Archived Voice Articles
Join us in dreaming dreams
By Dr. Carl E. Zylstra
Dr. Carl E. Zylstra
If the old men don’t dream dreams, the young men won’t see visions either.” That was one of Dordt College’s founding president B.J. Haan’s favorite sayings. Paraphrasing the prophecy of Joel quoted again by the Apostle Peter at Pentecost, Reverend Haan would insist that it was the responsibility of the older generations in the Christian community to dream great dreams of service. For only then, he believed, would the emerging generation (that we aim to educate in our college) catch the vision of comprehensive covenant living in service to God’s coming kingdom.
Throughout this Jubilee year we’ve been reflecting on how many of those dreams, by God’s grace, have been fulfilled. And we’ve been recognizing and honoring those 13,000 alums who caught the vision of living every moment of their lives in service to the Lord and have fanned out across the world to claim every square they can find in his name.
And so for fifty years this life cycle of God’s covenant people has been progressing. In fact, by now many of those who first caught the vision as students in this college have returned to take their place as the dreamers for the future of this college. By now twenty-seven of our faculty and sixteen of our trustees are alums of Dordt College—including the last four chairs of the board. In this Jubilee year we remember and celebrate the fact that President Haan’s saying is still a reality today.
Regular readers of the Voice know that we have adopted a new strategic plan for the college. As we move forward, Dordt College has committed itself to
- maintaining its pervasively Reformed character,
- strengthening the reformational excellence of its key academic offerings,
- expanding its presence across North America and beyond, and
- building a solid financial infrastructure that can sustain its efforts for the decades to come.
In our plan, we have laid out several key initiatives and a host of smaller efforts that we believe will accomplish these four goals as we try to implement those dreams on our campus today.
But President Haan’s maxim is a reminder that these dreams can’t be just the product of those who are employed by the college here in Sioux Center. That’s why, as part of our strategic planning process, we sent teams across North America to capture the dreams of those who love and support the mission of this college.
Yet, our Jubilee Weekend on July 1-3 will provide an unprecedented opportunity for us to gather dreams from across our alumni and constituency. It will be a great opportunity for us not only to reminisce about the past but also to dream about the future. For if Dordt College is truly to remain a seed bed that nurtures biblical vision among its new graduates, we also will have to continue cultivating the dreams of those who have gone before.
Our celebration this summer can be more than a remembrance of past glories. As we enjoy remembering the past, we also need to celebrate what we believe God will do in and through Dordt College in the decades to come. It will be exciting to look around campus and reflect on how far we've come. Yet perhaps our greatest thrill can come when we gather by the hundreds in the middle of the campus and dream of the day when this 110 acres will be a vital nerve center of an educational network that has spread its presence across the continent and around the world through methods and technologies we are just now only beginning to understand.
So when you come to campus this July, be sure to bring your dreams along. Who knows but that, once we put our dreams together, the Spirit of God will also spark the vision, not only in the present generation of students—but also for generations yet to come. All so that his Kingdom will prosper and our college motto will still be true—Soli Deo Gloria—all glory be to God alone.