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Dordt College News

Historical documents posted on Dordt website

June 8, 2005

Cornerstone Ceremony

Fifty years after being sealed in a copper box and covered by brick and mortar, documents detailing the formation of Dordt College are now posted for all to see.

A ceremonial cornerstone opening was conducted at Dordt College on May 13, at which the cornerstone of the first building on campus was removed, allowing access to a time capsule placed within by the founders of the college on May 12, 1955.

Documents retrieved from the cornerstone have been placed in a display case at the entrance to the John and Louise Hulst library, where they will remain until the conclusion of Dordt College’s 50th anniversary Jubilee celebrations on July 3.

But the documents have also been scanned into digital images, allowing anyone interested in the founding of the college to read through them.

Twenty-one documents appear just as they did in 1955, typed or mimeographed on equipment from that era. “Midwest Christian Junior College Newsletters” encourage, cajole and share results of fundraising efforts by town, including the “25 cents a week program.” A blueprint of the proposed first building, diagram of the organizational structure and provisional constitution shed light on some of the early decisions made by founders. Other documents include fundraising letters mailed to potential donors, updates about the search for faculty and a list of courses offered the first year.

In July, the original documents and additional new documents will be placed back into the cornerstone, and it will again be sealed.

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