Concordia University, St. Paul inaugurated Rev. Tom Ries as the university's ninth president on Sept. 24 at 10 a.m. on campus in the Gangelhoff Center. Ries, who took office June 1, selected the inaugural theme, "The Concordia Promise," to highlight Concordia’s efforts to uncover its promise and build its future based on what is compelling, differentiating and true ab
out the University.
"The inaugural celebration invites us to celebrate our rich heritage and embrace our promising future," said Brad Hewitt, Chair of Concordia’s Board of Regents. "Tom brings us solid, visionary leadership which will lead the University to new heights."
A weekend of alumni-centered activities complemented the inauguration ceremony. On Sept. 22, alumni gathered for the Cohort Connections Luncheon at which radio talk show host and singer Jearlyn Steele was the keynote. On Sept. 23 the University held a dinner to honor five alumni for their distinguished service to God and humanity. On Sept. 24 the University hosted a post-inauguration reception where hundreds of church figures, alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students enjoyed fellowship in celebration of the historic occasion. These events were followed by traditional homecoming festivities including an on-campus carnival, football game, alumni art show, soccer game and faculty celebration recital.
As seven-year president of the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod Foundation, Rev. Ries significantly increased the Foundation's gifts and investments, growing its net assets by nearly 200 percent. Prior to his time at the Foundation, he served as Vice President for Finance and Operations at Concordia University, St. Paul, during which time net assets grew by 50 percent. Rev. Ries also served as a Pastor for 12 years, in an auditing company for four years, and as Assistant to the President and Vice President for College Relations at Concordia University, St. Paul for three years.
Ries is a doctoral candidate in the Higher Education Administration program at the University of Minnesota from where he currently holds a Master of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Finance. He also holds a Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and a Bachelor's degree from Concordia Senior College, Ft. Wayne, Ind. Rev. Ries and his wife, Susie, have three grown children, one son-in-law and two granddogs.
Watch the entire inauguratioin ceremony:
Download President Ries' Inauguration Message transcript (.pdf)