Bultmans to receive honorary degrees

Dr. James and Martie Bultman will be awarded honorary doctorates during Northwestern College’s commencement ceremony on May 10.
Northwestern College will award 277 diplomas during commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 10. Twenty-five students will receive Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees, while the rest of the graduating seniors will be granted Bachelor of Arts degrees.

Ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. in the DeWitt Physical Fitness Center of the Rowenhorst Student Center. Dr. James Bultman, former president of Northwestern College, will address the graduates in a speech entitled “To Serve or Be Served: That Is the Question.”

A live webcast of commencement will be available at www.nwciowa.edu/commencement/live. The college’s baccalaureate service is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, May 9, in Christ Chapel.

Bultman served as Northwestern’s president from 1985 to 1999 before another 14-year term as president of Hope College until his retirement in 2013. During his tenure at both institutions, enrollment and endowments grew and successful fundraising campaigns were held that raised money for new construction and building renovations. He and his wife, Martie, were recognized for their commitment to excellence and their passion for students. They knew students by name, attended their activities and sporting events, welcomed them into their home, and joined them for meals in the cafeteria.

In recognition of the Bultmans’ lives of service to Christian higher education, Northwestern will award both Jim and Martie honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees during commencement.

In addition to serving as a college president, Jim was an active leader in statewide and national educational concerns. He was chair of the board of directors for the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and a member of the NAIA’s Executive Committee. He also chaired the Iowa College Foundation, the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the Commission on Campus Concerns for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. A Hope graduate, he earned a master’s degree and doctorate in educational leadership from Western Michigan University. Both Hope and Western Michigan have honored him with their institution’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Martie, also a Hope graduate, is a former special education and learning disabilities instructor. A passionate and skilled advocate for students with special needs, she co-authored the Friendship Series, a religious instruction curriculum for sharing God’s love with persons who have disabilities. She also served on the board of directors for Friendship Ministries, on the steering committee for disability concerns for the Reformed Church in America, and on the planning committee for Western Theological Seminary’s Friendship House.

The Bultmans have both been awarded honorary doctorates by Hope College. And both Northwestern and Hope have named buildings in their honor: the Bultman Center for Health, Physical Education and Intercollegiate Athletics at NWC and the future Bultman Student Center at Hope.