Concordia University Texas is a private, coeducational institution of liberal arts and sciences located in northwest Austin. The university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as an Accelerated Degree Program for part-time students and adult returning students at satellite campuses in San Antonio, Houston, and Fort Worth.
Concordia University Texas is under the auspices of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and is a member of the Concordia University System, the ten-member association of LCMS colleges and universities enrolling a total of 22,000 students nationwide. As a Lutheran university, Concordia's stated mission is to develop Christian leaders.
Concordia was founded in 1926 as Lutheran Concordia College of Texas, a four-year high school that prepared young men for careers in ministry and teaching. The school opened with 26 students on its original site along East Avenue (now Interstate 35) on the then northern outskirts of Austin, Texas. In 1929, a two-story classroom building, later called the Music Building and still later known as College Central, was built.
Concordia was founded by members of Texas's Wendish immigrant community. The original main building, Kilian Hall, is named for the Wend John Kilian, founder of the first Texas Lutheran church associated with the Missouri Synod and leader of a large group of Wends (also called Sorbs) who settled in the Serbin area. Today, between 10 and 15% of Concordia's faculty, staff, and students are of Wendish heritage.
Throughout the 1940s and 1950s many buildings were added to the campus, such as Hirschi Memorial Library in 1949 and Kramer Hall, the college's first fully air-conditioned classroom building, in 1950, but dedicated on February 25, 1951. Also in 1951, Concordia started using a two-year junior college curriculum.
Building developments on campus continued throughout the 1950s and 1960s. The campus built its chapel, named Birkmann Memorial Chapel, in 1952. Texas Hall, which housed dining services and faculty offices was dedicated in 1953. Studtmann Hall, an all-girls dormitory opened in 1955. The first Beto Hall on the Concordia campus was built in 1969 and housed science labs. In the early 21st century, this building was converted into the school's mail services facility.
In 1955 Concordia admitted women as students for the first time and the institution changed its name to Concordia Lutheran College in 1965. In 1969, the four-year high school program was disbanded and Concordia’s curriculum expanded to four years after receiving permission to award Bachelor of Arts degrees in 1980.
Concordia joined the Concordia University System (CUS) in 1993. The CUS represents the ten colleges and universities run by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. In 1995, under the leadership of President Rev. Dr. David Zersen, the name of the institution was changed to Concordia University at Austin. The Accelerated Degree Program (ADP), with sites in Austin, Ft. Worth, Houston, and San Antonio, within the College of Adult Education, was launched in 1995 to offer working adults the opportunity to earn a degree. Harms Hall, a dormitory, opened in January 2000 more than doubling campus resident capacity.The first Graduate program was developed during this period.
In 2002, Dr. Thomas E. Cedel, a former fighter pilot and Colonel in the United States Air Force was named President of the university.
In 2007, Concordia University at Austin changed its name to Concordia University Texas.
In August 2008, Concordia University relocated its primary campus, moving onto over 389 acres (157.4 ha) in Northwest Austin. The city of Austin allowed the demolition of the former campus. A developer bought the space with plans to construct a mixed-use development; however, the developer filed for bankruptcy in 2011.
The new campus was dedicated on October 26, 2008.
In 2005, the Board of Regents approved the relocation of the Concordia University Texas campus. Since its founding the school had occupied a 23-acre (9.3 ha) campus near downtown Austin. The new campus is located in northwest Austin on more than 380 acres (154 ha) of land. Construction began in the spring of 2007, and the new campus opened in September 2008.
The site for Concordia’s new campus is the former Schlumberger Austin Systems Center. The site, formerly an R&D facility, had six buildings connected by covered walkways and encircled by a nature trail. The six buildings, named by letter A-F, while extensively renovated, retained their basic design and features, including solid oak trim, large windows, sky lights, and atria.
Three new structures were built prior to occupation of the new Concordia campus: student housing, a fieldhouse, and a front entry/guard house. In addition to the new structures, 600 additional parking spaces and new roads were built to handle the increased traffic on the campus.
The campus includes a 225-acre (91.1 ha) nature preserve that has wetlands, caves, dense trees, and wildlife, and is home to the Golden-cheeked warbler, a rare species of bird native to Central Texas. A 10-A Federal permit is required and only one other higher education institution carries one. The inclusion of the nature preserve allows Concordia to devote time to urban environmentalism in the Austin community.
The student body at Concordia has grown from 1,075 students in 2002 to more than 2,500 in 2011.
Student Body, Fall 2011
Concordia University Texas offers 22 undergraduate and 2 graduate degrees in majors in the colleges of business, education, liberal arts, and science.
U.S. News & World Report included Concordia University Texas in its 2007 list of “America’s Best Colleges.”
Concordia is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Some of the many clubs and organizations that students participate in are: Concordia Outdoor Ministry, Service-Learning, Missions Club, Communication Club, Student Government & Leadership Association (SGLA), Concordia Youth Ministry Team (CYMT), Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Helping Hands, History Club, Preseminarians of CTX, The Executives(Business Club), Society for Human Resource Management, Psychology Book Club, Kinesiology Club, Financial Management Association, Education Club, Directors of Christian Education Club, Biology Club, Behavioral Sciences Club, Association of Computing Machinery, Academic Advising Consultants, Model Organization of American States (MOAS), Moot Court, and the Spirit Squad. The school newspaper, "The Mullet," was first published in 2006 and has been circulating ever since.
The Concordia mascot is the Tornados and the school colors are purple and gold. Concordia's intercollegiate athletic teams participate in NCAA Division III competition within the American Southwest Conference. They do not award athletic scholarships per Division III rules. The athletic programs at Concordia are: baseball, softball, men's basketball, women's basketball, cross country, golf, men's soccer, women's soccer, track and field, volleyball, and athletic training.
In spring 2011, "Purple Out" events were started to encourage students, staff, and the community to support athletics. On designated "Purple Out" days, everyone is encouraged to wear purple and those attending a sporting event receive purple "Tornado Towels".
In 2011-2012, Concordia Texas experienced its most successful year athletically. This was accomplished by winning ASC Championships in Women's Cross Country, Women's Basketball, and Men's Baseball (second consecutive championship).
There were four athletic facilities on the old campus and one off-campus. On Campus: Fascholz-Keller Field (baseball), Bartholomew Park (softball), Pharr Tennis Center, Woltman Gymnasium. Off-campus: St. Francis School (soccer). Currently, men's and women's soccer play at St. Stephen's Episcopal School. Recently, the Concordia University soccer teams have been seen playing at Monroe Stadium at nearby Vandegrift High school.
In the 2011-2012 season, the Concordia University Texas' women's basketball team won the American Southwest Conference.
The Concordia Men's basketball team has been coached by Stanley Bonewitz Jr. since 2004. He is a former Texas Tech basketball standout. As a player, he was named Texas "Mr. Basketball" in 1995  His father, Stanley Bonewitz Sr., recently retired as a state-championship winning coach at East Central High School in San Antonio.
The Concordia Men's baseball team is coached by former major leaguer Tommy Boggs. Coach Boggs led the team to victory in 2011 as the ASC Conference Champions, and later to the NCAA championship tournament where they fell two games short of advancing to the College World Series. In 2012, the team recorded its best record ever and swept the ASC conference tournament to win the Conference title outright for a second consecutive year. Prior to Boggs' tenture, Mike Gardner was head coach since 1998. He retired at the end of the 2009 season as the winningest coach in school baseball history. Tornado field debuted on the new campus in February 2011 and was dedicated in April 2011. It is home to Tornado Baseball.
Chris Randle became the first student athlete from Concordia to qualify for the NCAA track and field championship tournament. His 6-foot-7-inch (201 cm) high jump earned him a 6th place finish in the tournament. Randle's participation marked the first time in school history that Concordia was represented at the NCAA Division III Championships in two sports during the same academic year, as the baseball team won the ASC title and won two games over nationally-ranked opponents – Linfield and Redlands – at the West Regional.
In 2009 Concordia inducted its first ever Hall of Fame class, including the 2002 baseball team that played for the NCAA Division III College World Series and Atlanta Braves reliever Scott Linebrink.
In 2011 3 more members were inducted: Kenneth DeBord '02, basketball; Lisa Hintz '88, volleyball & basketball; and Linda Lowery, who served stints as the Athletic Director, volleyball coach and men's and women's golf coach from 1980-2008.