News Release

Bridge to the Bootsma Bookstore Café Is Dedicated

More than 50 friends of the College gathered on September 30 at the west end of the new bridge connecting the Bootsma Bookstore Café to the rest of campus, celebrating the bridge’s official dedication. The bridge, spanning the Navajo Creek, was put into place this past June.

The crowd, led by Elvert “Trey” Williams ’12 of Freeport, Illinois, made their way from the Wednesday morning chapel service toward the bridge, singing the South African hymn “We Are Marching in the Light of God.” At the bridge, the crowd gathered for a time of prayer, litany, and reflection on the blessings God has bestowed on this campus, and all were invited to stay for refreshments following the dedication.

Leah Branderhorst ’11 of Holland, Michigan, led the people in a litany reading in which the people thanked God for the beauty of his creation, for new places on campus and the means to get to those places, and asked the Lord’s blessing on the College. With these words the bridge was dedicated: “We dedicate this bridge to you now, Lord. May there be laughter on its beams and a never-ending array of footprints on its path. May there be good conversations, Lord, that are pleasing to you and the beauty that surrounds us.”

BridgeThe ceremony was closed by Alisha Riepma ’12 of Boyden, Iowa, as she offered her thoughts on the new bridge. “It truly is a blessing to have this placed on our campus to connect us to the community of Palos Heights, and also God’s amazing creation that’s only just over the bridge,” said Riepma.

George Vander Velde ’63, vice president for campus development, was deeply involved in plans and negotiations for the new bridge. According to Vander Velde, there is great satisfaction in seeing the project completed. He sees the bridge as a symbolic bond of unity, a “joining of the campus with the natural beauty of the creek area, a joining of the campus with the social engagement that takes place in the BBC, and a joining of the campus with our local community.”

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