Distinguished Alumni Awards
The Hope College Alumni Association will honor two alumnae during the annual Alumni Banquet on Saturday, April 28.
The association will present Distinguished Alumni Awards to Meredith Arwady ’00 Kahrl, an acclaimed contralto based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, who has performed with opera companies and symphonies around the world, and award-winning author Lynn Davis ’71 Austin of Holland, Michigan, whose 24 books have sold a combined total of more than one million copies worldwide.
Arwady has performed with opera companies and symphonies including the Metropolitan Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Houston Grand Opera, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, English National Opera, Oper Frankfurt, the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Toronto Symphony. She has won several competitions and awards, including the Metropolitan Opera National Councils, the George Londons, the Licia Albanese/Puccini Competition, the Marian Anderson Award, a Sara Tucker as well as a Richard Tucker Career Grant from the Tucker Foundation, a Grammy and several scholarships.
Austin is the author of 23 novels and a memoir, Pilgrimage: My Journey to a Deeper Faith in the Land Where Jesus Walked. Her novels, some historical and some set in the present, address Christian themes, with the central message, as she has said, “that God loves us and He’ll never forsake us no matter how difficult life becomes.” Eight of her novels have won Christy Awards for excellence in Christian fiction, and she was named to the Christy Award Hall of Fame in 2013. Her seventh novel, Fire by Night, was one of only five inspirational novels chosen by Library Journal as a top pick of 2003; her 16th, All She Ever Wanted, received the same honor in 2005. In 2006, her novel Hidden Places was made into a movie that starred Shirley Jones for the Hallmark Channel.
The banquet is scheduled in conjunction with Alumni Weekend (April 27-28). Additional information about the weekend and more extensive biographical sketches of both alumni are featured online.