Legacy. The word has multiple definitions, such as relating to, associated with or carried over from an earlier time. Northwestern College’s campus is sprinkled with legacy students, 41 to be exact. These students have parents or grandparents who have also attended NW. Among them are third generation students Adam De Boer, Allison Haverdink, Jadeyn Veltkamp, and fourth generation student William Minnick.
Each student has long-term roots in Orange City. Veltkamp, a sophomore public relations major, has lived here her entire life. De Boer and Haverdink both had fathers who grew up near Orange City. Minnick’s mother grew up in Orange City.
De Boer, a freshman elementary education major, has lived in Orange City for 10 years, but his father, a NW alum, grew up on a farm outside of town. After moving to California, Chicago and again to Ames, the De Boer family returned to Orange City.
Similarly, Haverdink, a sophomore psychology major, lived outside of town and attended Orange City schools until moving into town when she was 11. Her father grew up outside of Orange City, lived in Michigan for a short time and then returned the Orange City area.
Haverdink, whose parents and grandmother are NW alums, was also familiar with the campus.
“I grew up on campus,” she said, explaining that she visited frequently for various athletic events and high school conferences that the college hosted.
Minnick, a sophomore history major, followed his mother, grandmother and great grandfather to NW and has roots that date back to the founding of Orange City.
“Everyone who came over from Holland came here,” Minnick said, “and we haven’t really left.”
Because of their ties with both the town and the college, these students felt at home at NW.
“I knew the faculty, I knew the staff, I knew the campus. It felt comfortable to transition here,” Minnick said.
While all have strong family connections and a familiarity with NW, it didn’t seem to be the biggest influence on their decision to continue their education in Orange City.
“I was in no way pressured by any of my family members to come to NW,” Veltkamp said, whose mother and grandmother attended NW. When Veltkamp began to think about college, she realized that she wanted a smaller Christian college close to home.
For De Boer and Minnick, the financial assistance of free tuition was a large factor in their decision to attend NW, as both have parents who work at the college.
While NW begins and continues to impact the lives of these current legacy students, they are also able to see the importance the school has had in the lives of their relatives and are happy to carry over the history of those who came before them.
“NW has given my grandma, mom and I all a great college experience,” Veltkamp said. “We were able to receive a great education that emphasized living out our faith. Not all colleges can offer that.”
Haverdink would agree, as the college has always aligned with her family’s values: excellence in education, working hard and a focus on faith.
“It has acted as a second home for all of us,” De Boer said about his family. “I hope I can say the same when my time here concludes.”