July 30, 2002
New Development Officer
Andy DeVries is not one to avoid a challenge.
As a Calvin student he once rode his motocycle, a Triumph, through an entire winter after being challenged to do so by a roommate. He still recalls sitting in class, trying to write while his fingers regained some warmth. Yet he still rides a cycle (now a Harley), just not year-round!
A challenge is what caused DeVries to make a switch in jobs recently at Calvin. He moved from the school's Career Services office, where he was in charge of internships, to a post in the Calvin Development office, as director of corporate giving.
"I liked what I was doing (in Career Services) a great deal," he says, "but the new challenges of the job in Development were really intriguing to me. In the end I couldn't pass up the chance to take them on."
DeVries admits, however, that part of what interested him about the fundraising job was being able to continue to work closely with area businesses. In his work on summer internships he spent a lot of time visiting local employers, sometimes on his latest bike, a 1999 Harley Davidson Wide Glide. As a Development officer he'll continue to call on corporations, perhaps on his bike, but with a slight twist: now he won't be asking companies to hire Calvin students as summer interns, he'll be asking them for financial support.
But DeVries says the two types of visits are not unrelated.
"Companies that have had Calvin students as interns have had a first-hand look at what a Calvin education is all about," he says. "Those companies will have had good experiences with us because of our students. And so asking them for financial support becomes much easier. They know the quality of a Calvin education. And they're inclined to believe in it and want to give back."
Robert Berkhof, Calvin vice president for development, says DeVries will be a good addition to the school's fundraising efforts. "Andy brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this position," he says, "and we're pleased to have him be part of our development team."
DeVries came to Calvin in August of 1999 after a 16-year career in business. He was a VP for US Signal and president of SportsXchange in Wyoming. Prior to that he spent 12 years as a teacher and coach in the Jenison Christian Schools. He is a 1970 graduate of Calvin who holds a master's from Central Michigan University. He has been president of the Grand Rapids Rotary Club and is currently president of the Excel Charter School Board, vice president of the Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission and a board member of the Gerald Ford Council of Boy Scouts of America.