If it Hadn’t Been for Central…

Central College Pella IA 100912It’s like waking up from a terrible nightmare: What would your life be like if Central had never existed? Alumni, faculty, parents and friends reflect on that absence and end up with a realization—Central had more of an impact than they ever imagined.


“I would not have had the opportunity to learn in an atmosphere that not only accentuated my positives, but taught me what I needed to learn to survive the world. If anything, Central helped me grow up.” – Norma J Dowell ’80, Ames, Iowa

“I would not have studied in Merida. I also probably would not be working for a Spanish company, traveling the world, doing a job I love.” – Aaron A. Hansen ’96, North Liberty, Iowa

Central College Pella IA 100912“I wouldn’t have studied abroad in Wales. I probably wouldn’t be living where I am now, married, with a beautiful little girl. I followed one of my best friends, who I met at Central, across the country. She saw me marry five years ago. Recently, I witnessed her wedding to a former high school sweetheart. My Central experience has shaped my life and the lives of those around me.” – Lisa Schwaller Busenbark ’97, Portland, Ore.

“I may not be planning for my latest overseas work opportunity, as Central created an environment that encouraged and facilitated international education and exploration.” – Lori Owens ’92,  Denver, Colo.

” I wouldn’t have met some of my best friends, including my husband. I wouldn’t have moved to Iowa and discovered my love of teaching is transferable to adults!” – Tami Brown Daniels ’97,  Des Moines, Iowa

“I would not have had the opportunity to drive a combine tractor, wrestle a hog, get an amazing undergraduate education, complete my M.B.A. and enroll in a doctoral program.” – Darius Joseph ’89, Fort Myers, Fla.

“I would not have received a handwritten letter two years in a row from my daughter expressing how ecstatic she is to be a student and tennis player at Central College—reconfirming her decision to study in Pella. A happy kid makes for a happy parent. Go Dutch!” – Amy Jackson Davis, Grand Chute, Wis., mother of Jordan Langer ’15

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“I would not have studied in London and worked in Parliament, played basketball, ran track with amazing women and found an amazing man who became my husband. It was a busy four years.” – Andrea Hall Cerwinske ’98, Washington, D.C.

“I wouldn’t have taught Japanese high school students in Kumamoto, Japan: ‘Ya ain’t much if ya ain’t Dutch! Go Dutch!'” – Kelly Oliver Norris ’01, Burlington, Iowa

“I wouldn’t have developed my love for the fine arts.” – Katie Drottz ’12, Ossian, Ind.

“I would not have met the great people who are still in my life today and continue to be the greatest friends as we take on challenges and conquer together. The education has given me the ability to build the professional career that I am fortunate to be in today.  The Brothers of Beta Kappa Epsilon have taught me that no matter who you are or who you are with, you can work and grow together to achieve goals personally and professionally.” – Brad Newcomb ’02, Des Moines, Iowa

Central College Pella IA 100912

“I don’t think I would be working where I am. You need a unique background in science and in art.” – Jan Case ’76, La Crescent, Minn.

“I wouldn’t have met my husband Jim ’70, and our four great kids (three of whom are Central grads) wouldn’t have been born. We are FIVE proud alumni!” – Sarah Herrick Keegan ’71, Manning, Iowa

“I would not be who I am today!” – Johannes Willem Kuiper ’69, Central Square, N.Y.

“I would not have found the personal and professional satisfaction I currently have.” – Russ Goodman, Pella, Iowa, associate professor of mathematics

“We most likely would not have named our beautiful daughter ‘Schipper.'” – Jason Sanders ’95, Clive, Iowa

“I would not have won a national championship or met my husband.” – Sara Tuttle Spiegel ’04, Ankeny, Iowa


“To this day, I would know nothing about Dutch people.” – Jake Rohde ’06, Littleton, Colo.

“I wouldn’t be going back to Spain next fall.” Jessica Ackerman ’03, Des Moines, Iowa

“I wouldn’t have been born—and wouldn’t have learned valuable skills like shampooing carpets working for the maintenance deptartment.” – Chris Boeyink, Cicero, Ill., son of Gary ’59 and Lois Sorenson Boeyink ’74

“I would not be who I am today: a well-traveled, open-minded doctorate student passionate about social change!” – Alyssa Cobie ’12, St. Paul, Minn.


What would your life be like without Central?


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