This year’s Commencement festivities had a unique feel as alumni from Trinity’s first graduating class returned to campus for the first-ever Heritage Class Reunion.
In October 1959, 37 students enrolled at Trinity; 30 attended for a year or more and became Trinity’s first alumni and the Class of 1961.
On May 14, the College was delighted to welcome 11 alumni to the reunion. Joining them and their guests were three of the founding faculty members, Drs. Derke Bergsma, Cal Seerveld, and Robert Vander Vennen.
The weekend began with a tour of campus provided by Vice President for Student Development Ginny Carpenter, followed by a dinner in the Vermeer Fireside Room, which served as the campus chapel when the Class of 1961 attended Trinity. The after-dinner program featured a campus update from President Steve Timmermans and stories of Trinity’s history by Dr. Dan Diephouse, professor of English emeritus. Alumni and professors also took time to share their memories of what campus was like 50 years ago, as well as how Trinity has impacted their lives and careers.
Marion Dykstra ’61 enjoyed the opportunity to take part in the festivities. “I came because it was a milestone for my class and the first for Trinity to host,” said Dykstra. “I love Trinity and the people I know who work there. It was a very memorable weekend and I wouldn't have wanted to miss it.”
Reunion attendees also took part in Saturday morning’s Commencement ceremony and led the procession of the Class of 2011 into the auditorium. Dr. Seerveld delivered the Commencement address.
“Just two years after celebrating Trinity’s 50th anniversary in 2009, it was an honor to host these individuals and be a part of another historic moment in Trinity’s life. We look forward to hosting the 50th class in future years as well,” said Travis Bandstra ’06, director of alumni relations.
Carl Klompien ’61 came, most of all, to see his former classmates and professors and was also struck by God’s faithfulness to both his classmates and to Trinity. “To see God's blessings on those of us who could come and to hear Professor Seerveld point us to the source of everything was an inspiration and brought back fond memories,” he said. “I was thankful I was able to come and would do it again. And thanks most to God who has so abundantly blessed Trinity through its brief 50-year history.”
View the photogallery here.