Westmont Magazine Continuing Education
In a recent article, Westmont President David Winter noted three of the college’s important characteristics: providing a challenging educational program, developing character, and preparing leaders with a strong commitment to Jesus Christ.
Marty III and Ruth Ozinga pursue these same goals as they raise their six sons. Faced with this challenge, they have turned to God for wisdom and strength. “He always encouraged us to go beyond the norm and take hold of His promises in exciting ways,” Ruth says.
In 1994 God led them to unplug from business, busyness, and family to leave the country for a year. During their travels, they home schooled their sons and gained an invaluable view of God’s world. Although living together 24 hours a day was difficult initially, it drew them together with a defined mission and purpose.
After they returned, they began looking into colleges and heard about Westmont from a nephew at Wheaton. Its mission confirmed the goals and direction God had impressed upon them, and the California location was attractive.
To date, three of their sons have attended Westmont. Marty IV graduated last year with a degree in economics and business; Karl is a senior art major and economics and business minor; and Justin is a junior in the economics and business program. All three were married this past summer, and two met their wives at Westmont.
Marty IV and Amy Bucka Ozinga ’98 live in downtown Chicago where he is the plant manager for the Chinatown facility of Ozinga Bros. Inc. Amy just incorporated her own floral design business.
Karl’s wife, Amber Sinsley Ozinga ’01, is at Westmont majoring in political science. Justin’s wife, Annie, is from Chicago. The Ozingas finally have the daughters they have been praying for!
Son Aaron is a freshman at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Ill. Paul is a sophomore at Chicago Christian High School, and Timothy is in eighth grade at Southwest Chicago Christian School.
“I grew up in a family that valued Christian education. Sending our sons to Christian schools seemed natural,” Marty III says, “We’re deeply thankful for our Christian school heritage.”
The Ozingas have seen the reality of Westmont’s focus in their sons’ lives. “Although the courses have been rigorous, the professors have been wonderful, giving individual attention, encouraging giftedness, and challenging students to think independently. They continue to be supportive even after graduation. The Christ-like atmosphere has also helped our sons grow spiritually,” Ruth says.
Marty III grew up working in the family business his grandfather started in 1928. He attended Calvin College in Michigan and returned to the business after he graduated. Today he is president of Ozinga Bros. Inc., a redi-mix business that supplies materials to the construction industry in the Chicago area, as well as in Indiana and Michigan.
Ruth transferred to Calvin from Trinity Christian and attended Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and Kendall School of Design, where she earned her degree. She started an interior design business, which she ran until their sons began arriving. She then decided to focus all her attention on loving and encouraging her family. When the boys left for Westmont it seemed like a smooth transition. “We felt God placed our sons in our home to begin His work in them and chose Westmont to support and continue that vision,” she notes.