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Alumnus of the Year Announced - Dr. Derke Bergsma
Dr. Derke Bergsma
Dr. Derke Bergsma began his time at Trinity at the prompting of then Professor Calvin Seerveld, professor of philosophy. Bergsma’s Latin class had the honor of being the first class held at Trinity, following the first Trinity Convocation. He continued to teach Latin for three years.
When Trinity expanded to a four-year college, Seerveld once again invited Bergsma to serve as a faculty member in the theology department. He remained active in the College for 14 years, and served as acting president for one year between Dr. Hoekstra and Dr. Van Groningen.
Bergsma refers to Trinity as an “affection” that remains with him. “Trinity has had a significant role to play in Christian higher education,” Bergsma said. “I don’t know of any other similar school with the connection opportunities like Trinity has in Chicago.”
All of Derke and Doris’s children and two of their granddaughters graduated from Trinity, and family members remain involved in their support of the College. “It is very encouraging that their presence in the constituency and program is an affirmation of my shared loyalty to Trinity,” he said.
In 1997, after 32 years, he retired from Westminster Theological Seminary and taught as an adjunct at Trinity in the theology department as well as in the Adult Studies program. He also preached on behalf of the College in area churches seeing this as “Trinity’s service to the church community.”