Huizenga ’24 Named Lincoln Laureate

The Lincoln Laureate Student Awards honor Illinois college seniors for their leadership and service in bettering humanity and for their academic and extracurricular work excellence. This year, Trinity is pleased to announce that Matthew (MJ) Huizenga ’24 has been named the College’s Lincoln Laureate.

Huizenga is double majoring in graphic design and communications arts with a theatre focus. He was honored to receive the news earlier this year that he had been selected for this year’s award.

When he is not working on homework or attending class, Huizenga is heavily involved in clubs and committees across campus and is part of the Honors Program. Members of the selection committee stated, “MJ has consistently set himself apart from his peers with his strong commitment to the Trinity community. He is recognized as a leader on campus and works hard to ensure this place is welcoming and open to all.”

Over his four years at the College, MJ has had the opportunity to represent the SGA, be the marketing chair for the student activities committee, work in the marketing department, and participate in every theatrical production. He recalls his feeling after writing and directing an original production, “It was really rewarding to see this thing that started as a little idea in my head to now see it come to life here at Trinity. It was just amazing.” MJ’s contributions to campus have been significant and have included working to launch Oasis, painting an original mural in West Hall, and leading worship for Trinity’s chapel programs.

Trinity was in the fabric of Huizenga’s family, with both parents and siblings attending the College. It just seemed like the right fit for him. Originally an accounting major, he quickly learned that was not the right path for him and switched majors to graphic design. He later grew in his love for the theatre and the program here, which led him to add a second major later in his college career.

After graduating in May 2024, he hopes to pursue his Ph.D. in theatrical studies to teach theatre at the college level. Huizenga said, “During my time in college, the theatre community has helped shape who I am, and I want to give that to other students. Theatre in an education setting is all about community, and I love that, so I am passionate to pursue that dream.”

He concluded, “I really appreciate Trinity. It is the kind of place where you can wave and say hello to someone, even if you don’t know them. This is a place to be known both in the classroom and beyond. I’m grateful and honored to be given this award.”

The annual Lincoln Academy Student Laureate Ceremony recognizes excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities by seniors from each of the state’s four-year, degree-granting colleges and universities and one student from the community colleges in Illinois.

Mural in West Hall by MJ Huizenga
Mural in West Hall by MJ Huizenga

Trinity Christian College Lincoln Laureates :

  • 2021 – Evie Dykhouse
  • 2020—Ross Barz
    2019—Indira Escalante
    2018 – Mallory Boyce
    2017 – R. Josiah Rosario
    2016 – Courtney Kalous
    2015 – Hallie Wisse
    2014 – David (Woody) Lucas
    2013 – Megan Anderson
    2012 – Adam Perez
    2011 – Alberto LaRosa
    2010 – Joseph Wydra
    2009 – Jon Vander Woude
    2008 – Caitlin Fillmore
    2007 – Elizabeth VanderSpek
    2006 – Allison Backous
    2005 – Erin Marshalek
    2004 – Rachel Van Oort
    2003 – Yvana Hansen
    2002 – Evan VanderZee
    2001 – Nate Bosch
    2000 – Laurie Johnson
    1999 – Hanna VanderZee
    1998 – Kristen Devine
    1997 – Heidi Boeck
    1996 – Julie Tinklenberg
    1995 – Keri Dyksterhouse
    1994 – Mark Mulder
    1993 – Kristen Hart
    1992 – Sarah Ver Velde
    1991 – Aron Reppmann
    1990 – Nathan Van Der Male
    1989 – Drew Sweetman
    1988 – Erik Hoekstra
    1987 – Kimberly Dykema
    1986 – Edward Wiener, Jr.