Concordia College President Pamela Jolicoeur died this afternoon after suffering a stroke today at her home.
Jolicoeur, 65, became president of the private Lutheran college in Moorhead, Minn., in 2004.
“It is with deep regret and profound sadness that I share the news that President Jolicoeur passed away this afternoon,” Board of Regents Chairman Ron Offutt said in an email distributed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s news service. “This is a devastating day for all of us in the Concordia community.”
Jolicoeur’s academic career started at California Lutheran University in 1972, where she was a sociology professor. She worked her way up the department and leadership ladder, and became provost in 1996.
“The loss of Dr. Jolecoeur is not only devastating to the Concordia community, but will be felt throughout the Midwest,” a commenter on a Star Tribune story noted. “She was truly a one of a kind and will be greatly missed.”
In a speech at last fall’s homecoming festivities, she singled out the successes of the year:
“First the successful outcome of last spring’s flood fight. I had no idea that it could be done by hand — or rather pairs of hands — filling one sandbag at a time.
“And second Roxana Saberi’s release from prison in Iran. She will receive the NCAA’s Award for Valor at their national convention in January.”
She also spoke about the challenges.
“This is a new day for higher education — one that is unprecedented in the professional lifetimes of anyone who is in a position of leadership today,” she said. “We are in uncharted territory.”