CCCU President Shirley Hoogstra Receives Honorary Doctorate at DBU’s Winter Commencement

Dr. Wright and Shirley Hoogstra

During DBU's 2022 Winter Commencement Services, which celebrated 347 new graduates – 19 doctoral, 123 graduate, and 205 undergraduate – CCCU President Shirley V. Hoogstra was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree. In her address at the 10:00 a.m. service, Dr. Hoogstra encouraged the new graduates to be like Daniel. The Old Testament prophet modeled a prayerful life and remained faithful to God in challenging times, standing out with courage and serving with excellence in the midst of his surrounding culture.

Dr. Hoogstra became the seventh president of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities in 2014. The CCCU is an educational association representing over 185 colleges and associations around the world who share four common distinctives: faculty and staff who integrate their Christian faith into all classes; rigorous intellectual engagement; Christian formation of students; and a commitment to global service. During her tenure as president, Hoogstra has led initiatives in developing an online course-sharing consortium and has focused on expanding ethnic diversity, accessibility, and inclusion on CCCU campuses.

Dr. Hoogstra also serves on the steering committee for the Washington Higher Ed Secretariat, is a leader for the Evangelical Immigration Table, and serves on the boards of the American Council on Education, the National Association of Evangelicals, and Trinity Forum. She has received honorary doctorate degrees from Gordon College and Nyack College and was the recipient of the Nina Griggs Gunter Servant Leadership Award, the Lifetime Education Impact Award (National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference), and the Keepers of the American Dream Award (National Immigration Forum).

Dr. Hoogstra is a regular speaker across the country and is a courageous advocate for Christian higher education. She has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, World Magazine, Christianity Today, and on various podcasts, radio, and news programs. Shirley also serves on the boards of the American Council on Education, National Immigration Forum, National Association of Evangelicals, and Trinity Forum.

Hoogstra achieved her bachelor's degree in education at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a Juris Doctor, with honors, from the University of Connecticut School of Law. She practiced law for more than a decade in New Haven, Connecticut, before serving as president of the New Haven County Bar Association. The Lord called Dr. Hoogstra back into Christian higher education to Calvin University in 1999, serving as Vice President for Student Life until stepping into her current role as president of the CCCU.

Written by Dr. Michael Whiting

Dr. Michael Whiting is the Director of Written Content in University Communications at Dallas Baptist University.