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Committing to Concordia

Mary and Tom '68 Lidahl surrounded by future Cobbers

Mary and Tom '68 Lidahl surrounded by future Cobbers

It takes a special kind of person to brave the Fargo-Moorhead winters. One must show a great deal of commitment to the area. Tom '68 and Mary Lidahl show commitment to their hometown of Plentywood, Montana, their winter home in Fargo, and to Concordia College.

Tom specifically remembers the influence Concordia's science program had on his entire life during and after his time as a student.

"I'm confident that coming from Concordia played a big role in my being accepted into dental school after three years of undergraduate study," says Tom about the sciences.

Early on in his time at Concordia, Tom was introduced to Dr. Gustav Dinga, a pre-dental advisor. Tom vividly remembers the chemistry professor's voice and enthusiasm. On the first day of class Dr. Dinga said, "Here at Concordia, science and faith don't have to be in conflict."

Faith has always been an important aspect of Tom's life, and finding an encouraging mentor in both science and faith had an incredibly positive effect on him.

Tom left for dental school prior to graduating from Concordia, although he remained determined to become an official Cobber with a degree. After working with advisors on campus and showing his completed credits, Mary surprised him with his diploma on Christmas in 1974. The now official Cobber says, "Concordia prepared me for so much more than science."

"Concordia prepares you for life," Mary adds.

The couple enjoys speaking with prospective students about Concordia's ability to provide for its students. At their local church, the couple started a scholarship fund in 1983 for students who attend colleges of the ELCA. Presently, two students attending Concordia receive the scholarship.

When asked why they give to the college they state, "We love Concordia and its Mission Statement. Our gifts are a way to show our appreciation for all the college has meant to us."

Tom and Mary's two daughters, Lisa and Linn, graduated from Concordia. Mary served two terms on the Board of Regents, and Tom was on the National Alumni Board during the college's Centennial celebration in 1992. Concordia was committed to Tom and Mary during their time as students, and now they return the favor to the current students at Concordia.

Support Future Cobbers

To learn about the many different ways you can show your appreciation for Concordia and help provide a quality education to future students, contact Trina Hall at or 218.299.3445.