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In memory of Henry De Groot

By Dr. John Visser

De Groot

De Groot

On Easter Sunday, March 27, 2005, Henry De Groot, age 88, passed quietly from this life to the next. Armed with an accounting degree, a CPA certificate, an MBA from the University of South Dakota, a couple of decades of business experience, and nine years of business teaching experience (at Sioux Falls College), Henry had started the business administration program at Dordt thirty-six years earlier, in the fall of 1969. From that point until his retirement in 1982, Henry campaigned tirelessly for the importance of offering pre-professional programs like accounting and business administration in the context of a Christian liberal arts education. He noted often that all people are routinely involved in “business” transactions and that a large percentage of the population is called to serve their neighbors via business organizations.

To make sure students received adequate preparation, Henry willingly taught courses in all areas of business, teaching approximately twenty unique courses during his tenure at Dordt. He also stressed the importance of applying “business skills” such as managing, promoting, and accounting to not-for-profit organizations, and requested that the scholarship started in his name by alumni at the time of his retirement give special consideration to students planning on working in not-for-profit organizations.

The seeds of Henry’s early leadership and vision have produced fruit. The business department is now one of the largest departments on campus, and approximately 1,500 alumni serve their Lord and their communities in the United States, Canada, and several other countries.

Preceded in death eighteen months earlier by his wife Arnolda (Ruys), Henry is survived by his three children and their families, David and Dr. Irene De Groot, Ruth and Lewis Marshall, and Janna and Ron Van Driel, eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.