Dear Alumni and Friends of CUW,
I wish you warm heartfelt greetings from Concordia University, in this most unusual and challenging of times. I hope you are doing well, staying safe, and growing in mind, body and spirit – in terms of physical, spiritual, mental, and financial health. I also know that some of you may have struggles now, and I want you to know that I and the rest of your Concordia family are praying for you. None of us anticipated this Covid-19 year. Strangely, I ended the previous (fall) semester teaching in Shanghai China in mid-December, not knowing that a few hundred miles away the Coronavirus pandemic was starting. Much has changed since then, but I want all of you to know that Concordia – like you – will remain strong, and survive this, with the help of God and through our faith in God. We will be back in classes this fall, and it is our intention to be back, in as much as is safely possible, in a face-to-face format, likely with measures in place to provide a safer environment for our faculty, staff and students. We have been ranked the safest campus in Wisconsin, and we will continue maintaining a safe environment for our on-campus students.
I write to you now, though, to also celebrate many of the very positive things that have been going on at Concordia in the last year, and some upcoming things that we have planned – to keep you “in the loop” as members of the Concordia family. You will hear many updates in our Business on the Bluff newsletter, but I want to highlight a few topics of special importance here. Importantly, we occupied our new 41,000 sf building – the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center – last July, and had opening celebrations in August and then in September, when had our first Liberty, Virtue and Economics Summit – in partnership with the Acton Institute. This summit was kicked off with President Ferry, Dolly Clement (daughter of Robert W. Plaster) and Rev. Robert Sirico, president of Acton, explaining the value and importance of free markets, and the connection to our religious values. There was significant student involvement, and the event led to the launch of Concordia’s first student-led journal, Quaestus, on this same topic. Quaestus is modeled after Imprimis from Hillsdale. The event and the journal covered a range of important topics, such as the connection between business and biblical thinking, as well as the relative value of free markets vs. socialism in addressing poverty.
Later in the fall, as part of CU Launch and Launch MKE, we had many student teams compete for seed funds, and ultimately they launched four new exciting businesses!
I am also happy to announce an important event this summer, the Healthcare Economics Summit, to be held on July 31st (hybrid virtual and in-person, if allowed and safe). The event will focus on how best to address healthcare needs in America, with the aim to provide a more informed and balanced discussion on proposals being discussed before the November presidential election. It will also be the launch of our new book, Purple Solutions – A Bipartisan Roadmap to Better Healthcare in America (purplesolutions.org). We will have world-renowned speakers on the topic (including coauthors of the book), so I hope you can make it.
We have also been busy this Spring in our new building, using our new makerspace and Collaboratorium to produce respirator masks and other PPEs for first responders and others in need, including nurses, physicians, police officers, fire dept., funeral home workers, nursing homes, rescue mission, and more. Faculty, students, staff and community volunteers are involved, along with a long list of generous donors, that have allowed us to give over 500 N95-modeled masks away for free – and we aim to provide masks for all of our students this fall. This is part of a large southeast Wisconsin consortium (Mask Force) and is a great example of Concordia living our mission, doing business with purpose. If you want to help, or you know someone who needs PPEs, please go to our website: www.cuw.edu/makerspace.
As you can see, we always have a lot going on in the Batterman School of Business! I would love to share more with you in person, and hear what you have been up to. Please stop by and visit sometime (virtually via Zoom if you prefer). If you have questions about upcoming events like our summits, or anything in the School of Business, please feel free to email me or my Assistant, Janet (Janet.Mushall@cuw.edu).
Yours in Christ,
Dr. Daniel Sem
Dean, Batterman School of Business
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