From the President: Matthew A. Scogin ʼ02

Dear Friends and Family of Hope College,

We are living through an extraordinary period of human history. With the entire world confronting a pandemic unprecedented for more than a century, please know that we are praying for the health and well-being of you and your families.

It’s often said that crisis builds character, but it’s equally true, if not more so, that crisis reveals character. Here at Hope, as strange as this season has felt, it has also felt strangely familiar. The culture, values and mission that make us special in normal times have shown through brighter than ever.

While I am beyond disappointed for our students – especially our graduating seniors – who have had their spring semester abruptly changed, I am very proud of the hard work and sacrifice that have characterized the entire Hope community.

In the matter of just a few days, our faculty and staff transitioned over 900 courses from in-person instruction to remote instruction. This is a feat that would have seemed impossible just a short time ago, but with innovation and dedication our team made it happen.

I’ve “dropped in” on a number of classes since remote instruction began, and it’s been heartening. Everyone is engaged and making the best of the situation. Students step up to support each other. Professors find creative ways to make remote courses personal. It’s felt very much like, and of course is, the Hope experience – with the added feature that family pets occasionally make on-screen appearances!

This proves what we’ve all known to be the case for a long time: What makes Hope special is not our buildings, classrooms, athletic fields, theaters or concert halls. What makes us special is our people.

These remarkable people, guided by our mission, have used this crisis as an opportunity to model our name and show the world what HOPE looks like. Whether it is through donating supplies from our Natural and Applied Sciences division to Holland Hospital or providing expertise on myriad topics relevant to what we are going through, Hope’s faculty and staff are finding ways to love and care for our community.

These certainly are challenging and difficult times, and as of this writing they seem likely to continue. Yet we are a people of hope. And our hope comes from the source of hope: God himself. The world places its hope in circumstance, things like personal health, family, wealth and success. But life is full of hardship, and what is hardship but a stripping of those things? The one thing that is sure and solid is God’s hope. And with this guiding us, we can look to the future with confidence.

May the peace of God that surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ in the days ahead.

Spera in Deo,
Matthew A. Scogin ʼ02