Defender Days

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3:00 PM, Friday, October 15–9:00 PM, Saturday, October 16, 2021
Campus Center


Defender Days is currently planned for October 15 - 16, 2021.

Defender Days is the biggest event on campus as students, alumni, and parents celebrate Dordt and reunite on campus for home sporting events, concerts, the fall theatre production, and much more.

Registration for Defender Days opens on August 1. We're excited to welcome you back to campus.

Highlights of this year include:

Defender Nation Dinner
Fall Music Festival
25th Class Reunion
Fall Theatre Mainstage Production
Late Night with the Defenders
President's Brunch
Home athletic competitions



Tentative Schedule for 2021

THURSDAY, October 14

  • 7:30 p.m. — Fall Theatre Production: Peter and the Star Catcher (TePaske Theatre)
    • The Theatre Arts Department at Dordt University is excited to produce this Tony Award-winning play-with-music.  This wildly theatrical adaptation of Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s best-selling novels tells the story of how Peter Pan and Neverland came to be. Musical Theatre International describes it wonderfully: “From marauding pirates and jungle tyrants to unwilling comrades and unlikely heroes, Peter and the Starcatcher playfully explores the depths of greed and despair . . . and the bonds of friendship, duty and love.” Be aware that this isn’t Disney’s Peter Pan, so younger children might not follow the story (8 and under might not appreciate it). Tickets will be available at in late September.

FRIDAY, October 15

  • 6:45 a.m. — Business Connection Breakfast.

    • If you have ever started a business, improved a business, or sold or handed down a family business, we want to hear from you. At this complimentary breakfast, Jeff Kelly, Director of the K&K Dooyema Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, will introduce you to what the Center is, what it does, and how you can benefit from it. RSVP’s appreciated. (Campus Center)

  • 8 a.m.—5 p.m. — Registration (Campus Center Lobby)
    • Pick up your name tags (free passes into some events) and the latest schedule, and get your questions answered.
  • 8 a.m.—3 p.m. —  Visit Classes
  • 11 a.m. — Chapel (B.J. Haan Auditorium)
  • 3 p.m. — 4th Avenue Jazz concert featuring 4th Avenue Singers and 4th Avenue Band, free-will offering (B.J. Haan Auditorium)
  • 4 p.m.—5 p.m. — Reception for the launch of Dordt Music Patrons (lobby of BJ Haan Auditorium)
  • 5:15 p.m. — Defender Nation Dinner. Ticket purchase and online RSVP necessary. Tickets are not available at the door. (De Yager Student Activity Center in the Campus Center)
  • 7 p.m. — Fall Music Festival featuring Wind Symphony, Chamber Orchestra, Campus-Community Band, Concert Choir, Chorale, Canons of Dordt, and Bella Voce; free-will offering. (B.J. Haan Auditorium)
  • 8 p.m. — Hockey vs. Nebraska-Omaha in Sioux Center, Iowa. (Vernon Ice Arena)
  • 10 p.m. — Late Night with Defenders (De Witt Gymnasium)
    • Meet the men and women’s BB coaches and teams, enjoy short team scrimmages, shooting contests, and lots of Defender Nation Spirit.

SATURDAY, October 16

  • 8 a.m.—12 p.m. — Registration (Campus Center Lobby)
  • 8:45 a.m. — President’s Brunch. Complimentary with online RSVP. (Rec Center)
    • This sit-down meal is for alumni, parents, grandparents, and adult friends and relatives. It is a great place to meet other parents and friends and includes a welcome and campus update from President Erik and Dr. Barb Hoekstra. (Note: this is not a come and go event.)
  • 8:45 a.m. — 10:30 a.m. — Siblings Brunch (Campus Center Lobby)
    • Kids PreK-8 can meet in the Campus Center to go to breakfast, followed by games and bowling in the game room. (Note: We are not equipped to care for babies or toddlers.)
  • 10 a.m. — Men's Alumni Basketball Game (De Witt Gymnasium)
  • 10:30 a.m. — The Joan Ringerwole Organ Recital Series presents Dr. Larry Visser from LaGrave CRC in Grand Rapids who will be presenting: "In Christ Alone: Hymn-Based Organ Music of Larry Visser." Hymn Festival features Dordt’s Casavant organ. All are welcome to come and sing beloved hymns of our faith! (B.J. Haan Auditorium)
  • 11 a.m. — Celebration of the Class of 2020- A come and go event to greet President Hoekstra and former professors. Photo ops available. (Eckardt Lounge)
  • 12 p.m. — Women’s Soccer vs. Presentation. (Soccer Pitch)
  • 1 p.m. — Football vs. Dakota Wesleyan. (Football Field)
  • 1 p.m. —Women's Volleyball, alumni vs. alumni. (De Witt Gymnasium)
  • 2 p.m. — Fall Theatre Production: Peter and the Starcatcher
  • 2:15 p.m. — Men’s Soccer vs. Presentation. (Soccer Pitch)
  • 3:30 p.m. — Women’s JV Volleyball vs. College of St. Mary. (De Witt Gymnasium)
  • 5 p.m. — Women’s Varsity Volleyball vs. College of St. Mary. (De Witt Gymnasium)
  • 5:45—7 p.m. — 25th Reunion (from 1994 to 1997). (Founder’s Room, located in the President’s Home)
    • Complimentary to any ’94 through ’97 grads and one guest. RSVP required. Enjoy a light meal and reconnect with old friends at a standing reception hosted by President Erik and Dr. Barb Hoekstra.
  • 7:30 p.m. — Fall Theatre Production: Peter and the Star Catcher (TePaske Theatre)

Alumni Award Winners

Horizon Alumni AwarD:
Chris Boomsma

Dr. Chris Boomsma ('03) has been named the 2020 Horizon Award recipient by the Dordt University Alumni Association. Boomsma serves as the director of education at the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.
One nominator shared, "The key characteristics of his accomplishments are innovation and sustainability promotion. Wherever he worked, he was entrepreneurial. He developed novel tools in crop phenotyping, he consulted with agriculture startup companies, and his current coordination of live webinars for crop consultants, organic farmers, ag retailers, and soil professionals, trains thousands every month."

Boomsma understands how faith and agriculture can be intertwined and can see it in his daily work.

“Agriculture, in my opinion, is a field of work that can deeply challenge and grow a person's faith,” he says. “I routinely see that with farmers who operate their businesses among many unknowns, chief among them being the weather. Despite remarkable scientific advances, cutting-edge technologies, and government support, farming in North America remains a difficult, complex, and often underappreciated profession.”

He recognizes that Dordt not only helped him in developing academic skills and knowledge for graduate school and the workplace, but also improved his communication skills and pushed him toward philosophical and theological growth.

“Dordt prepared me to move forward with conviction, purpose, and faith, and that has had a profound impact on my life. Whatever contributions come from my work, I remember the motto of my alma mater—'soli deo gloria.’”

Distinguished Alumni Award:
Paul TenHaken

Paul TenHaken ('00), the mayor of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has been named the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient by the Dordt University Alumni Association.

His nominator shared, "Paul has pushed for excellence while maintaining integrity in all the various roles and fields he has entered since graduation from Dordt in 2000."

In May 2018, TenHaken was elected the 32nd mayor of Sioux Falls. Leading with a focus on public entrepreneurship, employee culture, and fiscal responsibility, TenHaken has taken an innovative approach to problems he encounters, like working to rethink the Sioux Falls public transportation system and launching a bold mentorship vision for the community. He and his team have also encountered numerous crises over the past two years, including tornadoes, floods, and the Covid-19 epidemic.

“God calls us to go into this world and use our talents to reflect him in our work through the different mission fields in which we have been placed,” says TenHaken. “My hope in being recognized with this honor is to inspire the next generation of leaders from Dordt University to be bold in whatever that mission field entails and to be assured in the sometimes uncomfortable calling God places on our lives.”


Event Location: Campus Center