Skip to main content
Text Resize
Print This
Email This
Request Illustration

Alums Cherish Time Spent at Concordia, Use Donor Advised Fund to Give Back

Alums Cherish Time Spent at Concordia, Use Donor  Advised Fund to Give Back

"Concordia is what got me going–it got me started and then once you get started it's up to you what you do with it," said Brent Lunke '80. "And Concordia gave me a really good start."

Even as a young high school student, Brent knew he wanted an education that would help him remain grounded in his Lutheran faith and keep him focused on academic excellence. Navigating his college search with those criteria in mind, Brent pursued Concordia. Here, he built meaningful relationships with professors and mentors.

"I was a history minor and always liked those classes, and Dr. Drache was my dad's professor and he remembered him while I was a student," Brent said. "Dr. Drache shared an interest in agriculture, so when I started working in the agricultural equipment business, he would quiz me after class."

For Deb Lunke '81, generosity and a passion for Concordia was demonstrated from a young age. As a high school student, her interest was sparked when she noticed that her parents gave to Concordia annually.

"I remember going to a dinner in Memorial Auditorium where my parents were being honored as donors," Deb said. "I didn't fully understand then, but I realized there must be something special about Concordia that my parents dedicated their time, energy and resources to the school."

Brent and Deb's life together began when they met at a Concordia hockey game. Remembering their shared time on campus, they recognize that it was the lifelong friendships they built that left the biggest impact on their life together.

"When I think of my fondest memories, that's what I think of–my freshman floor at Concordia," Deb said. "We just clicked with our freshman roommates right away, and we're both still close friends with them. The good people we met are truly what made the experience what it was. When we think back to our time in college, we both get to laugh and share those memories with the friends we made together."

During his last two years of college, Brent balanced a full-time role at the local John Deere dealership and his studies. Upon graduation, he was offered a full-time position that kick-started what would become an accomplished and fulfilling career.

Seizing opportunities, Brent accepted a transfer to California to continue his work, this time on the corporate side. After eight years, he returned home to the Midwest and, in partnership, bought into a dealership in Warren, Minn., which later expanded to Thief River Falls.

Forty years after his grandfather owned and operated the John Deere dealership in Thief River Falls, Brent bought the dealership and led the company. Brent and Deb raised their family in the same small Minnesota town his dad had grown up in. The Lunkes have been married 41 blessed years and have three kids and four grandkids.

Once it came time to sell their business, their lifelong commitment to others brought them back to Concordia.

"When we sat down and looked at where we wanted to give, we knew we wanted Concordia to be a recipient," Deb said. "It just came down to the fact that we wanted to invest in the young people that Concordia is educating."

After meeting with advisors, Brent and Deb established a donor advised fund. Similar to a charitable savings account, this option allows them to direct funds to causes that are most important to them and grants them the flexibility, convenience and discretion not offered through a private foundation.

"It's worked out very well," Brent said. "If you have a large capital gain, like we had at the sale of the business, a donor advised fund is a nice vehicle for giving. When you donate to the fund, you receive a federal income tax deduction for the amount of the gifts. This is a meaningful investment because it continues to grow and benefit more students over time."

With the costs of college increasing nationwide, the Lunkes knew they could help those who wanted and needed support to get to Concordia.

"The world is different today and Concordia's place in it is more relevant now than it was even 30 years ago," Brent said. "We need students with a liberal arts mindset, who have critical-thinking skills and compassion. The world needs who Concordia is educating now."

Next Steps
  1. If you already have a fund, use our tool Visit Your Fund to connect.
  2. Contact Trina Hall at 218.299.3445 or [email protected] to discuss using your donor advised funds to support Concordia College and our mission.
  3. Seek the advice of your financial or legal advisor.
  4. If you include Concordia College in your plans, please use our legal name and federal tax ID.

Legal name: Concordia College
Address: 901 8th St. S., Moorhead, MN 56562
Federal tax ID number:41-0693977

Create Your Concordia Legacy

Make a lasting impact by making a planned gift through your estate. There are many ways to make a lasting impact by making a planned gift through your estate. Contact Trina Hall at 218.299.3445 or [email protected] today, to learn more.

Print This
Email This
Request Illustration