Established on 10.31.2021 by the Thorson Family †
A native of Hendrum, MN, and gifted athlete, Wayne Thorson attended Concordia College after serving in WWII and quickly became a star on the men’s basketball team. A flashy guard, he would be credited with the first behind-the-back pass in Cobber basketball history – a memory that his Coach Jake Christianson, and teammate Finn Grinaker, would often recall. Wayne would make lifelong friends at Concordia but after his marriage to wife, Beverly, a lack of financial resources would cause him to leave school early in order to go to work. In business, he would display the same discipline and competitive spirit that had made him a great athlete. His drive and business acumen would lead him to become the owner of a highly successful road construction business located in Bemidji, MN.
Wayne served on numerous boards but his connections to Concordia and to the community of Bemidji led him to accept positions on the Concordia College Board of Regents and the Concordia Language Villages (CLV) Advisory Board. Here his relationships would continue to grow. His in-kind donations of materials and labor to CLV enabled many roads to be built at the villages and the main road to be named in his and Beverly’s honor – Thorsonveien. In 2010, the Thorsons became a lead donor in the “Update the Jake” renovation of the outdoor athletic facilities and the Thorson Athletic Complex.
Wayne and Beverly were philanthropic but always understood the value of motivating others to be as well. It is in this regard that at Wayne’s passing, a gift was made to Concordia College that not only established the Thorson Family Endowed Scholarship but also provided $450,000 to be used as matching funds to inspire others to create and build their own endowed scholarships.
We stand on the shoulders of the giants who went before us and Concordia has been blessed to have had Wayne and Beverly Thorson be among those giants. Soli Deo Gloria!