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Home Features Golden Anniversary Reconnects Concordia Class of 1966

by Abigail Wisniewski


Over 60 members of the graduating class of 1966 returned to Concordia’s campus this weekend—some for the first time since graduating—to celebrate their fifty year reunion.

The weekend kicked off on Thursday with a chapel service that brought past and current students together. The message was given by 1966 graduate Pastor Barry Kolb.

Throughout the weekend Jennifer Furr, coordinator of the event, hoped to provide opportunities for returning Concordia graduates to mingle and join current students.

“These people are you, just in fifty years,” Furr said. “What I’m trying to create is that sense of family, that this is our family coming home and welcoming them back home to Concordia.”

A 50th Reunion and 2016 Graduate Luncheon was hosted on Friday, where representatives Dennis Oetting ’66 and Joel Marquardt ’16 spoke.

“I had to remember that the alumni had a very different experience of Concordia than us. But the fact that Concordia is special because of the people and faith is still very much the same,” graduating senior Joel Marquardt said. “As graduates, we are looking forward to coming back in 2066!”

The class of 1966 joined in the commencement ceremonies on Saturday by leading the class of 2016 processional into the Walz Arena.

Throughout the weekend, alumni were able to tour Concordia and reflect on the changes. Since 1966, Concordia has transitioned from Concordia Teachers College to Concordia University.

“The biggest [change] for me is seeing all the new programs that are available and having a lot more graduate programs,” class of 1966 graduate Eugene Bode said. “I enjoy seeing the campus has expanded.”

Bode and his wife, Katherine, traveled to the reunion from Texas. Both graduated from Concordia Teachers College in 1966, and they are now retired teachers.

“So much has changed. [There are] a lot of new buildings, a lot of new programs. It’s really neat to see,” Bode said.

Furr hopes that by experiencing life on campus, alumni will be able to see the diversity of students and programs that Concordia offers.

“I want them to really understand “What is Concordia today?” so that they can share that with their family, their friends, people that they know for prospective students to come here,” Furr said.

Furr hoped that the weekend would allow the opportunity for “rekindling of the memories and those friendships and the things they value about Concordia—sharing their journey of where they’ve been since Concordia… (and) how they lived and learned and served in the world.”

Though much has changed in fifty years, the Bodes’ reflected that there is still a sense of community at Concordia.

“[The] camaraderie around campus, it appears to be the same. It’s a real blessing to have a campus that has that kind of close-knit relationship between the students and faculty,” Bode said.

His wife agreed: “It’s still here. That’s neat.”

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