Chapter 6 -- The Fifties - A Time of Change
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Looking Back on the 1950's
The title of this chapter is "A Time of Change." The 1950's certainly were that.
The college underwent major changes during the decade. College buildings and facilities were added. Faculty numbers were increased to service the expanding enrollment numbers. A change in the administration of the college took place as Dr. J. L. Knutson replaced Dr. J. N. Brown as President.
Change was also very evident in the athletic program. One of the most striking was in the coaching personnel. During the decade there were 22 coaching changes in all the sports offered by the college.
Concordia teams were successful during the fifties. Football teams won two MIAC championships; the track team captured two titles and the baseball team garnered two Steve Gorman League championships.
Basketball suffered in the early and mid-fifties, but by the end of the decade was competitive again under the leadership of Coach Gulsvig. Hockey continued to improve.
The spring sports made major strides, especially baseball and track. The golf and tennis teams were also gaining more and more respect by their opponents.
Two new sports arrived on the scene. Gymnastics and wrestling got their starts during this time. Gymnastics struggled due to lack of numbers because of the few high schools that offered gymnastics.
Wrestling continued to improve each year. A second place finish in the MIAC and a conference MVP wrestler were highlights during these years.
Perhaps the biggest change was the completion of the Memorial Auditorium-Fieldhouse. Now the Cobbers had a home for many of its activities. This was a boon not only to the athletic program but to the entire college as well. The fieldhouse became an important cultural center for the college, the community and the surrounding region as well.
During the early fifties many veterans were a part of the athletic teams
but by the end of the decade, most vets had graduated and the Concordia
teams were now back to the more normal kind of student.
1. Concordian, February 11, 1951.
2. Concordian, April 4, 1952.
3. Concordian, October 17, 1952.
4. John Groven, Concordian, October 17, 1952.
5. Concordian, October 17, 1952.
6. Concordian, September 23, 1953.
7. Dick Whitaker, Concordian, January 24, 1958.
8. Concordian, March 25, 1959.
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