In 1927, a stout Norwegian arrived at Concordia College to fill a rare role – a role that has been empty since his passing on July 16, 1955.
Nels Mugaas is fondly remembered not only as a custodian but also as a friend and advisor. In a Concordian article from March of 1952, Janet Stenson referred to him as the “unofficial campus counselor.”
Despite his title as custodian, Muugas was much more than that to the students of Concordia College. To such students, he was someone they could turn to in times of need.
The Concordia College archives report that Mugaas consistently gave money to students who were in need of a loan or other monetary help. Students have declared that Mugaas had given them money for various things, from tuition to dates and bus fares home. Most of the money he lent was never paid back, but Mugaas was not one to complain.
Mugaas was also the well-known – and proud – owner of a Ford V-8, which was a hot commodity at the time. Students recognized him by his willingness to drop what he was working on when a student needed a word of advice or just someone to talk to.
Because of this willingness to help students, Mugaas was remembered in a Concordian article from March 31, 1944 as “your constant good cheer, the appealing combination of humor and wholesomeness that is your mark lives long in Cobber memories.”
The Mugaas Plant Operations Center on campus is a constant reminder of Mugaas and his dedication to our college.
Mugaas leaves his legend of counselor, friend, custodian and advisor at Concordia. His large shoes are difficult to fill but nonetheless, Concordia will not forget his eagerness to help and the lives he affected during his employment.