Concordia announces $5 million donation

Published 10:49pm Monday, February 25, 2013

Concordia College has announced the St. Louis-based Marion I. Breen Charitable Foundation has committed $5 million for new academic programs, scholarships, capital projects and other strategic priorities outlined in the Concordia’s A Time to Build campaign initiative.

Rev. Dr. Tilahun Mendedo, Concordia College Alabama president, announced the gift to the College’s Board of Regents and the Concordia University System Board of Directors meeting jointly on campus last week.

It is the largest single contribution in the history of the college and will serve as the lead gift in the emerging comprehensive campaign.

“We are delighted that the Breen Charitable Foundation has demonstrated such a strong commitment to the college,” Mendedo said. “God’s love and grace is demonstrated through this gift as it will help Concordia reach more students with quality, Christian higher education.”

Marion Breen was a 1932 alumna of Northwestern University and worked for a leading New York insurance concern throughout her entire career. A patron of the arts, education and a variety of religious and social causes, Breen was known as a frugal, generous and committed Christian who dedicated her life and resources to improving the quality of life and opportunities for all people.

“Our gift to Concordia Alabama reflects the deep regard we have for the college and President Mendedo’s leadership,” said The Rev. Mark Helge, president of the Breen Foundation and nephew of the late Marion Breen. “We are most impressed by the unwavering commitment of President Mendedo and Concordia faculty to serving economically disadvantaged students, the Christian witness it lives out daily, and its careful management of resources. Given its unique mission and the tremendous needs of the students it serves, we pray that this gift will inspire other friends and alumni to give generously. We know that Aunt Marion would approve of our partnership with Concordia College Alabama.”

Founded in 1922 by pioneering educator Rosa Young, Concordia is a four-year Christian liberal arts college accredited by the Southern Associations of Colleges and Schools.

Featuring undergraduate programs in education and business, Concordia is distinguished as being the only Historically Black Lutheran College in America.

Mendedo said that this gift will help Concordia College achieve its vision as, “…a diverse, global institution of excellence, and a leader in developing intellectual, spiritual, and moral leaders of Christ-centered justice.”

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