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Sydney Youngsma Collection



Biographical Note

Detailed Description

Personal Files, Correspondence, and Speeches

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Sydney Youngsma Collection, 1954-1975 | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

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Collection Overview

Title: Sydney Youngsma Collection, 1954-1975

ID: COLL/342

Primary Creator: Youngsma, Sydney (1910-1994)

Extent: 0.5 Cubic Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Folder level description


Financial secretary, development director, director of college relations, and assistant to the president of Calvin College. The collection includes correspondence of J. Vander Ploeg, editor of the Banner, to S. T. Youngsma concerning a survey why members leave the Christian Reformed Church; correspondence between S. T. Youngsma and A. M. Visbeen concerning a plaque and a pylon of the Protestant Center at the New York World's Fair Hall of Religion; speeches; taped programs for the alumni organization (see Campus Titles Databse); and an article entitled "Syd Youngsma on the Comeback Trail," published in the Grand Rapids Press, 03 June 1980.

Biographical 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.

Box and Folder Listing

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[Series 1: Personal Files, Correspondence, and Speeches, 1954-1975],

Series 1: Personal Files, Correspondence, and Speeches --- 1954-1975
Box 1
Folder 1: Personal File --- 1954-1967
Folder 2: "SHARE" a campaign newsletter.  Four issues only --- 1966
Folder 3: Campaign material.  (see also campaign material under College Development)
Folder 4: Correspondence --- 1958-1975
Folder 5: Speeches given on campaigns
Folder 6: Speeches
Folder 7: Speeches
Folder 8: Speeches
Folder 9: Book, Modern British Poetry

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