Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, was dedicated in Oct. 31, 1891, only 10 years after the first Norwegian settlers had made their home in the ...
Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, was dedicated in Oct. 31, 1891, only 10 years after the first Norwegian settlers had made their home in the Red River Valley. These settlers valued education and their religious heritage, and one of their first priorities was to establish a quality school. Twenty-one students graduated on June 7, 1893, during the college’s first Commencement and within 20 years, Concordia College became a full-fledged liberal arts institution with a reputation of matriculating open-minded, service-oriented, globally-conscious graduates. Undergraduate student population is 2,700 and currently, there are over 32,000 alumni.
Dr. Pamela M. Jolicoeur, who was the 10th president of Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., died June 9, 2010, in MeritCare Palliative Care Unit, Fargo, N.D. Jolicoeur was born Oct. 21, 1944, in Denver and raised in California’s San Fernando Valley where she attended Catholic schools and a Catholic girls’ summer camp. She entered the Sisters of Social Service after graduating from high school and was a member of that community of vowed women for six years. She earned her undergraduate degree from Santa Clara (Calif.) University and her doctorate degree in sociology from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. She served in many capacities over her 32 year career at California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks before coming to Concordia College . Throughout her professional and academic career, Jolicoeur took great pride in helping people become who they wanted to be, whether it was students in her sociology classes or her colleagues in teaching and administration.
Norway House recognizes Pam Jolicoeur’s contribution to the field of liberal arts education and, along with so many others, mourns the loss of a dedicated professional and a wonderful person.
The honoree representing Concordia College is author and humanitarian Greg Mortenson. Mortenson’s parents went to Africa when Greg was just a baby. From 1958-1973, Mortenson was raised near Mount Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania. His father, Irvin “Dempsey” Mortenson, was the missionary and founder/development director of the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center, Tanzania’s first teaching hospital. His mother, Dr. Jerene Mortenson, founded the International School Moshi. Mortenson served in the U.S. Army in Germany from 1975 to 1977 as a medic, and received the Commendation Medal. He attended Concordia College, Moorhead, from 1977 to 1979, and later graduated from the University of South Dakota at Vermillion, South Dakota, in 1983 with an Associate Degree in Nursing and a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry. He is a recipient of sixteen Honorary Doctorate degrees from US colleges and universities.
After the 1992 death of his young sister, Greg’s life-changing trip to Pakistan in her honor resulted in his founding the Central Asia Institute, a nonprofit promoting education and literacy, especially for girls, in the remote mountain regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. As Executive Director, Greg spends much of his time traveling to speak about the CAI, his books, and promoting peace through education. Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace, One School At A Time was published in 2006 and Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan was released in December 2009.