From the President: Dr. John C. Knapp

President John C. KnappDear Friends,

As I write this letter, the annual phenomenon known as “March Madness” is in full swing. This year, Hope College caught a bit of the madness, with both our men’s and women’s basketball teams advancing to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Division III tournament.

No matter what their sport, Hope’s student-athletes reflect all the hallmarks of a successful athletic program: courage and tenacity, commitment and drive, and, of course, competitive spirit. But, March Madness looks a little different at Hope, where our Christian culture encourages good sportsmanship and shapes the priorities of our athletes and coaches.

On March 16, Christianity Today ran the online article, “How Christians Do March Madness,” written by Dr. Chad Carlson ’03, junior varsity basketball coach and kinesiology faculty member at Hope. The article discusses the theological implications of competition, specifically the Hope-Calvin rivalry, among Christians. That topic is explored in this issue as we hear how our coaches and students relate athletics to their faith.

By providing a transformational education that nourishes body, mind and spirit, Hope inspires students to follow their passions with character and integrity. We even see that played out in the professional life of DJ Reyburn ’99, whose passion for athletics has turned him into a Major League Baseball umpire.

Creating passion is certainly not limited to athletics, as shown in this issue’s feature on the new Day1 program. Here, enthusiasm for scientific research starts on day one as students experience the exceptional collaborative-research model that has served Hope College well for generations. Elsewhere in these pages you will read about students whose passion is fueled by the chance to work with professionals in their field, such as those working on a television program to be seen across the nation.

As we prepare to congratulate the members of the Class of 2017 on a job well done, we trust that their passion for Christ, for learning, and for Hope College will continue to grow.

John C. Knapp, Ph.D.
President & Professor

Photo by Steven Herppich

Spring 2017