Nearly 1,000 candidates for graduation will cross the R. John Buuck Field House stage May 7-8 during Concordia's spring 2021 graduate and undergraduate commencement exercises.

The ceremonies mark the return to an in-person commencement for the university after the global COVID-19 pandemic forced celebrations online in spring 2020 and this past December.

To accommodate COVID-19 safety protocols, Concordia will host a total of six commencement ceremonies this upcoming weekend. Each service will feature identical programs; ceremonies were duplicated for the purpose of allowing every graduate to cross the commencement stage to receive a diploma while adhering to coronavirus safety guidelines.

Each ceremony will run for approximately an hour. Guests and graduates are required to wear a mask, and are asked to clear the Field House as quickly as possible at the conclusion of the service to allow for proper air filtration and sanitizing ahead of the next commencement exercises.

Friday, May 7—Graduate Ceremonies

Tickets and masks required for in-person attendance

  • 9 a.m.
  • 12 p.m.
  • 6 p.m.

Saturday, May 8—Undergraduate Ceremonies

Tickets and masks required for in-person attendance

  • 9 a.m.
  • 12 p.m.
  • 2:30 p.m.

Last month, graduates received an email with a sign-up link and were asked to register for one of the six ceremonies. Only two guest tickets are permitted per graduate. Friends and loved ones who cannot attend in person can watch the livestream.

Commencement Livestream

The recording will not begin until the ceremony starts. Check with your graduate to learn which service he or she is registered to attend. 

Thursday, May 6—Baccalaureate Service

Invitation and masks required for in-person attendance

  • 7 p.m.

A traditional baccalaureate service for professional church workers will be held on Thursday, May 6 at 7 p.m. in The Chapel of the Christ Triumphant. In-person attendance will be limited to the award recipients and those who are completing a church work program. Concordia President Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, PhD, will serve as preacher.

Baccalaureate Livestream

Commencement Speaker—Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, PhD

In his final year as president, Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, PhD, will serve as CUW’s May 2021 commencement speaker.

Ferry was elected the eighth president of Concordia University Wisconsin in July 1997. He began his faculty career at Concordia as an Assistant Professor of History in 1991. During his tenure as president, Concordia increased its total enrollment by 59 percent and undertook more than 20 major building and/or renovation projects. Ferry notably shepherded the merge between CUW and Concordia University Ann Arbor in 2013. Since that time, the Ann Arbor campus has grown its undergraduate enrollment by 75 percent.

Ferry earned his PhD in European History from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1996; his MA in history from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1989; his MDiv from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1987; and his BA from St. John’s College, Winfield, Kansas, in 1981.

Prior to coming to Concordia, Ferry served as campus pastor at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Campus Congregation at the University of Wyoming in Laramie from 1989-1991. He was assistant pastor at Wheat Ridge Lutheran Church in Wheat Ridge, Colorado from 1987-1989.

Ferry is married to Tamara, who serves as Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. Together, they have five children—Peter, Hannah, Andrew, Rachel, Stephen—and four grandchildren. They are members of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Milwaukee.

Student Speaker—Hannah Lull

Hannah Lull is described as an honest, authentic, and extroverted gal who runs on Jesus and coffee! Hannah is the daughter of Alan and Renee Lull from West Bend, Wisconsin. She credits her younger brother, David, who has autism, for strongly influencing her character and career choice. She will graduate on Saturday with a double major in Lutheran Elementary Cross Categorical General and Special Education with an emphasis in Emotional Behavior Disorder (EBD).

Prior to Concordia, Hannah attended St. John’s Lutheran School in West Bend and Living Word Lutheran High School. She is a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in West Bend, Wisconsin.

Hannah took on various leadership roles and was involved in a variety of extra-curricular activities during her time at Concordia: Resident Assistant, Haven Coordinator, Israel study abroad participant, and CUW Student Ambassador at the 2019 National Youth Gathering.

Outside of Concordia, Hannah has been on multiple mission trips, domestically and globally and has served multiple summers as a camp counselor at Camp Luther. She maintains a blog called Lovin’ the Least, and she enjoys playing guitar and ukulele, any outdoor adventures, cooking, and spending quality time with people. After graduation, Hannah will marry and move to California with her new husband who is in the United States Navy. Hannah is thankful for the education she received at Concordia and is excited for the ways God will continue to use Concordia in the future!

Celebrate your grad online

  • Sharing a photo of your grad? We want to see it, too! Use #CUWgrad21 to add your pictures to our social wall! Visit and click on the “social” tab at the top to view all of your fellow graduates’ posts.
  • Celebrating your graduate via livestream? Give them a shout-out on the live chat, which will go live at the start of each ceremony!
  • Show your Falcon pride on Facebook. Update your profile pic with a #CUWgrad21 frame! Get the frame here.
  • Looking for a scenic backdrop for your photos following commencement? We ask that guests clear out of the gymnasium as quickly as possible at the conclusion of their commencement service to allow for maximum air filtration for the next service. For that reason, we provided the map below with some suggestions of outdoor spots for you to consider for your commemorative grad photo.

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at or 262-243-2149.

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