Viola Eid (1910-1940)

Viola Eid,1932 Concordia graduate with her seeing eye dog A promising scholar and person of faith, Viola Eid accomplished much both as a Concordia student and in the years following her graduation. In addition to her academic achievements, her life serves as inspiration for people dealing with blindness or other disabilities.

Women in WWII

In the midst of World War II Concordia College adapted to wartime restrictions and decreasing enrollment.  Due to the military draft the number of male students enrolled dropped, while the number of females attending the college increased dramatically.  Accordingly, Concordia established programs and courses that allowed and encouraged women to contribute to the war effort.  

Margaret Nordlie (1912-1989)

Margaret NordlieMargaret Nordlie came to Concordia first as a student and then returned to teach classes in library science and work in the library under head librarian Anna Jordahl. In collaboration with Jordahl, Nordlie facilitated the growth of library collections as well as the beginnings of the Concordia College Archives.

Women's League

Women's League, 1936In 1921, a group of faculty women and wives at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota joined together to form a club devoted to both social activities and to raising money for students in financial need. In the almost seventy years that followed, the Concordia Women’s League formed successful student loan and scholarship funds, contributed to several worthwhile campus projects, and developed a long-lasting legacy.

Fjelstad Hall

Fjelstad HallFjelstad Hall was built on Concordia’s campus in the late 1930s as a new women’s dormitory.  One of the most attractive buildings on the college grounds, it provided female students comfortable accommodations and supervision while they were away from home.  Though periodically remodeled and updated, the dormitory was used consistently for female campus housing until 2014.

Clara Duea (1901-1965)

ClaClara Dueara Duea taught music classes and directed musical groups at Concordia for nearly two decades.  In 1927, she established Concordia’s Music Club, which performed and sponsored the first Christmas Concert, a tradition that continues at the college.

Emma Norbryhn (1877-1977)

Emma NorbryhnEmma Norbryhn was a linguistically gifted woman who instructed a variety of language courses at Concordia.  During her lengthy teaching career she introduced new language courses and taught Norse, French, Latin, German, and Greek before retiring in 1948. At her retirement she held the title of longest term of service at the college. Today she is among a handful of Concordia faculty to reach the forty year mark.

Norma Gooden Ostby (1898-1990)

Norma Gooden OstbyNorma Gooden Ostby took charge of Concordia’s dramatic program in 1932.  Initially the theatre was unsupported by a formal budget or theater season; Ostby described the early productions as a “desperate financial enterprise.” In 1938, Ostby revitalized the artistic community of Concordia College by forming the Concordia Theatre, which provided the school with the organization and budget necessary to hold an annual theater season.

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.

Martha Brennun (1894-1961)

Martha BrennunMartha Brennun was a Norse and math instructor at Concordia, who later worked as registrar. Brennun was the salutatorian of the first collegiate class at Concordia. She also helped establish the first literary society at the college.


Subscribe to RSS - 1930-1939