It’s fall, and Defender Days weekend is finally here. This is a time to introduce parents to friends and faculty, check out Dordt’s sports teams and musical productions, catch up with alumni, and, of course, have fun. And if those things are not interesting enough, the Dordt University logo will officially be revealed Friday night.
With registration officially closing Monday at midnight, Defender Days 2018, which runs from 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, is shaping up to have a record number of people in attendance.
“I think we are in a position right now to have the highest registration since 2007,” said Dianne De Wit, Dordt’s Signature Events Coordinator and the official planner of Defender Days. “The trend is for 200 or more people to walk in that we don’t plan for—they don’t preregister—but our registration rates are really strong for this year.”
Alicia Bowar, Dordt’s Associative Director of Alumni and Parents, has been assisting De Wit with Defender Days preparations. She cited the alumni hockey game on Friday at 1:30 p.m. as one source for attendance.
“The Blades are celebrating 50 years. We expect at least 75 alumni Blades for the hockey game and probably 100 to 200 fans that will be attending their games,” she said.
Other than hockey, Bowar also speculated that the Dordt University logo reveal Friday at 9:15 p.m. had something to do with the record number of people planning to attend Defender Days. While De Wit and Bowar could not tease much in terms of the logo reveal, they did mention that free Dordt University gear would be given away to kick off the event.
“That’s the first time it will be available for free to people, and then the bookstore will be selling university clothing and gear that weekend,” Bowar said.
Another event unique to Defender Days 2018 is the Agriculture Stewardship Center Dedication on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. According to De Wit, Mike Naig, the Iowa State Secretary of Agriculture, will be in attendance and speaking at the event, as well as two professors and two students. A bus will be provided to transport people to and from the dedication. It will leave the clock tower at 10:15 a.m. and return to campus around 11:30 a.m.
De Wit’s favorite part of Defender Days is “seeing people return and have such a great time.” Some of her personal recommendations include: the President’s Brunch which usually boasts 600+ people, the Fall Music Festival, the theater production of “My Fair Lady,” and Late Night with the Defenders.
“I always tell parents that you can experience the life your student leads because you’re up so early and you stay up so late. So, it’s just kind of fun to take in the college experience,” Bowar said.
Although Defender Days is a big production that De Wit begins planning the first of every year, it owes its success to the entire Dordt community, especially the athletic department, music and theater departments, Dordt Dining, maintenance, and faculty.
“There aren’t many colleges and universities that experience the camaraderie…and excitement to come together for an alumni weekend or parent’s weekend like we do. The only way that happens is the entire campus community working together to offer quality things to our guests,” De Wit said. “Where else do you get that? So, kudos to everybody on this whole campus for working hard and being that welcoming community that makes people want to come back here.”
If you would like to view the full schedule for Defender Days, which includes many more sports events, musical productions, and social gatherings, please visit the Defender Days page on the Dordt College website (www.dordt.edu).