Concordia may be losing President Ferry to retirement at the end of this academic year, but the good news is his better half is staying on.
Dr. Tamara Ferry has spent the past 21 years “measuring Concordia’s mission,” most recently as Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness. She has stated that she will continue in this role even after President Ferry steps down.
While her presence will still be felt on campus, the Concordia community must bid farewell to another vital role she has played on behalf of the university for the past few decades—that of the President’s Wife.
In her spousal role, Tammy has poured countless hours into coordinating, hosting, and attending university events, as well as cheering on athletics teams.
It’s a role she’s often said she loves and cherishes. And many have loved and cherished her for it in return—arguably, none more so than the president himself.
In his own words, President Ferry offers a word of heartfelt thanks to the Wife of the President.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Tammy.
When I was elected president of Concordia in 1997, my wife said that she was not surprised. Tammy might have been the only one saying, “I knew it all along.” Once we got into the rhythm of our new roles, Tammy told people that she “definitely got the better end of the deal.” I had various stresses and strains that accompanied my position, but Tammy believed that she got to do all the fun stuff and avoid the worries.
When I announced my plans to retire last September, I guess that I caught more people by surprise. Although in my twenty-fourth year as president, I am still young and healthy enough to keep working. Whatever surprise folks may have had, there was also a sigh of considerable relief from many Concordians when I mentioned that Tammy planned to continue on for a while in her current role at Concordia. She won’t be “first lady” any more, but she will continue as Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness. Presidents come and go, but there are not many people like Tammy. When I was elected president, and Tammy came along beside me, Concordia definitely got a lot better deal than might have been imagined. Tammy is the reason for that. I am replaceable, she would be a bigger loss. Don’t take my word for it—ask anybody who works with her.
On Valentine’s Day I wanted publicly to thank Tammy for all that she has done for Concordia. You know how much I love you, and I hope that you sense how beloved you are at Concordia. The new “first lady” will be blessed to have you around as a supporter, and I know that you will be as gracious and helpful as Lyla Buuck was for you. Lyla was a tough act to follow. You will be, too. Like Lyla, you will do all that you can to help her and Concordia to be successful because that is how you are and what you do every single day.
When we were young we hoped that we would get to be someplace where we could serve the Lord together. We hoped that we could have careers in Lutheran higher education while we raised our family. Concordia has given us that opportunity well beyond our hopes and dreams. As wonderful as it has been, these years have been immeasurably better and more fun for me because we have done this side by side. Thanks, Tam, for believing in me, supporting me, and loving me. I know that I speak for our whole family, and for all of our colleagues and co-workers when I say, “Thank you for everything, and we love you.”
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