Ahlersmeyer named president of Concordia, Ann Arbor

Dr. Thomas Ahlersmeyer will be installed Nov. 4 as the fifth president of Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Mich., and says he’s looking forward to continued leadership at the school, which has seen a number of positive developments.

Ahlersmeyer, 51, has served as the school’s interim president since August 2003.  He succeeAhlersmeyer, Tomds the university’s fourth president, Dr. James Koerschen, who retired earlier that year.

“It is a privilege to be able to continue to do the work that God placed before us two years ago,” Ahlersmeyer said.  “I’m looking forward to taking a ministry which has grown over the last two years and leading energetic students, faculty, and staff as we expand and impact our community for Christ.”

Over the past two years, the school has reduced its operating loss by 81 percent — from nearly $1.9 million in 2003 to $190,000 this year.  This fall’s new student enrollment of 159 is the largest in 18 years, Ahlersmeyer noted, and the school’s total enrollment of 600 is the sixth-largest in its 43-year history.  The number of students pursuing church careers also has grown — nearly half of incoming students are preparing for church work.

“We are not only growing but enrolling more Lutheran church-work students,” he said.

Proceeds from the impending sale of university property will be used to renovate the science building, upgrade student housing, build a health-and-fitness center, and reduce past debt, according to Ahlersmeyer.  And, administrators are in the early stages of planning further campus construction and improvements with a capital campaign that would culminate with a 50th anniversary celebration in 2013, he said.

Prior to his appointment as interim president, Ahlersmeyer served eight years as executive director of Cleveland’s Lutheran High School Association.  He also has served as pastor of Synod congregations in Ohio, California, and Florida.

A 1979 graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ahlersmeyer earned a Ph.D. in interpersonal and public communication in 1989 from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio.  He has taught at the high-school and college levels, and served as a member of Concordia-Ann Arbor’s Board of Regents (1999-03) and the Synod’s Board for Communication Services (1986-95).

Posted Oct. 7, 2005

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