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Concordia Seminary Faculty Confers Special Honor

The Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, faculty selected four individuals to receive special honorary awards and degrees during Commencement exercises on May 16. One award was the Christus Vivit Award, one was the Distinguished Alumnus Award, one was the honorary doctor of letters degree and one was the honorary doctor of divinity degree.

Roger Wehrli received the Christus Vivit Award. A celebrated football player, Wehrli has set many team records and has been inducted into seven Halls of Fame. Wehrli gave strong public witness to his Christian faith in his notable speech at this induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 and demonstrates the character of that faith in service to his church and the community. He has served as a deacon, an usher, a director for the March of Dimes and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a volunteer for the Old Newsboys collection in St. Louis and the Juvenile Diabetes fund drive, a member of the gospel singing group, “One Accord,” among many other contributions. He is a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Des Peres, Mo., where he is a faithful member of several Bible classes, and is now vice president of FormStore Inc., a manufacturer of printed business forms.

Dr. L. Dean Hempelmann received the Distinguished Alumnus Award. He has distinguished himself in a career of over 40 years spent in teaching, educational administration and pastoral ministry. He has served as a parish pastor to Peace Lutheran, Selah, Wash., St. John Evangelical Lutheran, Salem, Ore., and Christ Memorial Lutheran, Affton, Mo. Hempelmann’s service to the church continued at Concordia Seminary where he taught in the department of practical theology and served, at various points, as director of ministerial recruitment, academic dean, director of the doctor of ministry program and acting president. He has also served as president at Concordia Lutheran Seminary in Edmonton, Alberta, as synodical director of pastoral education and as executive director of the Board for Pastoral Education. Additionally, Dr. Hemplemann has shared his knowledge and insights about the church’s concerns through numerous articles and essays, book chapters and as a guest lecturer in Korea, Japan and Australia.

Dr. Carl F. Schalk, distinguished professor of music emeritus at Concordia University, River Forest, Ill., received the honorary degree of doctor of letters. Schalk taught graduate and undergraduate courses in church music from 1965 through 1994 at Concordia University, River Forest, Ill., where he was instrumental in beginning the Master of Church Music program, which has produced approximately 140 graduates serving throughout The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. A lecturer and clinician at many church music workshops and pastoral conferences, Schalk was editor of Church Music (1966-1980) and participated in the preparation of theLutheran Book of Worship. He is a long-time member of the Music Editorial Advisory Committee of Concordia Publishing House and has been active in the Hymn Society of America, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians and Lutheran Church Program, Inc. He has written more than 80 hymn tunes and carols, which have appeared in more than 30 denominational hymnals in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan and Southeast Asia.

Professor Dr. Hartmut Günter, long-time professor at Lutherische Theologische Hochschule in Oberursel, Germany, received the honorary degree of doctor of divinity. Günter has served congregations in Frankfurt, Oberursel and Gross Oesingen. He served as professor of Old and New Testament and academic dean at Oberursel (1960-1996). In the Selbstängdige Evangelische Lutherische Kirche (SELK), Dr. Günther, who received his D.theol. degree from the University of Erlangen, was a member and chairman of the Committee on Theology (1970-1996) and of the Board for Theological Examinations (1975-1995). He played an important role in the unification process of the free Lutheran churches which resulted in the formation of SELK. Günter’s written contributions have been significant in formulating the theological position of SELK. He has addressed theological issues in more than 350 books, book reviews and articles.

For more information, contact Communications, Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105; (314) 505-7374;