Science Club members gathered outside Glen Oaks.

Van Zuilen donation creates Science Club Garden at Glen Oaks

Members of the Science Club at Glen Oaks Community College celebrated Earth Day with a gathering on April 18 to dedicate a garden outside the Dale E. Gray Science Building. Costs associated with the new garden are underwritten through a generous donation to the Glen Oaks Community College Foundation from Darlene Van Zuilen, wife of Don Van Zuilen, former Professor of Science at GOCC. Following his death in October 2010, Mrs. Van Zuilen made a donation and designated the gift to go towards something in the science department; recently the decision was made to help the Science Club by purchasing materials for a garden on school grounds.

Mr. Van Zuilen was involved in many things, with gardening being one of his loves. Don was a master gardener and was very active at the St. Joseph County Grange Fair having started the fair gardens. He was a member of the N.E.A., Retired Teachers Association, the Sturgis Grange, a former member of the Howe Lions Club, Fair Board and Nottawa Township Zoning and Planning Board. His involvement in area clubs and organizations went beyond your average community member. He embodied community pride.Don completed high school in 1952, following his graduation from Purdue University in 1955 with a teaching degree, he taught at Howe Military School. He was the second teacher hired when Glen Oaks Community College first opened. He taught physics, math, astronomy and gardening. He retired in 1996. Don had an indelible impact on many students during his 30 years of teaching, along with the distinguished honor of receiving the 1988- 89 Eli J. Shaheen Teaching Excellence Award. He will remain always as a Professor Emeritus to Glen Oaks Community College. The Van Zuilen donation to the Glen Oaks Community College Foundation, a not-for-profit 501 C (3) organization that supports the educational programs and services of the college, insures that the money will be used, in this case, in the interests the GOCC Science Department.

Gifts to the GOCC Foundation are eligible for Federal tax deductions. If you would like to learn more about how you can set up a fund or designate a donation, please call the Foundation Office at (269) 294-4394 or 1-866-412-4567 and speak to Janene Breneman, Executive Director of the Foundation.

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