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TV studio named in honor of founder, beloved teacher

Jan. 29. 2016

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — He created producers, teachers, politicians, artists, and today, he’s inspiring a new generation of students with his legacy.

During a special ceremony tonight, Jan. 29, Will Neumeyer, the founder of the Media Arts Program at Concordia Lutheran High School, was recognized posthumously when the school’s television studio was named in his honor. Neumeyer passed away after a two-year battle with cancer in 2011.

The Will Neumeyer Digital Production Studio will honor the founding of the program as well as the many lives that have been touched since.

“For 20 years, Will Neumeyer was the Media Arts Department at Concordia,” said Nathan Gotsch, current teacher in the program and a former student of Neumeyer. “He built the program from scratch, created multiple new courses, including computer graphics and animation, represented the high school to the community on nearly weekly television broadcasts of ‘Video Voice,’ and above all, established an environment for students to learn and develop their creativity in unique and innovative ways.”

Neumeyer began at Concordia in 1987 to build a media arts program. With no blueprint for a curriculum, he spent a year traveling around the region to various TV stations, production studios and other schools who were also looking to start a program. What developed was an award-winning, student-produced TV program on cable access called “Video Voice,” and a media arts program that inspired many, including alumni who went on to work for companies such as FX, Yahoo!, Disney, Warner Bros, Comedy Central and HGTV.com.

“In addition to the video production skills (Neumeyer) taught, he allowed us to use and develop our creative skills on our own, and to this day I use the confidence I built being on camera in his classes in my professional and political life,” said Indiana Rep. Martin Carbaugh, a 1998 graduate of CLHS. 

“Will Neumeyer was the most passionate and influential teacher — both in life and education — that I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing,” said Joe Harkenrider, Comedy Central digital producer and a 2002 graduate of CLHS. “His dedication to the craft and the special attention he gave me while in the Media Arts Program is the only reason I have excelled in my career in the entertainment industry.” 

The Will Neumeyer Digital Production Studio was officially unveiled during the Nostalgia Night basketball game, which recognized the 25th anniversary of “Video Voice.”

The studio is located within the Martin Fischer Media Arts Center. It was founded from support from Paul Fischer, the father of Martin Fischer, a 1981 Concordia graduate whose animated short films won awards at festivals across the country and were featured on HBO in its early days. Tragically, Martin was killed in an automobile accident in 1984.

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.