My mom used to tell stories of walks downtown from our family home on Brown Street in Guthrie Center, Iowa.
On occasion, she brought a toddler — me — along on the two-mile journey. Once, a caring townsperson stopped my mother and asked, “How could you make your young child walk so far?” To which she laughed and said, “I don’t make her do anything. In fact, she walks farther than I do because she trots up and down the sidewalks to each front door of all the houses we pass along the way.”
I like that story for a variety of reasons. It makes me think of my mom, Bonna Evers Gonzales ’73, who passed away in 2013, and my dad, Scott Gonzales ’71, who I visited on those walks downtown. It reminds me of my love to be active and outside. And the mindset instilled in me to walk my own path, knowing sometimes it’s a greater distance than the paths of others, and to do more than others expect.
I loved my hometown and all the opportunities growing up in a small town afforded me. People genuinely cared about me. Our school was filled with Iowa private college educators (yes, Central teachers!). And participation in everything was encouraged. I was able to play volleyball, basketball and softball, swim and run track with my very best friends and teammates.
Doesn’t that sound like a Central College student today? The ones who say, “I can’t believe I get to do so many things!” The ones walking through every open door to seize opportunities? The ones who know Central is home and friends become family?
The rich traditions of Central athletics, legendary coaches, national championship triumphs, team perseverance and astounding athletic performances get the juices flowing for all who bleed Central red. If you’ve been on campus, you know instantly you’ll be Forever Dutch®. We love to relive the past, celebrate the present and ensure the success of our future.
And the Forever Dutch initiative — at first a dream of a half a dozen trustees, former athletes and tri-chairs — produced yet another Central victory.
The total team effort by the most donors in college history to any one project (2,712) successfully translated into an $18 million expansion and renovation of P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium. Construction has reached the finish line and our team win, of course, will be celebrated by the Central community this fall.
I’m so proud to have been a part of this Forever Dutch moment in time in our college’s history, where all members of the Central family helped secure its success. To see a list of our lead donors, our loyal donors, the community and corporate support, and the incredible levels of participation from our alumni around the world to support our student-athletes and coaches, visit central.edu/FDsupport. It’s just as emotional as a hard fought, gut wrenching win for the Dutch!
Between us, my husband Nathan ’99 and I wore three Central Dutch uniforms. Athletics connected us to some of our closest friends — friends who competed; grew up and lived together; traveled across the globe to learn; and journeyed across the Midwest to support one another.
Athletics holds a special place in my heart. I’ve been an athlete, coach and fan at Central and loved every role. The stories that inspire me happen both on and off the court.
YOU, my Central friends and family, have accomplished so much. Thank you for supporting our students and their experiences. Thank you for being FOREVER DUTCH.