Glenn and Kay Hasse of Naples, Fla., and formerly of Edina, Minn., have committed $3 million for student scholarship endowments and needed renovations to the library as part of Concordia Seminary’s Generations Campaign.
A portion — $700,000 — will be invested in endowment funds and the associated income will be used for student scholarships. The remaining $2.3 million represents a challenge to the Seminary: raise the balance needed for the planned library renovations by Jan. 15, 2017.
“Mr. and Mrs. Hasse have a passion for students who will bring Jesus Christ to their congregations, communities and world,” said Dr. Dale A. Meyer, president of the Seminary. “Because of their visionary generosity, the Seminary library will speed the best of theological resources to pastors and missionaries around the world.”
The Seminary’s two-story, 46,000-square foot library, constructed in 1962, is one of the finest theological libraries in the United States and the second largest Lutheran theological library in North America. The library’s collections include treasured original volumes from the Seminary’s founding fathers such as Dr. C.F.W. Walther, first editions of the Book of Concord and J.S. Bach’s personal Bible. The library stands today as a renowned home for more than 270,000 print volumes, a 6,000-volume rare book collection and one of the largest collections of Lutheran Reformation reference materials.
“There’s no greater gift that we can give but to help spread the Word that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world,” said Glenn Hasse, former owner and president of the Lakeville, Minn.-based food packaging company, Ryt-way Industries. “One way to do that is to encourage more people to go into the ministry. We are grateful to provide this gift that will help to update the place where crucial preparation for ministry occurs.”
Kay and Glenn Hasse, members of the Seminary’s National Campaign Council
“The library is the depository of all the great writings and great books that theologians and scholars have produced over the centuries,” Hasse said. “It’s such a benefit to the students and pastors around the world, to have them preserved and available to access, but the library is 54 years old and it needs to be brought up to current standards.”
The Hasses’ support for the library is in memory of their daughter, Kristine, who died in an automobile accident at the age of 17, and is a testament to their deep love for the Seminary and its mission to prepare pastors, deaconesses and other church workers for future generations.
Once the library’s $6 million fundraising goal is met, the library will be named the Kristine Kay Hasse Memorial Library. Kristine was a star high school golfer and a “wonderful and mature girl” who treasured her Lutheran upbringing, her mother said.
“It’s just so extremely important to Glenn and I that we have pastors in our churches in the future, the kind we saw with our own children,” said Kay Hasse. “That’s our hope: to help more people to become ministers and church workers.”
Generations: The Campaign for Concordia Seminary, the largest in the Seminary’s history, launched its public phase in September 2015. It aims to build endowment, increase annual support, and expand library and learning technology initiatives. To date, more than $146 million has been raised toward the $180 million goal.
“The Generations Campaign is going to help ensure that our families for generations to come will have the opportunity to hear the truth of Jesus from pastors who know it and model it in their lives,” said Seminary President Dr. Dale A. Meyer. “Many of us were privileged to grow up in strong congregations.
I want my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren to have that same rich spiritual experience that I have had and you have had. Concordia Seminary is all about the Gospel of Jesus Christ for all people and, now especially, for coming generations.”
Dr. Dale Meyer
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis