Central College News

Central College Emeriti Trustees Establish Endowment

Featured: Central College Emeriti Trustees Establish Endowment

December 15, 2022

Two Class of 1960 Central College graduates have established an endowed scholarship in their names. The Harold Kolenbrander and Judy Grooters Scholarship is open to students who have significant financial need and who have both the desire and the capacity to be successful Central students. Harold Kolenbrander and Judy Gosselink Grooters decided to establish the endowment to support the next generation of Central students.

“It just seemed right,” Kolenbrander says. “We have so many connections to Central and we both had children that graduated from Central. We are very close to Central. We wanted to make this endowment to support students.”

The two shared many common experiences, which began at Central. They married Central sweethearts, served on the Board of Trustees beginning in the 1990s and now share a heart for each other.

After long successful lives and the passing of their spouses, a trip to their 50th class reunion reacquainted the old friends. The location of their children and grandchildren caused Kolenbrander and Grooters to be in the East Coast area when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down their worlds. They reconnected and married last year.

Scholarships played a role in both Kolenbrander’s and Grooters’ ability to attend Central. Grooters came to Central receiving music scholarships.

“When we were sophomores, the Sputnik space program went on,” Kolenbrander explains. “One result was that the U.S. Congress passed the National Defense Student Loans program to support the sciences. I received one of those, which helped quite a bit.”

“Many of us had some type of support during college, even if we didn’t know it,” Kolenbrander says. “We had support because our tuition didn’t pay all the bills so the Reformed Church in America was a donor. We all need support in one way or another. One of the ways we can help Central is by creating scholarships. It’s important for us to ensure that the kind of education that we enjoyed and benefited from continues to be available to students now and for years to come.”

“I think all of us alumni really ought to think about what others did to help Central and how we can help the next generation,” Kolenbrander says. “The endowed option is one that is particularly meaningful to me because it ensures an ongoing stream of funding.”

“I think Harold understands the needs of colleges better after being a college president. He knows a lot of colleges and understands why the support of alumni is very important,” Grooters says.

Individuals or families interested in creating an endowed scholarship or another endowment at Central are encouraged to contact the development office at development@central.edu or call 800-447-0287.