Verburg receives staff award

Nora Verburg, music department secretary at Northwestern College, has been named the 2010 recipient of the college’s Staff Recognition for Inspirational Service Award. The award was announced at Northwestern’s Spring Recognition Banquet on April 26.

As the recipient, Verburg receives a $500 honorarium funded by the Alumni Association, a plaque, and a luncheon to share with her coworkers. The honor is given to recognize staff who consistently provide outstanding contributions by going above and beyond what is expected, personify a strong Christian commitment, and distinguish themselves as an inspiration to the campus community. Northwestern employees nominated candidates, and a selection committee—which included a faculty member, the Student Government Association president, two previous winners of the award and two other staff members—selected Verburg.

Verburg, a resident of Middleburg, graduated from Northwestern in 1988 with a music major. A piano teacher for 20 years and a former music teacher at Christian schools in Hospers and Inwood, Iowa, she is in her ninth year on the Northwestern staff.

Dr. Tim McGarvey, professor of music and chairperson of the music department, says he and his colleagues are inspired by Verburg’s servant nature and commitment to her job. “While Nora is an hourly employee, she at times works at home without turning hours in and does many things way beyond the call of duty, simply because she sees a need and fills it,” he wrote in a letter of nomination. “She is incredibly reliable, and we lean on her to keep so much of what we do running smoothly. We have been spoiled by her giving spirit.”

Dr. Thomas Holm, professor of music, wrote that Verburg’s Christian commitment is evident by the way she does her work and interacts with others. “She personifies Christian witness by always remaining kind, patient and caring—even in the most challenging of circumstances. Her personal faith in God shows through in the ways she treats others with respect, handles delicate matters professionally yet with kindness, and in her own dedication to her family and church work.”

In another nomination letter, Dr. Luke Dahn, assistant professor of music, wrote of the impact Verburg has on students. “She is the initial ‘face’ of the music department as she coordinates the incoming student scholarship audition process, guiding the students along the way. Students very often take the time to remark on how helpful and understanding Nora is.”