Central College News

Review of Central’s Top Stories in 2022

Featured: Review of Central’s Top Stories in 2022

December 27, 2022

Central College had a news-filled 2022 with new programs, successful fundraising, accreditations and awards. Here’s a look back at a few of the news stories that made the greatest impact. For all the news of 2022, visit news.central.edu/2022.


1 NASA Astronaut Chari Visited Central

Space Station Central” came in February 2022, where campus and community members were able to talk with Raja Chari, NASA astronaut, live from the International Space Station. Chari returned to Earth, and he and his wife, Holly Schaffter Chari, a 1999 Central graduate, joined students on Central’s campus Sept. 22.


2 Fulbright Scholars Selected

Olivia Svoboda and Zaira Doñoro Gallardo.

Olivia Svoboda, a 2022 Central graduate, received a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant award to teach English in Spain for the 2022-23 academic year. Zaira Doñoro Gallardo, from Madrid, Spain, came to campus as a Fulbright scholar to lead Spanish conversation labs. Terence Kleven, professor of religion, was awarded a Fulbright extension to remain in Amman, Jordan, and research Arabic political philosophy.


3 Academic Advancements Revealed

Female student in red sweatshirt working in a chemistry lab

Faculty and the academic affairs office implemented changes that bolstered majors and programs for prospective students. The updates in majors and programs include Bachelor of Science degrees in biochemistry and in chemistry; business analytics and business secondary education tracks; data science tracks with computer science and mathematics; and a strength and conditioning major.


4 ABET Accreditation Earned

Professor with students working on a computer

Central’s engineering program received accreditation by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. The team of engineering faculty developed the courses to meet ABET’s high standards and give Central graduates greater value to future employers.


5 Women’s Wrestling Program Launched

Central College wrestling center

Athletics director Eric Van Kley announced that Central will add women’s wrestling as its 21st intercollegiate sport. Former Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association and NAIA national champion Paige Baynes was named head coach. The Dutch will launch the program with a limited schedule in 2023-24.


6 Central Kid Captains Honored

Kid Captains on Central football field

Central welcomed six outstanding Pella area students from fourth to eighth grades for Kid Captain Day at the Central football game, Oct. 22. These students model the ideals that align with Central values.


7 Strength and Conditioning Accredited 

Male strength and conditioning student works with female triathlon athlete

Central became the first college in Iowa — and one of just four in the nation — to earn accreditation from the Council on Accreditation of Strength and Conditioning Programs. The strength and conditioning program is predominantly focused on preparing athletics coaches.


8 Braskamp Family Made $700,000 Commitment

Grace and Allan Braskamp

Seven siblings — all Central alumni — honored their parents by establishing a $700,000 endowment in their names, the Allan and Grace Braskamp Family Endowment for Purpose, Meaning and Faith.


9 Central Awarded a $900,000 Grant and Others

Central College students in Spain

The U.S. Department of Education awarded Central two Upward Bound grants for $992,155 to support first-generation, income-eligible students in central Iowa as they prepare for post-secondary education. The college also received a $35,000 IDEAS grant to support international study.


10 Iowa Campus Compact Awards Bestowed

Mark Putnam, Fritz Maytag and Ken Maytag

Iowa Campus Compact announced its 2022 President’s and Engaged Campus Awards and the list includes two entries nominated by Central. The Fred Maytag Family Foundation and Paulina Mena, faculty fellow for diversity and inclusion, were honored.


11 Passionate Alums Bequeathed Endowment

Hendrik G. “Henry” Van Leeuwen

Hendrik G. “Henry” Van Leeuwen, Class of 1950 graduate, bequeathed $224,787 to Central to establish the Van Leeuwen Scholarship for students. He and his wife, Marie Arlene Van Hal, a Central 1955 alumna, chose to establish a scholarship open to any Central student.


12 Record-Breaking Funds Received

Central students with mascot, Big Red
The Central advancement office supported the college, current students and the next generation of students with exceptional fundraising. With a successful Hoo-Rah Day and other events, the college finished the fiscal year in June raising more than $7.8 million. This fiscal year, the 48-hour Challenge and Giving Tuesday have exceeded goals through the generosity of Central donors.


13 New CFO Appointed

Karen Tumlinson, vice president for finance and administration and treasurer at Central College

The college welcomed Karen Tumlinson as vice president for finance and administration and treasurer of the college.