Get to know one of our uncommon Concordians, philosophy and political science double major Adam Urban (’23).

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the fall 2021 edition of Hearts Together, a publication of Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor.

His birth name is Mahadevan. At camp, he’s known as Taj. On campus, he goes by the name his adoptive family gave him when he was welcomed into their home at age 2 1⁄2. No matter how you know him, however, one thing is certain: Adam Urban is a person worth knowing.

And it’s not hard to find opportunities to get to know him if you attend Concordia. On top of his very full academic load, Adam makes a point of getting involved. This year he’s an RA, a member of the SGA executive board, president of Concordia’s Philosophy Club, a CMLT Bible study leader, and he’s working to start a Society of Law club.

What motivates you to be involved in so many aspects of campus life?

I have a hard time saying no. [Laughs] But I also realize that if you don’t do something, it’s an opportunity missed. I just love helping out and improving things that can be improved upon. The more you get out of your shell, the more you meet people and the more you can take advantage of everything it has to offer.

Have you always had your sights set on Concordia?

This is actually the last place I thought I’d be. I had looked at several other colleges and just didn’t think of Concordia because, honestly, I had some misconceptions about it. But then I was at Camp Luther in Three Lakes, Wisconsin, where I’ve worked or attended for the past 16 years. One of the counselors encouraged me to consider Concordia, and I realized that this school represents everything I believe in, so it just made sense to put myself among people who share my faith beliefs. Now, knowing what I know, I wouldn’t hesitate to enroll here again.

Tell me about your camp name.

Taj is a shortening of Taj Mahal, because I’m Indian, and it’s something that reminds me of this really impactful trip I took to India when I was in high school. It was a mission trip, but then my dad and I stayed for an extra week and went back to the orphanage that they adopted me from.
I met my house mother who took care of me as an orphan, and she remembered me! She remembered how sensitive my ears and stomach were. I don’t think I can put into words how incredible that was for me.

What else was meaningful about that trip?

My trip to India taught me how important education is. All those kids want to do is learn, and we’re so privileged in the States to be surrounded by books and have ready access to information. It’s motivated me to want to start a nonprofit to help others in some kind of way. I want to adopt as well. I want 12 kids, but I’m settling for six to eight.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out at Concordia?

Take your studies seriously right away, especially freshmen year, but don’t neglect the other parts of college life. Building friendships and people skills is equally important for life. And if you don’t know how to get involved, come find me.

Learn more about student life at Concordia. Visit

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The fall 2021 issue hit mailboxes in early October. View a PDF version of the magazine here