Jesse Muehler appreciates both the peers and faculty who have helped him grow over four years
One morning after chapel last fall, University Pastor Jeff Leininger, President Russell Dawn and Dean of Students Kathy Gebhardt surprised senior Jesse Muehler with the news that he had been named CUC’s Lincoln Laureate for 2021-2022. Every year, the Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Awards are presented to one student from each of the degree-granting institutions in Illinois, for excellence in both curricular and extracurricular activities.
During his years at Concordia-Chicago, Muehler has steeped himself in all kinds of student activities. He has sung in Kapelle every semester, and also participated in Schola Cantorum, University Band and Cougar Band. Since junior year, Muehler has been serving as executive director of Concordia University Dance Marathon (CUDM), which raises money for Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
He has also taken leadership roles in CUC4Life and Concordia Youth Ministry, which he says has been his favorite experience. “It has been incredible to build a faith-centered community with other students, spend time together in fellowship and in God's Word, and then see these other service-driven students participate in ministry with the middle and high school youth that we serve through our lock-ins,” he says.
Muehler adds that the people at Concordia-Chicago are what has made his time here so enjoyable and meaningful. “My peers challenge me daily in my classwork, extracurricular activities and even my spiritual life,” he says. “I could go on and on about the faculty at CUC and how they have molded me into the student—and soon to be teacher—that I am today.”
After graduation, Muehler will be taking a call to a Lutheran school to teach either middle or high school English. “I'm looking forward to sharing the Gospel through word and deed with my future students on a daily basis!”