The Voice: Spring 2003

The Voice

Campus Capsules

Seniors pass CPA exam
Two senior students, Jennifer Vander Plaats and Eric Maas, passed their CPA exam on their first attempt this spring. The national first-time pass rate is between ten and fifteen percent.

Retention is great
With the spring semester underway, Dordt College officials are pleased to announce that the fall-to-spring retention rate at the college has continued an upward trend. This semester 94.6 percent of undergraduate first-semester students returned to complete the 2003 school year at Dordt College. This represents an increase from the 94.2 percent retention rate for the spring 2002 semester and from the previous spring’s retention rate.

The spring enrollment report indicates a student enrollment of 1294 for the semester. The figure was also bolstered by the registration of twice as many transfer and returning students (after time away from college) as the previous year.

Community Service Award presented to Dordt College
Dordt College has been named the business recipient of the 2003 Sioux Center Community Service Award. At an award ceremony, city officials noted that the vitality the college adds to the community is immeasurable, adding, “The city values this relationship highly.”

Dordt College and the City of Sioux Center have collaborated through joint use agreements on many facilities, benefiting both the college and the community. The most recent of these was the All Seasons Center, which, when completed this summer, will provide a swimming pool and ice arena. The Recreation Center and the Campus Center also provide facilities that can be used by the community.

The city also recognized Dordt College for its cooperation with RAGBRAI, the nationally known cross-Iowa bike ride. More than once Dordt has opened its doors for lodging, showers, and entertainment for the 10,000 visitors who began their trek in Sioux Center.

Theater students bring home more awards
From January 21-24, several Dordt students and faculty attended the regional American College Theatre Festival (ACTF) at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Rapids. Representatives for ACTF work year round, seeing college theater productions and then nominating the best work to be represented at the annual festival.

As in years past, Dordt College was well represented at the festival. Elizabeth McPherson, Rebecca Schelhaas, Jonathan Horlings, Ethan Koerner, Rachel Persenaire, and Dan Oldenkamp participated in the Irene Ryan acting competition. In addition, Dordt College walked away from the festival with a number of awards. Junior Mark Jansen won a Meritorious Achievement award for sound design on Nothing Sacred, Eric Van Wyk for scenic art on Nothing Sacred, and Jim Van Ry for set construction.            

According to Simon du Toit, chair of the theatre arts department, “For a college of our size to walk away with three is a big accomplishment.” Du Toit also stresses the importance of Dordt to be represented at the ACTF.

“It’s a very secular environment there,” he says. “Our students are really trying to shine a light in the world of theater.”

KDCR goes international
KDCR, Dordt College’s radio station, is getting exposure internationally thanks to its use of Real Audio, which allows people to listen through the internet. Jim Bolkema, KDCR’s music director, says they originally started using Real Audio to give students’ parents and alumni the opportunity to listen to KDCR even if they lived far away.

Recently, Bolkema was corresponding with a listener and discovered that she was from Munich, Germany. When he asked her how she discovered KDCR, she said that a friend from Belgium had recommended the radio station to her. Bolkema also knows of a person from Australia who has listened to KDCR.

“These people don’t know anything about Dordt College,” he says. “They just stumbled onto us when they were looking for Christian radio.”

Tucker speaks at Spring Convocation
The start of each academic semester is marked with a convocation ceremony on the Dordt College campus. This semester’s speaker was Dr. Ruth Tucker, a professor of missiology at Calvin College. The author of fifteen books, Tucker’s speech drew from her most recent book, Walking Away from Faith: Unraveling the Mystery of Belief and Unbelief. She explored the questions, “Why is it that [many] cannot seem to believe? And why is it that others cannot seem to retain their beliefs, despite valiant efforts?”

Tucker visited classes and spoke with students while she was on campus.