The Dutch Letter, a Central College alumni newsletter

Friday, December 5, 2014

Hello, Central College alumni, parents and friends! The Central College Dutch Letter, released the first Friday of every month, is intended to keep you in touch with what’s happening on campus and in our communities. Please pass this along to your Central friends.

Link to The Dutch Letter at

Central Connections

Right Now

HAPPY POSTING — To connect our Central Community with crafters, artists and service providers, we have created Dutch Market, presenting Central Creations on Facebook!  We provide the venue, YOU post your goods and services on the page! If you are an author with a book to promote, a crafter who makes your own wine or jewelry or handmade items, or you provide a service you want to advertise, this is the place for you! Or perhaps you’re looking to purchase gifts or in search of a realtor or beautician with Central ties — we intend to make Dutch Market your one stop shop! You will find the link to “like” and post on the Dutch Market page.

IN APPRECIATION — We are grateful for the generosity shown to Central College by Linda and Dave Wesselink ’64, chair emeritus of the board of trustees, and the Vermeer Charitable Foundation. The Wesselinks committed $350,000 over the next five years, and the Vermeer Charitable Foundation committed $500,000 over five years. Both gifts have provided tremendous momentum and support for our international program and student initiatives. Please join us in thanking the Wesselinks and Vermeer for their generous support and commitment to the success of Central students from around the world.

MOCK TRIAL SUCCESS — The Central College Mock Trial Team continues to have a successful run with the guidance of coach Andrew Green, professor of political science. At the Quad Cities Open Invitational, Molly Ward ’15 earned the Outstanding Attorney Award, and Skylar McCombs ’18 earned an Outstanding Witness Award. Overall, mock trial has seven new team members, including six first-year students and one junior.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY — Central College is seeking nominations for a vice president for finance/treasurer. For more information or to nominate a candidate, visit

SAVE THE DATE — Homecoming 2015 will be held October 9 – 11! Pictures from Homecoming 2014 are available at Homecoming2014.

SUSTAINABILITY BLOG — Read the latest blog post about sustainability at Central College from our faculty and students at Central College at .

LET US ENTERTAIN YOU — Going into their 40th year of performing, the A Cappella Choir invites you to join them for the annual Candlelight Concert in Des Moines and Pella!  

Thursday, December 11 – Des Moines
6 p.m. – Reception with heavy appetizers at Palmer’s Deli at 2843 Ingersoll Ave.
7:30 p.m. – Candlelight Concert at Central Presbyterian Church, 3829 Grand Ave.
Your choice, $20 for reception and concert or $10 for concert only. To RSVP and pay for the event in Des Moines go to Candlelight Concert or call the alumni office at 800-447-0287 with credit card information.

Friday, Dec. 12 and Saturday, Dec. 13 – Pella
6 p.m. – Cash bar
6:30 p.m. – Dinner served in Graham Conference Center. Adults $15, senior citizens $13,
children 4-10 $7:50, under 4 free!
8 p.m. –  Performance in Douwstra Auditorium, located in Central Hall
Tickets for the performance on sale now – Adults $10, senior citizens $8. Reservations are required.
Call the ticket office at 641-628-7520.

Thursday, Dec. 18
Noon – Advent Organ Recital with Mark Babcock ’91, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choirs
St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, 9th and High Streets, downtown Des Moines


OUR TREASURED PAST — Are you tired of storing old ticket stubs, playbills, photographs, lapel pins, beanies and scrapbooks you’ve held onto since graduation? The Central College Archives will store and protect your treasures for years to come! We are dependent upon your donations to build an accurate record of Central’s history. Archives welcome donations from all eras but have a severe lack of items from the ’00s. Please help if you can by mailing your donation to Central College Alumni Relations, Campus Box 5200, 812 University, Pella, Iowa  50219. Digital photographs can also be archived – please identify the people in the pictures you want to share and email them to

MEET THE PROS WITH GLOBAL EXPERTISE! — Did you study abroad while at Central? Have you worked in some capacity with an international focus? We would love to have you return to campus on April 17, 2015, during our 50th year celebration of study abroad, to be part of a panel of alumni with global experience! If interested, email Pat Joachim Kitzman at

ARE YOU LINKED IN? — If you have a LinkedIn profile, you can easily join Central's alumni group, as well as access more than 5,000 fellow alums on a new feature at You'll enter Central College as the "school" and be able to search for alumni by location, company, career field, major, etc. It's pretty cool! But you have to have a LinkedIn profile — start by creating one today: (LinkedIn is for professional networking.)

HOW HAS LINKEDIN WORKED FOR YOU?  Do you have a story about a successful outcome because of your participation in LinkedIn or other social media?  We would love to hear your stories and share them with students to help them realize the value of social media in job searching and networking. Thanks in advance for sharing — just reply to Pat Joachim Kitzman at

SOCIAL MEDIA — Don’t miss out! Join Central College Alumni on Facebook today at You can also follow us on Twitter @Central_Alums. We’ll see you online!

Legacy Baby

Are you ready for some football?  Cooper Paul Bollard, sporting the Central football shirt gifted to him by Coach McMartin, is ready! With a father who played for Coach McMartin and grandfather Jeff Bollard ’89, who is the assistant football coach, Cooper seems destined to play for the Dutch. Thank you Stephanie and Ben Bollard ’07 for sharing this picture of your legacy baby!

VISITING PROFESSOR — Dr. Ronald Phillips, a world-renowned scientist in his own right and expert on Norman Borlaug, visited Central College as part of the World Food Prize Lecture Laureate Series Oct. 15. He gave a presentation entitled “Norman Borlaug and World Hunger.” Phillips, a Regents Professor Emeritus, is recognized for his outstanding work in the area of applied plant genomics.

SEND US A PICTURE — Take a picture of your future legacy student wearing Central gear or showing off their Legacy gift from the college today.  Send your photo to and we’ll be happy to post it here. Did you know your children benefit from your legacy with Central College beginning at birth with a Central College bib? Every five years during the month of their birth, your child will receive another gift from the college. Once they reach high school, they can expect to receive a little something each year until they graduate. Those who make the decision to enroll at Central College are treated to a special welcoming lunch along with their family during freshmen move-in day.

Legacy Baby

CENTRAL COLLEGE NEWS — Keep checking our home page at for updated news about Central students, alumni, faculty and staff.  This month, read about how Rachel Frana ’15, environmental studies major, is using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map locations to help the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) identify several underserved areas for their food pantries. Or read about Chris Poesch ‘15, who landed his first internship in The Netherlands:  “It was my first internship; I was in a new country, and the project was really tough to complete.” Chris, a Central senior and accounting major from Waverly, Iowa, worked in the finance department for insurance company Aegon in spring 2014. His assignment, after two weeks of intensive Dutch language study, was to simplify Aegon’s corporate cost sharing program. After learning the existing files thoroughly, Chris  spent two months designing a new version that was easier to understand.

WHAT’S UP? YOUR classmates want an update! Let them know what’s going on in YOUR life and we’ll post it in the newsnote section of Civitas. Tell us about YOUR achievements, fun facts, new children, grandchildren, new job, promotion, retirement, anniversary or a reunion with Central friends! Sharing news with us is just a click away at or online on Civitas.

CAREER CENTER ON TWITTER Follow the Career Center on Twitter! We’re sending out quick announcements about jobs and internships as soon as we receive them. Go to and choose to follow this username: @CentralCareers.

Archived Photo — We continue to look for names, years and pertinent details about these photos in order to better archive events.  If you know ANY details about the photograph, please email

Archived Photo

Archived Photo

Thanks to your help, we have identified many pictures that were previously hidden away in archives. The Dutch Letter has provided us the opportunity to share them with you. In some cases, it’s no longer possible to identify past students, but that will not stop us from giving you a look into the history of Central College. Check out the previously archived photos to see who has been identified.

TELL YOUR CENTRAL STORY - We want your help telling the Central College story. Do you have a great story about Central? Tell us about it!


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UPDATE YOUR INFO — Help keep our information current. Update your phone number, email, address, employment, family information and more at or online at

 Looking for the perfect gift …  or DUTCH attire?

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What's Happened

Cafe Baratta's Monarch's
Maytag Cedar Falls
Oktoberfest Book Club

EVENT PHOTOS — See pictures from all our alumni events.

M. U. C. H. — Three of our students presented their scholarly work at the annual Midwest Undergraduate Conference in the Humanities conference, held at Simpson College Nov. 8.  Jasmine Fugate ’16 (English) presented “Ariel’s Guide to Invisibility,” and Randi Mattison ’15 (English), presented “Ophelia’s Flowers” on a panel featuring performance issues, moderated by Dr. Walter Cannon. Both Jasmine’s and Randi’s papers were written for Cannon’s Shakespeare course in spring 2014. 

Elizabeth Carman ’15 (Spanish and communications) presented “Una flor inútil: Sor Juana y su rosa” (“A Useless Flower: Sor Juana and Her Rose”) on the bilingual panel “Armas y Rosas,” moderated by Dr. Kathy Korcheck. Elizabeth’s paper was initially composed for Korcheck’s Spanish 323 (Introduction to Hispanic Literature) course in spring 2014. The paper is a close reading of a Baroque sonnet by Mexican poet and nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1695). Elizabeth presented with students from Simpson College and Wartburg College.

NAC WAS BACK — The National Advisory Council held their meetings on campus Nov. 7–8.  We are grateful to the members of the council for their continued dedication to the college.


GIFT OF A LIFETIME — The exercise science building across from the P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium was renamed the Helen Jean Hislop Center. Helen Jean Hislop (1929-2013), a national leader in physical therapy and a graduate of Central College in 1950, was awarded the Central Alumni Award in 1969 and an Honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1978. She served on the Central Board of Trustees from 1981 to 1998 and spoke at Central’s commencement in 1999. On Saturday, Nov. 1, relatives of Dr. Hislop presented President Mark Putnam with a $1.5 million dollar gift to the college on behalf of the Helen Jean Hislop Estate.

Campus Events

FINE ARTS EVENTS — View a complete list of fine arts events at Central College throughout the year.

ATHLETICS EVENTS Follow the Dutch online.

Central Spirit Shoppe

Presidential Updates

Mark Putnam

PRESIDENT’S WEBSITE — Check out the website for President Mark Putnam! It’s the go-to place for media, Central family members and visitors to learn more about President Putnam, Central College and topics important to the landscape of higher education.

SOCIAL MEDIA — President Mark Putnam is on Facebook and Twitter. Connect with him now to see what’s happening with Central’s president.

Alumni Trivia

WIN A T-SHIRT — Answer online for the chance to win a T-shirt. The winner’s name is drawn from all correct entries received on the date the newsletter was released. Congratulations to last month’s winner, Jim Beaman ’87, who responded to the challenge“Name the site coming to Facebook in November where Central alumni, students and staff can promote their goods and services.” The answer was:“The Dutch Market.” Try this month’s challenge:

“What has the exercise science building been named?” 

Vote Now!

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Upcoming Alumni Events

Class of 2015 Winter Celebration
December 9 from 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Register Now

What Did Jesus Drive
December 10 from 7 - 9 p.m.

Christmas Candlelight Concert
December 11 from 6 - 8:30 p.m.
Register Now

Mock Trial Celebration
January 24 from 6 - 8 p.m.
Register Now

Cover to Cover
January 29 from 7 - 9 p.m.
Register Now

Pippin at the Civic Center
March 1 from 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Register Now

Alumni Profile

Abby Lukensmeyer ’12

Name: Tim ’97 and JJ Johnson TenClay ’98
Current town:Pultneyville, New York

Education: Tim earned a Doctor of Ministry in worship and spirituality from Northern Theological Seminary, a Master’s of Divinity from Western Theological Seminary and his Bachelor of Arts from Central College, where he majored in religion.

JJ earned a master’s degree in social work from Grand Valley State University and a Bachelor of Arts from Central College, where she majored in general studies with a focus in sociology and communication.

About us:We both grew up in Iowa (Tim is from Alton and JJ is from Oskaloosa). After graduating from Central College, we were married in Pella and moved to Holland, Michigan, where Tim attended seminary. After seminary, we moved to Allegan, Michigan, where we served Dunningville Reformed Church. We have two daughters: Sophia (age 8) and Petra (age 4).

Our most recent exciting news is that JJ was appointed in January, 2014, as a missionary through the Reformed Church in America, to serve in Naples, Italy, as a social action worker. She will be partnering with the Waldensian Church in Italy, to serve migrants and refugees, most of whom are coming to Italy from Africa and the Middle East, fleeing famine, civil war and persecution.  There are over 500,000 migrants currently living in Naples.

Most of the migrants are victims of human trafficking and make the trek across the Mediterranean Sea on small, rickety boats with hundreds of other migrants seeking life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Unfortunately, many do not survive the journey. Those who do often they arrive in Italy and are held in detainment centers until their asylum requests can be processed. Most are unable to find medical care, social services or employment.

Our ministry in Italy will have three main components:

1) To create an umbrella network in the Naples area that will provide essential social services to migrants.
2) To work with the Waldensian Church to integrate migrants into local congregations and communities. 
3) To host and teach groups from North America to assist with the crisis.

If you or your church would like to support our ministry opportunity, please visit

How we met: We first met at Central College, but we’re not exactly sure when. However, we both attended InterVarsity chapter camp, where we got to know one another better. We were also both Resident Advisors.

Hobbies/Activities: Tim has a plethora of hobbies – biking (including 3 RAGBRAIs), roasting coffee, baking bread, knitting and tatting are at the top of the list. JJ enjoys playing sports, reading and attending Broadway shows.

Employment: JJ worked at Bethany Christian Services in child welfare and at Holland Hospital as a medical social worker before moving to Pultneyville, New York, in 2010. Tim is the minister of Pultneyville Reformed Church, and JJ is the manager of social work for St. Ann’s Community, a skilled nursing facility in Rochester.

Memorable Central College moments:For Tim – running in the Lemming Race, performing with the A Cappella Choir, studying under excellent professors and having the opportunity to grow by having my beliefs challenged and eventually strengthened. 

For JJ – participating in the Upward Bound program, both as a high school student and as a tutor-counselor. I have fond memories of participating in InterVarsity and experiencing the culture of friendliness on campus from other students, staff and visitors — being able to walk around campus and have people greet you with a friendly smile.  Also, learning to write excellent papers, Central’s focus on helping students develop an international world view and being a Resident Advisor in Gaass Hall the first year it became co-ed.

We want to profile YOU in the Dutch Letter!  Please volunteer today at 

Student Spotlight


Journey Scholarship student: Rachel Cassens ‘16

High school: Stockton High School

Hometown: Stockton, Illinois

Majors: Athletic Training    

Where do you live: I live on a small farm outside of Stockton.

Why I chose Central: I chose Central because of the faculty, the athletic training program and the ability to continue to participate in golf. The campus is gorgeous, and Pella itself and the small town atmosphere felt like home to me. I love it here!

Abroad plans or experience:  I have been accepted to the Wales program, and I also have a few possible internships for the spring.

What are your future goals? My ultimate goal is to become a head athletic trainer for a professional sports team.

Favorite class: Lower Assessment of the Body, taught by Dr. Viesselman. The class itself was very intensive in the knowledge of the lower body. It challenged me to not just read the book and learn in class and go through the motions — it made me apply the concepts to different scenarios that we use in the athletic training room every day, helping out athletes.

Favorite professor: I do not have a single favorite professor, but favorites include the professors in the exercise science and athletic training department. They are all very passionate about their work, the student athletes and the hands-on learning environment that our program supports. They come to work every day wanting us students to achieve more and learn to prepare for scenarios we will encounter when we graduate.

Off-campus activities:  I am a member of Third Reformed Church.

Hobbies/interests: Fishing, golfing and watching the Bears

 What activities do you participate in at Central?: I am a varsity starter for the Central women’s golf team and a member of SAAC (Student Athlete Activity Council) and CAATS (Club Associated with Athletic Training Students).

Favorite food in Central Market: Friday night Chicken Wraps!

Best Central memory: The best is yet to come.

Why I love my major: I love my major because it is different every day. I enjoy working hands on with athletes from their injured stage all the way to full function and returning them to play.

Why I love Central: I love Central because of the small town feel, and everyone seems very close to each other, like we are a big family.

Career plans: I plan to graduate Central College in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Athletic Training, pass my BOC, then attend a graduate school to continue building my athletic training knowledge and travel across the country becoming the best athletic trainer to graduate from Central College. Overall, to be successful.

Message to donors: To the donors who are selflessly supporting my educational experience at Central College, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It means so much knowing that I have that extra support and motivation to do well in academics that will better me as a graduate in two short years. It is a blessing and an honor to receive the Journey Fund Scholarship, and I continue to be grateful for my educational opportunity every day. Thank you again!

Staff Spotlight

Study Abroad

Staff Spotlight

Career Center
Central College Abroad
Conference Services
Fine arts
Online giving

Staff Spotlight

Kathy Cashen Thompson

Kathy Cashen Thompson
Director of Alumni Relations

Mary Benedict

Mary Benedict
Assistant Director of Alumni Relations

Lynne Petty

Lynne Petty
Administrative Assistant to the Director of Alumni Relations

812 University | Pella, Iowa 50219 | 1-800-447-0287|