Alum Leaves 'Street' For Calvin

April 26, 2005
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GRAND RAPIDS — EquilLend President and CEO Dirk Pruis is returning to his alma mater to serve as Calvin College’s new vice president of advancement.

The 2001 winner of the college’s Outstanding Service Award, Pruis was a 1982 graduate and All-American diver for the Knights.

The Grand Rapids native earned an MBA from the University of Michigan and began his career with the local office of then-Big 8 accounting firm Touche Ross. He later transferred to New York City, where he eventually took a post with Goldman Sachs.

He launched the Goldman Sachs Mexico City office and served as controller of its $2 billion Tokyo operation.

He later helped form EquiLend, which was founded in May 2001 by Barclays Global Investors, Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Northern Trust, State Street and UBS.

While Pruis admits working on Wall Street has been a heady experience, he said he’s eager for the challenges and opportunities he sees at Calvin.

“This is an investment of the second half of my career in a place that is making a difference, a place that is shaping the next generation of Christian leaders,” he said. “As a Calvin student I was taught that everything I do counts. So even though I’ve never worked in a nonprofit setting, I’ve always felt it my calling to renew God’s world in any way I can. Now I have a chance to come back to Calvin and give back to the institution that has given me so much.”

Pruis moves into a position that has been retooled and renamed for his arrival. Formerly the vice president of development, his role will also include alumni relations and some communications functions.

Former Vice President of Development Robert Berkhof remains at Calvin as senior associate to the president for development.

In his new post Pruis will direct, manage and coordinate Calvin’s fundraising efforts; manage alumni operations; represent the college to corporate, foundation, donor and alumni communities; serve on the president’s cabinet; and oversee the relationship with the Christian Reformed Church on matters of development.

Calvin President Gaylen Byker says the hiring of Pruis and the shift in focus for Berkhof puts Calvin in a strong position.

“Dirk brings a unique combination of skills and experience to the (advancement) division,” he said. “He has a great deal of valuable experience from a highly successful career in finance and management in this country, as well as in Mexico and Japan.”

Pruis’ father, Don, was a Calvin business professor.     

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