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Sept 13, 2004

New DeKruyter Chair

Long-time Calvin professor of communication arts and sciences Quentin Schultze will be installed as the first holder of the new Arthur H. DeKruyter Chair in Faith and Communication at Calvin on September 28.

The new chair, Schultze says, will solidify Calvin's prominent role internationally in the study and practice of communication within the context of a religious faith.

The new DeKruyter Chair was established to honor a 1947 Calvin graduate and Grand Rapids native who went on to earn advanced degrees at Calvin and Princeton seminaries before a successful, high-profile career in the ministry that spanned almost half a century.

Schultze, a widely recognized expert and outspoken Christian in the field of communication, will speak in Grand Rapids at the September 28 installation ceremony as will Calvin president Gaylen Byker, longtime Schultze friend and colleague Rich DeVos and DeKruyter himself.

"The goal of the new chair," says Schultze, "is to bring a Reformed, servant-oriented approach to bear on the whole range of human communication. We've been doing this at Calvin since the school was founded, but now with this chair and related initiatives, we can help the college community - and the church worldwide - communicate wisely and well in changing cultures. We Christians have to step out of our tribalism and communicate with the world, not just with ourselves."

One of Schultze's related initiatives is the recently begun Calvin Workshops in Communication.

"We are called to serve communicators beyond just our undergraduate students," Schultze says. "Better ethical communication is important for businesses and non-profit organizations of all kinds."

Schultze is a native of Chicago who earned his bachelor of arts degree, master of arts degree and doctoral degree from the University of Illinois. After teaching at Drake University for four years he came to Calvin in 1982.

He has been honored with Calvin's Presidential Award for Exemplary Teaching and also is a prolific writer - author of 10 books related to Christianity and communication, including Christianity and the Media in America: Toward a Democratic Accommodation, and High-Tech Worship? Using Presentational Technologies Wisely.

He has also written several dozen journal articles and more than 100 articles for general-interest periodicals and religious publications. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Fortune and interviewed by ABC Talk Radio, CNN, National Public Radio and dozens of other radio and television stations.

Influential in the public sector, Schultze speaks frequently at universities, civic events and churches. He was instrumental in the launch of the largest Christian online ministry (Gospel Communications Network of Muskegon) and he has advised dozens of for-profit and non-profit organizations on communication-related matters.

DeKruyter was an equally prolific and influential communicator. In 1965 he was called to the growing community of Oak Brook, Illinois, to found a new, "community" church long before the term was fashionable. Begun on Easter Sunday in 1965 with five families, Christ Church of Oak Brook has grown to a congregation of more than 5,000 members, who come from more than 35 denominations. The weekly television and radio broadcasts he initiated continue to reach thousands in the Chicagoland area, throughout the U.S. and abroad.

While currently retired from full-time preaching, De Kruyter continues his ministry through teaching, mentoring and advocating for mission concerns. He lives in Oak Brook with his wife of 55 years, Gladys.

Unlike many institutes and chairs on college campuses, which are funded by one donor, funds for the new chair honoring DeKruyter came from numerous people whose lives he has touched over the years.

Schultze says the breadth of support for the chair is fitting.

"Arthur DeKruyter served many, many people during his years in the ministry," he says. "For so many people to come together and financially support the new chair is a testament to his life and legacy. This chair both honors Rev. DeKruyter and obligates us at Calvin to keep alive his legacy of warm, wise and servant-oriented communication. Good communication is both a calling and a blessing. I love St. Francis' statement: 'Preach the gospel always; if necessary use words.'"

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Contact Phil de Haan
616-526-6475 (v)
616-526-7069 (f)