May 7, 2021
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Concordia Lutheran High School is honoring its alumni for their accomplishments since graduation during the 2021 Commencement ceremony on May 30 at Parkview Field.
Mr. Peter Watson, 1979
Distinguished Alumnus Award
Peter Watson, a 1979 graduate and retired Senior Director in Global Health Outcomes at Eli Lilly & Company, is being recognized with the Distinguished Alumnus Award for his achievements since graduation. The Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest honor given to a Concordia graduate. It recognizes graduates who have demonstrated an ongoing dedication to Christian principles and the church, with both lifetime and personal achievements.
At Eli Lilly & Company, he worked across four different functions of the firm, including engineering, regulatory affairs, medical affairs, and most recently, health economics and outcomes research. He was offered a job with Eli Lilly in February 1984 and progressively worked his way up in the company.
During his career, he decided to return to school to pursue an MBA in Finance at Indiana University in Indianapolis and then switched to an MBA in Operations Management. Halfway through the program, he was given the opportunity to relocate to Puerto Rico to work at the Lilly manufacturing facility. During his time there, he became very involved in the only English-speaking Lutheran Church on the Island, Grace Lutheran, as the church treasurer and where the minister married him and his wife, Kay.
Lilly then promoted him to the Head of the Engineering Department at the Lilly Technology Center in Indianapolis in 1992. When a Manufacturing Supervision role was not opening up, he decided to make an atypical career move and restart as a Senior Associate in International Medical/Regulatory Affairs to register Lilly’s products (FDA) throughout Latin America. During the next three years, he would travel to more than 20 different countries. This bold career move opened doors beyond his wildest dreams.
His next promotion was to Manager of U.S. Regulatory Affairs and Planning. As his leadership responsibilities increased, his opportunities continued to grow. He was then accepted into the two-year Executive Master’s program in Public Health at the University of Michigan which he completed in 2008. After several other job transitions, he moved to his last role in 2012 as Senior Director of Global Health Outcomes-Biomedicines.
He has since spent his retirement with his wife and grandkids, leading Bible studies, and volunteering with the organizations he is passionate about including Citizen 7 Indy and EDGE Mentoring. He is active in coaching and mentoring young professionals through the EDGE Mentor program.
As the Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient, Watson will be speaking at Concordia’s commencement on May 30 at Parkview Field.
Mr. Dean Doerffler, 1973
Distinguished Service Award
Dean Doerffler, a 1973 graduate and retired Athletic Director for Concordia Lutheran High School, is being honored with the Distinguished Service Award because of his dedicated support, activity and service to the ministry of CLHS.
During his years at Concordia, he helped to shape the athletic program with new policies and facilities and continued to serve the school long after his retirement.
As the Head Coach for Concordia, he rewrote playbooks, team manuals, and brought the spread offense to Fort Wayne football. He took the team to the school’s first Sectional (2002 and 2007) and Regional (2002 and 2007) titles. He was named the SAC Coach of the Year in 2001, and won more than 110 games in his coaching career.
In his 18 years as Concordia’s Athletic Director, the high school saw improved athletic facilities, including the renovation of Zollner Stadium, the renaming of the baseball field to Massucci Field, new scoreboards, and improvements to both gyms.
His proudest moment as an Athletic Director was the creation of the Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010, which is quickly nearing 100 members. He was inducted as a member in 2020.
In 2017, a Senior Athletic Award was created in his honor. This award is given annually to a male and female senior athlete or team manager who is a person of highest integrity, has character that is above reproach, is a person who is a Christian servant to everyone they encounter, and a role model others would aspire to emulate. These awardees are kindhearted, generous with their time and talents and are fully dedicated to the mission of Concordia Lutheran High School.
He retired from Concordia in 2017 after 18 years as the Athletic Director (nine of those years as the Football Coach). Since that time, he has returned to the school as a volunteer in the classroom as a substitute teacher and also as the Alumni Golf Outing Coordinator, securing golfers as well as sponsors for the annual event.
Within his church, he serves as a Church Elder, Chairman of the Personnel Committee, and as a member of the Church Lawn Maintenance Team.
He and his wife Barb have three children, Ryan, Jason, and Angie.
Miss Tiffini Grimes, 2001
Neale M. Shank Award
Miss Tiffini Grimes, a 2001 graduate and Deputy Director of Athletics/SWA/Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Alabama, is being awarded the Neale M. Shank Award. The Neale M. Shank Award, named in honor of an alumnus who died while serving in Iraq, honors those younger than 40 who have made significant contributions to their given career, community, church or the high school.
After graduating from Concordia, Grimes attended Purdue University where she received a bachelor’s degree in political science. She then went on to Valparaiso University where she received a master’s degree in sports administration and attended their law school and received a Juris Doctorate Degree.
Grimes was a member of the Alabama staff when they earned their national championship. She was also named one of the top assistant athletic directors in the NCAA. She also has been honored as a Tuscaloosa 40 Under 40, Purdue University Emerging Voice Award, Cosmopolites Fort Wayne 21st Century Professional, Women Leaders in College Sports Nominating Committee Appointment, and U.S. Olympics and Paralympic Committee Athlete Voice and Advocacy Chair.
In her career, she has also worked for the Georgia Tech Athletics Association, Penn State University Athletics Department, and the NCAA National Office.
In her community, she serves with the Bella Mente Foundation, an organization that she helped to establish while in law school; the Alberta Head State Unity Project, a collaborative diversity initiative with the Alabama Athletics Department; and through her church with the after school tutoring program and the soup kitchen meal program.
Concordia Lutheran High School, located at 1601 St. Joe River Drive in Fort Wayne, Ind., was founded in 1935 as a private, co-educational Lutheran high school open to students of all faiths and backgrounds. With Christ at the center, Concordia continues to pursue educational excellence that equips individuals for lifelong learning and service as disciples of Jesus Christ. Learn more at www.clhscadets.com.