Excellence in Leadership!

Tom CedelLast Friday night Terry and I joined over 500 of our nearest and dearest friends at the annual Concordia University Texas Excellence in Leadership Gala. Okay, not all in attendance were nearest and dearest friends. However, it was obvious that we all had much in common:

  • Attendees cared enough about Concordia University to spend a lot more than pocket change for a very nice dinner and more than a very nice contribution to benefit Concordia students.
  • All respected Dr. Tom Cedel, this year’s honoree, enough to offer three standing ovations and extended applause when he was introduced and at the end of his brief Christ-centered remarks.
  • We all joined in thanking Tom’s wife, Penny, who has worked faithfully at his side voluntarily representing Concordia locally and nationally as a cheerful ambassador of good will.

During Dr. Cedel’s 12 years as president of Concordia, the University has, among other things:

  • Moved from its 23-acre site in north central Austin to a 389-acre site near Lake Travis.
  • Doubled in enrollment. Ten times more students now graduate from Concordia each year.
  • Added several new undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
  • Developed the Accelerated Degree program for part-time and adult returning students.
  • Formed partnerships with local school districts for teacher education programs.
  • Developed a nursing program that is one of the fastest growing in central Texas.
  • Achieved numerous academic and athletic milestones.
  • Grown in success in achieving its mission of Developing Christian Leaders.

Thanks to God for his healing hand through months of successful chemo and radiation treatment for Tom’s recent illness, discovered shortly after he announced his retirement last summer. Being chosen as honoree at the Excellence in Leadership Gala is an appropriate testimony to the gifts God has given Dr. Tom Cedel and the excellence with which he has used them to God’s glory!

Tom, Terry and I wish you and Penny the best, in the words of a toast learned from my father many years ago. I originally learned it in Spanish, but it’s spoken here in English: “May God bless you with his gifts of good health, much love, sufficient money and enough time to enjoy them all!”

New Births

Baby BottleLast week’s Perspectives reported the Christmas night premature birth of triplets to my sister’s granddaughter and her husband, Amanda and Jesse Collins of Evansville, Indiana. Little Logan Christopher passed away on the second day. Emma Grace and Anna Christine continue to be in stable and improving condition. Here’s the latest update from their mother, Amanda:

The nurse practitioner just called with our daily report. Both girls are eating 7.5 ccs now. Anna caught up to Emma. Emma had some residual last night so she did not increase today. Both girls’ x-rays and brain ultrasounds look good. Emma’s blood count is good, so she will not get more blood in the next couple days; Anna’s was borderline, so she will. She said they are getting close to coming off their IVs. They take them off once they get to 14cc feedings. She said once they get to 9ccs (probably in a day or two) they will start giving them Prolacta, which is a breast milk fortifier, and they will be on that until about 34 weeks, then hopefully just breast milk. We will probably go visit soon, because they need more milk!

 

Praise God for this encouraging report! And thanks to so many of you who responded to last week’s article with assurance of prayers for this family during a time of great need and concern.

A new birth of a different kind occurred earlier this week at Concordia University Texas in Austin. The first official session of the newly formed Christian Leadership Institute took place on Monday, January 13. While not a birth in the traditional understanding of that word, it was nevertheless a very special occasion.

Twenty-four Concordia students gathered in the Board Room for presentations by veteran church leaders whose sum total of experience is well over 100 years. While significant age differences separated students from presenters, the students received us “old geezers” remarkably well!

The multi-faceted topic was: “Building relationships, developing and modeling with courageous humility a biblical worldview, grounding identity in Christ and Christian principles, understanding life purpose, personal strengths and weaknesses.” Wonderful topics, beautifully presented!

To put it mildly, I’m very excited about this new venture, impressed with the quality of the participants, and confident that this endeavor will contribute greatly to the accomplishment of Concordia’s Mission: Developing Christian Leaders! Stay tuned for more updates!

In the meantime, join me in thanking God for the miracle of new births, especially those that truly bring new life!

The peace of the Lord be with you all!