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Dordt College News

Dordt College “incredibly blessed” by Vision 2020 fund-raising campaign

January 17, 2012

Launching an ambitious fund-raising campaign just a couple of years before a serious global economic downturn might sound like a recipe for disaster, but for supporters of Dordt College, it was an opportunity to demonstrate their solid commitment.

“I’ll admit to arching an eyebrow or two when I first heard that Dordt College was seeking $50 million for the Beyond Jubilee: Vision 2020 Capital Campaign,” said campaign co-chair Joe Van Tol of Rock Valley,  CEO of Peoples Bank.

But the goal was set at Dordt’s Jubilee: Raise one million dollars for each year Dordt College has been in existence, and set the stage for Dordt’s continuing mission for years to come.

“Some looked at Dordt’s history and thought it was a stretch,” said John Baas, vice president for advancement at Dordt College. “But I thought the goal was achievable. And the response was greater than I could have even hoped.”

In the end, 14,000 supporters contributed, and the final total surprised even true believers: After a seven-year fund-raising campaign spanning some of the most economically challenging years in recent memory, Dordt College exceeded its  goal by millions. The total? $57,334,277.76.

“God’s people came through with true dedication to the work of the sovereign Christ in whose kingdom Dordt College is just one small part,” said President Dr. Carl E. Zylstra. “Our goal was not just to raise money to make this a nicer college. Meeting the campaign goal enables Dordt College to fulfill its mission and make a real difference in God’s kingdom.”

Employees also stepped up to the challenge, with 100% of employees giving gifts to the campaign. “I was particularly gratified to see employee response. Such participation shows that those who work here are deeply committed to the work of God in this place,” Charles Veenstra, communication professor and faculty chair of the campaign.

Money from the campaign has been put to immediate use at the college, and its effects are evident in many areas: New programs have been launched, student scholarships have been increased exponentially, faculty research and scholarship has been supported, and campus development efforts have become evident in new structures such as the Douglas and Henrietta (Miedema) Ribbons Academic Complex and the clocktower. Students are benefitting greatly from almost $12 million for scholarships.

“It is said that God pours out his blessing upon us so that we may in turn be a blessing to others. This campaign has been a powerful reminder of that truth,” said Van Tol.

Some of the funds raised in the campaign will support a three-phase plan to expand and update the Science and Technology Center which is the college’s next big fund-raising priority. With regular enrollment growth in the sciences, new and updated facilities will provide the space and the technology students need.

“As a board, we were amazed by the sacrificial support of a vast community of God’s people committed to ensuring that the mission of Dordt College is extended to our children and grandchildren,” Lloyd VanderKwaak, chair of the Dordt College Board.
 

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