Dr. Norris Friesen honored in volunteer center renaming ceremony

HUNTINGTON, Ind. The Huntington University Joe Mertz Center has been renamed the Friesen Center for Volunteer Service in honor of Dr. Norris Friesen. A ceremony was held May 6 to honor Friesen and to officially announce the name change.

"It is because of Dr. Friesen's commitment to providing service opportunities for students, his modeling of a servant's heart for the community … that is an honor to and a privilege to officially rename our volunteer service program the Friesen Center for Volunteer Service," said President G. Blair Dowden.

The name change was unanimously voted upon by the Huntington University Board of Trustees.

Friesen became dean of student services in 1985, and then was named vice president for student development in 1993. In 2002, he was appointed interim academic dean and in 2003 was appointed vice president and dean of the university while continuing to teach German. He currently serves as the director of institutional effectiveness and professor of German. He has been an active volunteer in the Huntington community for more than 20 years. The Joe Mertz Center was created 21 years ago in part due to Friesen's support.

Friesen and his wife, Grace, were in attendance.

"I hope and pray that the newly named Friesen Center for Volunteer Service will continue to embody the spirit of Christ and will empower the Huntington University community to be the hands and feet of Jesus," Friesen said at the dedication.