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The Rev. Dr. John Arthur Nunes: Breaking Boundaries at Concordia College PDF Print Email


By Susan Miele   

Mar. 27, 2019:  Since The Rev. Dr. John Arthur Nunes’s arrival at Concordia College in 2016, the college has added new offerings, received accolades, and experienced an increase in enrollment. The college’s ninth president credits his predecessors with having helped to establish Concordia’s solid positioning. But Nunes himself brings a great deal to the table, both in terms of his professional experience and his vision for the school’s future

Prior to assuming the Concordia helm, Nunes had worked in inner-city development and international relief, from which he gained both urban and global perspectives. While suburban Bronxville seems to be an entirely different setting, Nunes characterized his background as having prepared him well for his current position.

“Bronxville is not the stereotypical suburb, and this campus is hardly a stereotypical suburban campus,” he observed. Concordia’s student body is diverse with respect to culture, socioeconomics, and religious beliefs, similar to the population of the greater Bronxville area. Although the school is Lutheran, student faiths range from Lutheran to Orthodox Jewish and Muslim, among others.

While acknowledging that the college’s geographic location is an asset, Nunes also cited Concordia’s diversity as a significant strength. “Because we are small and so diverse, our students do not break into affinity groups.”

Nunes is committed to breaking boundaries and building bridges, with a stated goal of ensuring that the college is “ever more embracing of the world’s rich diversity.” Toward that end, the theme of the current academic year is “Borders and Boundaries,” the interdisciplinary interpretation of which is intended to draw from literature, events, and the arts while focusing on geography, history, culture, gender, class, race, ethnicity, religion, sociology, and politics.

The humanities are another area of emphasis for Nunes, who commented that the humanities serve as human ties that connect us to history and to our complexities as people. It’s been reported that 85% of the jobs that will be available in 2030 don’t exist currently, and Nunes wants Concordia’s students to be prepared. “Humanities humanize us,” he explained. “They prepare students for critical thinking, communication, and the skills they will need to be productive and nimble.” Translating this to college practice, Nunes added, “We want nurses who graduate from here to recognize that humans are people in the image of God. We want our graduating educators to see that education is more than about transmission of information.” Moreover, Concordia students have been increasingly empowered under Nunes’s leadership, having been integrated into committees and boards to allow for a more student-centric institution.

Nunes has stated that a faith-driven institution should emphasize ethics, language, and personal conduct. “A handful of schools are self-consciously Christian in their ethos and character, but too often Christian institutions are falsely regarded as exclusionary,” Nunes explained. “We work hard to define our faith as Christian and welcoming.”

The effort towards community-building remains a priority, and student conscientious of civic responsibility is emphasized. Nunes is proud that complaints from neighbors regarding parking, noise, and any other behavior have dramatically declined. Neighbors are also said to appreciate the school’s investment in its own landscaping, regarded as an enhancement to the neighborhood. Nunes expressed that the degree to which local community members are stakeholders in the campus has exceeded his expectations. He described not only philanthropy but also generous assistance with student job placement. This is especially appreciated, as “small institutions like Concordia are finding it increasingly difficult to compete,” he noted.

Concordia’s campus, Nunes noted, was designed by Edward Lippincott Tilton, the architect who helped design the building that received immigrants on Ellis Island. “Hospitality is baked into the bricks at Concordia College.”

Pictured here: The Rev. Dr. John Arthur Nunes.

Photo courtesy Concordia College


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Bronxville Adult School

About the Bronxville Adult School & Contacts

The Bronxville Adult School is a not-for-profit organization incorporated in 1957 and chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. The School "offers all adults of Bronxville and surrounding communities the opportunity for personal growth through life enhancing skills and provides cultural, intellectual and recreational stimulation at a nominal cost."

The Bronxville Adult School
(914) 793-4435
P.O. Box 334, Bronxville NY 10708

Bronxville Public Library

Bronxville Public Library

The Bronxville Public Library traces its origins back to 1875, when it was a small lending library housed in a room attached to the “Bronxville Model School.” The Library was officially chartered in 1906 and moved into the Village Hall Building. The needs of the library grew with the town and, in 1942, a new standalone building was erected, which is where the Library is today. Over the years, the Library was renovated and expanded to meet the needs of the community.

The Library has wonderful resources for adults and children and offers a comfortable and relaxing environment. The Library also houses a fine art collection, consisting principally of Bronxville painters and sculptors.

The Library offers special events, art exhibitions, and programs for adults, young adults and children.  All events are open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.

The Bronxville Public Library
201 Pondfield Road (Midland Avenue & Pondfield Road)

Concordia College

Concordia College Adult Education

Concordia College was founded in 1881. It is a four-year, co-educational liberal arts college located in Bronxville. Concordia's Accelerated Degree Programs are designed to give you the skills to be competitive in your chosen career or in graduate school. 

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171 White Plains Road
Bronxville, New York 10708

Sarah Lawrence College

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