Colleagues and former students honored a much-revered faculty member with a financial gift to help endow portions of the forensics program at Concordia.
Described as being “truly a scholarly gentleman,” Allwin Monson ’38 chaired the speech, communication and theatre art department and directed the successful forensics program from 1948 to 1957. Monson retired from the Concordia faculty in 1981 and now lives in Kalispell, Mont.
“Al exemplifies living the balanced life,” says Dr. Paul Dovre ’58, one of Monson’s former students. “He has a high level of personal initiative and self-reliance. As a teacher and speech coach, he insisted that students balance passion with substance in order to be effective, persuasive speakers.”
In 2012, Monson created the Allwin and Dorothy Monson Forensics Excellence Fund and received the Soli Deo Gloria Award by the college. A group of faculty and former students known as the Friends of Al and Dorothy Monson then joined together to supplement Monson’s initial gift to recognize their influence in the lives of students.
“His ardent desire is to ensure that the forensics program continues a tradition of excellence at Concordia,” says his daughter, Joyce Monson Tsongas ’63, who is a member of the Board of Regents.
“As a student, Dad was attracted to forensics because it is a world of interesting ideas with competitive advocacy,” says Tsongas.
The current director of forensics, Dr. Fred Sternhagen ’76, says the Monson endowment will help create more opportunities for students to participate in forensics and travel to national tournaments.
“We are so tremendously grateful for these gifts and we pledge to use them to rigorously pursue excellence,” says Sternhagen.