Archived Voice Articles

Alumni council holds its spring meeting

By Wes Fopma

As I put these thoughts down, I’m wondering if spring will ever arrive in northwest Iowa. I have a feeling we’re going to proceed right to summertime. It’s been an especially cool—and snowy—spring this year.

Wes Fopma

Wes Fopma

Despite the weather, the Alumni Council had a productive meeting in early April. This year we returned to having two meetings of the Alumni Council, and both meetings were well attended. Highlights of the spring meeting include firming up our plans for a fall Alumni Weekend, awarding Alumni Association scholarships to three juniors, and making changes in how we will be awarding the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Alumni Weekend

As noted in the last Voice, Alumni Weekend will be held Friday and Saturday, September 26 and 27. Please put these dates on your calendar. We hope to see many of you then. The weekend will begin with an Alumni Business Connections breakfast, followed by a 5 or 10K run, an outdoor Kid’s Carnival, the Alumni Tailgate Party prior to the football game, and a battle of the bands competition. The highlights of the day will be the second home varsity football game on Saturday afternoon and a concert for the whole family featuring “Dueling Pianos” on Saturday night. We’ll send more detailed information later in the summer.

Alumni Association Scholarships

Each year the Alumni Association awards one $2000 scholarship and two $1500 scholarships to encourage excellence among students in their academic work and to encourage personal and spiritual development. By means of these scholarships, the Alumni Association also demonstrates its strong support of Dordt College’s perspective. To be considered for a Dordt College Alumni Scholarship an applicant must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.25, complete an application form, and have a Dordt College faculty member complete a personal character reference.

After the applicant pool was narrowed to seven candidates, the Alumni Council interviewed the remaining applicants. This task is always one of the Alumni Council’s favorite activities, because it allows them to see and talk firsthand with the best students that Dordt College has to offer. This year the $2000 scholarship was awarded to Lynn Edwards, a psychology major from Cannon Falls, Minnesota. Elaine Hannink, an English major from Modesto, California, and Emily Schoenfelder, a nursing major from Dimock, South Dakota, received the $1500 awards.

In addition to these upperclass scholarships, the admissions office awards nineteen $1000 Alumni Association scholarships to incoming freshmen. Award winners come from each geographic region in which we have an Alumni Council representative. Funds for all alumni association scholarships are raised each spring when student callers contact alumni for contributions to the scholarship fund.

Distinguished Alumni Award

Between 1992 and 2006, the Alumni Association recognized one individual each year with its Distinguished Alumni Award. The recipients distinguished themselves by giving evidence of living out a reformational worldview and by demonstrating exemplary service to the community and the world. But noting that there are so many encouraging stories to tell, the Alumni Council has decided that beginning in 2009, they will recognize one Distinguished Alumni Award winner from each of the three academic divisions of the college. Those divisions are currently humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. You can find a list of the departments under each of these divisions at

The alumni office and Alumni Council would like to thank Rodney Lamfers (’95) of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Faith (Rylaarsdam, ’96) Rietveld of Bellflower, California; Heidi (Visscher, ’88) Sikkema of Bradenton, Florida; Laryn Bakker (’98) of Hyattsville, Maryland; and Elizabeth (Van Oord, ’96) van der Wier of Beamsville, Ontario; for their years of service to the Alumni Council. If you see one of these individuals, please thank him or her as well. We are currently looking for people to replace these retirees in their geographic areas. If you are interested or know someone who may be interested in serving on the Alumni Council please contact me at (712) 722-6028 or at