Picture this: Concordia before us, before our parents, and before the internet. While Concordia College has a long, rich history, much has changed before everyone’s eyes. From different styles of clothes and new buildings to how we use computers for classwork, there are substantial evolutions.

For the sake of recognizing, celebrating, and getting a good laugh out of some of the ways the college has changed over the years, we dug through Concordia’s digital collection of photographs. Upon finding a handful of windows to the past, it seemed appropriate to give these images a proper update. All of the historical photos have been provided courtesy of the Concordia College Archives.

Dovre Campanile

The image on the left was shot by John Borge ’79 in the 1990s. At first glance, you can see this was taken before the Offutt Concourse was constructed on the south side of campus, the trees are much smaller, the light pole banners were different, and the students are sporting awesome ’90s fashion. In the image on the right, shot in Fall 2020, we see a much quieter campus and students wearing masks shortly before making the transition to online learning.

Aasgaard House

Built in 1916 and purchased by Concordia in 1920, the Aasgaard House has served as the President’s Residence, the Home Management House for the home economics department, and the Communications and Marketing office. Now more than 100 years old, the Aasgaard House lies dormant as a historical landmark on the north side of campus.

Arvegods Sculpture

Commonly known as Ole and Lena, the Arvegods sculpture consists of two abstract figures with a circular base. Located in Founders’ Court west of Old Main, it’s clearly always been a common study and hangout spot for students throughout the years.

Brown and Livedalen Residence Halls

Built in 1947 and currently closed, Brown Hall has one of the most charming courtyards on campus. These two images of students in the archway of Brown with Livedalen in the background were taken the better part of a century apart and are another example of trees taking over campus. You can see the young trees in the background before they canopied the sidewalk.

East Complex/Grant Center

Built in 1968, East Complex encompasses Erickson and Hallett residence halls and formerly a dining center. Now home to the beautiful Offutt School of Business, Grant Center has come a long way over the years. The building also connects to Olson Skyway, which saves students from walking outside in treacherous winter conditions.

Normandy Center

Connected to Livedalen Hall with the Cobber Bookstore in the lower level, the Normandy used to have a short-order diner on campus, similar to The Maize currently in the Knutson Campus Center. After some renovations, it is now the location of the vibrant Center for Student Success. The Normandy has been a staple meeting and study space for students with a bright view of the Brown courtyard.

Carl B. Ylvisaker Library

Built in 1956, the Carl B. is perhaps one of the most common study spots on campus. While the space has changed over the years, the library still stands as the best quiet place to study, get help with your research, and write all of your papers the night before they’re due.


I’ll admit, this one was just for laughs. For the younger generations of Cobbers, yes, the image on the left is how computers used to look. It’s amazing how using technology for learning has changed through the years.

Published January 2021