At the second annual C Club Awards Knight—where Calvin student-athletes and teams get special recognition for outstanding achievement—the first-ever Knight of Distinction award was announced.
Near the end of the evening—modeled after the ESPN “Espy” awards show—the inaugural Knight of Distinction award went to Dr. Anthony "Tony" Diekema '56, former president of Calvin College from 1976-1995. Diekema was a starter for three years on the men's basketball team in its first three years of MIAA competition (with the Knights winning the league title in each of these years).
The Knight of Distinction Award was established by C Club to demonstrate the lifelong benefit of intercollegiate athletics at Calvin College as demonstrated in the lives and witness of former Calvin student-athletes. This award will be granted annually by the C Club leadership, in partnership with the college's athletic directors, to recognize a former Calvin Knight who has served God, church and community with the Christian character that was partly shaped by participation in the athletic program at Calvin College.
"It was important to the C Club leaders that the very first recipient of the Knight of Distinction Award be a role model for what we want to communicate about Calvin athletics and about Calvin alumni athletes serving God's Kingdom," said C Club president Carl Gronsman '63. "We believe that Tony Diekema is the right person to make our award intentions clear."
Awards Knight has already become a highly anticipated end-of-year event for the Calvin athletic community. Student and alumni athletes present 15 different awards to students and teams, including “Outstanding Team” (national champion women’s volleyball), “Play of the Year” (baseball player Grant Van Putten’s steal of home to win a league game) and “Newcomers of the Year” (Cassie Vince in cross county and Brent Stoughton in swimming and diving).
Calvin sports information director Jeff Febus interviewed various Calvin athletes, coaches and alumni prior to the event’s start, and the emcees were athletic directors Nancy Meyer and Jim Timmer.
The evening ends with the Beré (men) and Tiemersma (women) awards for the male and female athletes of the year. This year, those honors went to basketball player Tyler Kruis and volleyball player Megan Rietema.