In celebration of Dr. Shirley Morgenthaler’s 80th birthday and her legacy to the community, the Center for Gerontology at Concordia-Chicago is proud to launch the inaugural “Morgenthaler Mile.” The one-mile walk will kick off at 9:00 am on Saturday, September 1, 2018 at the athletic track of Concordia-Chicago, located at 7400 Augusta Street in River Forest, Illinois. Donations will support the Healthy Aging Initiative, a newly launched outreach of Concordia-Chicago’s Center for Gerontology. [Donate here.]
Members of the Concordia-Chicago community and public are invited to attend and participate by walking with Dr. Morgenthaler, cheering her on from the bleachers as she leads the walkers around the track, dancing to the music, or donating to the support of the Healthy Aging Initiative.
The Morgenthaler Mile represents a triumph of dedication and will, as Dr. Morgenthaler faces not only the challenges of aging but the lifelong physical effects of spina bifida. She recently underwent her sixth spinal surgery and is working with a physical therapist to achieve her personal goal of completing the “Morgenthaler Mile” with friends and family while benefitting a cause in which she believes.
“This one-mile walk is my own, personal healthy aging celebration,” said Dr. Morgenthaler. “I’ll be walking and thanking God for the strength and determination I’ve been granted that’s brought my body out of weakness and pain into strength and stability.”
Dr. Shirley Morgenthaler joined the faculty of Concordia University Chicago 1974. She is founder of the University’s undergraduate and graduate programs in early childhood education, its Early Childhood Center, the annual Early Childhood Conference, and numerous research projects. Dr. Morgenthaler earned her teaching degree in 1959 from Concordia Teachers College, Concordia-Chicago’s predecessor institution. She went on to earn an MSEd from the National College of Education and a PhD from the Erikson Institute for Early Education and Loyola University Chicago. Her career and ministry as a preschool and elementary teacher in Chicago-area Lutheran schools spanned 31 years. She is author of the book, Right from the Start: A New Parents’ Guide to Child Faith Development.
“Dr. Morgenthaler’s persistence and hard work have shaped the field of early childhood education at Concordia-Chicago, across the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, and beyond,” reflected Dr. John Holton, director of Concordia-Chicago’s Center for Gerontology and visiting associate professor of gerontology. “We are inspired by her lifelong model of service and inquiry, and, in recent years, her commitment to promoting healthy aging.”
Attendees are encouraged to bring a water bottle and a power bar. Because of the afternoon football game, parking will be limited. Please use the campus map to plan ahead.