Campus Scene


Baccalaureate and Commencement for the Class of ’21 are scheduled for Sunday, May 16, with several adjustments from the events’ traditional formats due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The day will include a Baccalaureate service in the morning with two Commencement ceremonies in the afternoon to facilitate physical distancing. Baccalaureate will be for the graduates only and guest attendance at Commencements will also be limited, but all of the events will be livestreamed.

As has been the case throughout the pandemic, the plans are contingent on circumstances and health department requirements and guidelines at the time. Please visit Hope online for additional and up-to-date information.


When the pandemic necessitated the postponement of Baccalaureate and Commencement for the Class of ’20, Hope anticipated rescheduling the events. Plans were even made to hold the ceremony in August. However, with the pandemic continuing and gathering sizes in the state restricted accordingly, it couldn’t happen this past summer or in the several months since. With a year having now passed, the college is instead planning to hold a celebration of and for the class in the Pine Grove on Saturday, May 22 (with Sunday, May 23, as the rain plan). Organized by the President’s Office and the Office of Alumni and Family Engagement, the event will incorporate elements of both a reunion and the traditional ceremony—the latter including remarks by Dr. Jared Ortiz of the religion faculty, who would have delivered the 2020 Commencement address, and President Matthew A. Scogin ’02.


With a 20-plus-year history, Dance Marathon wasn’t about to sit 2021 out — despite the pandemic.

With the massive, traditional 24-hour gathering in the Dow Center out of the question, the organizing Dream Team found creative solutions. For example, they celebrated the Miracle Families outside in lieu of the traditional arrival tunnel formed by students, held the opening and closing ceremonies via live feed; hosted activities and presentations at a variety of locations to reduce gathering sizes; and had dancers chronicle their participation at home with photographs.

Held on Friday and Saturday, March 26-27, this year’s marathon raised more than $300,000 for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, bringing the 22-year total since 2000 to $3.3 million.

Please visit the college online for a gallery of images from this year’s event.


Dr. Angela Carpenter, assistant professor of religion, received the 2020 Dallas Willard Book Award from the Martin Institute and the Dallas Willard Research Center (MIDWC) at Westmont College for her book Responsive Becoming: Moral Formation in Theological, Evolutionary, and Developmental Perspective.

In announcing the award, MIDWC noted that “Dr. Carpenter’s book was selected because it retrieves a distinctive, experientially informed account of the human spiritual and moral formation that Christians call ‘sanctification.’ In it, she provides the foundation for a constructive account of formation that is attentive both to divine grace and to the significance of natural, embodied processes.”

The announcement continues, “The judges praised it for its clear exposition of different perspectives, its combination of scholarly depth and accessibility and for breaking new ground in crossing over between the often hostile fields of theology, psychology, and human development. The conclusions are pioneering and compelling and admirably explore the complexity of the human person, consistent with the main concerns of the Dallas Willard Book Award.”


Amid a shortened winter sports season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hope College excelled — winning MIAA championships in women’s swimming and diving and women’s indoor track and field, and the MIAA Tournament in women’s basketball.

The women’s basketball team finished with an undefeated record for the second consecutive season, going 16-0 and setting a school record with a 45-game winning streak that’s the eighth-longest in NCAA Division III history.

The men’s swimming and diving team placed second at the MIAA Championships, its highest finish in seven years. The men’s indoor track and field team tied for second place at the MIAA Championships, its highest finish ever.

Four Hope student-athletes were named MIAA Most Valuable Athletes in their respective sports: senior Emma Schaefer in women’s swimming for the second year in a row, senior Kenedy Schoonveld for the second consecutive season in women’s basketball, sophomore Ana Truck in indoor track, and junior Kamaron Wilcox for the second year in a row in men’s diving.


Dr. Gabe Southard, associate professor of music, has been named a Pearl Flute Artist by Pearl Musical Instrument Company, a global manufacturer of flutes based in Yachiyo, Japan. Southard is one of only 64 musicians around the world to hold the distinction, which reflects upholding a high level of performance and educating as a flutist in addition to using Pearl flutes.

He recently transitioned to a Pearl flute after performing with his previous flute for nearly three decades, and earlier this year acquired a flute custom-made for him. For perspective on what a professional musician looks for when choosing (and designing) an instrument, please visit the question-and-answer story shared online.


Music as a department isn’t the college’s oldest academic program, but music as a tradition harkens back to the earliest years of Hope itself. (One example: The eight members of the college’s first graduating class, in 1866, sang an ode written by President Philip Phelps Jr. set to music composed by a classmate.) It’s a through-line that links thousands of students across generations and numerous dedicated faculty. And it’s a story now told in Making Music: Hope College’s Music Department: A History, which highlights the development and impact of the nationally accredited department across more than 150 years.

Published by the college’s Van Raalte Press, the book was co-written by Dr. Marc Baer and Allison Utting ’18. Baer is a professor emeritus of history who also served as interim dean for the arts and humanities and interim chairperson of the Department of Music, and was a visiting research fellow at the Van Raalte Institute during 2018. Utting majored in secondary social studies education and minored in history and is an eighth-grade history teacher in Byron Center, Michigan. It is available via the Hope College Bookstore as well as Amazon.

Campus Health

Circumstances related to the global COVID-19 pandemic remain dynamic and evolving, and circumstances at Hope can vary as the college responds accordingly in keeping with local, state and federal guidelines and requirements and local health conditions. Updates are posted regularly at the website that the college developed in the spring of 2020 to centralize information.

Haworth Hotel Set to Reopen Following Renovation

The renovation of the college’s Haworth Hotel has been so comprehensive that it’s easier to identify what hasn’t changed than what has. The exterior brickwork and windows are the same.

Inside the three-story building, which is adjacent to downtown Holland and located on the northern edge of the campus, is a different place.

The transformational project has been made possible through a gift from Haworth Inc. and has been led by Patricia Urquiola, an award-winning designer and architect based in Milan, Italy, who has worked with the company for several years. Haworth products are featured throughout.

The first guests since the work began in November 2019 will begin staying in May.

“Enhancements that we have talked about for years have come to fruition, and I can’t wait to see people enjoy the result,” said Derek Emerson ’85, who as director of events and conferences at Hope has administrative responsibility for the hotel. “We’re extremely grateful to the Haworth Inc. for the generous support that has made the renovation possible and for connecting us with Patricia Urquiola to make it exceptional.”

The lobby has not only been redesigned but enlarged to feature additional informal seating, a new pre-function area outside the main ballroom and access to new meeting rooms. Still to come this summer is a Biggby Coffee shop meant to serve not only hotel guests but the general public and campus community, reflecting a new emphasis on making the space a welcome center for visitors to the college and a gathering place for all. A new spiral staircase to the second floor provides access to a new meeting room, and for overnight guests a new exercise room that looks over the lobby.

If anything, the changes to the 48 guest rooms have been even more dramatic. Emptied to the bare walls, they’ve been so extensively refurnished and refurbished that even the showers are new.

The name of the building has been shortened to Haworth Hotel from Haworth Inn and Conference Center. The change is intended to help prospective guests, who Emerson noted are more likely to use “hotel” than “inn” when searching for a place to stay. The building continues to serve as a conference center for the campus, Holland community and organizations from around the country, with meeting and banquet facilities totaling more than 10,000 square feet and 13 conference rooms that can accommodate groups of up to 400.

Located facing College Avenue between 9th and 10th streets, the hotel is operated by Hope by Creative Dining Services, which also provides food service for the rest of campus. The staff includes employees of CDS and Hope.

Haworth’s support of the renovation continues a long tradition of engagement with Hope, a connection reflected in the name of the facility, which opened in January 1997. Hope named the building after Haworth in honor of donations to the college’s endowment.

Additional architectural design for the Haworth Hotel has been provided by GMB Architecture + Engineering of Holland and the general contractor is Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. of Grand Rapids. The total project cost is approximately $7.5 million.

The project was originally scheduled for completion in phases between May 2020 and the early fall of 2020, but was delayed because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, including a statewide shutdown of construction projects last spring.