Trinity Western University

1987

Founders’ Week

Nostalgia, pride, and pageantry characterized the week of February 23-27. The campus and community were caught up in the spirit of “Founders’ Week,” a joint effort of both the Student Association and Administration.
Chapel speakers included Mr. David Enarson, Dr. Robert Thompson, Mr. Benno Friesen, Dr. Neil Snider, and Dr. Calvin Hanson. These founders of our school told of the vision that gave birth to TWU, the struggles to make it a reality, and the many clear indications that they were following God’s will.
[TWU Archives: Pillar Yearbook Collection, 1987, Addendum p.193]

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    Benno Friesen

    Staff member Rollin Walton holding the microphone for Member of Parliament and founding faculty member, Benno Friesen, 1987.

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    [TWU Archives: 1998-01-1608]

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    Dick Walters

    Ken Lawrence, pastor and Trinity Board member, interviewing founding faculty member Richard (Dick) Walters, 1987.

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    [TWU Archives: 1998-01-3750]

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    In Appreciation For ...

    Dick Walters’ Founders’ Week certificate, 1987.

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    [TWU Archives: F 63.03 B 1 File 22]

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    Pioneering Students

    Four of Trinity’s first seventeen students being interviewed by Ken Lawrence. Pictured (l to r) are Vic and Claudia (Heusken) Janzen, Joyce (Turner) Mickelson, and Sharon (Van Soest) Mullins, 1987.

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    [TWU Archives: 1998-01-4622]

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    Without You ... We Wouldn't Be Here Today ...

    Diane Denney, Student Council Vice President, expresses her appreciation for those who paved the way, 1987.

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    [TWU Archives: Audio Visual Collection. Aud 178]

    [17:30] Yesterday at the party we also gave out some special awards. It’s so hard, because there are so many people we would like to honour – people that gave of their time to the school, people that gave of their money – we heard the story this week about Vernon Strombeck and how he mortgaged his home to be able to help expand the library. That’s incredible to us students, as we try and struggle just to pay tuition. So, the awards that we gave out were to three people in particular. One was Mr. Walters. He’s the only one that is still on staff, that has been here since the very beginning; and we thought it was important for him to be honoured in front of the student body. The other person we honoured was Dr. Hanson. We heard during this week that he, at first, came to Trinity a little unwilling. He didn’t quite understand what the founders were trying to do and he wasn’t sure if he really wanted to be a part of it yet. But he came, and he became the first president of Trinity Junior College, and what a vision he had. And what I found most challenging about Dr. Hanson was that he wasn’t stopped by the limitations that were there twenty-five years ago: the lack of money, the lack of facilities, anything. He had a vision and he took [inaudible] with it. The third person we honoured was Dr. Snider. I think a lot of students can’t help but be inspired and motivated by - not only that Dr. Snider has a vision, he took the vision of the first founders when he came here, and now he’s expanding on it. We’ve changed from a two-year college to a four-year college and now a four-year university with degree-granting status. That’s very important to us students, and so we honour him for that. And also we honour him for providing leadership for us. Once people catch a vision, if they don’t have leadership, then the vision can grow stagnant, and Dr. Snider has provided that leadership for us. It’s an honour for us – the students – to meet you people. Without you being willing to take the risks and the challenges, we wouldn’t be here today.

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    Giving Above and Beyond ...

    Founding President Calvin Hanson on the first year, and bringing honour and glory to God, 1987.

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    [TWU Archives: Audio Visual Collection. Aud 178]

    [2:50] But I’ll guarantee the first year was indeed the very best – it had to be, you see, because that was the beginning. But it was the best, I think, in a number of ways. In terms of sacrifice and commitment. Ben [Benno] Friesen mentioned something of this. One of the impressions that I will never forget – must have been about late July perhaps of ’62 – Ben and Marge had recently arrived from Iowa on this “magnificent salary,” this generous contract, classes to begin in September. Ben came to me and he said, ‘Look, there’s some weeks between now and September. What can I do?’ I recall very vividly that he was out under the old truck, trying to repair that thing to get it going to work at something-or-other on this campus – I don’t know what it was. Quite apart from any contractual arrangements. The very best in terms of sacrifice and commitment. And I think that was true one way or another of every one of our initial faculty – giving above and beyond. And not just the faculty but the staff. My, the limitations the Jenstads faced in that first kitchen. And if you’ve ever been in the Seal Kap House it will blow your mind to know that we had our food service there until we were feeding over 100 people. Incredible! And Sam, the cry on campus in our early years was ‘where’s Sam?’ A hundred times a day we shouted for Sam because something was always breaking down and needing repair. It was the best in terms of the student body. Have you ever thought of the risk that these people were taking? Some of them coming from as far away – one of them coming from as far away as Illinois - to risk their educational future with a brand new college with seemingly so little prospect. Something great about beginnings.

    [21:00] And who knows what other things might be ahead in the providence of God. But really I want to conclude in just a – a little different thought and application of that. That great pillar of cloud and of fire that is going to come over Jerusalem in that coming day of the Lord, as we’ve indicated will signal the end of our present opportunities and church history. And on that day it will not be buildings, and it will not be the beautiful campus, and it will not be all of the other things that we rejoice in tonight that will really be of ultimate significance. These things will only be significant in that day in terms of the measure in which they bring honour and glory to the Almighty God of the pillar of cloud and of fire.

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