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A Message from the Director

I consider it an honor and a privilege to introduce the Annual Report of the A. C. Van Raalte Institute for the first time. Our Director Emeritus, Dr. Elton J. Bruins, handed over the responsibilities to me on July 1st, at which time he assumed the position of Senior Research Fellow. As our Founding Director, he articulated the vision and set the tone for the Institute from its inception in January 1994. The Institute began its operations at a carrel in the Retired Faculty Office in Van Zoeren Hall, with Dr. Bruins as the sole employee. Two years later, the Institute moved to its present location in a suite of offices at 100 East Eighth Street.

During his tenure, the Institute expanded in size, with the addition of: the Van Raalte Research Professor, Dr. Robert P. Swierenga; a Senior Research Fellow, Dr. Jeanne M. Jacobson; a Research Fellow, Dr. James C. Kennedy; another Senior Research Fellow, myself; a half-time secretarial position that has become an Office Manager and Editorial Assistant position, filled very ably in recent years by Karen Schakel; several translators and research assistants; and student assistants. Visiting Scholars and lecturers have been hosted most graciously by Dr. Bruins over the years.

Throughout Dr. Bruins’ tenure, the Institute has had an impressive record of dissemination of scholarly research, through papers, lectures, and publications by members of the Institute. The reports on the activities of the individual members contained in this report illustrate the breadth and depth of scholarship that is supported so generously by the endowment created by the Huizenga family’s founding gift.

We dedicate this Annual Report to Dr. Elton Bruins, in recognition of his extraordinary accomplishments as Founding Director and in gratitude for his outstanding leadership. We are fortunate that he is staying on as a Senior Research Fellow, remaining in his office with his 1,740 files on Van Raalte, listening to his operatic and classical music CDs, and writing up the results of years of research.

Jacob E. Nyenhuis
A. C. Van Raalte Institute

Dr. Elton J. Bruins
23 May 2002

Whereas, Elton Bruins, a long-time member of the Dutch-American Historical Commission, has served with great distinction;

Whereas, he has served faithfully as treasurer of the Commission;

Whereas, he has made significant contributions to the work of the Commission with his timely and wise advice along with sharing his great knowledge of Dutch-American history and literature; and

Whereas, he has given great time and effort to the cause of Dutch-American studies, be it hereby

Resolved, that Elton J. Bruins be declared member emeritus of the Dutch-American Historical Commission.

Jon J. Huisken
President, the Dutch-American Historical Commission