The Distinguished Alumnus Award honors graduates of Concordia for reflecting in their lives and careers the values upon which the university was founded. To nominate an outstanding alumnus, contact the CUW Alumni Office at The committee will consider your nomination in next year’s process.

Would you like to participate in the Distinguished Alumnus Award Committee? Contact us at

2017 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

Terry Donovan is a 1967 graduate of Concordia, a “six-year man” who completed four years at Concordia High School and two years at Concordia College at the former Milwaukee campus. “The campus was completely different than Concordia today,” Terry stated, “but still a great education.” He remembers how small the campus was, the limited courses that were offered, and the emphasis on preparation for churchwork. What hasn’t changed, however, is “the chance to have a really good education at Concordia and Concordia’s mission.” 


His class of 1967 celebrated their 50th anniversary during the May 2017 commencement weekend with several events, including recognition at the Baccalaureate service and a tour of the old Concordia campus. Terry was also selected to receive the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award, an honor given to an alumnus to honor his or her service to Christ, the Church, and the world.

Terry’s life reflects many years of service and hard work. He spent 35 years working with the United Parcel Service (UPS), beginning in college loading and unloading packages. After graduating he became a full-time supervisor in Wisconsin managing UPS hubs and establishing new facilities. He worked his way up to their international marketing and business development teams as well as to human resources. Terry eventually retired as the UPS E-ventures vice president of human resources. 

Since retiring, his focus has been on his family and travels, as well as continuing to serve the Church. Terry and his wife, Sandee, have traveled extensively in the past several years around the U.S. as well as to Asia and Europe. He has also held multiple leadership roles at his church, Rivercliff Lutheran, in Atlanta, GA. Currently president of the church council, he has brought experience in leadership and change management to the congregation through several campaigns and decision-making processes. 

Terry has continued to invest his time and knowledge at Concordia as well, and “it’s been a lot of fun,” he said. In 1998, he was asked by Rev. Patrick Ferry, Ph.D., Concordia’s new president at the time, to become involved beginning decades of service and leadership at Concordia. He has used his extensive experience in business and strategic planning to help guide Concordia through several transitions, including re-establishing the CUW Foundation and the merge with Concordia University Ann Arbor. Terry served as the first chair of the Foundation Board and recently became chairman of the Board of Regents. “I really like doing it,” he said. “We have an outstanding team.” 

He’s also excited about the future of Concordia, citing the Luther Promise program, strength in the Distance Learning programs, Concordia’s emphasis on being innovative, and the ways Concordia University is continuing to be a leader in education. Terry sees the value in the liberal arts education Concordia provides, preparing students to be able to think critically in a variety of careers/vocations, rather than simply learning the fundamentals of a specific job. To him it is also about the mission, the vision, and continuing to innovate while remaining “the Church’s university.” 

Ever the advisor, he encourages the Concordia community to continue to learn. “Never stop learning,” he said, “and spend time with people who also want to keep learning.” To Terry, it’s also about putting in the work. “There is no substitution for hard work for anyone.” He also recognizes the importance of staying true to one’s faith. “The most important thing you can do,” he said, “is to stay in the Word every day.” 

Past Distinguished Alumni

2016 Ms. Carrie Miller
2015 Rev. Mark E Wangerin
2014 Rev. Kenneth R Klaus
2013 Rev. Dr. Thomas K Ries
2012 Rev. Dr. Dean O Wenthe
2009 Rev. Randolph H Raasch
2008 Rev. Dr. Jon T Diefenthaler
2008 Dr. Kurt J Krueger
2006 Mrs. Lenore M Chandler
2006 Rev. Dr. Paul W Devantier
2006 Mrs. Evelyn R Hutchins
2005 Rev. Walter M Wangerin
2003 Rev. Eugene F Gruell
2003 Mr. David A Clarke, Jr.
2002 Mr. Kenneth E Greve
2000 Rev. Dr. Harvey D Lange
2000 Rev. Herman C Schedler
1999 Rev. Dale G Federwitz
1999 Mrs. Alvina E Federwitz
1998 Rev. Dr. Joel D Heck
1997 Rev. Dr. Royal W Natzke
1996 Rev. Dr. Dale A Meyer
1995 Dr. Beverly K Yahnke
1994 Rev. Dr. Edwin S Suelflow
1993 Rev. Frederick H Krueger
1992 Rev. Donald L Krabbe
1991 Dr. Holger G Cattau
1990 Rev. Dr. Henry E Simon
1989 Rev. Dr. August T Mennicke
1988 Rev. Dr. Paul T Dietz
1987 Mr. Jon H Nelson
1986 Rev. Elmer J Sedory
1985 Rev. Dr. Victor A Bartelt
1984 Rev. Dr. Edmund Happel
1983 Rev. Dr. Harvey A Krueger
1982 Rev. Elmer A Neitzel
1981 Rev. Victor Selle
1979 Dr. Walter R Roehrs
1978 Rev. Wilbur C Koester
1977 Rev. Edward Jenne
1976 Rev. Dr. Oliver Rupprecht
1975 Rev. J Henry Gienapp
1974 Mr. William Ackmann
1973 Rev. Victor C Rickman
1972 Dr. Oswald C Hoffmann
1971 Rev. Victor Bartling
1970 Rev. Dr. Lloyd H Goetz
1969 Prof. Paul W Zanow
1968 Rev. William H Kohn
1967 Dr. Alfred M Rehwinkel
1966 Dr. Martin L Koehneke
1965 Dr. Walter F Wolbrecht
1964 Dr. C August Hardt
1963 Dr. Herbert W Baxmann
1962 Dr. Edwin W Hattstaedt
1961 Rev. William M Czmanske