Campus Scene


The Department of Theatre was invited to perform the original production The Boy Who Hates Everything during the Region III Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), hosted by the University of Michigan-Flint on Tuesday-Sunday, Jan. 9-14.

The Boy Who Hates Everything during the Region III Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival
The Boy Who Hates Everything during the Region III Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

The Boy Who Hates Everything was created last spring by Hope theatre students and guest artist Chris Garcia Peak and performed on campus in April 2023. The production was selected for the festival by a juried committee from KCACTF from entries throughout the five-state region (Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin).

The play, which also includes original music by Nathan Streifel, follows 22-year-old Desmond, who is kicked out of his home for not finishing his dinner and hating everything. He embarks on a whimsical journey with Amelie, an adventurous singing librarian, on a mission from the Magical Soup Lady to find a cat that can read, to pluck three whiskers from a lion, and to make it snow. Dr. Daina Robins, who retired from the theatre faculty at the end of the fall semester, directed the remount of the production.

In addition to the productions that are invited, theatre students have the opportunity to display their work in dramaturgy, design, stage management, directing, playwriting, musical theatre, and theatre journalism, as well as acting. A total of 24 Hope theatre students participated in this year’s conference and shared their creative activity and research.

The theatre department was also selected from a juried committee to present the costumes from The Revolutionists designed by faculty member Michelle Bombe and constructed by Anna Hill with assistance from Hope costume shop students. The Revolutionists, by Lauren Gunderson, was produced at Hope in February 2023.


Michelle Bombe, executive director of Hope Repertory Theatre
Michelle Bombe, executive director of Hope Repertory Theatre

Longtime theatre faculty member Michelle Bombe has been appointed executive director of Hope Repertory Theatre.

Established in 1972, Hope Repertory Theatre — or, “Hope Rep” — produces plays and educational programs across the summer as well as during the academic year, and includes theatre professionals as well as student interns both onstage and behind the scenes.

A member of the faculty since 1991, Bombe appreciates Hope Rep not only as a theatre professional, but as a former student. Her first connection with the company was in the summer of 1984, when she was an acting intern while she was an undergraduate theatre major at the University of Evansville.

This summer’s season will open on Thursday, June 13, with The Last Five Years, and continue through Saturday, Aug. 3, with Big Fish and Detroit ’67, along with Dragon Pack Snack Attack for young audiences, the annual Acting Intern Showcase, and a workshop reading of Margo Connolly’s Havurah, a commission of the Big Bridge Theatre Consortium. More information about the season is available online.


Hope has become the new host of the interfaith Big Bridge Theatre Consortium (BBTC) of colleges and universities, which has also commissioned its third original play dedicated to peace and interfaith dialogue.

Hope is a founding member of the consortium, which began in 2017 and also includes Carroll College, George Fox University, Seattle Pacific University and The University of Portland. Originally headquartered at George Fox, the consortium has relocated to the college along with its founding artistic director, Rhett Luedtke, who joined the Hope faculty at the beginning of the school year as an associate professor of theatre.

The new play, Havurah (loosely translated as “circle of friends”), is being crafted by award-winning playwright Margot Connolly and will explore issues related to antisemitism. It is scheduled to be ready to debut during the 2025-26 school year.


Baccalaureate and Commencement for the Class of ’24 are scheduled for Sunday, May 5. Commencement will take place at 3 p.m. at Ray and Sue Smith Stadium, and Baccalaureate at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

The Commencement speaker will be the Rev. Shomari Tate, chaplain of discipleship at Hope. The Baccalaureate speaker will be Dr. Vicki-Lynn Holmes, associate professor of mathematics and education.

In the event of rain, Commencement will be held at the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse. Admission to Baccalaureate, and Commencement if indoors, is by ticket only.

Rev. Shomari Tate
Rev. Shomari Tate
Dr. Vicki-Lynn Holmes
Dr. Vicki-Lynn Holmes


The Children’s After School Achievement (CASA) and Step Up programs at Hope have received a grant from the Michigan Department of Education’s Out-of-School Time initiative for their summer sessions for Holland-area children finishing first through eighth grade.

Hope student supporting a local elementary student

This is the second year in a row that CASA (grades 1-5) and Step Up (grades 6-8) have received a grant through Out-of-School Time. This summer’s $87,000 award will enable the programs to continue the enhanced service that last year’s $86,400 grant made possible, including hosting more students, expanding the curriculum, hiring additional staff to provide the same level of instructional support per student, and in the case of Step Up to increase the number of weeks that the program runs.


Hope is celebrating record-shattering results from the college’s 10th annual Day of Giving, held on Thursday-Friday, Feb. 22-23. Members of the extended Hope family from across the United States and around the world made 2,949 gifts totaling more than $742,000 — almost doubling last year’s contributions. In addition, more people made gifts on Day of Giving than ever before.

Day of Giving graphic

“We can’t thank our generous donors enough,” said Michael Niederer, director of annual philanthropy. “You can imagine how much this means to our students, knowing that so many people believe in them and are willing to invest in them. They work hard every day on campus as they prepare to bring Hope to the world.”


Faculty members Dr. Chad Carlson ’03 and Dr. Deborah Van Duinen have been awarded Lilly Faculty Fellowships by the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities.

Carlson is a professor of kinesiology and the director of general education at Hope. Van Duinen is the Arnold and Esther Sonneveldt Professor of Education and founding director of the Hope College NEA Big Read Lakeshore and Little Read Lakeshore.

The fellowships are for mid-career faculty leaders across the disciplines at Network schools to engage the intersections of Christian thought and practice with the academic vocation. Selected as a team for the two-year Lilly Fellows Program, Carlson and Van Duinen are sharing a $16,000 award that includes $8,000 in start-up funding to launch a faculty-development campus project at Hope. They will also participate in four conferences in Indianapolis and Chicago between June of this year and June of 2026 for which the network will provide lodging and related materials.

Dr. Chad Carlson ’03
Dr. Chad Carlson ’03
Dr. Deborah Van Duinen
Dr. Deborah Van Duinen


Hope senior Nhi Hoang of Da Nang, Vietnam, has won a regional award for excellence in collaborative student-faculty research for the second year in a row from the Midwestern chapter of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology.

Hoang, who is majoring in psychology and minoring in neuroscience, has been honored for her research titled “I will not apologize! The Dark Triad inversely predicts forgiveness-seeking,” mentored by psychologist Dr. Lindsey Root Luna ’03, who is dean of social sciences. She received her award last year for “Welcome to My House: The Relationship between One’s Hospitality and Preference for Houses’ Exteriors,” with Dr. Benjamin Meagher, assistant professor of psychology.

Hope students have won the highly competitive awards during 21 of the past 25 years. The nine awards that Hope students received from 2014 through 2023 were the second-most in the Midwestern region and the eighth-most of all regions in the U.S.


Hope students have put on a marathon effort for a 25th year for the young patients of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. More than 800 students participated in this year’s installment of the annual marathon, held on Friday and Saturday, March 1-2, at the Dow Center.

Dance Marathon fun in the Dow

All proceeds from the marathon go directly towards the funding of special programs that are designed to make the children’s visits to the hospital more bearable; helping the families to deal with their illnesses; and supplies related to treatment and care. This year’s marathon raised $364,616.25, raising the event’s 25-year total to more than $4.4 million.

A photo gallery is available online.


Hope students majoring in communication and alumni within a year of graduating who majored in communication can take a fast track to a master’s degree thanks to a new partnership with Western Michigan University.

The college and university have established a “4+1” pathway that will enable Hope graduates who majored in communication to complete a Master of Arts degree in communication at the university in one year when enrolled full-time instead of the usual two. The agreement will enable the Hope majors to apply up to 12 of their undergraduate credits in communication toward the 30-credit graduate degree.


Dr. Stephen Maiullo
Dr. Stephen Maiullo

Hope has appointed an experienced and respected campus leader as dean of arts and humanities, naming current faculty member Dr. Stephen Maiullo to the role following a national search.

Maiullo, who joined the faculty in 2010, has been active in scholarship and administration at the college throughout his time at Hope, including as interim dean for the past two years.


Dr. Meagan Elinski ’13
Dr. Meagan Elinski ’13

Dr. Meagan Elinski ’13, assistant professor of chemistry, is one of only 19 early-career scientists in astronomy, chemistry or physics nationwide to receive a 2024 Cottrell Scholar Award from Research Corporation for Science Advancement.

Cottrell Scholars are chosen from among public and private research universities and primarily undergraduate institutions across the U.S. and Canada. The award includes $120,000 for recipient’s research, which Elinski will use for her investigation of “Chemical-Mechanical Control Over Nanoparticle-Hydrogel Sliding Interfaces.”