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Blasts from the Concordian’s past

While homecoming weekend brought many Cobber alumni back to campus, several of them stopped by The Concordian office to tell about how it used to be.

The Concordian hosted a homecoming open house for alumni who worked on the paper during their time at Concordia. From 9:30 a.m. until noon, former writers, editors, production directors and business managers stopped in to visit, click through archives of back issues on computers, look at old yearbook photos and reminisce about all the good times they had while they were students here.

Everyone who visited couldn’t believe how far technology has come and how easy it is to put together the paper in comparison to the past. Miriam (Aas) Johnson and Vee (Thorkelson) Fjelstad, graduates of 1948, recounted how they had to climb rickety old stairs to the top of Grose Hall, where The Concordian office was located at the time. They also received special permission to be out of the dorms after 10 p.m. to visit the Fargo Print Shop, where proofing the newspaper before printing was quite a chore.

“I still know how to read upside down and backwards,” Johnson said with a chuckle.

When Johnson asked how the paper is printed now, co-editor Emily Meyer explained that it’s completely digital and everything is done online, even submitting the week’s issue via e-mail to The Fargo Forum for printing.

“I knew it would be something fancy like that,” Johnson said.

Clare Aubol and Dean Moe, co-editors from the class of 1958, also attended the reunion.

“Tell them our biggest influence was the Guttenberg press,” Moe said with a twinkle in his eye.

Betty (Gilbertson) Sande and Bob Sande from the class of 1948 also have unique memories of their time here at Concordia. They remember how Brown Hall was constructed after World War II and used to house all the veterans coming to Concordia on the GI bill. They also remember having to carry all of the books from the old library down to the basement of Fjelstad Hall. Dining Services food was awful, and they preferred to eat at a diner by Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Everyone who visited from the class of 1948 also remembered the intervisitation hours during their time here.

“A few hours on homecoming Sunday,” Johnson said.

Larry Seljevold, class of 1978, was a reluctant member of the writing staff while at Concordia, but still had a great time. The sports editor had asked Seljevold if he wanted his job and since no one else did, Seljevold ended up writing a column for a year, as well as assigning stories to others.

“It was an interesting job for someone who dislikes writing and [had] no journalism experience whatsoever,” Seljevold said.

Kim (Pederson) Woodwick and Dan Woodwick, both from the class of 1988, also attended the reunion. The two met while working on The Concordian, fell in love and eventually married. Both are still in the field today, working for West Publishing in River Falls, Wis. Even though only 20 years have passed since 1988, technology has come a long way. Dan Woodwick explained the process while he was the production director.

“Many Wednesday nights we started production on the paper at 7 p.m. and frequently finished at 6 a.m,” Woodwick said. “We used a CompuGraphic machine to create the galley copy and used wax to layout the paper on ‘light tables. We had a great time, especially as the nights wore on.”

One Comment

  1. Susan Gruss Leece Susan Gruss Leece January 4, 2014

    My husband and I enjoyed your article on the “old days” at the Concordian. I was the editor of the paper in my junior year (1974) and he was the business manager of the paper. My brother, Roger Gruss, was an editor in the late 60’s. In addition to providing me with a husband, writing and editing The Concordian has influenced my entire life. It was an awesome experience. Can’t believe “intervis” is still being debated… that’s truly a blast from the past. Some things will obviously never change. Best wishes and good luck with your upcoming editions!

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