by Blair Cipwynyk
One of the biggest things Concordia can be proud of is the collective journey toward our goal of eventually becoming “Canada’s pre-eminent small university.” Being a small university, a sense of community and a strong sense of pride in the school develops easily – especially in athletics. Athletics offers a unique experience for people to come together, as students and staff support and show pride in both the school and student-athletes that represent it. This sense of community, and a strong pride in CUE, are not lost once individuals leave Concordia.
In 1961, Bernard Lutz was named the first Athletics Director of Concordia. Along with his athletics duties, Mr. Lutz also taught Physical Education, Health, and Personal Development & Religion. Bernard Lutz was a graduate of Concordia Teacher’s College in River Forest, IL. Although not a graduate of Concordia in Edmonton, Mr. Lutz was a product of the Concordia school system that CUE was a part of at the time through the Lutheran Church. After graduating from Teacher’s College in Illinois, Mr. Lutz chose to give back to the Concordia community he knew by becoming the Athletics Director at Concordia in Edmonton, as well as teaching some classes.
This story is a similar one to my own. I finished my Sociology degree at CUE in 2017, and while there I worked with the Athletic Department. Pride in CUE and the sense of community that came from athletics was central to my CUE experience. I went on to do my Master’s degree from 2017-2019. Once finished, I returned to CUE to work in Athletics and to teach Physical Education classes, similar to Mr. Lutz. The sense of pride and community I felt as a student was what made me want to return to work at CUE. I wanted to give back to the school that taught me so much and to contribute to the experience of other students – so that they enjoyed themselves as much as I did.
Concordia has played a huge role in my life. My connection to Concordia involves completing two undergraduate degrees and returning after graduate school to work in Athletics and teach. I will always be grateful for the experience I had at Concordia and what I learned along the way. The school has played a huge role in my success, both professionally and academically, and I will always be proud of my Concordia roots.
Concordia’s CUE 100 committee is very excited to feature the written work of several students and alumni as part of its centenary celebrations. As these celebrations continue, you can look forward to reading short articles by these writers on interesting aspects of Concordia’s history over the past century. Writers were given access to archival documents on particular topics which they were asked to summarize and personally respond to. You’ll be able to discover much about Concordia’s history and how it still resonates among us today. We hope you find these articles both informative and entertaining. Happy 100, Concordians!