President Rachel Keck is pleased to announce a special trip to Denmark to rebuild the University’s Danish connections, establish new relationships and develop global opportunities for students and the University. . Grand View was founded more than 125 years ago by Danish immigrants and is the only Danish-founded university remaining in America. The University would like to thank Marion J. Walker and Anker F. Johnson, and Alfred C. Andreasen and their families for their generous gift to support Grand View’s Danish connection. The trip will include meetings with government, business/industry, and education stakeholders.
June 22nd – July 5th, 2023
Bruce Bro, Chairman of the Danish National Foundation and U.S. Vice Chairman of the Rebuild National Parks Association, also joined us on the trip and graciously connected the University with key figures and organizations in Denmark. The trip includes the following stops and meetings:
Grand View alumnus David “Zane” Vredenburg ’95 created this commemorative print to celebrate his 2023 trip to Denmark and will be used as a thank-you gift to Dr. Keck’s Danish hosts.
Zane double majored in art and design at Grand View. She received her Master of Fine Arts in General Visual Arts from Iowa State University in 2007. Since then, she has taught art education at Graceland University, Grand View University, Iowa State University, and now Des Moines Christian School. From 2011 until 2014, she also served as dean of Graceland University’s School of Visual and Performing Arts.
Zane has extensive experience as a creative advertising leader, including serving as an Associate Art Director at Meredith Corporation in Des Moines. He is also an accomplished painter with experience in acrylic, encaustic and mixed media, and has exhibited and won awards.
Zane lives in Grimes, Iowa with his wife and daughter and is the father of two adult sons and a daughter-in-law.
We would like to thank Zayn for his generous contribution to this design, which visually connects the university to Denmark and its Danish roots.
The beginning of Denmark in Grandview
Excerpts from The Grand View College Reader and Grundtvig at Grand View By Dr. Mark Matz, Chair of Grand View’s Department of Theology and Philosophy.
Founded in 1896, Grand View College’s inspiration came from the Danish Lutheran Church in America. Its leaders wanted to establish a seminary to train pastors who would provide religious leadership to Danish immigrants. From Denmark came the folk school tradition, the idea of which was articulated by Bishop NFS Grundtvig. Although the influence of the folk school concept was profound, Grand View’s founders recognized the need for more specialized learning centers for the training of pastors, teachers, and other skilled professionals. Ta. They also fear that without Danish higher education institutions in the United States, the most talented young people will enroll in publicly funded universities, where their Danish identity will be integrated into the cultural mainstream. Ta.
From its inception, Grand View College was an institution founded on a debate about how to express the Grundtvig tradition. Some Grundtvian Americans wanted it to be a folk high school, while other Danes wanted it to be a veritable Scandinavian university, although not based on a Latin curriculum. I was hoping that it would be a Danish university in line with the above. Eventually, Grand View evolved into a junior college or two-year university, similar to the pattern in which higher education developed in the United States throughout the 20th century. Although Grand View is neither a folk school nor a university, it was thoroughly shaped by the social practices of Grundvigism. These include folk dancing, Danish gymnastics, singing hymns and folk songs, public lectures as a means of personal and social enlightenment, and an appreciation of Scandinavian mythology and history as well as Biblical history. All of these practices shaped the character and identity of Grand View students.
It’s hard to imagine a more idyllic social environment than Grand View College, which ushered in a golden age of Danish identity. Our student body, staff, and faculty share a common spirit and loyalty to each other, and in most cases have a deep desire for each other’s growth and enrichment. This is not to say that the petty jealousies and bickering that plague human communities were not present in Grand View. However, college voters shared a common identity that suppressed such negative opinions and provided a framework for adjudicating disagreements. Grandview established its identity as a Grundtvig institution not because it was the school that Grundtvig had once envisioned, but because its associates respected and promoted specific Grundtvig teachings and practices. It is.
By the mid-1950s, Danish Americans had become integrated into broader American life and culture. This was inevitable as people moved from rural areas to large cities due to the many opportunities available, and families sought to find the best way for their children to thrive within the wider English-speaking culture. For decades, a growing number of non-Danish youth in Des Moines have taken advantage of the excellent educational opportunities offered at Grand View and graduated from two-year college programs.
Although much has changed in Grand View and society since its early days, its founding principles remain. Grand View faculty are deeply committed to helping students discover their voices and assert agency so they can make a difference in the world. There is also a strong sense of community on campus, providing a welcoming and diverse environment for students to identify their purpose and mission.
Grand View also has strong ties to the Danish Brotherhood Lodge in Des Moines. They are regulars on campus and host many events at Grandview’s campus church, Luther Memorial Church. At Grand View, we are honored to host the annual Koldebode His Dinner each October. We would also like to thank them for making Ebruskivers for students and faculty at various events.
The future is bright for Grandview. We are excited about our bold new vision while staying true to our school’s mission of engaging, equipping and empowering students to fulfill their personal potential and contribute to society. Addressing the development of the whole person: mind, body, and spirit, we are committed to preparing students for successful careers and responsible citizenship both in their communities and in a diverse and changing world. Reflecting the Danish Lutheran tradition, Grand View is a school for life.