Dordt alumnus honored by Pella Corporation
- Posted Monday, January 18, 2021
- Updated Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Dordt University has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Pella Corporation in honor of Denny Van Zanten, a finalist for Pella’s Joan Kuyper Farver Spirit Award. A Dordt alumnus, Van Zanten is the plant manager of the Pella plant in Sioux Center and serves on the Dordt University President’s Leadership Advisory Council and Athletic Advisory Board. Van Zanten and his wife, Arla, chose to designate the gift toward the proposed athletic dome project, a joint effort between the City of Sioux Center and Dordt, to create an indoor turf facility.
“We really like the ‘Defender Way,’ which states that Dordt athletics are committed to the Great Commission, to equipping students to be servant leaders, to the academic development of all student-athletes, and to the pursuit of championships,” says Van Zanten. “This dome will provide a much-needed facility to support these commitments, along with providing a facility for the community to utilize as well.”
According to the Pella Rolscreen Foundation, “the Joan Farver Spirit Award was developed to annually recognize team members who share her caring spirit and enthusiasm for community service.”
“Denny is an inspiration to all of us who know him,” says Nicolle Picray, the public relations and brand communications manager at Pella Corporation. “He’s made an immeasurable impact across our organization and has gone beyond that to impact the communities where he is now and has been located.”
Picray credits Van Zanten as the person who introduced and encouraged the idea of building “servant leadership” into the Pella Corporation culture. Van Zanten also comes and speaks on servant leadership in Dordt University business classes—where he discusses how the fruits of the Spirit are the foundational principles for the topic of servant leadership in the business world.
“Dordt University is grateful for the vision Denny and Arla Van Zanten have for supporting Dordt’s mission,” says Ross Douma, athletic director. “They have faithfully served, prayed, and given, excited to see God work through young people who are sent from here. In their athletic advisory role, the couple is instrumental in shaping Defender Athletics’ uniquely Christian approach to developing disciples through our athletic programs. Dordt University, and the greater Sioux Center community, benefit from the wisdom and authenticity Denny and Arla impart.
As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Dordt, located in Sioux Center, Iowa, is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by The Wall Street Journal, Forbes.com, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.