What does it mean to be Forever Dutch®? Central students share their experiences on what being Forever Dutch means to them.
Cooper Vittetoe ’21
Major: Communication Studies
Hometown: Waukee, Iowa
Campus Activities: A Cappella Choir, Chamber Singers, SOS (Student Orientation Staff) and Work-Study
You’ve probably heard this tagline more times than you can count. It adorns things across our campus, both big and small, and has made itself a major part of the legacy of Central College. I’m talking about “Forever Dutch.” Something that started in athletics has blossomed into something bigger. But what does it mean? That’s open to interpretation, but here is my point of view on what it means to be Forever Dutch.
Central is more than a private liberal arts school in Pella, Iowa. It is a community of students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. This community is at the heart of what the Central experience is for students and why so many current students and alumni note the community aspect as to why they chose Central. This community makes itself apparent in small and large ways. For example, in the first week on campus, incoming students are treated to an event called Dinner On Us. This is where faculty, staff and community members of Central and Pella host a meal and welcome students to Central. This is an experience that stays with students throughout college and starts their time here with the message that this community cares. In addition, the community at Central is something students are accepted into and welcomed into with open arms from the minute they step on campus.
With many things in life, some would assume that the Central community is only there for students while they are on campus, and the moment they graduate it disappears. That is not the case! At Central, you are Forever Dutch, meaning even years after you graduate and go on to do amazing things in the world, Central still is here for you and supportive of you! We reaffirm this every day to students through our new student ID that reads “I Am Forever Dutch” on the front, so whenever a student takes it out to get into their residence hall or to get a meal at the Central Market, they are reminded of the community they belong to for life! In addition, Central is all about making connections. These connections range from seemingly small interactions with your professors and classmates to notable alumni connections made in your field of study and beyond. This helps further cement the Central community into the world with new and notable alumni having the same passion for Central now as they did years ago!
Being Forever Dutch is more than a tagline. Being Forever Dutch means you’re a part of a community that spans the world! It means being a part of a tradition of excellence in academics, athletics and professionalism beyond your time in college, and it means you will always be a member of this community. So the next time you pull out your student ID, walk around this immaculate campus or find success in your field, remember you are and always will be Forever Dutch!
Dani Neu ’21
Central College is a small, liberal arts college that prides itself on its commitment to athletics, music, sustainability and studying abroad. Central also is very committed to its students. I believe this commitment is why alumni have such positive experiences, even years after graduating, and why they continually come back to be part of the Central community. This community, along with the academics and opportunities, is what makes us Forever Dutch. Forever Dutch is a phrase to show we’ll always have a place within the Central community, even after graduation.
My Forever Dutch story began long before I became a student at Central. It started in the late ’80s when both my parents started college at Central. They began to date, fell in love and eventually my dad even proposed to my mom in the P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium. I grew up listening to countless stories about my parents’ adventures at Central, going to Dutch football games and the annual Tulip Time festival.
My relationship with Central continued to get stronger the older I became, especially when my dad decided to take a position at the school as one of the athletic trainers. Throughout middle school and high school, I visited Central often. Whether it was to see my dad or go to one of Central’s athletics events. During these casual visits, I familiarized myself a bit with both the campus and the people, but when it came time for me to look at colleges, I was hesitant about applying to Central.
I had grown up knowing Central my whole life, yet I wasn’t sure if that’s what I wanted for my future. My parents knew this, but they still encouraged me to go on a visit at Central. Their reasoning was, “You don’t have to go to Central, but you do have to go on at least one visit to see what it’s like.” It didn’t take long for me to thank my parents for making me go on a visit because I ended up loving it all. I remember feeling impressed by the campus and the opportunities they had both academically and socially. I also noticed how strong the community was. Everyone was very kind, welcoming and I was able to talk to students about what life would be like for me at Central. By the end of my visit, I could see a real future for me here, even as a 17-year-old high school student. From then on, I knew Central was the place for me.
This fall, I am starting my junior year at Central. My first two years at Central have been incredible. I love everything about Central. From the academics to the people to the community, I have found my place on this beautiful campus. Academically, I have pushed myself to be a better student with encouragement from my professors. I have also been able to do things I didn’t think I would be doing in high school, like conducting my own research and taking honors classes. Finally, the Central community has set high standards and encourages students. The people on campus are another reason why I love Central.
I’ve become a more well-rounded person thanks to the activities I have been a part of through Central. Opportunities like internships and studying abroad give students the chance to see what the real world is like, which better prepare us for life after graduation. My summer internship in Central’s communication office has been a great experience because I have learned what it’s like to be a part of a working team, while building a portfolio of work. I’ve also gone on a study abroad trip to Mérida, Mexico, during Central’s spring break, which made me even more excited to go to London, England, for the whole semester this fall! Central’s study abroad program is incredible for encouraging students to get out of his or her comfort zone to learn more about the global community. With all the opportunities Central has given me, I’m getting set up for a lifetime of success.
Central has pushed me to be a better person, both in and outside the classroom. Not only have I learned through my courses, but the opportunities Central has given me outside the classroom have stretched me into the person I am today. Central has also only ever encouraged me in all my goals.
Central has always been a part of my life because of my family history, but after becoming a student it’s now permanently a part of who I am. The people, opportunities and incredible community will always stick with me and make me proud to say I am Forever Dutch.
Jon Alberts ’20
Majors: Business Management and Philosophy
Hometown: Huntley, Illinois
Campus Activities: Football (Kicker)
Awards: American Rivers All-Conference, first team; Google Cloud/CoSIDA Academic All-America, first team
When I think of Forever Dutch, I think about how Central College is a leader in the American Rivers Conference and all of Division III when it comes to alumni support and involvement. There isn’t any other school with the culture we have and the relationships that endure between alumni and students. A perfect example has been the support during the Forever Dutch initiative. These upcoming changes will play a huge role in continuing Central’s excellent athletics tradition far into the future. The athletes of Central, past, present and future, are extremely grateful to the alumni who help make our college experience special.
During my brief time as a student-athlete at Central, I have been lucky enough to experience drastic transformations to many of our athletics facilities. Like other athletes at Central, I use these facilities many hours every day. It has been so significant to have these areas renovated during my time here and the impact these changes have had on our teams is too large to be measured. As a football player, I’ve seen first-hand how much our team has benefited from the new locker room. In the future, the football team will be able to utilize that space year-round, which is exciting and important. We love playing at home because of our fans and supporters, and also because of the amazing facilities we get to take advantage of before and after games. I’m jealous of the future athletes who will join our Central family and get to utilize these changes for their entire careers. Even though my Central athletics career will end, I will always be Forever Dutch.