Kali Langewisch (Weishaar) and others observe in the aquarium at Concordia’s second annual Day at the Zoo. Photo by Robin Consier.
by Jayme Lowe
Concordia Bulldogs young and old visited Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Saturday. Oct. 6 was the second annual Concordia Day at the Zoo, bringing current students and alumni together.
“It’s not for students, it’s not for alumni, it’s the Concordia family,” Jennifer Furr, Director of Alumni and University Relations, said. According to Furr, about half of the attendees were students, and the other half were alumni and their families. Much of this is due to the large alumni population in Seward County, Lincoln and Omaha.
This year the event sold out, with more than 300 Bulldogs making the trip. The day began with a short presentation in the auditorium of the Wild Kingdom Pavilion. Furr shared statistics about the changing Concordia demographics, including the fact that biology is now the most popular major. Professor Jennifer Fruend, Assistant Professor of Biology, then gave a presentation about Concordia’s growing science programs, conservation efforts, the new Dunklau Center, and the role of Christians as stewards of world around them. Afterward, zookeepers brought in animals for the audience to interact with, such as a tortoise and a macaw.
Sophomore Jenna Fredrickson attended the Concordia Day at the Zoo last year as well, and was excited to return this year.
“I had such a fun time last year, and I really enjoy hanging out with all the Concordia people in a different environment,” Fredrickson said.
This year’s Concordia Day at the Zoo was junior Joshua Corley’s first time visiting the Omaha Zoo.
“This is a good opportunity for me to get here easily,” Corley said. He listed the Scott Aquarium and the snakes as his favorite exhibits.
Furr and her department are always looking for ways to improve their events and include more students and alumni. Currently, they are deciding whether to keep the Zoo Day as an annual event, or switch to a biannual schedule. Furr also noted that the discount offered by on the tickets to the zoo through Concordia makes the event more affordable for families and students.
“The zoo is kind of a nice thing…because grandma and grandpa can go, or somebody youthful in college can go, or families with small children. So it’s one of those events that is open to everyone, anyone and everyone can come,” Furr said.