Editor's note: This story first appeared in the spring 2021 issue of Hearts Together, a Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor Special Magazine Edition.

Five years ago Ferry led a special outdoor chapel service on the grassy practice field where the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center would soon stand tall. His powerful prayer was for alignment between what Concordia wanted to accomplish and what God had already planned.

Guided by Psalm 127 Ferry prayed, “Help us to build up—not just buildings but people—people built for others to help others.”

People. It has always been about the people. Every new building, every bold project, every innovative solution built up the Concordia family to serve the Lord, to serve the world, and to serve each other.

Under Ferry’s prolific leadership, the Wisconsin campus added three residence halls, three academic buildings, numerous athletics facilities, transformational campus beautification and stabilization efforts, accelerated learning centers, and countless additions and improvements throughout the 200-acre footprint.

With Ferry at the helm, CUAA flourished with the purchase of the North Building that would soon house two new academic schools, multiple programs, and a state-of-the-art simulation and innovation center. On the main campus, noticeable uplifts and improvements included new and improved athletics facilities, dramatic updates to existing academic buildings and student spaces, and a revitalized art center.

While the “Ferry years” will be indelibly noted in Concordia’s history for the tremendous physical growth on both campuses, the legacy of President Ferry will be in the people who came through the halls, played on the fields, worshipped in the chapels, learned in the classrooms, succeeded in the workplace, and helped each other grow their faith, their knowledge, and their skills. For their lives of purpose and service, and the lives that they help along the way are what Ferry has been building all along.

“The changes to our campuses in Mequon and Ann Arbor—new buildings, renovations, enhancements—are lovely, but they are only symbolic of the transformative work that goes on inside those walls,” said Ferry. “Many lives have been formed and shaped by Concordia’s uncommon experience.”

The spring/summer 2021 Hearts Together magazine hit mailboxes in early April. View a PDF version of the magazine here. If you are not on our mailing list, but are interested in receiving a free copy, email Jennifer.Hackmann@cuaa.edu.

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