Origins Feature: Dr. Don DeYoung
By Shelby Perry
Many might recognize Dr. Donald DeYoung from when he spoke at chapel back in September with Dr. Nate Bosch, while others may have been able to learn from him in the classroom. Though he technically retired this past spring, Dr. DeYoung still represents Grace at speaking events and teaches the Theories on Origins class during the fall semester. This class discusses both Christian and secular beliefs about Earth’s origins, aligning perfectly with Grace’s campus theme this year.
DeYoung is originally from Grandville Michigan, a suburb of Grand Rapids. While he was raised in a family with a Dutch Reformed background, he did not come to faith until his mid-twenties during his time in graduate school for his doctorate in physics at Iowa State University.
While at Iowa State, Dr. DeYoung met his wife, Sally. The DeYoungs have been married for 52 years and have three grown daughters and nine grandchildren who still live in the area.
After Dr. DeYoung finished graduate school, he hoped to teach at a Christian college. DeYoung said, “I drew a big circle around the Midwest because I’m a Midwest fan, and then I looked to see what Christian colleges were around. Grace had an opening that year, so here we are.” Dr. DeYoung began teaching at Grace in the fall of 1972 as a physics, math, and astronomy professor.
Dr. DeYoung loves Winona Lake and Grace College. Although he has had opportunities to work and live elsewhere, Dr. DeYoung says that he “always seems to return to Grace.” For the past ten years, he and his wife have attended Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church, located next to the Gordon Recreation Center.
As for biblical origins, Dr. DeYoung says that, “there’s just something about the Bible and science. It’s just of interest to everybody, believer or not. It’s a neat open door to talk about things.”