News Release

Founders Scholar Named Lincoln Laureate

Jon Vander Woude ’10 of Cutler Bay, Florida, was named Trinity Christian College’s Lincoln Academy Student Laureate for 2009. Vander Woude was chosen to receive this award for his excellence in academic and extracurricular activities, Trinity’s highest individual honor.

The Springfield-based Lincoln Academy honors one student from each four-year institution in Illinois for overall excellence in, and out of, the classroom. The students selected to receive this award gathered for an awards ceremony at the Old State Capitol and a luncheon at the Executive Mansion, hosted by Governor Pat Quinn, on November 7. Recipients received the Student Laureate Medallion, a certificate of achievement, and a check for $150. Vander Woude was accompanied to the event by his wife, Michelle (Beenes) ’09, his father James Vander Woude ’80, and President Steve Timmermans.

Earlier this year, the director of the honors program and the vice president of student development met to review the seniors who meet the criteria. From there a recommendation was made to President Timmermans, who made the final decision.

“I was caught completely off guard when I was told I’d been named a Lincoln Laureate,” said Vander Woude. “I give my thanks to professors and faculty advisors for pushing me to excel in my classes and stay motivated outside the classroom. Having personal relationships with them has allowed me to talk to them outside of class when I have questions, and thus further my learning.”

Vander Woude, a biology and chemistry double major, plans to pursue a doctorate in analytical chemistry following his time at Trinity and engage in chemical research. His end goal is to teach chemistry at a small Christian college.

“My advisor, Dr. Lou Sytsma ’65, has been particularly helpful in steering me to some wonderful chemistry internships that have allowed me to gain practical experience in the laboratory to supplement my classroom learning,” said Vander Woude.

While at Trinity, Vander Woude has participated as a leader in Men’s Ministry and also as a worship leader for the twice-weekly chapel services. As an incoming freshman, he was awarded the Founders Scholarship award, a renewable, four-year, full-tuition scholarship based on leadership and academic excellence.


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