Campus Scene


Hope is starting the school year two weeks early to help limit the impact of the COVID-19 virus on the campus community.

Fall-semester classes will begin on Monday, Aug. 17, with the semester concluding on Tuesday, Nov. 24. Classes were originally to have started on Tuesday, Sept. 1, with the semester concluding on Friday, Dec. 18.

The schedule change supports the college’s commitment to providing a safe in-person living and learning experience by removing two mid-semester breaks — the college’s four-day Fall Recess and four-day Thanksgiving Recess — during which many students leave campus. The semester will feature a mix of in-person, hybrid and online classes.

Hope has not yet determined whether or not there will be any changes to the spring-semester schedule; those decisions will be made later this fall based on conditions at that time. Spring-semester classes are currently scheduled to begin on Monday, Jan. 11, and end on Friday, April 30, with final exams running Monday-Friday, May 3-7.


Screenshot of video conference celebrating seniors of the class of 2020

Although this past spring’s Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies have been postponed to next May, the original date still included an informal virtual event to recognize the accomplishments of the graduates.

Presented via the college’s Facebook account on Sunday, May 3, “Keeping Hope: Celebrating the Class of 2020” featured a mix of live and pre-recorded congratulations, encouragement and meditations from more than a dozen members of the faculty and staff. The venue also enabled the audience to post well-wishes and reflections along the way. More than 1,000 people tuned in, with more than 360 peak live viewers.


Hope is nationally recognized for the extent and quality of its undergraduate research program. Hundreds of students work collaboratively with faculty mentors during both the school year and summer, gaining invaluable hands-on experience while searching out new knowledge in the arts and humanities, social sciences, and natural and applied sciences. This summer has been no exception, although with adjustments for additional health precautions due to the global pandemic.

Although Michigan was under a statewide stay-home order for the first part of the summer, many faculty were able to conduct research remotely with their students. On-campus research resumed in mid-July, keeping a defining aspect of Hope intact but this time with COVID-19-deterring guidelines in place.

Please see the college online for more about summer research at Hope this year.


Hope has rescheduled its postponed graduation activities for the Class of 2020 to next May due to the continued need for physical distancing.

Details regarding the events, including the specific date, have not yet been determined and will be announced at a later time.

Hope’s Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies were originally going to be held on Sunday, May 3, but because of the global COVID-19 pandemic were initially rescheduled to the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 1-2, contingent on conditions at the time, with May 2021 as a back-up. Other organizations in the area also canceled large-scale events occurring in the early-August time frame.


The Hope College Board of Trustees has appointed four new members. Newly elected are the Rev. Eddy Alemán of Grand Rapids, Michigan, general secretary of the Reformed Church in America; Dr. Llena Durante ’00 Chavis of Holland, Michigan, associate professor of social work and social work field director at Hope; the Rev. Michael Pitsenberger of Rock Valley, Iowa, pastor of Carmel Reformed Church; and the Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton ’76 of Baltimore, Maryland, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. The terms became effective on July 1.

Trustees who have concluded service on the board are the Rev. Jeffrey S. Allen ’85 of Littleton, Colorado; Dr. Barbara Tacoma ’81 DePree of Douglas, Michigan; Nancy Dirkse ’81 DeWitt of Cincinnati, Ohio; the Rev. Dr. Kenneth W. Eriks ’69 of Holland; Dr. David W. Lowry ’89 of Holland; and Dr. Sonja Trent-Brown of Holland.

Karl Droppers ’82 of Holland is continuing to serve as chair and Suzanne L. Shier of Chicago, Illinois, is continuing to serve as vice-chair. Newly elected as secretary is Dr. Steven Boerigter of Los Alamos, New Mexico, who has succeeded Nancy Dirkse ’81 DeWitt.


Jacob VanderRoest
Jacob VanderRoest

Senior Jacob VanderRoest of South Haven, Michigan, has received a highly competitive scholarship from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

A total of 396 scholarships were awarded on the basis of academic merit by the Board of Trustees of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, in partnership with the Department of Defense National Defense Education Programs. The scholarships are for one or two years, depending on the recipient’s year in school, and cover the cost of tuition, mandatory fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

VanderRoest is majoring in chemistry. His career goal is to pursue a doctorate in green chemistry and conduct chemical research aimed towards sustainability.


Dwayne “Tiger” Teusink ’58
Dwayne “Tiger” Teusink ’58
Jorge Capestany
Jorge Capestany

Both the current and former managers of the college’s DeWitt Tennis Center, each of whom has spent his career guiding young players and serving as an advocate for the sport, are being inducted into the Western Michigan Tennis Association’s (WMTA) Hall of Fame.

Jorge Capestany, who has managed the center since 2003, and Dwayne “Tiger” Teusink ’58, who managed the center from 1996 until 2003, are among six people named to the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020. Criteria for the recognition, which is in its second year, includes being a WMTA facility tennis pro or administrator with more than 15 years of service and/or employment within the WMTA district and having made a significant and distinguishing contribution to the WMTA.


Hope has been honored with Tree Campus USA® recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for the second year in a row for its commitment to effective urban forest management.

The Tree Campus USA program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Hope, which has more than 500 documented trees in its central campus, achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and a student service-learning project. Currently there are 385 campuses across the United States with this recognition.


Hope has joined the effort to enhance the academic and career success of West Michigan Latinx college students and build a stronger partnership between the Latinx community and employers by becoming an academic partner in the Building Bridges Through Education initiative of the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Through the program, which began in October, Latinx students at the participating colleges and universities have the opportunity to attend conferences and other events designed to assist them with career discernment and preparation; to engage with mentors at area businesses; and to connect with a variety of area employers regarding employment and internships during college and potentially full-time positions after graduation.


In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
Galapagos Girl / Galapagueña, written by Marsha Diane Arnold and illustrated by Angela Domínguez
Galapagos Girl / Galapagueña, written by Marsha Diane Arnold and illustrated by Angela Domínguez

Recipient of a seventh consecutive grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the NEA Big Read Lakeshore organized by Hope will journey back in time this fall for the 200th anniversary of the real-life sea story that inspired Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Running concurrently, the Little Read Lakeshore will travel to the Galapagos Islands supported by a second consecutive grant from Michigan Humanities.

This year’s Big Read will feature Nathaniel Philbrick’s non-fiction best-seller In the Heart of the Sea, an account of the November 1820 sinking of the ship Essex by an angry whale and the crew’s struggle for survival afterward. It will also include an age-appropriate adaptation of the book for middle-grade readers, with the Little Read Lakeshore for children featuring the bilingual picture book Galapagos Girl / Galapagueña, written by Marsha Diane Arnold and illustrated by Angela Domínguez.

The Big Read Lakeshore has received $15,000 through the NEA Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. The Little Read Lakeshore has received $15,000 from Michigan Humanities.

The month-long program will begin with a kick-off event on Monday, Nov. 2.


Chelsea Miskelley
Chelsea Miskelley
Daniel Settecerri
Daniel Settecerri

Four Hope College student-athletes claimed All-America honors this spring, while two others achieved Academic All-America distinction. Amanda Bandrowski and Claire Hallock made the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-America Team in NCAA Division III, while Anna Frazee and Ana Tucker each made the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Indoor Track and Field All-America Team for the first time. It was Hallock’s second All-America honor and Bandrowski’s first. Chelsea Miskelley (cross country and track and field) and Daniel Settecerri (men’s golf) both were named to 2019-20 Division III Academic All-America® Teams, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Bandrowski also was named the ITA’s Central Region Senior Player of the Year. Hallock joined Danny Kroeze in receiving the MIAA’s top scholar-athlete honors for women’s and men’s tennis, respectively, with the Karen Caine and Lawrence Green awards.


Campus Health Banner Graphic

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