Bethel College Hosts Event to Honor Dar and Dot Wiekamp

Bethel College will host the Dot & Dar Wiekamp Community Tribute on Wednesday, Oct. 9 in the Wiekamp Athletic Center. Sponsorships of the event will establish an endowed scholarship in honor of the Wiekamps and their service to the community.

“Bethel College is honored to host this event,” says Terry Zeitlow, Ph.D., vice president for development. “The Wiekamps played a significant role in establishing the Wiekamp Athletic Center on our campus but we also recognize the impact they’ve had on the entire community, giving to many other educational institutions and nonprofit organizations.”

Darwin (Dar) and Dorothy (Dot) Wiekamp’s reputation for charitable giving is nothing short of legendary. The couple met as Mishawaka High School students during the Great Depression, marrying in 1936, and together built a successful business in banking. Their business success quickly led to their philanthropic efforts, giving generously of their time and money to a long list of local organizations. Some of the institutions who have benefited from their significant contributions are Bethel College, Center for the Homeless, Habitat for Humanity, Indiana University South Bend, Ivy Tech Community College, Logan Center, Northern Indiana Center for History, Saint Mary’s College and the University of Notre Dame. Dar passed away in 2008 at the age of 94; Dot will celebrate her 100th birthday on March 15, 2014.

“The Wiekamps’ influence goes beyond the amount of money or time they’ve contributed to the community,” says Zeitlow. “Their lasting legacy is the climate of giving and caring that they cultivated, setting an example and encouraging others to give generously of their resources.”

To request an interview, contact Steve Matteson, assistant vice president for development, or 574.807.7490.

Bethel College is an accredited Christian college offering associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in more than 70 areas of study. The current enrollment of more than 2,000 includes students from 34 states and Puerto Rico, 10 countries and 16 percent from culturally diverse backgrounds. In addition to its beautifully wooded 75-acre main campus in Mishawaka, Ind., Bethel also offers specific academic programs at sites in Elkhart, Ind., Fort Wayne, Ind., Dowagiac, Mich., and St. Joseph, Mich. Connect with Bethel online at, or via Facebook (, Twitter (, YouTube ( and Instagram (