Redeemer University welcomed hundreds of alumni, supporters, parents, students, faculty and staff to campus for a weekend of events celebrating 40 years of developing future leaders.
“What an incredible time to be together as a community to celebrate God’s faithfulness and this important milestone for Redeemer!” said Hank de Jong, associate vice president, external relations. “It’s been wonderful to connect with so many Redeemer supporters, take time to remember important moments and look ahead to a bright future.”
The weekend kicked off on Friday afternoon with the official launch of the Albert M. Wolters Centre for Christian Scholarship. The launch honoured the legacy and foundational work of Dr. Al Wolters and featured a keynote by Dr. Gayle Doornbos, professor of theology at Dordt University, titled “Capacious, Conditioned Curiosity: A Neo-Calvinist Vision for Christian Scholarship.”
Students, faculty, staff and their families gathered to celebrate with a barbecue before joining with the wider alumni and support community for DOE and Paul Baloche in a warm and worshipful concert to wrap up the evening’s festivities. Eight Redeemer students joined the artists on stage providing backup vocals.
A celebration service started off Saturday’s events, which featured the inauguration of Dr. David Zietsma as Redeemer’s fifth president.
“The name Redeemer reflects the very purpose of this university. We exist to make the hope and love of Jesus Christ known in the world – the redeeming power of the Redeemer. We exist to begin now that work of reconciliation. We do that in research and creative work, in scholarship and in practice and significantly in preparing students to bear the name of the Redeemer wherever they are called,” Zietsma said in his inaugural address titled, Making Visible the Invisible.
President emeritus Dr. Justin Cooper brought greetings and stories of Redeemer’s past and the service was rounded out with songs and prayers of thankfulness and blessings and with performances from the concert choir.
The afternoon continued with a reception for the alumni art exhibition titled enCompass. The exhibit remains open to the public until Nov. 4. Alumni also participated in volleyball with the varsity teams and author readings at 21Five, Redeemer’s campus bookstore. Readings included new releases from Brent Van Staaldunien ’01, Amber Kuipers ’10 and Dr. John Van Rys, professor of English.
Distinguished Alumni Award winner Heidi deVries ’05 was celebrated at a reception Saturday evening. The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni who have made significant contributions in their field of enterprise while demonstrating Christian commitment to their work and the community.
Two new members were inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame Saturday evening, between women and men’s varsity vs. alumni basketball games. Rachel Degroot (women’s soccer – 2003-2007) and Christine Debrouwer (cross country – 2006-2009) were the 17th and 18th inductees. Women’s and Men’s Royals vs. Alumni soccer, volleyball and basketball games rounded out the weekend with more than 200 current and former players, coaches and staff participating.
Visit the 40th anniversary website to view a special video presentation and 40-year historical timeline. There you can find visuals from the weekend and a short video recap.