Donor Impact

These short stories are just a sampling of the remarkable students our donors are impacting. We thank you for your continued support.

Brittany Wilaby

Hello, my name is David Schlecht, a multimedia communications student here at Concordia University Wisconsin. As I look back at my time here, I realize how truly blessed I am. It is the simple things that have made a huge difference to me. First, daily chapel services have forced me to stop my studies for 20 minutes each day and remember why I chose Concordia in the first place. Another reminder comes from my professors, who have helped me grow in my faith, in the knowledge of the doctrines of the Lutheran Church, and in many different ways in which I can defend my faith.

The last simple—yet extraordinary—aspect has been the experience I have had on campus with the people who also want to help me grow as an individual. Whether that be playing volleyball in the fieldhouse, late night studying in the library, conversations around food in the cafeteria, or simple talks with roommates and friends in the residence halls, we continually help and support each other, no matter what stage of life we are facing.

For me, it’s the simple things Concordia has to offer that have created an atmosphere which makes my experience uncommon. I am grateful for all who have supported me through this—including our donors—whether I have known, met, or talked with them or not. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without CUW.

God’s blessings,
David Schlecht

Brittany Wilaby

Hello! My name is Emily, and I am currently a Doctor of Physical Therapy student nearing graduation. In addition to spending the past 3 years in my graduate program, I have been offered the opportunity to continue my education with CUW, and have accepted one of two positions in the Orthopedic Residency Program.

I am thrilled to continue my education at Concordia and commend the professors, staff, and extended Concordia community for the type of educational experience that is created here; one in which Christ’s love is lived out daily. I am writing this letter to offer my sincere appreciation for your generous, financial support of the students of Concordia. It allows us to take advantage of opportunities to further share and experience the love of Christ across the nation and world.

Personally, donors’ generous, financial support afforded me the opportunity to participate in a service trip to Nicaragua last year. Under the direction of our professor, Dr. Cheryl Petersen, six physical therapy students spent two weeks providing physical therapy services to the community members of Aposentillo, Nicaragua. As I am sitting here reflecting on that experience and what keeps coming to mind are the smiles of the children and families we served and supported. Most of these families had little in terms of resources, food, or possessions, but what was evidently abundant was love, and they were not hesitant to share everything they could with us. I was completely humbled by the generosity of this community, and coming back to a lifestyle where everyone I know has more than they could ever possibly need was a difficult transition.

I have been truly inspired by the people I met in Nicaragua and by you to follow the example of generosity, especially when I am feeling sorry for myself for being a “broke graduate student.” I left for Nicaragua simply thinking I was going to be providing physical therapy services to the Aposentillo community, and while this occurred, more importantly I experienced and received an immeasurable amount of love and joy. The experience profoundly changed my life in so many positive ways and I am grateful for your generosity.

Sincere appreciation and blessings,
Emily Goetz

Brittany Wilaby

Hello, my name is Letha Wallace and I wish to thank you for your prayers and financial support. Being at Concordia has given me opportunities to experience things that would not be possible elsewhere. I have been able to get involved in various ministries and activities. I have grown intellectually and spiritually throughout my time at Concordia. Every day, I can see God working and touching the lives of those who attend.

As a future Lutheran educator I cannot thank you enough for helping me get the best possible Christian education. I have been able to learn and grow under a Christian worldview, which has prepared me to teach future students about Christ. Through my experiences at Concordia I have been equipped to go out into the world to spread the love of Christ.

Thank you again for everything you do!

In Christ,
Letha Wallace

Brittany Wilaby

Thank you. Two little words made up of only eight letters, yet they carry such an incredible depth of meaning. I want to thank you for the role you’ve played in helping me fulfill my God-given calling. Thank you for supporting my education and the education of everyone in my Concordia family. Being at CUW has changed my life in ways I never could have imagined when I made the decision to attend here four years ago.

I never could have imagined the incredible education I would receive. Not only do my professors teach me to the highest standard, but they value me as an individual. Whether it is the late night replies to my e-mails, the thoughtful input on 30-page papers, or the reminder that God always has a plan for our life, I am so thankful for the Christian guidance I have had every step of the way.

While at Concordia, I have been blessed to go on trips all over the U.S., as well as the Dominican Republic, where I have learned what it means to truly serve. I have been mentored by incredible Christian men and women who entrusted me with leadership roles within Campus Ministry. As I coordinated various ministries and served as president of Campus Ministry for a year, I learned to rely on God and rely on those He puts in our lives.

My years at Concordia have changed my life and prepared my mind, body, and spirit to go out and serve those with whom I interact. I have learned so much both in and outside of the classroom. As I look forward to stepping into my field and becoming a teacher, I am so thankful for my years at Concordia.

However, none of this would be possible without you. Thank you. Thank you for believing in me and in my Concordia family. Thank you for investing in our futures as we prepare to serve God and others through our vocations.

God’s Blessings,
Brittany Wilaby

Hello! My name is Daniel Reh and I want to thank you for your generous financial support toward education. Because of your kindness and generosity, students like me are able to continue their education at Concordia University Wisconsin. Currently, I am a junior and plan to become an LCMS pastor to the Karenni people who have moved here from Myanmar, where I am from. I am taking Greek and Hebrew this semester, and I seem to be doing well in both classes. I am also taking some other theology classes, which I think are preparing me well for the service of Christ in the future.

While attending school as a full-time student, I am involved in a Bible study group on campus, and on Sundays, I volunteer to do interpreting in my church for the Karenni. This past summer, I also worked as an interpreter for the Karenni people in hospitals, at the courthouse, and in church. I am happy to be able to work with the Karenni.

Generosity from donors like you motivates me to work harder toward my goal. I am looking forward to serving the Karenni as a pastor in the future.

Thank you again for your generosity and willingness to help students like me.

Daniel Reh

I am so lavishly blessed to have spent four years of my life in a place that cultivates praising God in everything that I do. The experiences that I’ve had, the lives that I’ve touched, and the lives that have touched me, have all prepared me for an enriched life.

You see, I’m one of the lucky ones! I’ll leave Concordia with a rewarding career, and the skills that I need to excel not only in physical therapy, but in worship-leading as well. I’ll leave Concordia with a sense of purpose, a hunger for life that will be satisfied in nothing but living my every moment for the Giver of Life.

How is it that I and my peers have been so richly blessed in this way, yet many others will never know the value in leading a Christ-centered life? Friends, it is our duty to assure that Concordia is able to impact as many individuals as possible. You have set a phenomenal example for the rest of us to follow! Know that I will have gratitude in my heart for you every time that I extend my heart in worship.

Thank you, and God bless you.

With the utmost respect,
Jonathan NaThalang

I would like to personally thank you for your support of the mission of Concordia. Your generosity allows students like me not only to receive a continuing education, but to also truly develop in mind, body, and spirit for service to Christ in the Church and the world.

As I look forward to heading out into the corporate world after graduation, I have grown increasingly aware of the incredible blessing that Concordia has been in my life. I have been able to grow and learn in a Christian environment, constantly encouraged by professors and staff to use my skills and passions to glorify God. As a Business Scholar, I will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Master of Business Administration. In the secular field of accounting, it is hard to see where faith and career intersect. But because of my education at Concordia, I feel confident knowing that I can live out my faith by simply sharing the love of Christ in every circumstance.

The opportunities I have had at CUW, academic and otherwise, have been life-changing. As a freshman, it was hard to leave my family and my home. But soon enough, I felt a sense of belonging at Concordia. Through bible studies, mission trips, retreats, and so much more, I have developed life-long Christian relationships with friends and mentors. There is a wonderful sense of community here, and I now find myself wondering how I will ever be able to say goodbye to the place I now call home.

I have grown tremendously, both personally and professionally, and I have gained great confidence in who the Lord created me to be, all thanks to CUW. There is incredible value in that, and I thank you for recognizing that value through your financial support of Concordia. I thank God for leading me here and for you—for sharing your gifts with students like me through your contributions to Concordia. I pray you feel appreciated for the impact you have had on my life and the lives of many others. You have my sincerest thanks.

With Gratitude,
Katie Bennett

My name is Rebecca Wert, and I want to extend my deepest gratitude for you and your financial support. You play a large part in providing me the ability to attend Concordia University Wisconsin and pursue my dream career of being a physical therapist. Without you, my education might not be possible.

Yet your generous contribution has given me so much more than just an education. Being at Concordia, I have been challenged in my thinking. I have been stretched in my academics and spiritual life. I have developed lifelong friendships and lasting memories that I can cling to in times of difficulty. And most importantly, I have grown in mind, body, and spirit, guiding me into a life of service to Christ in the Church and the world.

Thank you, again, for all that you’ve done to make my attendance at CUW possible.

Rebecca Wert

I wish to communicate my heartfelt gratitude for your faithful service to the Church and its mission. You enable Christian servants to study at Concordia so that they might continue learning and better serve the community. My greatest desire is to be the best kind of nurse there is—the one that you would want taking care of your mother, your child, or yourself. Your generous impact does not merely influence a sole individual’s four-year experience. Your donation to help provide quality Christian education teaches nurses to care for patients in both body and soul, impacting people in regard to temporal and eternal realms.

I would like to share with you one experience that captures the richness and depth of this interplay between faith and education as it relates to my future in nursing. In clinical, I cared for a woman who suffered chronic grief due to her husband’s death. Knowing that she was a Christian, I asked if she knew any hymns. Without pause she began, “O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy hands have made…” There, at her bedside, I joined her in worship. The same hymns that I sing in chapel are on the lips of my dementia patients. This inconsolable woman desired that her mental and spiritual health be considered alongside her physical health. For her, life was nothing without the hope of the resurrection.

Your hand in these experiences is valued second to none. You equip students with the professional tools to graduate, join the workforce, and use their skills in the real world. On my campus tours I always say, “Concordia understands that students can learn anything from a book or online, but what really matters is how they can apply it.” Because you care about how students apply their education, you have chosen to support a school that first applies itself to its students’ needs, spiritually and intellectually. We hear law and Gospel applied to us. We apply our classroom content in the field. Finally, we apply the culmination of study and faith out in the “real world” for the service of others.

At Concordia I have grown, and I must admit that most of these changes have directed my attention away from myself and back toward my family, neighbors, and friends. My peers exemplify devout vocational living as children, friends, and mentors. I have had the pleasure of sitting and learning at their feet and the wisdom of my professors who lead by example. I pray that I might continue this by your grace and support.

Blessings in Christ,
Tessa Pariseau