Distinguished alumni

Lyle Vander Werff Distinguished Service to Northwestern College

Vander Werff graduated from Northwestern Junior College in 1954 and went on to earn degrees from Hope College (B.A., 1956), Western Seminary (M.Div., 1959), Princeton Seminary (Th.M., 1961) and Scotland’s University of Edinburgh (Ph.D., 1968). He also was given an honorary doctorate from Keiwa College of Japan in 1996. A former Reformed Church in America pastor and missionary to Kuwait, Vander Werff taught in Northwestern College’s religion department from 1967 to 1999. He called Northwestern students “salt of the earth” and “seekers of the truth” and his career a “tremendous privilege to get paid to do what I enjoyed.” In 1980, Vander Werff helped establish Northwestern’s first sister school relationship with Keiwa College, and five years later, students from Keiwa and elsewhere attended the first Summer Institute for International Students on Northwestern’s campus. In 1985, Vander Werff also was named the Northwestern College Teacher of the Year.

Award year: 2004