Why are we named “Kuyper?”

Our school is named after Dr. Abraham Kuyper. Who is this man?

Dr. Abraham Kuyper

Dr. Abraham Kuyper was born in The Netherlands on October 29, 1837. He completed his classical preparatory work for the university at the early age of twelve. He received his Doctorate in Sacred Theology at twenty-six.

He began his first pastorate in 1870.  Two years later while still in the ministry he became editor-in-chief of a daily newspaper in Amsterdam; a year later he assumed editorship of a weekly paper. For more than forty-five years he filled both of these exacting positions.

In 1874 he was elected a member of the Lower House of Parliament. In 1880 he founded the Free University in Amsterdam, which takes the Bible as the unconditional basis on which to rear the whole structure of human knowledge in every department of life. It is by his almost superhuman labors, no less than by his strength and nobility of character, that he left “foot-prints on the sands of time.” In 1907 his seventieth birthday was made the occasion of national celebration. It was said: “The history of the Netherlands, in church, in state, in society, in press, in school, and in the sciences of the last forty years, cannot be written without the mention of his name on almost every page.”

In 1898 he visited the United States of America and gave the “Stone Lectures” at Princeton University.  It was then that they conferred the Doctorate of Laws upon him.

In 1901 he was summoned by Queen Wilhelmina to form a Cabinet, and he then served as Prime Minister until 1905. After that, he resided in The Hague as Minister of State, remaining in the public eye as the foremost figure in the land, and in some respects was without a peer in the world. At the age of eighty-two, he was laying out plans for another great literary work, but the end came on November 8, 1920.

During all these years his work was astonishingly multifaceted. No department of human knowledge was foreign to him. There was always something incomprehensible in the mighty labors of this indefatigable wrestler. Even those who differed with him honored him as “an opponent of ten heads and a hundred hands.” Those who shared his vision and his ideals prized and loved him, “as a gift of God to our age.”

We named our school after this great man of God in the hopes that Dr. Kuyper and his beliefs would serve as an example to all our students of what one person can accomplish when his all-out efforts are for the glory of God.

In addition, all of our students are required to memorize Dr. Abraham Kuyper’s vision:

One desire has been the ruling passion of my life. One high motive has acted like a spur upon my mind and soul. and sooner than that I should seek escape from the sacred necessity that is laid upon me, let the breath of life fail me. It is this: That in spite of all worldly opposition, God’s holy ordinances shall be established again in the home, in the school and in the State for the good of the people; to carve as it were into the conscience of the nation the ordinances of the Lord, to which Bible and Creation bear witness, until the nation pays homage again to God.