Dordt University entrance sign

SIOUX CENTER—In light of the coronavirus pandemic, Dordt University in Sioux Center has announced it has canceled the 2020 Defender Days, the alumni and parents’ weekend.

Originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 16-17, Defender Days is the biggest event on campus as students, alumni and parents celebrate Dordt and reunite on campus for home sporting events, concerts, a theatre production and more.

“Defenders are resilient. Everywhere we turn we are hearing stories of Dordt students, parents and alumni pivoting in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Brandon Huisman, vice president for enrollment and marketing at Dordt. “While not hosting Defender Days is certainly disappointing, we are committed to doing all we can to continue face-to-face learning until Dec. 11 — the end of our semester.”

A number of events — including the fall music festival, athletic games and the fall theatre production — still will be held, but will not be open to the public. Instead, student athletes, musicians, and performers will receive limited tickets, which they may distribute to their friends and family.

Paul TenHaken, the mayor of Sioux Falls, SD, and recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award, and Chris Boomsma, director of education at the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America and recipient of the 2020 Horizon Award, will be honored at Defender Days in October 2021.

“We plan to celebrate them both this year and next year,” said Alicia Bowar, associate director of alumni relations. “We want them to come to campus and share their expertise with our students and broader community.”

The Year 0 reunion for the class of 2020, which originally was scheduled for Defender Days, will be postponed to a future date, so members of the class of 2020 may have the chance to celebrate together on campus.

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt equips students, faculty, alumni and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life.

Dordt has been named first in the nation for student engagement by The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education for four consecutive year.

Dordt is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by U.S. News & World Report,, Washington Monthly and Princeton Review.