Concordia College Alabama president resigns

The Rev. Dr. Tilahun Mendedo, the seventh president of Concordia College Alabama (CCA) in Selma, Ala., has announced his resignation, effective July 1, according to an April 12 CCA news release.

Mendedo

Mendedo

The college’s Board of Regents accepted the resignation, with regret, in a March 6 letter.

“The Board of Regents of CCA has reluctantly granted your request for a peaceful release from your call as president of Concordia College,” wrote Lloyd Probasco, the board’s chairman. “The entire Concordia College family thanks you for your years of service, and commit our prayers and full support as you transition into your next area of service.”

LCMS Southern District President Rev. Kurtis Schultz, a member of the college’s Board of Regents, said Mendedo “has served CCA with integrity, strength, courage and distinction. His careful stewardship of limited resources has enabled the school to meet many challenges; his faith in Jesus has been evidenced in his servant leadership and his love for [the] Gospel mission of CCA has been marked by sacrifices he and his family have made on its behalf. We are thankful for his service and are pleased with his desire to support CCA in the future.”

LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison said he is “honored to know Dr. Mendedo. He has served the Synod and Concordia, Selma, with diligence, honor and zeal. Today the whole church rejoices at the accomplishments of Dr. Mendedo and Concordia.”

Mendedo expressed appreciation for the opportunity to serve as president. “I am grateful to God who called me for service, and honored to have had the support of the board, faculty, staff, students and donors over the past six years,” he said. “While this has been a most challenging call, it has also been the most rewarding. I am proud of all the achievements we have accomplished together.”

Some of Mendedo’s accomplishments since he became CCA president in 2010 include:

  • the acquisition of the former United Methodist Children’s Home property, totaling 36 acres.
  • 21 capital improvement projects at a combined cost of $6.4 million.
  • the launching of a comprehensive fundraising campaign with an original goal of $12 million that has raised $20 million to date.
  • 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
  • the addition of several new programs: Bachelor of Science degrees in Criminal Justice, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Business Administration; Associate of Arts degrees in Applied Management and Pre-Nursing; and RN-BSN.
  • full approval — with an “A” rating — of the Teacher Education program (Early Childhood, Pre-School and Elementary) by the Alabama Department of Education.
  • the development of a five-year strategic plan and accompanying business plan that outlines the college’s path to financial sustainability by 2021.
  • the founding of the annual Concordia Civil Rights Symposium, including participation in the city of Selma’s Bridge Crossing Jubilee commemoration of the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” and the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

“Concordia College is a special place for many people,” said Mendedo. “It has long been my vision that Concordia College will be a diverse, global institution of excellence and a leader in developing intellectual, spiritual and moral leaders of Christ-centered justice.

“My family and I will carry that vision with us, and be warmed by the remembrance of the people of Selma and our friends and colleagues in the Concordia community. The Concordia College spirit will always burn strong in our hearts.”

The Board of Regents will meet in the coming weeks to announce an interim president as well as develop long-term plans following Mendedo’s departure this summer.

Concordia College Alabama — one of 10 college and university campuses that make up the LCMS Concordia University System — was founded in 1922 as Alabama Lutheran Academy. It is the only historically black Lutheran college in the country.

Posted April 14, 2016

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