“This is Dordt University,” the institution’s president announced in a video posted online.
Dordt, located in Sioux Center, started as the Midwest Christian Junior College in 1953. It’s been Dordt College since the spring of 1956.
“As our academic umbrella continues to expand to include different degrees, Dordt now looks and acts a lot more like a university than a college,” said Dordt University vice president Brandon Huisman.
Dordt awarded more than 150 masters in education degrees last year and is starting masters in public administration classes this fall, with plans for masters degrees in social work and statistics underway. Huisman said another reason for the name change is Dordt’s “global footprint.”
“We have students right now from over 26 different countries and in a lot of places the word ‘college’ refers to ‘high school’ or even ‘junior high’ in some settings, so it just eliminates a barrier for those students,” Huisman said. “It’s been fun having different alumni that live internationally reach out to us and saying, ‘Truth be told, I’ve actually been using “Dordt University” for the last 15 years because I simply got tired of explaining what the difference was between ‘college’ and ‘university’ overseas.”
The name change was announced a year ago and the new university logo was unveiled last October. Huisman said the new Dordt University name and logo are being installed around campus. The basketball court has already been repainted and the signpost that’s the gateway to campus will be updated in June.
“By the time the students arrive again in the fall, this wil look like Dordt University and we’ll really look forward to that,” Huisman said.
A special fund created decades will cover much of the name-transition costs. Dordt University has an enrollment of around 16-hundred students.
(By Mark Buss, KSOU, Sioux Center)