pre-seminary. As enrollment grows, courses will be

offered in secondary education, pharmacology, occupational

therapy, physiotherapy, theology and engineering. Within

10 years, Concordia plans to offer masters’ degrees in

business administration, arts, and education.

Classrooms and Labs: Concordia’s classrooms

currently hold a total of 365 seats. Renovations to the

Kreft Center and careful refinement of all classroom use

schedules will be necessary to accommodate the anticipated

growth in enrollment for the next five years. As academic

programs expand, new facilities will be needed.

Faculty and Staff: Concordia currently employs 20

full-time faculty, up to 40 part-time adjunct faculty, and

approximately 50 staff members. During the next

several years, the College anticipates 65 full-time faculty,

approximately 40 part-time adjunct faculty, and 100

staff members.








• Year-round synthetic turf that will allow use

for practice and competitions for both soccer

and football

• High grade track surface

• Home and visitor bleachers to accommodate

1,200 seats

• High intensity, directional lighting for night

play with a minimum light spillage

• Digital scoreboard

Parking: Concordia’s campus today provides approximately

250 parking spaces. Growth in enrollment as well as

faculty and staff will significantly increase the need for

more parking spaces.

Community Outreach: With campus expansion,

Concordia desires to build stronger ties with the greater

Selma community. 1


Student Housing: Concordia’s enrollment of 719 in

2011 is projected to reach 1,000 students by 2015; and the

goal is to continue to grow to 2,000 students by 2025, with

at least 60 percent, or 1,200 students, living on campus.

The Concordia campus currently offers approximately 600

beds for student housing, and many campus residences are

in need of renovation.




Master Plan 2025





































East Campus
























West Campus

Current campus

1. Christ Chapel

2. Administration

3. Community Building

4. Cottages (current)

5. Classrooms (Exisiting Library)

6. Classrooms (Thompson and Wright)

7. Lynn Hall

8. Bakke Hall

9. Jenkins Rec Center

10. Classrooms with new facade (Kreft)

11. Residential Quad/Center Lawn

Van Yahres Associates of Charlottesville, Virginia,

prepared this master plan for Concordia College

working in consultation with faculty, staff,

students and the Board of Regents.

Future campus through 2017

12. Main Entrance

13. Soccer/Track/Football Stadium

14. Student Center/New Quad

15. Residence Hall

Future campus after 2017

16. Residence Hall

17. New Cottages and Student Park

18. Softball/Practice Field

19. Classrooms/Offices

20. Events/Exhibition Center with Auditorium

21. Residence Hall

22. Additions to existing residence halls

23. New gym/Lehman Center

fold out to see the

Master Plan

Cottages on the

West Campus

The Student Center

will become the

heart of the college.

“Jesus Christ is the center of Concordia

College. And because He is, we know

we can do all things through Christ

who strengthens us. We will be part

of a circle that will expand beyond

this campus throughout the world as

His witnesses.”

Rev. Dr. Dien Ashley Taylor

Chair, Concordia College Board of Regents

The Center will have areas for

study, research, and meeting

with other students.

“I chose to teach because I believe it is

part of what God has called me to do.

God has given His church the task of

teaching young people the faith given to

the apostles by Christ and shaping them

to be productive members of society.”

Dr. Daniel Thies

Associate Professor of Math

Cottages on the

West Campus

The Student Center

will become the

heart of the college.

The Center will have areas for

study, research, and meeting

with other students.

A Time to Build

Concordia College Alabama has developed a 2025 Master

Plan to embrace the future. The recent purchase of the

West Campus nearly triples the size of the campus from

approximately 17 to 53 acres.

The acquired property includes lovely, mature trees, historic

buildings, and attractive brick cottages that have been

adapted for student housing. Two notable structures were

obtained with the purchase of the West Campus: a large,

historic Greek Revival building on the southwest corner of

the campus and a wood-frame chapel lined with stained

glass windows located at what is to become the new main

entrance to the College.

Concordia College worked with Van Yahres Associates

of Charlottesville, VA to prepare a master plan for the

future. Collaborating with faculty, staff, students and the

Board of Regents, Van Yahres has done master planning for

over 30 colleges and universities including the University

of Dayton, Bridgewater College, Wake Forest and the

University of Pittsburgh. Full copies of the master plan are

available on request.

Concordia is poised for growth. Yet it will take the

extraordinary support of alumni and friends in order

to leverage the opportunities before us.

For Concordia College, it is A Time to Build.

“For students coming here for the first

time, I promise it’s a dream come true.

The programs, instruction, and leadership

here are outstanding. When I served

as superintendent for Dallas County

Schools, I always chose teachers who

had graduated from Concordia because

I knew they would be excellent in the

classroom. Concordia has just gotten

better and better over the years. Thank

you, Concordia, for being in Selma,

Alabama. Thank you very much.”

The Honorable George Evans

Mayor, Selma, Alabama

A Time to Build

Five Year Plan

The Concordia campus is steeped in history and tradition.

The men and women who study here are often the first

generation in their families to attend college.

The new West Campus has opened the door for Concordia’s

continued growth. The additional space was urgently needed

to accommodate the growing student body, programs and

facilities. An added bonus, the west campus fronts on

Selma’s main thoroughfare, Broad Street. Thus, while the

Concordia campus previously might have been described

as “tucked away” on Green Street, the west campus

expansion greatly increases the visibility of Concordia in the

Selma community and provides a new basis to recruit and

retain exceptional students, faculty and staff.

At this time the College must renovate existing facilities

and build new ones to accommodate a growing student

body and leverage the usefulness of the newly acquired

property. The master plan for the Concordia campus has

been expertly developed to maximize its potential service

to the College community.

Essential Renovation:

The most pressing need is to renovate existing facilities to

provide sufficient classrooms and student housing. Another

high priority is the remodeling of the large white Greek Revival

building on the west campus. It is ideal space for offices, a

bookstore and coffee shop, as well as a parent/child

enrichment center and other community-oriented programs.

New Construction:

In addition, during the next five years Concordia will need

to construct new facilities, including:

• a new student center that includes a large dining

hall, library, conference rooms and offices; and

• a new athletics field with associated parking that will

provide the opportunity to build a road connecting

the west campus with the east campus;

• technology upgrades.

Dr Rich Bimler and Rev Matthew Harrison review

Concordia’s campus master plan with President Mendedo.

“Dr. Mendedo has done a fantastic

job since his installation as

President of Concordia. He has

a great heart for education, for

ministry and for our beloved

Lutheran church. Marvelous

things are happening here. The

College is our Lutheran outpost

in Alabama – and in the South.

It’s a great gift to our Synod,

and its mission must continue.”

Rev. Matthew Harrison,

President of the LCMS

“The harvest is plentiful, but the number

of African-American workers for our

congregations, schools, and day-care

centers are few. Concordia College is

a great asset to the Lutheran Church—

Missouri Synod because it has the

capacity to provide us with more of

these much-needed servant leaders.”

Rev. Dr. Jon Diefenthaler, President

Southeastern District, Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

A Time to Build

A Time to Build

A Time to Build Capital Priorities

Essential renovations of existing dormitories $ 1,900,000

New Construction

Student Center with dining hall, Library,

conference rooms and offices $ 6,000,000

“The Edmund Pettus Bridge, which crosses

the Alabama River at Selma, forever sealed

its place in history as an icon of the Civil

Rights movement. Marches across the

bridge led to the passing of the Voting

Rights Act in 1965. This was truly a ‘Bridge

to the Future!’ Concordia College provides

a Bridge to the Future for our students to

realize their full potential as servant leaders.”

Ross Edwards, Honorary Co-Chair

Athletics field with associated parking $ 2,100,000

Scholarships $ 5,000,000

Total $ 15,000,000

A Time to Build Campaign Cabinet


Rod and Mattie Olson

Lloyd and Ruth Probasco

Honorary Co-Chairs:


Ross and Gloria Edwards

Rev. Dr. Tilahun Mendedo, President

Board of Regents:

Dr. Dien Ashley Taylor, Chair

Mr. Lloyd R. Probasco, Vice Chair

Mrs. Bettye Brown, Secretary

Rev. Dr. Victor J. Belton, Advisor

Mr. Dennis P. Gorski

Dr. James T. Jackson

Dr. Mark Keyl

Rev. Dr. James B. Marshall

Mr. Rod Olson

Mrs. Patricia Penrose

Dr. Judy Preuss

Rev. Kurtis Schultz

Dr. Lawrence Sohn

Mrs. Ellen R. Ziehr-Lange

1712 Broad Street

Selma, AL 36701



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