A strong and effective leader is the bedrock of an institution, and CUW has had plenty of faith-filled presidents along the way.

The theme of this week’s inauguration celebration is “Looking Back, Looking Forward, Hearts Together.” To kick off the Presidential Inauguration celebration, we take a moment to reflect upon the leaders God has called to serve as president of Concordia University Wisconsin since the institution’s inception through to today.

Whom God calls, He also equips; and the Lord has equipped nearly a dozen men to shepherd CUW through all of its trials and triumphs. We give thanks for the gifts and prosperity God has bestowed upon this university and the individuals He has called to lead it.

Past Presidents

Mr. Carl Huth

Director | 1881-1882

Notable events:

  • Synodical preparatory school for young men established in Milwaukee (1881)
  • Opening Service for the first school year held in the basement of Trinity School with 13 students (1881)

Rev. Emil Hamann

Temporary President | 1882-1885

Notable events:

  • Land purchased and construction began for campus at 31st and State Streets (1882)
  • Classes moved from Trinity School to the Concordia Milwaukee campus (1883)
  • New buildings erected to provide living quarters for students (1883-1884)

Rev. Christian H. Loeber


Notable events:

  • Synodical prepartory school for young men established in Milwaukee (1881)
  • Opening Service for the first school year held in the basement of Trinity School with 13 students (1881)

Rev. Max J.F. Albrecht


Notable events:

  • New residence hall, hospital, classroom building, and administration building constructed (1896-1900)
  • Enrollment at 237 students (1901)
  • Concordia celebrated its 25th anniversary (1906)
  • Orchestra (1906) and band (1914) organized
  • Men’s baseball (1907), gymnastics (1914), and basketball (1915) began

Rev. Dr. G. Christian Barth


Notable events:

  • Concordia Ladies Aid organized (1922)
  • “The Courier” student newspaper began publication (1928)
  • Concordia men’s club formed (1928)
  • Concordia celebrated its 50th anniversary (1931)
  • Enrollment at 335 students (1931)
  • Physical education course added to curriculum (1932)

Rev. Leroy C. Rincker


Notable events:

  • “Falcons” as college mascot officially adopted (1935)
  • Honor club organized (1938)
  • Concordia featured in LIFE magazine as one of the first schools to use the trrampoline for fitness (1941)
  • College used year-round trimester system (1944-1946)
  • College completed change from German gymnasium model to American college model (1953)

Rev. Dr. Walter W. Stuenkel


Notable events:

  • Concordia celebrated its 75th Anniversary (1956)
  • Enrollment reached 500 (1958)
  • Curriculum broadened beyond pre-seminary (1965)
  • First females admitted to the junior college (1965)
  • Winterim sessions began, offering independent study and other innovative educational opportunities (1970)
  • Centruty Club formed to provide financial support for Concordia (1971)
  • Consortium arrangement made with Spencerian Business College (1973)
  • High school closed and Concordia became a junior college (1974)
  • Spencerian Business College closed and Concordia added business program to its curriculum (1974)

Rev. Dr. Wilbert H. Rosin


Notable events:

  • Concordia became a four-year college; first junior class established (1978)
  • Teacher education program began (1978)
  • Enrollment at 376 students (1978)

Rev. Dr. R. John Buuck


Notable events:

  • Concordia graduated its first baccalaureate students (1980)
  • 100th anniversary celebrated (1981)
  • Nursing program began (1981)
  • Campus moved to Mequon after property purchased from the School Sisters of Notre Dame (1983)
  • Name changed to Concordia College Wisconsin (1983)
  • Adult education programs established in Mequon, Green Bay and Madison (1987)
  • Graduate programs began (1987)
  • Total enrollment reached 1,000 (1987)
  • Name changed to Concordia University Wisconsin (1989)
  • Occupational therapy and physical therapy programs began (1993)
  • Graduate school offers distance learning opportunities (1995)
  • Total enrollment reached 4,000 (1996)

Rev. Dr. Patrick T. Ferry


Notable events:

  • “Concordia in the City” initiative for Adult Learning Centers launched (1999)
  • Office of International Student Services established (2001)
  • President George W. Bush delivered keynote address at Concordia’s 123rd commencement (2004)
  • Lake Michigan shoreline and bluff restoration project began (2005)
  • E-learning format offered for selected undergraduate programs (2007)
  • Total enrollment reached 6,000 (2008)
  • Doctor of Pharmacy program launched (2011)
  • Concordia University Wisconsin merges with Concordia University Ann Arbor (2013)
  • Total enrollment reached 8,000 (2014)
  • Zoey “hired” to serve as a comfort dog (2014)
  • Veteran Services Department established (2015)
  • Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center opened featuring 3D printing lab, culinary lab, and mock courtroom, and Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic (2019)
  • Face-to-face classes temporarily moved online in spring semester due to COVID-19 pandemic (2020)

Dr. Erik P. Ankerberg


Show your support

In honor of Dr. Ankerberg’s Presidential Inauguration, please make a gift to Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor to support either our students through scholarship aid or to support the university’s greatest need, the Concordia Fund. Gifts of any size are appreciated and do make a difference!