This year, three new memorial benches have been installed on campus. Learn more about the individuals they honor.

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

John 10:10b ESV

Concordia has a few new resting places on campus in honor of those who have been called to their heavenly rest. This year, three new benches were donated in memory of individuals who had a close connection to the university.

This Giving Tuesday, we take a moment to thank all donors who have contributed these and other gifts for the betterment of the Concordia community. 

Memorial bench near the CCES

In honor of Zach Pugh

Zach was diagnosed with a rare cancer while he was enrolled at Concordia. He ultimately lost the battle to the disease on Aug. 2, 2022. A friend to many Concordia students, Zach was involved in Campus Ministry, Student Government Association, New Student Experience, ultimate frisbee, and band during his time at CUW. He was in pursuit of his environmental science degree and spent a great deal of time at the Concordia Center for Environmental Stewardship (CCES), taking pictures of nature and, particularly, the bluff.

Zach’s memorial bench is yet to be installed, but the family identified a spot that boasts a fantastic view of Lake Michigan, near the CCES and next to a favorite birch tree.

Following graduation, Zach planned to pursue a career in water conservation. He desired to make a positive impact on the world through his stewardship efforts.

“Zach was pure in heart. He spread kindness and joy like wildflowers,” said his mom, Tracy Pugh. “He blossomed so much while he was at Concordia. He really found his home there. Concordia gave him, and us, a lot through the process of him being there.”

The Pugh Family has established an endowment in Zach’s honor. It is meant to support students who wish to pursue a degree in environmental science at Concordia. Those interested in contributing to the fund may contact President of the Concordia Foundation Dean Rennicke at 262-243-4580 or   

Memorial bench near the football field

In honor of Tommy Stueckroth

In 2020, Tommy graduated from Concordia with his bachelor’s degree in sport and entertainment management. While at CUW, he served as the team equipment manager for the Falcons football program. His memorial bench is located on the Tomasini Stadium sidelines to honor his contributions to the team.

Tommy would have loved to compete as an athlete but a disability prevented him from playing. He lived with a tracheotomy, which was implanted following a serious illness he endured as an 8 month old. Despite being ventilator-dependent, however, he never complained about his circumstances.

“He didn’t let it bring him down,” said Amy Stueckroth, Tommy’s mom. “He still wanted to support the team in whatever way that he could. He loved being with people and he was always so positive and upbeat.”

Tommy died on Aug. 14, 2021 and became a heart and liver donor. Two busloads of Concordia football players and coaches showed up to his funeral.

“It meant the world to our family to have them all there,” said Stueckroth. “We are so happy he had a place at Concordia.”

Memorial bench overlooking Lake Michigan

In honor of Bob Parson

Bob Parson was a friend and supporter of Concordia who passed away on Oct. 2, 2021. When he and his former college sweetheart, Diane Lane, reconnected in 2018 they quickly found ways to embed themselves into the Concordia community, as Diane’s home is located in Mequon, not too far from campus. The two were proud members of the Concordia Civic Chorale (a student choir that is also open to community members). They also loved to take walks along the bluff to enjoy the serenity and the breathtaking views of Lake Michigan.

One location, in particular, was a fond spot for the pair. This is the location Diane chose for the bench.

Bob is described in his obituary as someone who lived each day robustly and without complaint. He was known for his wonderful smile, deep kindness, avid curiosity and the vast knowledge it spurred, a quick wit and offbeat sense of humor, and an ability to say “yes” to just about anything.

Want to support Concordia?

Generous gifts from our alumni and friends help us advance Concordia’s mission. Your gifts help keep a CUW education affordable. They help provide state-of-the-art learning and living spaces for our students, and they provide us with the resources needed to fully equip our learners to go out into the world and serve in Christ’s name. Click below to learn more about our giving options.