The Voice: Spring 2002

The Voice

Homecoming 2002

Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra presented an organ recital on the theme 'Improvization in the Church Year' at Homecoming
By Andrew De Young

“Then swell our voices with our throng in ardent, youthful jubilee, and find with friends a Christian joy in camaraderie.”

This line from the Dordt College Alma Mater was the source for Homecoming 2002’s theme: “Celebrating Camaraderie.” As always, there were many activities and events at homecoming for alumni to attend, but even though they appreciated these events, in the end it was the renewed spirit of friendship and community that they enjoyed most.

“I just love the camaraderie,” said Ron Vos, member of the class of ’70 and professor of agriculture at Dordt. Although he is on campus daily and attends events frequently, he still looks forward to homecoming every year. According to Vos, “It’s great to see people who come back. It’s nice to catch up with my old classmates.”

Ray and Kelli (Keller, ’71) Schuttinga, from St. Paul, Minnesota, agree. “This is our first homecoming,” said Kelli, “and it’s really great to be back. It’s just great seeing people that you haven’t seen in a long time.” The Schuttingas have other reasons to be excited, too. Their son Andy just became an alumni board member. Kelli says, “I also used to be on the board. This is the first time that there has been a second generation board member.”

The Distinguished Alumni banquet on Friday kicked off the events. About ninety people joined to honor Lloyd and Vicki Vander Kwaak (’78, ’78), this year’s distinguished alumni. The Vander Kwaaks spoke at the banquet, repeating the message they gave at a special homecoming chapel on Thursday, tracing their journey from Dordt to where they are now. Lloyd is currently president and CEO of the Convalescent Home for Children Network, an institution that helps families with special-needs children. Vicki is a medical social worker and bereavement coordinator at Mercy Hospice in Johnston, Iowa.

After the banquet, alumni could hear Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra (’83) give an organ recital in the B.J. Haan Auditorium.     Later, at the SUB Snack Bar, there was a Dessert Reception where alumni were invited to share their college dating stories. David Netz (’66) and Delmar Vander Zee (’66), two Dordt employees, shared the story of how David met his wife, Phyllis, in their freshman year. Their roommate was dating Phyllis, and had borrowed Delmar’s car to take her to church. After church was over, David and Delmar hurried to the parking lot and hid in the backseat. They were under some blankets, but they were still discovered because they couldn’t keep from laughing. The next semester David and Phyllis started dating. Phyllis was a cheerleader, and David, as a manager of the basketball team, took the cheerleaders to games as part of his job. “Even back then there were advantages to workstudy,” he jokes.

On Saturday, alumni chose from a variety of activities. Some watched the track meet in the Recreation Center, while others saw the Defenders and Lady Defenders play Doane in basketball. When the activity got to be too much, alumni could relax, have some refreshments, and catch up with old friends in the Hospitality Room. Kim and Kathy (Kuiper) Dooyema (’76, ex ’76) from Brookfield, Wisconsin, seemed to appreciate the escape that the Hospitality Room provided. “We’re just relaxing here for a while,” said Kim, “and pretty soon we’re going to go watch our son, Ryan, play basketball.”

On Saturday evening, alumni and their familes had the opportunity to hear Dave and Jody Van Kley perform a program based on a presentation they do in schools.

Whether alums spent their homecoming day going to the games, touring the new campus center, or just catching up with friends, Homecoming 2002 provided an environment of renewed camaraderie for all the alumni who attended.

Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra presented an organ recital on the theme “Improvization in the Church Year” at Homecoming. Ruiter-Feenstra is a professor of music and university organist at Eastern Michigan University. She frequently performs in Sweden and Italy.

Dave and Jody (Krommendyk) Van Kley, both music majors, graduated from Dordt College in 1984. Almost eighteen years later, now successful musicians with years of recording and performing experience, they returned to perform at their alma mater for homecoming. The Van Kleys have developed a school assembly program focusing on character development and values titled “Music that Matters” that they have performed for over 10,000 students since 2000.

On Saturday night, Dave and Jody performed for alumni, students, and local families in the B.J. Haan Auditorium.