An employee passionate about honoring his family through endowment
you have ever played Pickleball at Concordia, lived in a residence
hall, taken a physical education or Kinesiology course, or attended a
basketball game, chances are you have met Craig Peterson. Those of you
who know Craig will likely agree that he is a kind, humble and giving
person. And you probably won’t be surprised to learn that he gives to
Concordia in more ways than in time and support.
established the Peterson Family Scholarship Endowment in 2005 to honor
his family members: his mother, recently-deceased father, and siblings
John Wesley “Neil’ Peterson and Sheridan Kate Bockelmann, both of whom
attended Concordia. His commitment to make a financial contribution was
originally inspired by the University’s annual fund Christmas letters.
He was impressed by the gratitude of our students who had received
scholarship assistance from other endowments, many of them whom he knew
personally. He also noticed the number of scholarships given to church
workers and decided to help in another area.
business before receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreational
Administration from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State
University). His two nephews also majored in business. And because of
his role as a residence director, he set out to create a unique
endowment to provide scholarships to business students living on campus
(one male and one female). He wants them to be involved in community
living. As a supervisor of intramural sports, he also wants to help
students become leaders in extra-curricular activities. He believes
strongly in the University’s mission to ‘develop Christian leaders.’
Peterson is the kindest person that I know,” said Linda Lowery, retired
Athletic Director and Associate Professor. “He always has positive
things to say which uplifts people on a daily basis.
Of all the people
that I have ever worked with, he stands out to me as the person that
always thinks of others before himself.”
with Concordia began in October 1989. Since then he has served in roles
including custodial care, campus security, residence living, intramural
supervisor and instructor. From 1992-1994, he even served as assistant
basketball coach under David Neevel. After more than 20 years with
Concordia, you might say that Craig is an institutional legend. Many
have been blessed by knowing him and have benefited from his gifts.
Craig is fond of the relationships he has formed over the years and
proud of his more than 460 Facebook connections, many of whom are former
students and colleagues of this University.
St. Timothy Lutheran Church, Houston, TX
iving…an investment in making disciples for Christ’s Kingdom
“I have always been motivated by Jesus’ Great Commission, and the importance of missions during my ministry,” said Steve Henze, Pastor at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Houston, “but that usually meant supporting missionaries through the district and synod with prayers and offerings.”
When [President Emeritus] Jerry Kieschnick presented a vision in 2004 for a strong mission and evangelism effort called ABLAZE, calling for congregations in the LCMS to reach 100 million people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ by 2017, Henze challenged his congregation to do more than just give to missions, to get personally involved in local and overseas missions.
Over the past years, it has totally changed the DNA of the church. Now over 40% of adults and youth at St. Timothy are engaged in some sort of local or overseas mission or evangelism emphasis. They send teams to Kenya and Nicaragua each year, and members last year volunteered over 30,000 hours to be “the salt and light of Jesus” in our community” according to Henze.
The congregation at St. Timothy also believes in Concordia University Texas and its work to provide a strong Christian education to young men and women.
“We have included Concordia University in our yearly budget for many years, and I encourage all churches in the Texas district to put 1-2% for Concordia in their budget,” said Henze. “It’s not an expense…it’s an investment in making disciples for Christ’s Kingdom. I can’t think of a better investment than providing a well-rounded education for our young men and women to become Christian leaders in this world.”
St. Timothy is not the largest or the smallest church in the Texas district. It’s a neighborhood church, hidden by a bend in the road and off the visible highway path of Tomball Parkway. “You got lost, didn’t you?” asks Henze when visitors find the church, nestled by abundant trees and sitting on 12 acres in between residential homes. In spite of the location, St. Timothy has grown to 1,100 members because of the mission and outreach spirit of its people. It is in the midst of a capital fundraising campaign to build an education center, and will keep giving back to Concordia University Texas too.
Concordia thanks St. Timothy Lutheran Church for their continuous support of higher Christian education and for supporting students of all majors to build His Kingdom.
St. David’s Foundation Gift Funds Interactive Lab
ith a major gift of over $250,000, St. David’s Foundation blessed Concordia by creating an Interactive Learning Laboratory on the
main campus. The lab provides high definition videoconferencing capabilities for the Concordia nursing program, allowing for realtime medical consultations, guest speakers, and group presentations. The generous gift also funded hardware and software to aid nursing students with simulation labs and cohort interaction.
Additionally, the lab was used for a virtual seminary class and other distance learning opportunities.
“St. David’s Foundation partnered with Concordia University Texas to support new technologies for the school’s nursing program,” said Earl Maxwell, their CEO. “The Interactive Learning Laboratory funded by the Foundation is providing leading-edge innovation in the field of nursing education. We are confident that our partnership is enabling Concordia to more effectively train outstanding nurses to serve our community.”
Demands in the healthcare field for qualified nurses are growing. Since its inception in the fall of 2010, the nursing program at Concordia has grown by more than 700%.
Concordia graduated its first class of nurses at the spring 2012 commencement ceremony.
“We are thrilled that St. David’s Foundation has chosen to invest in Concordia’s growing healthcare programs,” said Dr. Joy Penticuff, director of nursing at Concordia. “Our students are benefitting by being able to connect with top professionals in their field, healthcare providers, educators and others who inspire and teach tomorrow’s professionals.”
Past Giving Stories
Technology is ever-changing and so is the way college students learn in the classroom. Technology is an integral part of the learning environment and in developing teachers who are ready to tackle the challenges and vast opportunities. Soon-to be teachers in elementary, middle and high school are incorporating technology in their curriculum.
Gone are the old-fashioned green or black chalk boards; and even the white boards with scented glass-cleaner fumes. Enter in Smart Boards, an interactive whiteboard that dovetails with computer technology to enhance teaching via computer and “Smart” markers. It looks like a whiteboard, plug it in to a computer, and write on the board and voila! You have a Smart Board keeping track of your lesson via computer and allowing students to engage on a technological level.
Through Smart Boards, Concordia is preparing teachers for tomorrow, thanks to generous donors like Lowell and Kay Goecker.
The Goecker’s educational experiences and desire to impact many for the future is the inspiration for their giving. They remember teachers from their childhood who made a difference in their lives and understand that education is more than just teaching kids about a subject. It’s about making connections and building relationships.
“Kay won’t tell you this but she was an exceptional teacher at sixth grade math,” said Lowell. “She took the time to individually diagnose kids’ needs and was willing to try new technology.”
Lowell and Kay both have long careers in school administration and teaching. Lowell was a teacher andadministrator for over 40 years, and Kay taught more than 23 years, most of that time as a sixth grade math teacher. They know the ins and outs of how teaching has changed over the years.
“Teachers are expected to come out of these education programs with some experience using this technology,” said Kay.
Now retired, they see the way education at all levels is changing with technology. Thanks to their generosity, Concordia was able to purchase two additional Smart Boards on the main campus. The increase of updated technology to our classrooms is an excellent example of Concordia’s commitment to create an all-inclusive learning environment for students and encourages their continued education outside the classroom. Additionally, having certain technological skills is a plus for graduates entering the teaching field.
“I demonstrate lessons on the Smart Board and have students do demonstrations with it, too,” said Dr. Karen Rhynard, assistant professor for education, “because job interviewers will ask students what technology they have experience with.”
The enhancement of Concordia’s technical capabilities prepares our students to make a significant and meaningful impact in the classrooms of our community. Yet we need more. Concordia has determined that it needs four more Smart Boards and is embarking on a fundraising initiative for increased funding for technological needs, including iPads for faculty and increased software needs for Career Services to name a few major, but urgent, technological needs for the University.
“The goal of teaching is to inspire students. With this gift, we hope to continue this goal of inspiring others,” said Lowell.
To contribute to technology initiatives at Concordia University Texas, please visit here.