Distinguished alumni

Don Van Etten Distinguished 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.

Award year: 2007