The Voice: Summer 2003
Notes from the alumni office
By: Judy Hagey, Director of Alumni Relations
A few years ago, as the empty nest years appeared on the horizon,
my husband and I decided to spend some of our anticipated free time
sailing. We had sailed during our dating years at a summer camp, but
since then work and family responsibilities have occupied most of our lives. After
a thirty-year hiatus from matching wits with wind and water, some re-learning was
in order. We borrowed books and watched videos. We read Sailing for Dummies.
On a sunny Saturday we made our way to a secluded boat ramp
on a secluded lake to see if our newly-repaired boat was in fact
Rigging completed and a soft breeze at our backs we set off. What
a thrill to be moving across the water with only the wind in
the sails. We gained confidence as we moved across the lake aiming for
different landmarks. But the real test of a sailor comes when he/she heads
back into the wind. The sailor who fails to stay in the zone
quickly finds him or herself in ironsthat precarious position where the boat is
headed directly into the wind, unable to capture the wind in the sails,
and drifting backward, out of control.
Sailing for Dummies insists that every first-time sailor gets caught in ironsand we
did, too. Thanks to a friendly fisherman who towed us away from shore,
we were able to tack back into the wind and make our way
safely back to shore.
The class of 2003 is about to set sail from Dordt College. While
Im far from an expert sailor, our experience provides some teachable moments for
Seize the moment and make the most of opportunities. Ideal sailing conditions dont
come along every dayespecially in Northwest Iowa. When they do, my husband and
I have come to the realization that we need to be willing to
step away from more pressing demands and take advantage of clear skies and
balmy weather. Its easy to get caught up in the spiraling demands of
21st century living. Opportunity may come when you least expect it. Be ready
to change direction and make the most of the opportunities that come your
With apologies to Nikejust do it. We could and probably should have spent
a bit more time studying the principles of sailing. But at some point,
actually hoisting the sails and handling the tiller are the best way to
learn. Experience is an excellent teacher. As new graduates, you may be feeling
like youre not quite ready to step into the workplace; that there are
still some things you need to know. But at this pointwith sixteen years
of formal education behind youits time to do it. Step into the classroom
or the office confident in the knowledge youve gained, but recognize, too, that
at some point you may find yourself in irons. The challenge will be
finding a way to get moving again and having the grace to consider
that, too, a learning experience.
Look for a reliable guide or mentor. From the time we decided to
take up sailing, we sought the advice and counsel of an experienced sailing
friend. He told us what to look for in a boat, loaned us
books, and helped us sort through the tangle of lines and equipment when
we first practiced rigging. While experience is a great teacher, learning from the
successes and failures of others is an equally valuable education. Seek out someone
who is willing to share what theyve learned through trial and error and
to be a listening ear for the challenges you are sure to face.
Few of us make it through life without the sympathetic ear and the
wise counsel of a trusted friend.
As you set sail from Dordt College, my prayer for you is expressed
well in the words of this Irish blessing: May your joys be as
deep as the oceans, your troubles as light as its foam.
And may you find sweet peace of mind, wherever you may roam.
Beginning July 1 the Alumni Guest House is open to campus visitors. The newly renovated home has three guest bedrooms and two baths, a great room, kitchen, dining room and sun room. It is also home to our growing collection of college and alumni memorabilia in the Heritage Room. We still welcome your donations of photos, items, and stories of human and historical interest to Dordt College alumni and friends.
While the house is open to any campus guests, we want to encourage
alumni, parents, youth leaders, and others who have contact with prospective students to
bring those students to campus and be our guest for a night or
two. All alumni are eligible for special rates whether they use one or
two bedrooms, or the whole house. The house is also available to the
campus community for department gatherings, receptions, or committee meetings. Contact the alumni office
to make reservations.
Meet the caretakers
Guests can look forward to a warm welcome from caretakers, Leann (Veenstra) and Lance Nunnikhoven. Leann is a student in the health sciences program. She expects to complete the program and graduate in 2004. Lance (ex04) works at Greenworld in Sioux Center. The basement hasbeen remodeled into an attractive and spacious apartment, providing a home for the caretakers. The Nunnikhovens are looking forward to meeting many alumni and friends of Dordt College.
Preparing for Jubilee
In fifteen months Dordt College will kick off a year-long celebration of fifty years as an institution of Reformed higher education. Jubilee! A wide array of activities are planned under the theme, Its the Perspective: Remembering, Celebrating, and Sharing the Vision.
Our celebration will take place in constituent communities across North America. The highlight
of these events will be a multi-media production featuring the kingdom contributions of
eight alumni while telling the Dordt College story through a series of dramatic
The Grand Finale will take place on campus beginning July 1 and continuing
through Sunday morning worship on July 3, 2005. Mark your calendars now and
plan to join us for this celebration.
In preparing for Jubilee, we want to update our records, so we can
contact everyone who has been part of Dordts history. You can expect to
see the triennial survey in your mailbox soon. Your prompt reply will ensure
that you stay informed about all the campus news, including plans for the
Jubilee celebration. We hope that many of you will also agree to help
in some way with the various events and activities that are plannedcalling your
friends and encouraging them to come, helping to plan an event for your
class, or maybe even getting your old combo together for old times sake.
Thanks to the grant from the Lilly Endowment, we expect to create an on-line community later this fall. An on-line community will give password-secured access to the alumni directory, enabling alumni to keep in direct touch with each other.
We hope many of you will also choose to participate in a second
level of information-sharingmaking your employment information available to alumni and students and
making yourself available for networking, mentoring, and job shadowing. Other features of our
on-line community may include bulletin boards, chat rooms, and other ways to carry
on conversation with colleagues and friends around the world.