President Erik Ankerberg was inaugurated last Friday in a public ceremony involving representatives from all of Concordia’s constituents. Although Ankerberg was installed and worked as Concordia’s president for several months, the ceremony cemented his place in the broader Concordia community.
Although all students were off class and should have been able to attend, only a comparative handful did. One side of the Buuck Field House’s bleachers was full, and the musical ensembles contributed much of the student body in attendance.
Most students who attended said they were required to go. A few, however, enjoyed or at least chose to be a part of this historic event.
Hava Zodrow, a freshman from the Mequon campus, represented the School of Health Professions students, carrying their flag in the procession that opened the inauguration. She believes the inauguration was a wonderful attempt to bring everyone together.
“Carrying the flag made me feel like part of the school, and it made the president more personal for me. I thought it was cool they included Ann Arbor and connected the two schools that way,” Zodrow said.
Zodrow shared a confident message for the newly recognized president.
“One of the representatives spoke about how CUW was a leader… it made me want to strive to uphold that standard,” Zodrow said. “I wasn’t around for the last president, obviously… but [Ankerberg] seems very committed, so all I have to say is good luck!”
Temish Christiansen, a junior studying Computer Science and Philosophy, attended of his own free will but was dissatisfied with most of the proceedings.
“I chose to go and then ended up choosing to ignore most of the speeches except President Ankerberg’s,” Christiansen said. “I don’t care about alumni pitches and I don’t think I would choose to tune in to them when I became an alum… I wanted to hear substance from my new president and he delivered the most.”
Senior Pre-Seminary student Harrison Hulse was encouraged by President Ankerberg’s vision for the university. As a student who “followed the presidential search and transition process and was interested from a student perspective,” Hulse says he heard what he needed to hear.
“In [Ankerberg’s] speech, his enthusiasm was well established… he has a real joy for preserving a Christ-centered institution, and I’m excited to see how he takes us in that direction,” Hulse said.
Although Inauguration Week is now over, Concordia students will not be short of opportunities to support the mission President Ankerberg presented. The future is not certain, but Concordia’s community will stand with the new president and support him in whatever comes next.
—Samuel Boehlke is an editor, blog manager, and photographer for The Beacon, the official student newspaper of Concordia University Wisconsin. He is a Senior Editor with New Guard Press and Veraffinitas and a contributor at Wisconsin Right Now and The Federalist. He will graduate in May 2024 with his bachelor’s degree in mass communications.