was founded in 1905 in Northeast Portland by German pioneers to the Pacific Northwest. About that same time, Volga German immigrants to Portland began settling the nearby neighborhood called Albina and a thriving community developed. These Volga Germans and their descendants are now scattered throughout the Portland metropolitan area, but Concordia University
remains as a vibrant part of the local community they once called home.
Concordia University - Portland has a special affinity with the Volga German community. Its campus in Northeast Portland is in the neighborhood where Portland's Volga German settlement began in 1882 which eventually grew to over 500 families. Concordia also shares a cultural connection as an organization owned by the historically German Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.
Rationale for creating the Center for Volga German Studies includes the following:
1. Support of the Mission and Vision of Concordia University
Concordia’s mission as a Christian university is to prepare leaders for the transformation of society. A thorough knowledge and understanding of one’s own heritage serves as a secure foothold for strengthening one’s ability to transform the future.
One of CU’s Strategic Vision Elements is to build and hold a strong regional reputation. The collections and publications of the Center for Volga German Studies will continue to strengthen CU’s reputation as a premier Lutheran university in the Pacific Northwest.
Another of CU’s Strategic Vision Elements is to use innovative educational delivery systems in the accomplishment of its goals. Through the clearing-house component of the CVGS, the technologies of the online delivery will be used to provide remote access to many of the resources and personnel expertise of the leaders and staff of the CVGS.
2. Support of Concordia University’s Institutional Objectives
One of CU’s institutional objectives (Faculty Handbook, 0.070) is to participate in community and neighborhood affairs. CU is the neighborhood academic institution with a history almost as long as that of the Volga Germans who settled in the adjoining neighborhood of Albina. Participation in the study of this unique ethnic group will establish CU as a partner in community and neighborhood service at an academic level.