Concordia University, St. Paul begins the new year and decade under the guidance of a new leader as the Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich officially began his tenure as the University’s 10th president on January 1, 2020.
“It is with great joy and excitement for the future that I accept the call extended to me by the Concordia University, St. Paul Board of Regents to serve as its tenth president. This is a high honor and privilege,” said Friedrich. “It is obvious to Laurie and me that God has led this process in a manner and direction that is of great surprise to us. With the apostle Paul, today we celebrate that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose’ (Romans 8:28). God’s ways are not our ways, yet in His promise we hope and in His direction we follow.”
Friedrich, a 1979 graduate of Concordia St. Paul, succeeds the Rev. Dr. Tom Ries, who retired at the conclusion of the 2018-19 academic year after serving a very successful tenure as University president since 2011.
Prior to returning to his alma mater, Friedrich served as President of Concordia University, Nebraska from 2004-2019.
“Rev. Dr. Friedrich is the ideal leader and person to continue advancing the mission of Concordia St. Paul to new heights,” said CSP Board Chair Mark Moksnes. “Throughout his distinguished career in higher education and the church, he has demonstrated thoughtful decision making, effective and collaborative leadership, strong fundraising experience and genuine love for students. It is a wonderful homecoming as both Dr. Friedrich and his wife Laurie are CSP graduates. The Board is delighted he has accepted the call and has the utmost confidence he will ensure CSP’s growth and success for many years to come.”
Friedrich held several positions in development and administration at Concordia Nebraska since first arriving at the school in 1991. He served as dean of development and college relations in 1993 before being named assistant to the president in 1994. He was appointed as vice president for institutional advancement in 1997 and was named the president of Concordia Foundation, Inc. in 2003 before being named president in 2004.
Friedrich is a Vice President of the Concordia University System, member of the Colloquy Committee of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, trustee of Mill Neck Foundation and Lutheran Friends of the Deaf boards, a director of the Council of Independent Colleges of Nebraska, a director of the National Association of the Council of Independent Colleges and Universities, a member of the Seward Rotary Club and St. John Lutheran Church. He was a director of the Nebraska Independent College Foundation Board, past president of the Seward Rotary Club, past chair of the Lutheran Educational Conference of North America (LECNA) Board of Directors, past member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Council of Presidents, past chair of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Nebraska (AICUN) and past member-at-large of the Association of Lutheran Development Executives (ALDE) Board of Directors. In 2010, he was named ALDE’s Outstanding Executive of the Year.
Rev. Dr. Friedrich will be installed during chapel service on January 24 and his inauguration will be April 30 during the graduation celebrations.