The 125th Concordia exhibit hummed with conversation as family and friends of the college gathered to reflect on their memories of Concordia and to look forward to the future of the institution.
The exhibit comprises of several sections, each one a purposeful combination of pieces to tell the story of 125 years of Concordia College.
“I feel each piece tells an important part of the story,” said Lisa Sjoberg, one of the many members of the curating team for this project. “We were purposeful in what we chose. We focused on subject areas that would show value, integrity and what Concordia is about.”
Looking through 125 years worth of history wasn’t easy, but Sjoberg and the curating team wanted stuff that people could make a connection with. The element of connection is what helped Lisa and her team narrow the topics of the exhibit down. It includes a section on Concordia’s globalization or studying abroad, student life, technology, religion, Norwegian/ Swedish heritage, future plans for the college and the progressions of Concordia campus.
Each section was decorated with either informational textile panels designed by Lori Steedsman, an interactive aspect such as a touchscreen map or interactive pictures of cobbers in the 1900’s.
Various people helped the exhibit come to its fruition after spending at least three years planning it. Sjoberg, professor Joy Lintleman, professor Susan Lee and Corinne Burrell were a part of the curating team. Three classes including Digital History, Scandinavian Immigration, Settlement and America, Museum Studies, and student workers from the archives helped design and put the exhibit together.
Ivory Clark was one of many students who helped the exhibit come to life. He wasn’t participating as an art student, but as an employee of the art department. Clark helped with the maps section of the exhibit as well as putting up the banners that cover years of Concordia memories.
“My favorite part of designing the exhibit was getting to talk to the other art students,” Clark said.
Sjoberg said she couldn’t be more grateful for the help and dedication that her colleagues and Concordia students have given her. In her welcoming speech, her voice tightened with emotion as she thanked those who have been dear to her for these past few years.
“In my role as college archivist I have a really interesting vantage point through which I get to experience this special place,” Sjoberg said. “It is such a privilege to do the work I do; honoring the people, places, traditions and events that shape this place into what it is today. We are so excited to share that perspective with you today. As much as we hope this exhibit celebrates the past and it is certainly a past worth celebrating we hope it provides a foundation upon which we can hope for and dream about the future of Concordia College as well.”
Among the alumni, students, professors and staff that attended the opening of the 125th exhibit, President Craft made an appearance. He welcomed everyone to the exhibit, and was overjoyed by the memories and stories shared among his college friends.
“The three faculty and the twelve students who began their lives of teaching and learning together here in October of 1891 … began that work in a year in which my grandparents were born,” said Craft in a speech. “These pictures, these faces, these people around the room here, are not curiosities they are real. We are close enough to them in space and time to hear their laughter, to feel their determination and to know their joy. So, I am grateful to everyone who made this possible for us to be in their presence; hearts together at this college.”