1990-1999

Women's Literary Societies

Alpha Kappa Chi, 1917-1918Literary societies were once a common feature at Concordia.  Alpha Kappa Chi (AKX) was the first all-female literary society at the college.  Even as its focus shifted from literary pursuits to social events to charitable activities, AKX provided a way for Concordia women to engage with their campus and their community for over eighty years.  Phi Kappa Chi (PKX) was another major women’s society at Concordia College from 1946 to 1969.  Although PKX was relatively short-lived, it provides an interesting look at some of the factors that influenced the rise and fall of women’s (and men’s) societies at Concordia.

Vivian Wensel (1934-2013)

Vivian Wensel was a faculty member of the Concordia physical education program for thirty-five years. She taught over twenty different classes and coached the women’s badminton and golf teams.  Through  her work on campus and in May travel seminars abroad, she provided a positive role model for young female athletes at Concordia.

Barbara Glasrud

Barbara Glasrud, 1984Barbara Glasrud (née Crawford), taught art history at Concordia College for over three decades.  During her time at the college, she shared her enthusiasm for art and culture with many students and was instrumental in building the art program at Concordia.

Coya (Cornelia Gjesdal) Knutson (1912-1996)

Coya Knutson is a Concordia alumna who can serve as an inspiration for women across the United States, and especially from the North Dakota/Minnesota area. She was a strong-minded, independent woman in an era when women were often in the background of their own lives. Knutson was an effective member of Congress; however, her career as a U.S. Representative was unfortunately cut short.  She was defeated in her bid for reelection due to inherent sexism in politics at the time, accomplished through actions by her Democratic-Farmer-Labor party colleagues in collaboration her husband.

Park Region Hall

Park Region HallThe construction of Park Region Hall in the mid-1950s as a women’s dormitory was part of Concordia’s response to increasing post-WWII student enrollment as well as the availability of government loans.  From 1951 to 1955 the college’s enrollment increased by fifty-two percent, with 1354 students registered for the 1955-56 academic year.  In addition to providing a new housing option for students, Park Region Hall experimented with a new form of residence governance that was eventually adopted across campus.  In the twenty-first century the dormitory remains a place to test new ideas.  During the 2016-2017 academic year Park Region was the first Concordia dormitory to offer a sexuality- and gender-inclusive floor.  

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