Since Concordia College’s inception in 1881 in downtown Milwaukee to CUW’s present location of lakeside Mequon, the university has always held Lutheran values close to its mission.
Loeber Hall’s namesake, Rev. Henry Loeber, was one of Concordia College’s first leaders. He was an original member of the board of supervisors and led the first ever chapel service for the college. Concordia University Wisconsin’s current Vice President of Student Life, Dr. Steve Taylor, has continued the tradition of strong leaders throughout his current role and the various roles he has held prior. Concordia has been equipped with quality leaders of good faith for its entirety, and is now on the search for a new president, after President Patrick Ferry’s significant tenure.
President Ferry was highly regarded by Concordia faculty, staff, students, and community members. Many students on campus have expressed their concern regarding the new presidential search because the new president has large shoes to fill. Dr. Taylor, who worked very closely with President Ferry, said he believes we should not be fearful: “Inherently people don’t like change, but at the end of the day, there is cause for celebration and excitement in that new president.”
Dr. Taylor’s first experience with Concordia was in the fall of 1993 when he continually received mailings for the school. Eventually, the pamphlets worked because he came to the university the next fall and has not left since. His roles have ranged from working with residence life to financial aid, and now he holds a high-level administrative position.
Dr. Taylor’s goal for the university is to continue its Lutheran mission. He asserts: “I want Concordia to be a place that is open for everyone and that really serves as a mission field and a place that provides an excellent education.”
CUW has narrowed its search for a new president down to three candidates. Typical university presidents oversee all academic and administrative matters. It is clear, from staff and students, that they want to see Christian leadership from CUW’s new president.
Dr. Erik Ankerberg., Rev. Dr. Charles Gieschen, and Rev. Dr. Jamison Hardy are the candidates to fill the position. Dr. Taylor feels confident in their leadership abilities and believes that CUW will be in good hands.
“All three [candidates] will be amazing presidents and will serve this university in a very meaningful way.”
As Concordia enters this new era, one thing is sure to remain the same. Since CUW was Concordia College in Milwaukee with less than 30 students, Concordia has always been an institution that values the Lutheran mission and uses it to guide life decisions. Dr. Taylor affirms that this is a very important piece of Concordia.
“We’ve changed, but our ethos is still the same. We’re bigger, we’re different, but we are still Concordia.”
Despite many changes, Concordia has always remained true to its original mission. Students, faculty, and staff have all expressed their will for this to continue. A new president will guide Concordia into the future, staying true to Concordia’s mission while also having the potential to bring new changes.
—Abigail McGue is writer for The Beacon, the official student newspaper of Concordia University Wisconsin. She is currently a Junior at CUW and she is excited to share the good news of Concordia with its students.
This article was originally published on October 25, 2022.