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Concordia College kicks off milestone 90th year

Concordia College-Alabama president Dr. Tilahun M. Mendedo addresses those gathered during Monday’s event at the school to welcome students to the new school year. This year marks the 90th for the school in Selma. -- Robert Hudson

By Sarah Cook

The Selma Times-Journal


Singing and sounds of celebration could be heard throughout the Julius and Mary Jenkins Center as the faculty and staff of Concordia College welcomed new students and rung in the new academic year.

“This is just a joyous occasion for Concordia College,” said Desiree Taylor, director of public relations and communication for the college. “This is a landmark celebration.”

In conjunction with welcoming new students, the service also served as a celebration for Concordia and its 90 years of service to the Selma community.

The celebration service included performances from the college band, choir and procession from the ROTC along with a message from Rev. Gregory Finke.

Rev. LaVaughn Wiggins, campus chaplain, led the service.

In addition to rising students, the faculty and staff also enjoyed the service along with Dr. Tilahun M. Mendedo, college president, who provided students with some words of wisdom before they launched their college career.

Mendedo said he was grateful for all who attended the event and is looking forward to the upcoming academic year. “It’s a miracle that Concordia has been here for 90 years,” Mendedo said.

Certain faculty members were also recognized during the celebration for their outstanding service to the college.

Nascri Hines, a rising freshman from Auburn, said she is very excited to begin her education at Concordia.

“I’m really looking forward to getting my degree,” said Hines, who plans on studying physical education teaching. “I really like this school.”

Several local dignitaries were also in attendance, including Mayor George Evans and Selma Chief of Police William T. Riley.

During the service, students and other attendees participated in singing songs, prayer, a call and response and scripture reading.

There was also an installation ceremony for the college’s new faculty and staff members, led by Rev. Kurtis Schultz, president of the Lutheran-Church Missouri Synod.

Following the service, a presidential banquet and a special workshop for faculty and staff was held.

“I think this year is going to be a great adventure for the new students,” said Rebecca Bragdrn, a professor in education courses at Concordia. “This is a great, Christian learning environment.”