Above: a house on N. Columbia Ave. which used to reside on Faculty Lane, a tight-knit community of Concordia faculty and their children. Photo by Sonja Brandt.
by Hayden Rensner
While Faculty Lane now holds the Global Opportunities (GO) Center and two guest houses, it used to be the home of five completely different houses.
The name Faculty Lane is fitting because many of the children who lived in the houses on the street were either the children of Concordia professors, or they went on to become professors themselves.
Concordia’s Assistant Professor of Global Studies Tobin Beck lived in one of the Faculty Lane houses for about six years as a young child, and he has many fond memories of his life in the guest house.
“For a little kid, Faculty Lane was wonderful because there were a lot of trees, and there were a lot of backyards that were surrounded by hedges, and we would play different things,” Beck said.
Beck said that there were about 20 kids who lived in and around Faculty Lane during his time there.
“There was always stuff going on. It was fun,” Beck said.
Concordia’s recently retired provost, Jenny Mueller-Roebke, also lived in one of the Faculty Lane houses for several years as a child while her father served as an English professor at Concordia.
She referred to the community surrounding Faculty Lane as a “close knit, cozy community.” Roebke also commented on the fun times she had on Faculty Lane as a child, calling Faculty Lane “kid heaven.”
“There were a lot of kids on the street, and we formed a rowdy gang of compatriots,” Roebke said.
When Mueller-Roebke and her family moved, they missed the community they were part of while they lived on Faculty Lane.
“We missed the character of the old house at 144 Faculty Lane and especially the camaraderie formed among fellow Concordia faculty families we had so enjoyed during those years,” Roebke said.
As Concordia has expanded and changed through the years, the Faculty Lane houses were moved off-campus to other places in Seward. Three of the houses can be found not far from campus along N. Columbia Ave.
Mike Sylwester, the nephew of Concordia professor Don Sylwester, has maintained a blog through the years about the houses and communities surrounding Concordia’s campus.
More information about the rich history of the Faculty Lane houses can be found on his blog at http://seward-concordia-neighborhood.blogspot.com/2009/07/.