The Hope College Alumni Association will honor two alumni during the annual Alumni Banquet on Saturday, April 26.
The association will present Distinguished Alumni Awards to J.C. Huizenga, a member of the Class of 1973, and the Honorable Annette Kingsland Ziegler, a member of the Class of 1986.
The annual Distinguished Alumni Awards are presented by the Alumni Association Board of Directors in recognition of the awardees’ contributions across decades or even across a career to society and service to Hope. The award, inaugurated in 1970 and presented during the college’s Alumni Banquet, is the highest honor that alumni can receive from the college’s Alumni Association.
Huizenga is an entrepreneur, education reformer and business leader. He is the chairman of and founder of Huizenga Group (www.huizengagroup.com), which operates seven diverse manufacturing companies, a commercial contracting firm, and a consumer products packaging company.
In 1995, Huizenga began (and presently chairs) National Heritage Academies, now serving over 51,000 students in 76 schools across nine states. National Heritage was founded out of his conviction that every child deserves the opportunity to achieve his or her dreams. National Heritage was listed in Inc. magazine’s “500 Fastest Growing Private Companies” four consecutive years.
In 2008, Huizenga launched a high school initiative, PrepNet, which operates four charter high schools serving more than 1,600 students in Michigan. These high schools have been recognized for high achievement with challenged students. In 2013, PrepNet was listed in Inc. Magazine’s “500 Fastest Growing Private Companies.”
In Michigan, Huizenga is known for his active volunteer leadership and philanthropy, serving on boards such as the Seidman School of Business advisory board, the Grand Valley State University Foundation board, and the national Salvation Army advisory board.
Huizenga has also chaired the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, served as a national judge for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year competition and is a member of the Mackinac Center board of trustees, as well as the Acton Institute board of trustees.
Beyond Michigan, Huizenga’s volunteerism can be seen in his involvement as chair of the U.S. board of Stephen’s Children, a Middle East organization dedicated to serving the needs of underprivileged children in Cairo, Egypt.
Through the years, Huizenga has been recognized for his accomplishments in business as well as his leadership in school reform and his worldwide philanthropy. Among others, recognitions include: Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (2000); the NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award; Grand Valley State University’s Charter School Pioneer Award; Michigan Association of Public School Academies’ Leadership Award; The Dutch-American Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame; Junior Achievement Laureate; The Education Industry Association’s James P. Boyle Award; Martin University Doctor of Laws (Honorary); Michigan Chamber of Commerce Award for Distinguished Service & Leadership; The Netherland-America Foundation’s Ambassador K. Terry Dornbush Award; Lake Superior State University’s Donald and Catherine Finlayson Award; Boy Scouts, President Ford Council 2012 Distinguished Citizen of the Year; and the Grand Valley University Foundation Enrichment Award.
Huizenga majored in economics at Hope, where his co-curricular activities included the Arcadian fraternity and the Pull tug-of-war. His extensive involvement in the life of the college includes having served as president of the Second Century Club and addressing classes at Hope.
He earned an MBA from Michigan State University in 1975.
He and his wife, Tammy, live in Grand Rapids and attend Ada Bible Church. He has one son, David.
Ziegler was elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2007. Her current term continues through July 31, 2017.
Before joining the Supreme Court, she served as a Washington County Circuit Court judge. She was appointed to the bench in 1997, elected in 1998 and re-elected in 2004. She was the first female jurist in Washington County. As a circuit court judge, she was the deputy chief judge for the Third Judicial District and served six years as the presiding judge of Washington County. In 1999, she sat as a Court of Appeals judge in the District II Court of Appeals Judicial Exchange Program.
Ziegler currently serves on the Marquette University Law School Advisory Board, and is a member of the Governor’s Juvenile Justice Commission and the State Bar of Wisconsin Bench and Bar Committee. She is a member of the American Bar Association, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and an elected member of the American Law Institute.
She has been a member of a number of law-related organizations including Legal Association of Women, James E. Doyle Chapter of the American Inns of Court and a faculty member at the Wisconsin Judicial College; has served as faculty at a number of seminars; and previously was appointed to the Personnel Appeals Board.
Ziegler is also active in her community, volunteering for numerous charitable and social welfare organizations as a board member and committee chair. Among other service, she is currently president of the Trustee Board for the Boys and Girls Club of Washington County, and she has been a volunteer with the St. Thomas More Sandwich Project for more than 20 years. She is also a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in West Bend, Wis., where her involvement has included serving as a Sunday School teacher.
She majored in psychology and business administration at Hope, where her co-curricular activities included Psi Chi – The International Honor Society in Psychology, the Sigma Sigma sorority and varsity tennis.
Ziegler earned her law degree from Marquette University in 1989.
She and her husband, J.J., live in West Bend. They have three children: Keller, Charles and Andreas.