Editors Note: This is one in a series of stories highlighting Concordia's May 2020 graduates.

The old adage, “like father, like son,” rings true for finance major Christian Gerner and his father, Dr. Steven Gerner, Concordia University Wisconsin’s Dean of Students.

Christian will receive his degree in business administration this Saturday in a virtual degree conferral ceremony, joining his father as a CUW alumnus. In 2001 Dr. Gerner earned a Master of Science in Education, after attending Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnestoa, for his bachelor’s degree. In addition to his responsibilities as dean, Dr. Gerner also serves as Director of the Urban Education Institute.

Being on campus with his father was rewarding, says the younger Gerner.

“We’ve always had a very close relationship and being at the same school as my dad allowed us to continue that through my college years,” he said. “My family was also able to see my play baseball.”

A starting shortstop for the Falcon baseball team for three seasons, it’s not surprising that sweeping Concordia-Chicago in a doubleheader his sophomore year was his top athletic memory. “That team was very fun to be a part of, and beating our arch-rivals in two dramatic games at Kapco Park was something I’ll never forget.”

Christian Gerner made the transition to Concordia from a small school, Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, following his freshman year of attending Milwaukee Lutheran High School.

The return to the Milwaukee-area proved to be a boon for his future career choice.

“I wanted to be close to Milwaukee and all the social functions and business connections it offers,” said Gerner. “Concordia’s finance program emphasizes what is learned in a classroom in the modern-day business world, and provides many different in-class simulations to help students practice managing authentic tasks and deal with real problems facing business professionals today.”

He was pleasantly surprised by the variety of professors he had during his three years in the business program. “Most small schools have a small group of professors who teach multiple classes, but I only had one professor for more than one course. Having a variety of professors provided me their different life experiences.

The most memorable assignment was a group research project for his Securities Anlysis class, where students had to select a stock and provide a buy recommendation and target stock price to a panel of local investment managers. If the panel and class agreed with the group’s recommendation, Concordia would invest in the stock.

“All of that research was intense and time consuming, but the end product was fulfilling,” Gerner said. “Professor Scholz taught me things I’ve already put to use in personal finance situations.”

Gerner and his 2020 classmates will be honored at a virtual degree conferral ceremony on Saturday, May 16. They will be celebrated in person at the December commencement celebration. These changes are in response to the Coronavirus. To learn more about Concordia’s response, click here.

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