Concordia University Wisconsin president to retire

Rev. Patrick Ferry, president of Concordia University Wisconsin

Concordia University Wisconsin president Rev. Patrick Ferry announced this week he will retire at the end of the academic year.

Ferry, who leads Concordia’s Mequon campus and its Ann Arbor campus, has been with the private Lutheran university system for 30 years. After beginning his career with Concordia University Wisconsin as a professor of history, Ferry was inaugurated as its eighth president in August 1997. He plans to retire in June 2021.

The university’s board of regents plans to initiate a national search for his successor.

Board chairman Richard Laabs applauded Ferry’s leadership.

“Patrick Ferry in so many ways is the living expression of Concordia University’s uncommon mission,” Laabs said. “The accomplishments of this institution during more than two decades of Pat’s visionary leadership are significant. He has been tireless in his Calling and every Concordian is deeply grateful to him for his many years of exceptional leadership. Pat, his dear wife, Tammy, and their family have truly given their all and Concordia has been better for it.”

Under Ferry’s leadership, the Wisconsin campus completed a merger with its sister campus in Ann Arbor in 2013.

In recent years, Concordia has grown its programming related to entrepreneurship and innovation, hosting regular pitch competitions for entrepreneurs to connect with venture capitalists. The university established an innovation center on its campus in 2018 to provide mentorship and marketing assistance to early-stage businesses in the Mequon-Thiensville area. Last year, it opened the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center, a three-story, 41,000-square-foot academic building that houses its business, education, hospitality and event management, and health professions programs.

Laabs noted the university’s enrollment numbers are strong and its financial position “remains robust” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While the days ahead are ones filled with great challenges, the university is in an excellent position to move forward,” Ferry said.

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