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Called to Glory: Rev. Dr. Martin Schramm, Founding Faculty Member

Called to Glory: Rev. Dr. Martin Schramm, Founding Faculty Member
Rev. Dr. Martin Schramm

Rev. Dr. Martin Schramm

IRVINE, Calif. (February 20, 2022)—The Rev. Dr. Martin Schramm went to sleep in the Lord on February 20 after being diagnosed with terminal cancer last fall.

As one of the “founding five” faculty members, Martin Schramm helped build Concordia University Irvine’s academic foundation, student body, and popular communications program. Schramm was the last of the original five to retire, teaching his final classes in spring 2016.

“Marty was a wonderful, caring colleague and a much-loved mentor and encourager to junior faculty, many of whom he helped recruit to Concordia over the years,” says former CUI president Kurt Krueger. “I consider Martin Schramm a good friend and colleague, whose unshakeable faith in his Lord and Savior provided an example for all who serve, teach and learn at Concordia University Irvine.”

Schramm was known for his quiet, determined persistence and consistent encouragement. Born to an LCMS pastor and his wife, Schramm and family moved from the Midwest to answer a call to Alhambra, California, in 1949. Marty later enrolled at Concordia Teachers College in Seward, Nebraska, prior to receiving a call to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to teach English at Concordia College High School, which was attached to the college. He started a speech and debate team which won thirteen state championships in four years, and coached the cross country and track teams, bringing home a league championship.

While on a trip to California in 1970, Schramm and family visited the site of the proposed Christ College Irvine. In 1973 he met Charles Manske and was soon offered a position as a founding faculty member. He also served as the fledgling college’s first director of admissions, recruiting 36 students the first year. In year two, CCI had eighty students and kept growing.

Schramm did it as he did everything: with single-minded determination. Another of CUIs founding professors, Dr. Shang Ik Moon, says Schramm was “very methodical, very much attending to details, persuasive in his manners and efforts — a trustworthy, no-nonsense person but quietly, in an unassuming kind of way.”

Through his years at Concordia, Schramm also served as Director of Financial Aid, Director of Public Relations, chair for the academic policies committee, and was eventually tasked with establishing a communications major. He served as chair of the Humanities and Fine Arts Division for many years. During that time, he completed theological training at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis Missouri and was ordained into the pastoral ministry of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (1983). He earned a PhD in Communication from the University of Southern California in 1993.

“In every role he played at Christ College and at Concordia University, Marty exhibited the characteristics of a servant leader,” says Krueger. “Always humble, always helpful, always persistent, Marty never looked for recognition or praise but took great satisfaction in knowing that he was part of a Christian community that God was blessing for His purposes.”

Service of Joy and Thanksgiving
Saturday, April 2, at 2:00 pm
CU Center for Worship & the Performing Arts
Concordia University Irvine
1530 Concordia West, Irvine, CA 92612

Please join us as we celebrate God's Grace and Mercy in the life and eternal life of Rev. Dr. Martin Schramm. Reception to follow the service at Concordia University Irvine. Your RSVP is appreciated so we can properly prepare.

Memorial Gifts
Gifts in memory of Dr. Schramm may be directed to the Dr. Martin & Conni Schramm Scholarship Endowment.

Give securely online at and select Martin Schramm Endowment in the dropdown menu, or make checks payable to Concordia University Irvine (with Schramm Endowment in the memo), mailed to: University Advancement, Concordia University Irvine, 1530 Concordia West, Irvine, CA 92612.

About Concordia University Irvine

Concordia University Irvine (CUI) is a non-profit Christian liberal arts university governed by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). Preparing students for their vocations—their callings in life—Concordia offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs through its six schools—Arts & Sciences, Business & Economics, Christ College, Education, Health & Human Sciences, and the Townsend Institute. Nationally, its undergraduate core curriculum program, Enduring Questions & Ideas, has earned public recognition. Concordia is a U.S. News Top Tier Regional University and has been named by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the fastest-growing private nonprofit master's institutions. The only NCAA DII university in Orange County, Concordia enrolls about 4,000 students annually and is a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI).

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