President Emeritus Dr. Dale A. Meyer’s much-anticipated portrait was unveiled today in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus. Commissioned in honor of Meyer’s service as Concordia Seminary, St. Louis’ president, the oil portrait was painted by artist Joseph Q. Daily, and will be added to the wall of Seminary presidents currently on display in the Presidents Room in Pritzlaff Hall.
Faculty, staff and students who were in attendance at the unveiling gave Meyer a standing ovation after a black drape was removed from the portrait. The presentation also was live-streamed at csl.edu/live.
“Go in the Presidents Room today and you’ll see portraits of men beginning with C.F.W. Walther [the Seminary’s first president] all the way to Dr. John Johnson [the Seminary’s ninth president],” said Rev. Todd Peperkorn, chairman of the Seminary’s Board of Regents. “Today, we continue that tradition. It’s a great privilege and honor to unveil this portrait today.”
Meyer retired June 30, 2020. He was first named interim president by the Seminary’s Board of Regents in November 2004 before being elected president in May 2005. He is only the 10th president since the Seminary’s founding in 1839.
Meyer’s portrait was commissioned soon after he announced his retirement and Daily was selected as the artist. Daily studied painting at the School of Visual Arts in New York, where he was awarded the Silas H. Rhodes Scholarship. He has exhibited portraits at the Society of Illustrators in New York City, the Main Line Art Center and the Woodmere Art Museum in Pennsylvania.
Featured in the portrait is Luther Tower, the beautiful campus grounds and the Meyers’ beloved golden retriever Ferdie, who died in 2019.
Meyer said that during his presidential tenure, every day he would look up and see the “majesty and weight” of Luther Tower, symbolizing the Seminary’s important mission.
Meyer offered special thanks to his wife, Diane, who selflessly worked to beautify the Seminary grounds, creating a welcoming, peaceful respite for the Seminary community and surrounding neighbors alike.
About his faithful golden retriever Ferdie, Meyer said the family pet “never met a stranger — which is the way our Seminary culture should be — the way every graduate should be in ministry.”
“And then there is the son of a milkman,” he said, referring to himself. “When you look closely, you’ll see a very wry smile on his face, an idea that’s about to pop out. Love God and love people. That’s the culture of the Seminary, and it should be the culture of the church. God is going to put in front of us the people to whom He wants us to be His agent of love and hope. When you look at this portrait and see the wry smile, you’ll know that he’s ready to tell you something: ‘It is a great time to be the church, and it is a great time to be at Concordia Seminary!’”
Also during the service, Director of Music Arts Dr. James F. Marriott led a number of instrumentalists in playing a hymn he wrote in honor of Meyer called “For Such A Time.” The hymn’s first stanza emphasizes Meyer’s most common refrain during his presidency: “For such a time, it’s great to be the church of God in Christ / Cherished children called to lives of faith, the Gospel’s living voice. True messengers of beauty, royal priests, a joyful throng, / Amidst a world whose cold love makes faith the hopeful song / Of this, the time to be the church of God in Jesus Christ, One in body, one in Spirit, in witness, and in life.”
Video of the chapel service and unveiling of Meyer’s portrait is available on csl.edu/live.
About Concordia Seminary
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis provides Gospel-centered graduate-level theological education for pastors, missionaries, deaconesses, scholars and other leaders in the name of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). To learn more, visit csl.edu.