Saturday, October 14
A Million Dreams…
Maroon & Gold is Concordia University Chicago’s signature fundraising event that brings the entire community together to celebrate and support scholars. Join alumni, faculty, staff and friends for a notable evening to recognize outstanding individuals who have brought honor to Concordia-Chicago while influencing future leaders.
2023 Distinguished Awardees
David Hahn BA '75 and Janet (Cline) Hahn BA '75 are recipients of the Outstanding Undergraduate Award in recognition of their extraordinary efforts in advancing Lutheran leadership growth and development. The Hahns' journey began at Concordia-Chicago in 1971, where they not only found each other but also discovered their lifelong careers in Christ-centered education. Janet's three decades as a Lutheran school teacher fulfilled her childhood dream, while David's diverse roles as a teacher and administrator culminated in his position as head of school at Long Island Lutheran Middle & High School for 28 years.
David Hahn, currently the executive director of the Association of Lutheran Secondary Schools (ALSS), has demonstrated unparalleled leadership throughout his career. His tenure as an educator and administrator spans over 43 years, during which he significantly contributed to Lutheran schools in Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota and New York. Additionally, David Hahn serves on the faculty of the Van Lunen Center, earning him widespread acclaim for his dedication to education.
Janet Hahn, the administrative assistant of ALSS, has similarly displayed unwavering commitment to Lutheran education. Her previous role as an advisor to the National Honor Society from 2008-2019 attests to her dedication to fostering academic excellence. As a commissioned LCMS teacher, she has made a lasting impact on Lutheran schools over many years.
Dr. James Pingel, dean of the College of Education at Concordia University Wisconsin, lauds David Hahn for his outstanding leadership, stating, "Dave has been a terrific leader everywhere he goes. Most recently, as the Executive Director of ALSS, Dave has done unprecedented work in building partnerships with Lutheran high schools and various Concordia universities all around the country. He also has played a significant role in merging three different organizational conferences (LCMS School Ministry, Lutheran Educator Association (LEA), and ALSS) into one conference every third year—known as the Alliance Conference. Dave has inspired many to serve as heads of school across the country. Many would not be in these positions without Dave’s personal help and guidance as well as the support system he has helped build and instill through ALSS. He has been an instrumental leader in the advancement of Lutheran leadership growth and development. I would say he is at his peak in terms of national name recognition and impact across the country."
Rev. Bart Day, president and CEO of the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF), is the recipient of the One Heart Award for his leadership and commitment to service within the LCMS community. A graduate of Concordia University, Nebraska, Rev. Day's career has been marked by dedication to various positions within the LCMS. He began his career as associate pastor and headmaster at Memorial Lutheran Church and School in Houston, TX. He then served in various roles at The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod headquarters including executive director of the Office of National Mission. Day has served on numerous boards including Lutheran Services in America and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.
As president and CEO of LCEF, he has exemplified profound devotion to his faith and community, embodying the values of One Heart.
“Rev. Day’s lifelong dedication, commitment and tireless work in serving the church is clearly a blessing. Leader, theologian, pastor, teacher, head of school, board member, executive director, CEO, continuous learner, colleague, husband and father are just a few of the many roles he fulfills with competence, joy and great exuberance in service to the church. Throughout my time of serving with Rev. Day, no matter what the day would bring, I can hear his calming and often humorous voice putting things into perspective, his deep and abiding faith guiding the discussion and ending with an undeniable truth, ‘The best is yet to be,’” says Dr. Rebecca S. Schmidt, retired director of School Ministry for the LCMS.
Rev. Dr. Roosevelt Gray is the recipient of the Spiritus Christi Award, a tribute to his remarkable commitment to fostering cultural engagement and spreading the Gospel. As the LCMS Director of Black Ministry since 2013, Rev. Dr. Gray has played a pivotal role in advancing synod-wide engagement in ministry to people of African-American descent and other ethnic cultures. His exemplary service has left an indelible mark on the Lutheran community.
Rev. Dr. Gray's academic achievements include a Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, and an Honoris Causa Doctorate in Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Prior to his current position, he served as a pastor to congregations in Texas and in Michigan. He has also served in administrative roles as the assistant to the district president for mission at the LCMS Michigan District and as director of admissions at Concordia Theological Seminary.
As Director of Black Ministry, Rev. Dr. Roosevelt Gray provides support and guidance to LCMS districts, congregations and schools. In addition to his ministry within this role, Rev. Dr. Roosevelt Gray has shared the Gospel and his story as a keynote speaker, article writer and interview guest on various platforms.
Rev. Elstner C. Lewis, Jr., pastor of St. Philip Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chicago, IL, attests to Rev. Dr. Gray's impact, stating, "He impressed me from the very moment we met. He daily provided an example for all of us on how to conduct ourselves as pastors, husbands and fathers. He was always available for counseling and gave of himself ‘above and beyond.’ The majority of us finished the seminary and were placed in our respective parishes due to his concern and encouragement. He continues to have a great impact on the church through his writings and presentations on racial reconciliation and race relations."
Concordia University Chicago is proud to honor these exceptional awardees as they embody the core values that our institution holds dear: Truth, Freedom and Vocation. Anchored in both worldly truth and the truth revealed in God’s Word, these individuals have actualized their vocations by engaging in selfless service to their congregations, organizations and communities.