Northwestern to honor three at Homecoming

Northwestern College will honor three distinguished alumni on Friday, Oct. 5, during the college’s Homecoming festivities. Marty Guthmiller and Dave Hulsart, Orange City, and Dr. Don Van Etten, Rapid City, S.D., will be recognized for their professional, Northwestern service and humanitarian achievements.

The Distinguished Alumni Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. in Vermeer Dining Room. Cost is $10. Reservations are required; contact the Northwestern College alumni office at 712-707-7134 or, or visit

Guthmiller, the recipient of the Distinguished Professional Achievement Award, is considered a health care visionary in northwest Iowa, caring most about providing patients and their families with a unique healing environment.

After graduating from Northwestern in 1982, Guthmiller earned his C.P.A. and was an accountant in West Des Moines and Sheldon. In 1989, he became chief financial officer and assistant administrator at Northwest Iowa Health Center in Sheldon.

After earning a master’s degree 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, located on a campus between the communities of Orange City and Alton. The facility officially opened its doors in May 2006.

Guthmiller has both served on and led a number of boards for Orange City organizations, including Community Health Partners, Northwest Iowa Diagnostics, Northwest Iowa Dialysis Center, Orange City Area Daycare, Orange City Area Health Foundation, and Orange City Development Corporation.

Hulsart, the recipient of the Distinguished Service to Northwestern College Award, took classes at Northwestern in the 1970s and ’80s before enrolling full time in 1988 and graduating in 1991.

A dedicated volunteer for the Red Raiders, Hulsart has kept 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 Northwestern’s 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 Northwestern 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 Coaches Association. The N-Club has given him four coaching achievement awards.

A former assistant coach for Northwestern’s baseball team, Hulsart is currently an assistant for the softball team.

Van Etten, the recipient of the Distinguished Service to Humankind Award, has devoted his life to serving his church, community, state and profession. A native of Orange City, he attended Northwestern College in 1952–53 before graduating from Hope College, followed by the University of Iowa College of Medicine.

After three years at American Mission Hospital in Bahrain, Van Etten returned to Iowa and joined Park Clinic in Mason City. He also practiced medicine in Rapid City, S.D., for 20 years and is now retired there.

Van Etten has served as a delegate to the Iowa State Medical Society and the South Dakota State Medical Association, as chair of Rapid City Regional Hospital’s surgery section, and as board chair for Bethany Christian Services in Rapid City.

He is a four-time representative to the South Dakota state legislature, where he chaired the Health and Human Services Committee and served on panels examining prescription drug and health insurance issues. His advocacy has been recognized by the American Cancer Society and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.