In 1972 Dr. C. Alan Myers started the College Racquet Club on the campus of Concordia College. Over the next eleven years he and his wife Justine became fixtures on the campus. They were involved in many activities that influenced and affected the Concordia community in positive ways.
Al was the Director of Tennis, running the Tennis Center and coaching the teams. He was the Assistant to the President on special energy projects, he sang in the choir and played the oboe. During this time he also earned his Doctorate in Chemical Engineering from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and was involved in a multitude of other things.
Justine, Al’s wife, worked in the Advancement Department. She was also in the choir, played bells and volunteered in many areas. Justine and Al opened their home to the teams, faculty and staff for many social events celebrating team successes as well as Homecoming Weekend activities. They were generous to a fault and loved by all who knew them.
During those years a young lady by the name of Barbara Schmidt was in the junior program at the CRC and went on to attend Concordia College, on Al’s strong recommendation. She played tennis for Al and his assistant coach Neil Tarangioli. She also worked at the CRC and became very close friends with Al & Justine, who also happened to be neighbors of her family in Bronxville Manor.
On December 13, 1983 Concordia College suffered a tremendous loss when Al and Justine were tragically killed in a plane crash.
At the time of Al and Justine’s death Barb was housesitting for them, taking care of their beloved dog Sam. She helped the Meyers family by remaining in the house and taking care of Sam until the estate was settled. Al’s family was so thankful that they asked Barb to select something of Al and Justine’s in appreciation. She selected a painting that Al and Justine had on their mantel, knowing that Al had given tennis lessons to a local artist so that Justine could select the painting. Today that painting sits above the mantel in Mora’s home in White Plains!
Al and Justine left a lasting mark on the Concordia Campus. Al’s father Clarence and his three remaining children, Camille, Melanie and John decided to set up a fund which would make a mark on the lives of future students who made a positive impact on the Concordia Campus. They set up an award called the “Good Shepherd Award.” It is a financial award given annually to a student chosen by a committee that includes the President, the Provost, the Dean of Student Life, and two generous donors. This award is given annually for Christian stewardship and the best use of one’s talents for the benefit of the Concordia College Community. It is a prestigious award.
Fast forward 36 years. Barb’s daughter Caroline is about to graduate from Concordia College with a degree in Social Work. Caroline, who was born with some challenges that affected her balance and coordination, entered Concordia College in the Fall of 2015, knowing that the small size and close knit community would meet her needs. During her four years at Concordia, she flourished as a member of the Orientation Committee, a Student Ambassador, Student Government Secretary, President of the Psychology Club, and an Academic Mentor. She ran Varsity Cross Country, constantly testing her limits and always trying things out of her comfort zone. In the Fall of 2018 she received Alice Griessal Award for college volunteer service.
Caroline, despite her challenges, was involved in multiple activities across the Campus. She was a great Christian steward of her talents and she was selected as the 2019 Good Shepherd Award winner. Barb was in attendance at the Student Awards Ceremony with Caroline in order to present the “Howard J. Schmidt Prize in Teacher Education” in honor of her father and Caroline’s grandfather. She was beyond shocked when Caroline’s name was called as the winner of the Good Shepherd Award ….but her face was beaming with a giant smile of pride at her daughter’s accomplishments.
Al, Justine & Clarence and the Meyers Family would agree that Caroline is a perfect person for this award!
Congratulations to Caroline and the Mora Family!