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Youngsma, Sydney (1910-1994) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Youngsma, Sydney (1910-1994)

Historical Note:

Sydney "Syd" Youngsma was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 17, 1910.  For two years Youngsma attended Calvin College, and finished his degree at Chicago University. After graduation, he worked in a glue factory, an art gallery, and his father's paper business. In 1952 the newly appointed president of Calvin College, William Spoelhof, offered Youngsma the position of secretary of development, in which he accepted. In his new position he was able raise 2 million dollars to help fund new construction for the Franklin Campus.

Youngsma's fund raising abilities played a crucial role in securing money for the Knollcrest campus move in the 1960s. After 22 faithful years of service to Calvin College, Youngsma retired in 1974. Over the course of his career, he was able to visit forty-eight states for fund raising, held 17 telethons, and raised a staggering $14 million for Calvin.

After retirement, he moved to the Christian Rest Home in Grand Rapids. He was a devoted member of the Calvin Christian Reformed Church. On May 28, 1994 Sydney Youngsma passed away due to a battle with lung cancer. He was survived by his wife, Dorothy (Brink), and their two sons. Youngsma's dedication and service to Calvin College is remembered with the Youngsma Center named in his honor on the Knollcrest campus.

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