The sun shone on May 19 as Concordia celebrated 325 graduates and their families, alumni, community members and special friends with events that highlighted the College’s remarkable diversity and its commitment to engaging across difference.
At the morning’s Celebration of Service, the Servant of Christ award was bestowed upon both Dr. Bruce Kintz, President and CEO of Concordia Publishing House, and Hawk Newsome ’03, President of Black Lives Matter Greater New York. The Volunteer Service Award went to Bronxville neighbor Lana Phillips, who remarked, “Concordia College is so tightly woven into the fabric of Bronxville, I can’t imagine one without the other,” and inspired students with the human imperative and myriad benefits of volunteering.
At the packed commencement ceremony, Dr. Viji George, who served from 1999 to 2016 as Concordia’s eighth president, was given the title of President Emeritus.
Accomplished attorney and active Alumni Association Board member Rachele Van Arsdale ’09 was named the 2019 Distinguished Alumna. She related a personal story of redemption in which Concordia played a large part, saying: “Small School BIG Impact is why I’m still alive today.”
Student Representative Tadiwanashe Mrewa delivered a polished address, remarking: “I know that I want to be successful. But more importantly I want to leave a positive impact on the world, which will be the truest form of my passion, purpose and service.”
U.S. Senator from Nebraska Dr. Ben Sasse gave a commencement address that focused on the world students were graduating into, and how different the employment landscape will likely be.
President John A. Nunes’s charge to the graduates implored students to channel their “justifiable dissatisfaction” with the world, and “to wake us up, to shake things up, and make this planet a better place.”