By James B. Bunn, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Concordia College
Nov. 18, 2015: On November 16, Dr. Viji D. George announced that he would resign from the presidency of Concordia College–New York, effective June 30, 2016.
"Periodic changes in leadership breathe new vision and direction into the life of an institution," Dr. George said. "After sixteen years in my post, I believe that it is time for a transition. Through careful financial stewardship and thoughtful development of our academic programs, the college is well positioned for a new chapter of leadership. Over the years, we have come to rely on God's favor and the support of friends and alumni. I pray that we can continue to benefit from the same blessings for years to come."
Dr. George was elected Concordia's president in April of 1999, after having served almost 20 years on the faculty as a professor of psychology. During his presidency, the 130-year-old Lutheran college experienced steady growth. Operating revenues grew by 150% and enrollment by 95%.
Under Dr. George's direction, the college received several of the largest gifts and grants in its history, added graduate degree programs, and launched a highly acclaimed nursing program. The college invested strategically in its facilities, including the Krenz Academic Center, a recent $5.6 million state-of-the-art energy savings project, and a newly renovated student center.
Dr. George also spearheaded initiatives that strengthened the ties of the college with the local community through programs like Books & Coffee, the Business Breakfast Series, and Travel & Learn trips to India and elsewhere. He also created student service learning opportunities both domestically and internationally, enabling students to put their faith into action.
"I believe that Concordia is at a very healthy place, and it is time for a new president who can continue our journey from success to significance and serve as a bridge builder between the college and its constituencies," said Dr. George.
Concordia's board of regents undertook the task of selecting a new president and will make a formal announcement of its selection on November 20. "Concordia has a proud heritage. The board and all those associated with Concordia, including faculty and staff, take immense pride in the role Concordia plays in the lives of the students as well as Concordia's place in the community," said Mr. T. Scott Wittman, the board chair.
Dr. George has no immediate career plans. "For now, I am focused on making sure that the presidential transition proceeds smoothly." Dr. George and his family have spent over 35 years in the community. Dr. George's wife, Janet, a Concordia graduate, is director of church and community relations for The Lutheran Care Network. Their elder daughter, Sarah, is vice president, client portfolio manager at Lazard Asset Management, and their younger daughter, Emilie, is a medical student at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.
Concordia is one of ten institutions nationwide making up the Concordia University System of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
Pictured here: Dr. Viji George and Janet George.
Photo courtesy North Callahan, Senior Director of Marketing, Concordia College