The Calvin C Club is pleased to announce that its second annual Knight of Distinction award will go to Dr. Mark Veenstra '77, an orthopedic surgeon from Kalamazoo, Mich.
Veenstra was a four-year starter for the men's basketball team from 1974–77. After his Calvin graduation, he played professional basketball in Germany and then obtained a medical degree from Wayne State School of Medicine. Veenstra has been an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine in Kalamazoo for 26 years.
In addition, he has been active in the work of the Luke Society, a medical missions organization. Veenstra has held a number of positions on the board of directors and led many medical mission trips to Gracias, Honduras. While in Gracias he has not only conducted successful operations; he has also taught Honduran orthopedic surgeons the art and techniques of arthroscopic surgery. Upon his recent retirement from his orthopedic group in Kalamazoo, Veenstra continues to make frequent trips to Gracias and played a leadership role in building a surgery center and a home for patients and visiting medical staff there.
Veenstra has also served his church, Westwood Christian Reformed, as a council leader and was the team physician for Kalamazoo Christian School and Kalamazoo College. He is married to Becky Hinken '77 and they have three sons: Matthew '06, Nathan and Joshua '10.
Veenstra's accomplishments on the court as a Calvin Knight are also noteworthy. He is the only four-time league Most Valuable Player in men's basketball history—from 1974–77—and still holds the MIAA records for most league points scored (1,233) and career league scoring average (25.7) and for one season (29.2). He holds Calvin records for best scoring average for a season (28.0) and career (25.4) and for the most rebounds in a game (36) and career rebounds (1,260).
"It was important to the C Club leaders that the strong tradition we began with the award last year was maintained," said C Club president Carl Gronsman '63. "In his scholarship, faith and international service, Mark Veenstra exemplifies what we think a Knight of Distinction should model for our current student-athletes."