John Nunes has made history as the first African American president at Concordia College. On October 22, 2017, the Acton Alumnus and long-time Acton friend was installed as the ninth president of Concordia College-New York. Nunes is the only African American college president serving at an orthodox Christian college in the United States. An ordained pastor in the Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod), Nunes was most recently the Emil and Elfriede Jochum Chair at Valparaiso University and prior to that, he was the president and CEO of Lutheran World Relief, a $40 million-dollar organization that seeks solutions to global poverty and injustice.
Concordia College is ranked 4th for Most International Students and top 5 for Campus Diversity in the North Region according to US News and World Report. Nunes’ installation was a historic event and was treated as such by the many students, faculty, and staff that attended.
The afternoon began with congratulatory praise from many of Nunes’ former colleagues and friends, highlighting the great achievements and friendships that he has built throughout his career. The ceremony concluded with a short talk by Nunes that stressed the importance of Concordia College students, faculty, and staff “being present” – a phrase from the poem, Song of the Open Road, by Walt Whitman. The powerful words shared by Nunes and his friends served as a testimony to both his character and leadership abilities.
Before serving as President and CEO at Lutheran World Relief, Nunes provided consulting support to the Acton Institute as a Research Fellow – writing widely on topics related to urban mission, social theology, and ministry among youth.
The Acton Institute is proud to have played a role in John’s development both intellectually and professionally and we’re thrilled for John as he begins his tenure at Concordia College. My colleagues and I would like to personally congratulate John and his wife Monique as they embark on this new journey.