Stay connected

News // November 7, 2017

Former sightless athlete Holzworth recognized for Forever Dutch gift

Sheila Holzworth ’85One of the most accomplished athletes in Central College history despite never earning a varsity letter, the late Sheila Holzworth ’85 will be formally recognized in newly expanded P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium.

The Dutch women’s varsity locker room will be named in her honor in a ceremony with family and friends Saturday, Nov. 11. She left the college a major estate gift that was part of the $12 million Forever Dutch initiative that included the recently completed gymnasium expansion. Fundraising is ongoing for renovation of the building’s interior, which will include the locker room named for Holzworth.

Holzworth, who died in 2013, was sightless, yet competed around the world, winning a downhill skiing gold medal in the 1984 Blind Olympics and was the first sightless woman ever to scale Mount Rainier in Washington. She graduated from Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines. At Central, Holzworth competed for one season as a sprinter on the indoor women’s track and field squad.

Members of Holzworth’s family will be recognized at halftime of Central’s football game with the University of Dubuque.

Holzworth also participated in World Cup blind water skiing competitions, served as president of the Saylorville Dam Snowmobile Club, was a member of the Iowa Thoroughbred Association and was cited as one of the Top-10 Outstanding Young Americans, while also receiving the First Lady of Iowa Athletics Award. She was invited to the White House for receptions with Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

The renovated women’s locker room will mirror the spacious new locker room constructed as part of the gymnasium expansion. The college’s athletics equipment room will be rebuilt and an expansion and renovation of the athletic training room are also part of the lower-level improvements. Subsequent stages of the multi-million dollar renovation will provide for new team meeting space, offices and conference rooms.

News // July 10, 2017

Fundraising ramps up for Forever Dutch athletics improvements

Momentum is surging to complete the renovation of Central College’s P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium while students take advantage of the facility’s recently completed $12 million expansion.

The expansion and renovation are part of the Forever Dutch initiative, an ongoing series of improvements to the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex.

The expansion was celebrated April 20 and student-athletes are eagerly taking it over. It features an addition to the west with a new varsity locker room, a new wrestling room that triples the size of the former space, and an enlarged area for a hitting cage for softball, baseball and men’s/women’s golf. Also added was a new entrance that includes the spacious M. Joan Farver Atrium, expanded lobby, student lounge/study area, Hall of Honor and an All-America corridor, highlighting more than 200 of the college’s most decorated student-athletes. Also included are major infrastructure replacements and enhancements for the 48-year-old building.

Fueling the expansion were the descendants of the building’s namesake, Pella Corporation founder P.H. “Pete” Kuyper. Along with their family foundations, they teamed for a transformational $4.2-million gift, the largest in Central’s 164-year history. The donation included a lead gift from Farver, former Pella Corporation chair and long-time Central trustee, who passed away February 27 at 97. She was the daughter of P.H. Kuyper. The A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex is named for Farver’s grandfather, while H.S. Kuyper Fieldhouse carries the name of her brother.

Old locker rooms top renovation list

But critical work remains. The building’s renovation can be completed in stages with work needed on both the lower and upper levels of the original structure. The highest priority is a complete rebuild of the existing main-floor locker room space on the building’s west side. Until it’s completed, the spacious new locker room in the expansion will be utilized by men’s athletics teams in the fall and women’s teams in the winter and spring. But the renovated space will mirror the new locker room, providing a permanent home for Central’s women’s squads. The college’s athletics equipment room will be renovated and an expansion and renovation of the athletic training room also are part of lower-level improvements.

Subsequent stages of the multi-million-dollar renovation will provide for a new team meeting space, new department reception area, new offices and conference rooms, and recruitment space. Additional practice and competition space could follow.

Full renovation work will be north of $5 million, split roughly between needs on the lower level and upper level. Sunny Eighmy, vice president for advancement, indicated momentum is building.

“Central is eager to continue celebrating major gifts and recognizing donors who have stepped up to support the Forever Dutch initiative and Central students,” Eighmy said. “The response has been exciting. The $12 million expansion required some incredibly generous gifts, including the largest in school history. But our donors recognize how critically important it is for us to now finish the job. It’s heartwarming to see so many step up in a big way to fulfill that responsibility to Central’s students.”

The original building was constructed for an eight-sport men’s program with about 200 athletes. It now must serve a 19-sport men’s and women’s athletics program with more than 700 athletes in the past year.

But president Mark Putnam emphasized that the complex serves more than just athletes as the facilities receive heavy use by other students for intramurals and recreation. More than 94 percent of Central’s students use it regularly. In addition, some 2,000 junior high and high school students used Central’s athletics facilities last year for summer camps as well as off-season clinics. Local residents take advantage of the facilities as well.

Ignoring the building’s pressing needs and leaving the renovation incomplete is not an option.

“This remains a top fundraising priority of the college,” Putnam said, noting that the initiative is unanimously supported by the college’s board of trustees. “Clearly our donors recognize that and, more significantly, recognize the impact this can have on Central students and the future of Central College.”

Meanwhile, the building expansion is already making an impact.

“The new spaces are game-changers,” said athletics director Eric Van Kley. “Our coaches are telling us it’s given us a huge boost in recruiting. Prospective students are tremendously impressed with the new space and we’re starting to see recruits looking at Central who might not have considered us before. That gives them a chance to learn about all the advantages a Central education and being a part of the Central family can provide, with our individualized on-campus and off-campus learning opportunities, the connections they can make for internships, graduate schools and jobs, and the support they will receive here.”

New space popular

Central’s resurgent wrestling squad was among the first to benefit from the expansion, moving into the expansive wrestling room late in the season. The squad has grown to include more than 40 members in recent years, double the number the old practice room could accommodate. The rapidly improving Dutch had two All-America honorees this year and placed 18th at the NCAA Division III championships.

The new golf/baseball/softball hitting cages received heavy early use as well, Van Kley said.

The new lobby and entry spaces will be enhanced with colorful graphics and displays, completed in early fall.

“We deliberately waited on that,” Van Kley said. “We wanted to get moved into the new areas and monitor traffic patterns so we could determine the best ways we could enhance the new space.”

Ongoing improvements

Previous Forever Dutch components included enhancements to outdoor facilities in the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex. Heritage Plaza, an attractive new entrance to Ron and Joyce Schipper Stadium, was constructed, along with other improvements to the stadium’s east side. Hillside stadium seating was installed at the Central soccer field, with stadium seating also installed at the baseball and softball fields. Facility access was improved for team and support vehicles as well as for spectator access at the football and softball venues.

News // April 14, 2017

Central to Celebrate $12 Million P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium Expansion

A $12 million expansion of Central College’s P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium will be celebrated Thursday, April 20, at 5:30 p.m.

The event is open to the public and will be staged outside of the new main entrance on the south side of the building, located at the corner of West 5th Street and Independence Street on the west end of the Central campus.

The new entrance includes a spacious atrium, expanded lobby, Hall of Honor and All-America corridor, highlighting more than 200 of the college’s most decorated student-athletes. Work on some displays is not yet completed.

Meanwhile, an addition to the west created space for a new varsity locker room for men’s and women’s squads, a new wrestling room that triples the size of the former space, and an enlarged area for a hitting cage for softball, baseball and men’s/women’s golf. Also included are major infrastructure replacements and enhancements for the 48-year-old building.

The expansion is part of the Forever Dutch initiative, an ongoing series of athletics facilities improvements and additions. Fundraising is underway for the next phase, which will include complete renovation of the Kuyper Gymnasium interior spaces.

Needed Space

Eric Van Kley, Central’s athletics director, is thrilled about what the expansion means for the college’s student-athletes.

“Kuyper Gym was built before the dawn of women’s athletics,” he said. “It was constructed for an all-male, eight-sport program that served 202 athletes in 1969. We now have a 19-sport program and nearly 750 student-athletes. Adding such a large new locker room really takes the pressure off in terms of making adequate space available for every team and our student-athletes are really excited about the amenities that come with it, as well. And the new entrance and lobby expansion is something we’ve needed for a long time. It will allow us to host some larger events we previously couldn’t consider.

“These new facilities are game-changers.”

Joan Kuyper Farver Recognition

The college will honor Forever Dutch donors at the celebration, with special tribute to the late M. Joan Kuyper Farver, former chair of Pella Corporation and a longtime Central trustee. Farver passed away Feb. 27 at age 97 and a memorial service for her is set for Saturday, April 22.

Farver and other descendants of Pella Corporation founder P.H. “Pete” Kuyper, along with their family foundations, teamed for a transformational $4.2-million gift for the Forever Dutch initiative, the largest gift in Central’s 164-year history. The donation included a lead gift from Farver, daughter of P.H. Kuyper.

Central president Mark Putnam announced that the new M. Joan Kuyper Farver Atrium is named in Farver’s honor, adding her name to those of other prominent family members. The A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex is named for Farver’s grandfather, while H.S. Kuyper Fieldhouse carries the name of her brother.

Putnam noted that she and the Kuyper/Farver/Griffith family were large contributors to numerous campus capital projects and provided significant scholarship support, most notably through the Rolscreen Scholarships. Established in 1942, they remain Central’s top academic scholarships and played a fundamental role in establishing the college’s academic strength. The family’s benevolence also provided for the college’s Chapel, constructed in 1982 and representative of Central’s spiritual undergirding.

“In particular, Joan Farver felt a great responsibility in stewarding the family’s legacy in the college athletics complex which bears the family name,” Putnam said. “She was a woman of great humility. She never sought recognition, nor was comfortable receiving it. But it’s fitting that now her name has a place along with other family members in the Kuyper complex.

“I’m especially pleased that, before she passed away, we were able to inform her of our intention of naming this space for her. It was not something she expected, but it was clear that this honor meant a great deal to her. And it’s immensely gratifying to us to be able to honor her in this way.”

News // January 6, 2017

January Photo Update

News // December 16, 2016

December Photo Update

News // November 15, 2016

November Photo Update

News // November 2, 2016

48-Hour Challenge Results are In

The Forever Dutch 48-Hour Challenge ran from Oct. 24-25. The goal of the campaign was expand the team of Forever Dutch supporters. Participation played an important role. Donations, no matter the size, were sought.

Over $42,000 was contributed to Forever Dutch by 421 donors during the 48-Hour Challenge. The employees of Central College stepped up to the plate during the 48-Hour Challenge, and 184 employees contributed within the first 24 hours. As part of the challenge, participants were encouraged to “challenge a friend” to donate to Forever Dutch.

Fundraising to help complete the renovation phase will continue. The 48-Hour Challenge provided a boost to these efforts.

48 Hour Challenge

News // October 24, 2016

P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium renovation

Central’s board of trustees announced that funding for the P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium expansion phase of the Forever Dutch initiative is complete! The college is investing nearly $12 million in this work as well as the improvements to several outdoor competition venues that were completed earlier, including the new Heritage Plaza entrance to Ron and Joyce Schipper Stadium, the PPI videoboard and new seating at the baseball, softball and soccer fields.

But work remains! The board has endorsed the college’s efforts to continue raising up to an additional $5 million to complete the much-needed P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium renovation. The most cost-effective way to accomplish that is to keep the current construction crews on site and begin the renovation phase as soon as the expansion is completed. If that work is delayed, construction costs soar beyond $5 million and start-up charges will be incurred.

P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium Renovation Phase

Athletics director Eric Van Kley said he expects the gymnasium’s expansion phase to be completed in early spring, so funding must be quickly secured to transition the construction crews immediately into the renovation phase.

“The Forever Dutch leadership gifts we’ve received for the expansion have been tremendously generous and gratifying,” Van Kley said. “But now is the time for the rest of us in the Central family to step up on this project, which president Mark Putnam calls the college’s No. 1 priority.

“This is our team. This is our time.”

Southwest Entry

News // October 3, 2016

October Photo Update

News // September 9, 2016

September Photo Update