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De Wit, Henry (1922-1992) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: De Wit, Henry (1922-1992)

Historical Note:

Henry De Wit was born in Rock Valley, Iowa on November 17, 1922. De Wit enrolled at Calvin College in 1941, only for World War II to take him out academia for three years. After his service as a Technical Sergeant in the Army Finance Department, he returned to Calvin earning his bachelor’s degree in 1948. The next year, he received his MBA degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. During this time, he also married Clarice Dekker. Together they had 3 children. After graduation, De Wit worked as a staff accountant with Lawrence Scudder and Company for five years.

In 1953, De Wit accepted a faculty position at Calvin College, becoming a professor of economics. Only two years later, the college extended another job offer to De Wit. Reluctant at first, De Wit eventually accepted positions of Business Manager and Vice President for Business and Finance for Calvin, a career path he took until his retirement in 1987. In the meantime, De Wit was instrumental in the transition of the college’s campus from Franklin Street campus to the Knollcrest location. He was a key player in the negotiation in the purchase of Knollcrest Farm. De Wit was also the direct contact with Calvin College’s campus architect William Fyfe.

De Wit’s wife, Clarice, pasted away in 1970. De Wit met his second wife, Eunice Zuiderveen, while she was a host of the Manor House at Knollcrest. This very manor that would eventually bear his name. De Wit received the prestigious Outstanding Service Award from the Calvin College Alumni Association in 1990. Henry De Wit passed away on July 21, 1992.

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