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Business Leader Sid Jansma Jr. Receives 2024 Kuyper Prize


Calvin University and Calvin Theological Seminary hosted the annual Kuyper Conference this week, presenting the 2024 Kuyper Prize to Sid Jansma Jr., a 1965 Calvin graduate and influential business leader.

The award was presented at a plenary session during the three-day conference at Calvin University’s Prince Conference Center in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Named for Dutch theologian and former prime minister of The Netherlands, Abraham Kuyper, the award is presented each year to a scholar or community leader whose contributions reflect the ideas and values of Kuyper’s vision of Christian engagement in political, social, and cultural spheres.

“I have always tried to live a life that testified to my belief in the Lordship of Jesus and that I am simply a steward of what has been given to me and our family,” Jansma said.

Jansma served for more than 40 years as a leader and chief executive officer of Wolverine Gas and Oil Corporation and currently serves as the company’s chairman of the board. In addition, he has served on the board of directors for the American Petroleum Institute and has been a lobbyist in Washington, D.C.

Jansma also has served on the boards of Calvin Theological Seminary and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and played a leading role in establishing Calvin University’s School of Business and creating the Calvin Prison Initiative, a program begun in 2015 that offers a five-year liberal arts curriculum within Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia, Mich., and accepts 20-25 people from Michigan’s state prisons each year.

“Sid is a person of faith who seeks to better the spheres of business, education, politics, and the church,” Calvin Theological Seminary president Jul Medenblik said. “Over the last 20 years there is not a square inch of Calvin University, Calvin Theological Seminary, the Calvin Prison Initiative, and Alpha Ministry that has not had some contact or impact from the ministry, vision, and encouragement of Sid Jansma Jr.”

The Kuyper Award was established in 1998 by Rimmer and Ruth de Vries. Jansma received a $10,000 monetary prize with the award. Past recipients include Rachael Denhollander, a leading voice on the topic of sexual abuse, in 2021 and Nicholas Wolterstorff, former Calvin professor of philosophy and professor emeritus of philosophical theology at Yale University, in 2014. Originally conferred by Princeton Theological Seminary, the prize and conference have been administered through Calvin and the de Vries Institute for Global Faculty Development since 2018.

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