Dordt Campaign Aim is Planting for the Future

In Issue, News, Winter/Spring 2022 by Bethany Van Voorst

In March, Dordt publicly launched “Planting for the Future,” the largest capital campaign in the institution’s history with a goal of fundraising $90 million dollars by year-end 2023.

“Our world needs a place like Dordt University to equip our students, alumni, and community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all areas of life,” says President Erik Hoekstra. “Dordt has a long history of people giving sacrificially, which enabled Dordt to be established back in 1955, and has allowed us to arrive where we are today. With this campaign, we want to continue to make Dordt a place that can develop effective kingdom citizens who can serve in a world in need of wisdom.”

The campaign includes three areas of focus: leading in innovative programs, living and learning in Christian community, and increasing access.

The first area, innovative programs, includes raising $29 million in funds to support new on-campus agriculture and nursing spaces. These two majors are among Dordt’s five largest majors, and their new facilities help support academic excellence. Additionally, these funds will strengthen Dordt’s research institute, academic centers, and support for faculty.

The second element of the campaign focuses on the campus community, which supports the expansion and remodel of the B.J. Haan Auditorium, renovations to the De Witt Gymnasium, the building of the American State Bank Sports Complex, and a new dining commons. The fundraising goal for these spaces is $36 million.

“The campaign is readying us academically, as well as in our campus infrastructure, to continue to grow,” says Hoekstra.

The third and final piece, increasing access, consists of $25 million designated to increasing access to a Dordt education through student scholarship support, and planned giving, to secure Dordt’s future by growing the endowment.

“We want to have more students experience the kind of life-changing education that happens at Dordt, making a Dordt education within their reach,” says Hoekstra.

To date, the initial phase of the campaign has led to $70 million in cash and pledge gifts.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with the response of the donor community so far,” says John Baas, vice president for advancement. “Many have given more than we dared expect from them.”

Donors can choose to designate their gifts to a specific area within the campaign. One recent gift to the campaign will help to bolster the athletic aspect of Dordt’s community. A $4 million gift from First PREMIER Bank and PREMIER Bankcard was given in honor of Dordt alumnus Dave Rozenboom (’85), president of First PREMIER Bank in Sioux Falls, and his family. The gift will provide extensive renovations to Dordt’s Recreation Center and De Witt Gymnasium. When completed, the combined facilities will be named the Rozenboom Family Athletic Center.

“I am so humbled by this generous gift from PREMIER,” Rozenboom says. “Dordt was instrumental in shaping my world and life view, so it’s truly an honor to have our family recognized by both my employer and my alma mater. Dordt has had a transformative impact on our immediate and extended family, and it is our hope and prayer that this gift will further enhance the impact that Dordt is able to have on its students for generations to come.”

Baas says the Rozenboom gift is exceptional.

“I think the neatest thing about it is that the gift was given by his employer and coworkers because of their appreciation for him, his work, and the way he goes about it,” says Baas. “Dave is a great example of a Dordt graduate who is serving as an effective kingdom citizen.”

The campaign will go on the road starting in fall 2022, with events taking place around the country for Defender Nation to participate in.

“I am excited to talk with members of Defender Nation and reflect on our strong history and discuss plans for our future,” says Hoekstra. “When we all come together, we can do amazing things for the kingdom.”