Sioux Center, Iowa — COVID has claimed another activity in northwest Iowa.

In light of the pandemic, Dordt University officials tell us they have made what they call “the difficult decision” to cancel Defender Days, the alumni and parents’ weekend, which had been scheduled for Friday, October 16, and Saturday, October 17. They say 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.

Brandon Huisman, vice president for enrollment and marketing at Dordt, says “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.” He says that while not hosting Defender Days is certainly disappointing, Dordt is committed to doing all they can to continue face-to-face learning until the end of their semester — December 11th.

Officials tell us that a number of events, including the fall music festival, athletic games, and the fall theatre production, will still 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, Sioux Falls mayor 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 instead.

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

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

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