Dordt College News

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August 16, 2010

Campaign giving rate for faculty and staff can’t be beat

Dordt faculty and staff are known for their commitment to their work and to the institution, but this fall they’ve also become known for their participation in the Vision 2020 Campaign.

It’s almost unheard of to have 100 percent participation in an institutional campaign,” says Vice President for Advancement John Baas. Yet, every one of the 169 full-time Dordt College employees can say “I gave at the office.” Their combined gifts totaled $1,588,798.44 and marked the beginning of the public phase of the Vision 2020 Campaign.

Faculty and staff gathered for an hour of fun in early September, during which the results of their contributions to Vision 2020 Campaign were announced and celebrated.“This campaign is about the future of Dordt College,” says Baas.

The funds raised will be used in four ways:

• Scholarships—to increase affordability

• Faculty research resources—to strengthen the academic program

• Facilities—to upgrade art, education, and science facilities as well as campus entrances

• Operational support and endowment—to keep the college financially healthy

But the campaign is about much more.

“It strikes me that we’ve come to a watershed moment in the life of Dordt College,” Baas says. “In its first half century, Dordt was built on the blood, sweat, prayers, and offerings of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people, many of whom never had the opportunity to go to college. Today, we are seeing the torch of responsibility for the well-being of the college passed from the founders to the alumni.”

Dordt’s founders set an example of sacrifice and devotion for those who have benefitted from a Dordt College education. In the future, the college will depend more and more on alumni who are willing to make those same sacrifices. The Vision 2020 Campaign is the first step in that change.

Vision 2020 also sets a new normal for the college. It is the largest campaign to date for Dordt College. Begun in 2005 as the Jubilee Campaign during Dordt’s jubilee year, Vision 2020 is the public and final phase of that campaign and focuses on what lies ahead.

More than $40,000,000 has already been raised from donors who can give large gifts—some of them longtime supporters and founders of the college. But the last $10,000,000 is as important as the first $40,000,000 because these gifts need to come from a greater number of alumni and friends, supporters who will stand with us into the future.

Dordt is growing up in many ways. The campus is developing and maturing. Academic and co-curricular programs are deepening and expanding. Students are learning and living in a context of distinctively Reformed and thoughtfully integrated Christian higher education. Graduates are taking their place in God’s world and building lives of service and significance.

“Our support has always come because of who we are and what we’ve been,” says Baas, “but increasingly it also comes from people seeing who we are and what we can do in the future.” He cites donors who have been inspired by the potential of the agriculture program and donors with no previous connections to the college who have seen Dordt College graduates at work in their communities.

“We do not fully know what God has in store for us in the days to come, but we await and anticipate the continued blessings of the Lord and of the supporters he sends our way,” says Baas.


Dordt College was a safe place to develop your world and life view, your own style of how you were going to live your life and conduct yourself professionally. It offered just enough protection that you developed a sense of confidence in what you knew, what you were able to do, and the gifts God had given you. You found out when you left there just how prepared you were. I forever will owe my parents a debt of gratitude for helping me attend Dordt, encouraging me to go there, and supporting me while there. I’m grateful to the Dordt community for making it possible to have that development built into my DNA.

Bryan Vos (’85) is the Chief Operating Officer of the Wine Group.

Each day I stand on the shoulders of people who came before, who had vision beyond the present. They developed programs from scratch and funded buildings for students yet to come. I see the photographs of these stalwarts in the hallways; I see the faces of students who would not be here without the support of scholarship donors. What if they had not done so? As I stand on their shoulders, I realize that I want to be shoulders too, shoulders for the next stage of this amazing enterprise called Dordt College.

Karen De Mol teaches in the music department.

Christian higher education is not just a ‘fee for service rendered’ enterprise. My financial giving to Dordt is one way that I can help the broader Christian community use and benefit from a Christ centered education experience. Giving is a Body-building exercise!

Gail (Stockmeier, ’74) Jansen operates a private law practice in Tucson, Arizona. Over the years, she has actively participated in the music ministry in her church and served as a board member for a variety of Christian organizations, including Dordt College. Gail is married to Harvey Jansen (’74). Three of their four sons have graduated from Dordt, and one is currently a student.

My favorite experience in biology happened last year on a weekend-long ecology trip. After completing the outdoor prairie lab, Professor De Haan instructed us to spread out across the fifteen acres of space to look at the sunset, the fields, the streams, the flowers, and experience the power of God. It was the most beautiful thirty minutes…to bask in the glory of God’s creation, partake in the stunning sunset, and experience fellowship with the Holy Spirit.”

Sarah Seymour is a senior environmental studies major and a recipient of an Alumni Association scholarship last spring.

The Needs

1. Scholarships

Because Dordt College is a relatively young institution, it does not have a large endowment when compared to older institutions. And most students do not come from wealthy families. The goal of the campaign is to make a Dordt education affordable to anyone who wishes to enroll.

Dr. Tony Jelsma and his students are able to do ongoing research in molecular biology in part because of funds raised through the campaign








2. Faculty Research Resources

Providing opportunities for faculty to engage in current research in their discipline is an important way to strengthen the academic program, retain strong faculty members, and attract good Christian teacher/scholars.The Douglas and Henrietta (Miedema) Ribbens Academic Complex was dedicated last fall, providing better learning opportunities for students.

3. Facilities

Educational institutions need to stay up-to-date. This means keeping facilities and equipment up to current standards to enhance learning and help attract good students.

4. Operational Support and Endowment

To remain a vital and healthy institution, the college needs be on a firm financial footing.


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