Dr. Ray Halm, Concordia's Second President, Called to Glory

Former Concordia University Irvine (CUI) President Ray Halm, 79, was called to glory on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Dr. Ray Halm

Dr. Ray Halm

IRVINE, Calif. (August 5, 2020)—Former Concordia University Irvine (CUI) President Ray Halm, 79, was called to glory on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. Dr. Halm served as Concordia University Irvine’s second president from 1980 to 1998. As Concordia’s longest serving president, his legacy left an indelible mark on the campus and set the young university’s course for growth. Much of the present campus infrastructure was built during his presidency, including the Concordia University Center, the CU Arena, Hallerberg Hall, the Center for Student Leadership and Development (CSLD), the Performing Arts Annex and the Rodney Grimm Student Union. The Chi Rho residence hall was also under construction and completed just after his tenure as president. Dr. Halm was also instrumental in the 1995 agreement with the City of Irvine to update and gain approval for Concordia’s campus master plan, which included the sale of around 30 acres of property that became Concordia East and Concordia West. Proceeds from the property sale paid off the accumulated debt on the first fourteen buildings constructed on campus, relieving CUI of a very heavy capital debt burden.

Dr. Halm’s impact went far beyond the physical campus. His life and ministry left a profound impact on generations of students, church workers, and church leaders. He served on the faculty of Lutheran high schools in Fort Wayne, IN; Seward, NE; and Greendale, WI, prior to becoming principal of Milwaukee Lutheran High School in Milwaukee, WI. Dr. Halm continued his theological studies at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO and served as a pastor before accepting the call as Christ College Irvine’s (now Concordia University Irvine) second president. After leaving CUI, Dr. Halm continued his service to Lutheran education as Senior Director for CUEnet which serves the educational objectives of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and functions as a collective symbol of LCMS higher education.

Concordia alumnus and professor Mark Brighton ’81 recalls President Halm’s influence on the Concordia community: "Ray had a tremendous love for Lutheran Christian education and left an indelible imprint upon Christ College/Concordia University Irvine through his eighteen years of visionary leadership. What is more, he was a dear mentor to hundreds of faculty and students. His love for Christ and his people were exemplary. It was my honor to call him my president and my friend. Thank you, Jesus, for Ray!"

A graduate of Concordia College in Seward, NE, Dr. Halm received a Master’s degree in American Literature from Ball State University in Muncie, IN and received his Colloquy into the pastoral ministry from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO in 1978. He went on to obtain a Doctorate in Administration of Higher Education at Pepperdine University in California in 1987. Dr. Halm served schools and congregations as a teacher, administrator and pastor prior to becoming Concordia’s second president. Dr. Halm’s roles within the LCMS included serving as vice chair of the Board of Higher Education, member of the LCMS Blue Ribbon Task Force on Missions, assistant secretary of the LCMS, authoring the Synod’s Mission Blueprint for the 90s and creating the Western Alliance of the Lutheran high schools. Most recently he acted as Senior Director of CUEnet while remaining an active ambassador for Concordia University Irvine from his home and church congregation in Bend, OR. Dr. Halm was preceded in death by his first wife, Darlene, with whom he had two children, Heather (Halm) Stueve ’88 and Shawne (Halm) Moore ’94. He is survived by his second wife, Jean, both children, and several grandchildren.

Details for a memorial service will follow soon.

About Concordia University Irvine

Concordia University Irvine (CUI) is a non-profit Lutheran Christian liberal arts four-year university that prepares students for their vocations—their calling in life. Concordia offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in education, nursing, theology, business, and athletics administration. CUI’s undergraduate program is distinctive because of its nationally recognized core curriculum, Enduring Questions & Ideas, and its Lutheran heritage that provides a thoughtful and caring Christian community that lives out the theology of "Grace Alone. Faith Alone." 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 university is part of the Concordia University System, the second largest education ministry system in the United States behind the Catholic Church. The NCAA DII private university, which enrolls nearly 4,000 students annually, is a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI).

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