Distinguished Alumni Awards

Northwestern’s alumni office seeks nominations for future Distinguished Alumni Award candidates. Nominees should be graduates of the academy, junior college or college, or have attended the junior college for one year or the college for three semesters. Candidates must be at least five years beyond their graduation year and not currently an officer of the Alumni Association or a member of the award selection committee.

Three awards are presented during the college's annual Legacy Celebration Banquet:

  • Distinguished Professional Achievement: The alum chosen for this award demonstrates leadership, competence, dedication to continuing education and integrity in his/her chosen profession.
  • Distinguished Service to Humankind: The alum chosen for this award demonstrates leadership abilities in service to the community and/or society at large through notable Christian contributions.
  • Distinguished Service to Northwestern College: The alum chosen for this award demonstrates loyalty to the mission of Northwestern College, continued interest and support of the goals of NWC, and reflects honor on the college by his/her Christian lifestyle.

To nominate someone for a Distinguished Alumni Award who meets the above requirements, email the alumni office.

Martin GuthmillerDistinguished Professional Achievement

A health care visionary, Guthmiller cares most about providing patients and their families with a unique healing environment. After graduating from Northwestern, Guthmiller was an accountant in West Des Moines and Sheldon until 1989, when he became chief financial officer and assistant administrator at Northwest Iowa Health Center in Sheldon. After earning an M.S. in health administration from the University of Colorado in 1993, Guthmiller became chief executive officer of the Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS). In order to expand OCAHS’s facilities and services, Guthmiller oversaw planning, fund raising and construction of a new 128,000-square-foot, $29.6 million hospital and clinic, completed in 2006 and located on a campus between the communities of Orange City and Alton. Guthmiller has served on and led a number of boards for Orange City organizations, including Community Health Partners, Northwest Iowa Dialysis Center, and Orange City Development Corporation.

Dave Hulsart Distinguished Service to Northwestern College

A dedicated volunteer for the Red Raiders, Hulsart has kept the statistics at football games and run the clock at basketball games for over 26 years, even in times of poor health. He also served as head coach for the softball team from 1989 to 2001, compiling a record of 348-183. His teams won nine conference titles, and his 1997 squad was the first NWC softball team to qualify for the NAIA national tournament, finishing ninth with a record of 44-10. Hulsart was named the regional coach of the year in 1994 and ’97 and earned conference coach of the year honors in 2000, the same year he served as president of the NAIA Softball Coaches Association. The N-Club gave him four coaching achievement awards. A former assistant coach for the NWC baseball team, Hulsart is back on the field as an assistant for Head Softball Coach Melanie Mason. He also serves as owner and manager of Dove Christian Book Store in Orange City.

Don Van EttenDistinguished Service to Humankind

Dr. Don Van Etten has devoted his life to his church, community, state and profession. A native of Orange City, he attended Northwestern for a year before graduating from Hope College. After earning a medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine, he completed his internship and surgical residency at Butterworth Hospital in Michigan. His 33-year surgical career was spent in Bahrain; Mason City, Iowa; and Rapid City, South Dakota. Van Etten is serving his fourth term in the South Dakota House of Representatives, where he chairs the Health and Human Services Committee and serves on the Taxation Committee. He has traveled to the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Venezuela on two-week surgical mission trips. At home, he has served as an elder, vice chair of the ministry board, and chair of the building committee for his local church.
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