The DeWitt Family Science Center was named in honor of Jack and Mary DeWitt of Holland, Michigan, who contributed the lead gift during fundraising for the building. Their $6 million gift is the largest single gift ever made to Northwestern.
The DeWitt family has a faithful history of generously supporting Christ-centered ministries, including Christian higher education and Northwestern College in particular. Jack’s father, Marv, while serving as a trustee in the 1980s, signaled his faith in Northwestern’s mission and future by encouraging the college to move forward with building Christ Chapel despite a nationwide farm crisis. He encouraged other trustees to step up, commit funds and make that project happen. His leadership on the Board of Trustees at that time set Northwestern on a trajectory of bold, faith-filled pursuit of capital fundraising and campus expansion that continues to this day.
Inspired by the example of Marv and his wife, Jerene, the DeWitt family has invested generously in Northwestern and its students with significant gifts toward capital projects. Over the last three decades, Marv and Jerene’s children have also served as trustees and continued their tradition of philanthropy. Jack and Mary gave more than $10 million to enhance Northwestern’s campus and strengthen our mission. The Jack & Mary DeWitt Learning Commons was completed in 2013. Other Northwestern facilities bear the DeWitt family name as well: the theatre arts center, music hall, fitness center and dining center.
Jack DeWitt passed away on June 22, 2018, and like his father, leaves a legacy as a loving husband, devoted father and grandfather, business leader, passionate follower of Jesus Christ, and faithful and joyful steward.