(N0te: Once upon a time, there was a Sanderson Award given to an outstanding member of the faculty of Covenant College by the Parents’ Association. The award was named for John Sanderson, the outstanding pioneer in Reformed higher education at Covenant College and Covenant Seminary. The first award was given in 1999 to Dr. Louis Voskuil of the history department. The introduction of the award and presentation comments are given below. As chairman of the Covenant Parent Association at that time, it was my privilege to deliver these remarks.)
Covenant College Commencement
The John W. Sanderson, Jr. Award for Christian Scholarship is a newly established award funded by the Parent Association of Covenant College which will be presented from time to time to a Covenant College faculty member who is thought to well exemplify the spirit of gracious Christian scholarship which was characteristic of John W. Sanderson, Jr. The recipient is selected in cooperation with the Dean of the Faculty by the 18 parents on the Parent Council who represent the Parent Association. Encouraging our faculty to reach the highest standards of learned piety is one of the stated purposes of the Parent Association. As criteria for the award, Christian scholarship is sought in three areas of academic responsibility:
1) The faculty member must be respected, by students and faculty alike, as one who exhibits exemplary teaching skills.
2) The faculty member must have made a significant contribution to the academic enterprise through research, publication, or some other form of professional involvement.
3) The faculty member must be actively involved in service to the college, the Church and to the community.
In all of this, the faculty member must exhibit Christian warmth and gentleness in the performance of these responsibilities.
It gives us great pleasure to announce that the inaugural recipient of this prestigious award is himself a distinguished professor of history, Professor Louis J. Voskuil. Will Dr. Voskuil please come to the platform to receive the first John W. Sanderson, Jr. Award for Christian Scholarship?
As Dr. Voskuil comes forward, allow me to explain that part of the Sanderson Award will be a picture of the distinguished faculty member permanently displayed in Covenant’s library as a reminder of academic excellence. Furthermore, each Sanderson awardee will be given an engraved silver cup for office or home. And finally, each distinguished professor will receive a check from the Parent Association for $1500.00. Dr. Voskuil, congratulations. Here is your Sanderson Cup and your check.