Andreas was benefactor to many
Those who knew Lowell Andreas say he was a quiet, gentle, unassuming man, a devoted Christian, and well-loved by his family.
Andreas was born in Lisbon, Iowa, in 1922. He attended the University of Iowa, where he majored in philosophy, and then served in the U.S. Army during World War II. After an honorable discharge, he returned to the family turkey feed business and became a loss adjuster for the family-owned turkey insurance company.
In 1947, Lowell and a brother, Dwayne, purchased a soybean plant in Mankato, which became known as Honeymead. In the mid 1960s they sold their business and chartered the National City Bank of Minneapolis. A few years later they were offered the opportunity to invest in and provide management for the Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM). Lowell later became president, and continued to serve ADM as director emeritus after his retirement in 1973.
Lowell and his late wife, Nadine, had two children, Pamela (who preceded him in death) and David, along with five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Both Lowell and a brother, Glenn, were steadfast Christians who contributed to the revival of the Reformed, or Calvinist, vision of the faith, founded during the Protestant Reformation under the leadership of John Calvin. Connections between the Andreas brothers and Dordt personnel evolved over the years as they met and worked to support reformed Christian educational institutions.
Lowell and his wife donated many millions of dollars to a variety of groups over the years, including Westminster Seminary, Covenant College, Minnesota State University, Immanuel St. Joseph-Mayo Health System, and local charities and foundations.
Dordt, Sioux Center, Iowa, received nearly four million dollars from the estate of former Archer Daniels Midland president Lowell Andreas, who died April 4, 2009, at the age of 87.
The Andreas gift is the largest in the college's history according to John Baas, Vice President for Advancement. He noted, "The impact of a multi-million dollar contribution goes far beyond the bottom line. This bequest is a tremendous encouragement to all of us at Dordt College and also to those whom we serve."
In announcing the gift to the college community, President Dr. Carl E. Zylstra remarked, "Lowell Andreas helped grow Archer Daniels Midland into an international leader in the processing of agricultural products. This generous gift from his estate will help grow Dordt as an international leader in the field of Reformed Christian education."
Andreas never visited Dordt's campus, but had followed the growth of the college and offered support along the way. In recent years Andreas had already donated more than half a million dollars to Dordt University (formerly known as Dordt College), funds which established the Andreas Center for Reformed Scholarship and Service in 2008.
The Andreas Center helps Dordt students, faculty, and staff become globally engaged in scholarship and service. The center provides both funds and administrative support to projects that extend Reformed scholarship and service to the larger world.
The Andreas Center is currently providing funding for several international projects including:
- A documentary film by digital media professor Mark Volkers and students that chronicles the lives of slum dwellers in Guatemala, the Philippines, and Kenya;
- A Christian agriculture education program for students and farmers in Zambia, Africa; and
- Funding for Dordt professors to lecture internationally.
According to Dr. Zylstra, the new $3.98 million gift from the Andreas Estate will help move Dordt's Reformed perspective in Christian education beyond the campus's physical boundaries.
"The remarkable generosity of Lowell Andreas is an affirmation that the reach of Dordt extends and resonates far beyond our local community, our traditional base of support, and even our national borders," said Zylstra. "Our global vision as a Reformed, Christian college is what captured the imagination of Lowell, and his estate gift will further our efforts to broaden Dordt's service, learning, and presence in the world.