THE VOICE

Archived Voice Articles

German blacksmith creates lasting tribute to Dordt College

The hammered copper seal was created by Eberhard Mueller of Germany with only a chisel and hammer.

The hammered copper seal was created by Eberhard Mueller of Germany with only a chisel and hammer. "If you make a mistake, you can't erase it," says his daughter, Rikki, who graduated from Dordt College last spring. Her father, a former blacksmith,

Eberhard Mueller doesn’t speak English, but he found a way to say “thank-you.” A German blacksmith forced into early retirement by cancer, Eberhard was one of the proud parents in the audience at Dordt College’s May commencement ceremony. Though he didn’t understand a word that was being said, he knew that his daughter, Ulrike (Rikki), had been received with open arms and hearts at Dordt College, and he was searching for a way to say thank-you.

Glancing down at his program, Mueller noted the Dordt College seal, and a plan was born. After the ceremony, he contacted the college’s public relations department and was able to get a more detailed copy of the college seal. Upon his return to Werneuchen, Germany, Eberhard began creating a hammered copper replica to present to those who had made Rikki’s American education possible.

A formal presentation of the large copper medallion was made to the college on August 19, with Rikki offering the gift to President Carl Zylstra and the executive committee of the college’s board of trustees. Rikki said the hammered copper piece was created with only a chisel and hammer, and that her father devoted about three weeks to the project.