The Voice: Summer 2002

The Voice

A note to the committee following a meeting on financial aid....

By Jeremy Hummel

As I was walking with a friend to a meeting recently, we were discussing financial aid at Dordt College. We noted how we would both find it difficult to attend Dordt if it were not for the generous aid we have been given. So I want to offer a word of encouragement.

Dordt costs money. Dordt costs a sizable amount of money. There is no debating this. However, I feel that Dordt has also provided me with a number of things of incredible value.

As a student of agriculture here at Dordt, I have seen my knowledge of agricultural systems and operations increase over my years of attendance. I have taken ideas back home where my dad has actually made use of a few. (And my dad has a good thirty-five years of experience behind him.) I feel that next year, when I’ve finished my program of study here, I will have the general skills and knowledge I need to pursue a “successful” career in agriculture.

But knowledge itself is not the only thing I’ve been provided with at Dordt. I’ve heard about worldview in philosophy, theology, and agriculture classes. I’ve had “stewardship” and “creational mandate” beaten against my head more times that I can recount. And it has gotten to me. Perhaps God called me to Dordt three years ago so that he could influence my thinking rather than merely give me data. I could have gone to the University of Lethbridge for that. Instead, I ended up here, in Agroecology class with [Dr. Robb] De Haan emphasizing our need to care for creation in our agricultural work. My choice to come here also resulted in [Dr. Duane] Bajema becoming one of my profs, with his insistence that we, with our Christian beliefs and understandings, are the leaders of tomorrow’s America or Canada. And I’ve come to understand what it means that I work in agriculture for God’s glory—that I do all things under the canopy of my faith in him.

It does not end there. I have developed relationships that will influence me for the rest of my life. Those friends have grown very close to my heart, and their lives—their struggles and their joys—have dramatically influenced who I have become. I am not the same Jeremy Hummel that stepped out of an old $10 Chevy in Sioux Center, Iowa, nearly three years ago. It hasn’t been only the relationships with my peers that have influenced me. There is something about the faculty and staff here—an openness, an honesty, a person-ness—that has allowed me to develop strong relationships with a few of them. And even those that I had for perhaps only one class maintain a relationship of interest and concern. They truly have modeled for me the very worldview ideals they teach.

What is the point of all this? I would not be who I am today if I had attended the University of Lethbridge or some other local institution. I would not think the way I do; I would not believe the things I do; I would not know and love the people I do. Dordt has certainly not made me who I am, but it has contributed.

And Dordt’s aid has contributed to getting me here. While it does cost to attend, I have gained benefits I never dreamed of when I wrote out that first cheque. I don’t know about my fellow Canadians, but for me, what I have gained at Dordt has been worth every penny.

I’m no expert on economics, but my financial aid of about $3000 is a good wad of change. For my quality education Dordt has contributed a great deal, and it is understandable that I contribute my share as well. Whether my package includes $3000 next year or nothing at all, I will continue here because I have come to believe in what Dordt really offers—not a chance at “success” in a career, but an aid in real success from day to day and in all of life. I pray that neither I nor this college forget that crucial element of this education.