The Rev. Dr. Ray Halm, who served as president of Concordia University, Irvine (CUI), Calif., from 1980 to 1998, died Aug. 4. He was 79.
Halm was born Jan. 26, 1941, in Portland, Ore. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in English and Religion from Concordia College, Seward, Neb., in 1963. He earned a master’s degree in American literature from Ball State University, Muncie, Ind., in 1966, and colloquized into the pastoral ministry at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 1978. He graduated from Pepperdine University, Malibu, Calif., with a doctorate in educational administration in 1987 and received an honorary doctorate from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, the same year.
Halm was the longest-serving president of CUI. Before becoming CUI president, he served congregations and schools in Indiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Minnesota as an LCMS teacher, administrator and pastor. He also served as vice-chairman of the LCMS Board for Higher Education, a member of the LCMS Blue Ribbon Task Force on Missions, and the Synod’s assistant secretary. Most recently, he acted as senior director of Concordia University Education Network (CUEnet) while remaining an active ambassador for CUI.
During his tenure as CUI president, Halm oversaw the building of much of the present campus infrastructure, including the Concordia University Center, the CU Arena, Hallerberg Hall, the Center for Student Leadership and Development, the Performing Arts Annex and the Rodney Grimm Student Union. The Chi Rho residence hall was under construction during his presidency and completed just after his departure.
An obituary posted on the CUI website noted that Halm was “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.”
CUS President Rev. Dr. Dean O. Wenthe said, “The Rev. Dr. Ray Halm served with distinction as the president of Concordia University, Irvine, from 1980 to 1998 and then continued his labors for the church by founding and leading CUEnet, an online program that instructs teachers who desire to be rostered in Lutheran theology and practice. In this role, he enhanced the Lutheran character and identity of numerous classrooms across our parochial school system. His personal warmth, his commitment to the church’s educational mission and his organizational skills benefited and enriched all who were privileged to work with him.”
LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison said, “Dr. Halm’s service to Christ and the church at Concordia, Irvine, and well beyond, has been a tremendous blessing to thousands over many years. That service continued right up to the time the Lord took him to Himself to await the resurrection.”
Halm was preceded in death by his first wife, Darlene, with whom he had two children, Heather (Thomas) Stueve and Shawne (Brian) Moore. He is survived by his second wife, Jean, his children and several grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Posted Aug. 7, 2020