Campus Scene


Hope College Formula Racing earned a top-10 finish in the Formula SAE competition held at Michigan International Speedway earlier this month.

The college’s team earned 9th place overall out of the 45 teams participating in the competition, held on Wednesday-Saturday, July 7-10. Among the events that make up the score, Hope placed first in fuel efficiency.


The Hope College Board of Trustees has appointed two new members.

Newly elected for three-year terms are Andrew Ohm ’00 of Seattle, Washington, and Laura Paredes of New York City.

Re-elected to a four-year term is the Rev. Dr. Nathan Hart ’01 of Greenwich, Connecticut.

Trustees who have concluded service on the board are the Rev. David Bast ’73 of Grand Rapids, Michigan; Dr. Gerald J. Pillay of Liverpool, England; and Suzanne L. Shier of Chicago, Illinois.

Karl Droppers ’82 of Holland, Michigan, is continuing to serve as chair and Dr. Stephen Boerigter of Los Alamos, New Mexico, is continuing to serve as secretary. Newly elected as vice-chair is Dr. Matthew Wixson ’08 of Ann Arbor, Michigan, who has succeeded Suzanne L. Shier.

New School Year

The college is preparing for an in-person school year, with the incoming Class of ’25 arriving on Friday, Aug. 27.

The Opening Convocation will be on Sunday, Aug. 29, at 2 p.m. at the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse, and will feature an address by Dr. Gerald Griffin, interim provost and an associate professor in the departments of biology and psychology. Classes begin on Tuesday, Aug. 31.

Campus Health

The global COVID-19 pandemic, which has resurged in recent weeks after seeming to be on its way out, continues to shape planning at Hope, as noted in an email to students and their families on August 3 by the college’s Administrative Council.

“After an unprecedented 2020-21, we look forward to 2021-22 as a time to come together, fully and in-person, and enter wholeheartedly into learning, relationships and community with God and one another,” the message states. “While our commitment to a ʻnormalʼ school year remains as strong as ever, we know that COVID-19 is not fully behind us. Therefore, we continue to assess and take actions to keep the Hope College community safe.”

“[W]e now move forward with His provision, continuing to prayerfully consider COVID decisions which are informed by science, and guided by the recommendations and mandates of the local, state and federal health officials,” it continues. “The COVID-19 virus is unpredictable and because of that, circumstances can rapidly change. We ask you, the Hope community, to remain nimble with us as we adapt to new safety needs that may be ongoing.”

Hope continues to strongly encourage members of the campus community to be vaccinated, and is also seeking their vaccination status to inform planning. As during 2020-21, Hope will monitor campus wastewater for the virus. The college also continues to have a quarantine and isolation process, as well as safeguards for those who are not vaccinated that include pre- and post-arrival testing and surveillance testing.

Updates related to the pandemic are posted online.


The Hope-organized NEA Big Read Lakeshore has received an eighth consecutive grant from the National Endowment of the Arts. The program will highlight poetry and Native American History this November.

This year’s Big Read will concentrate on Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s An American Sunrise, a collection of poems that traverses the homeland from which her ancestors were uprooted in 1830 as a result of the Indian Removal Act. A writer of the Muskogee (Creek) Nation, Harjo celebrates her ancestors and reminds the reader to remember the past. The Little Read Lakeshore accompaniment for children will feature the picture book Fry Bread, written by Kevin Noble Maillard and illustrated by Juana Martinze Neal.

The NEA Big Read Lakeshore has received $20,000 from the NEA. The Little Read Lakeshore has received $15,000 from Michigan Humanities.


Hope College Dining Services has won a gold award in the 2020 Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards program of the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS).

The dining service has been honored in the category of Residential Dining Concepts for medium institutions. Named for a NACUFS founder, past president, and highly regarded innovator, the dining awards celebrate exemplary menus, presentations, special event planning, and new dining concepts, and provide an avenue for sharing ideas and creative presentations in campus dining services.

Hope dining services programs have received several awards through the years, including most recently the national grand prize in the Residential Dining Concepts category in 2019 for excellence in offering international cuisine.


Hope will expand its role providing wastewater monitoring as an early-warning system for the presence of COVID-19 not only locally but across southwest Michigan for the next two years through a $7.5 million grant from the State of Michigan.

The award to Hope is among 19 for projects across the state that have received a total of nearly $49 million in grant funding announced by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday, June 24. The funding from the Centers for Disease Control supports the ongoing development of the state’s SARS-CoV-2 Epidemiology – Wastewater Evaluation and Reporting Network, which uses locally coordinated projects to conduct wastewater surveillance for COVID-19. Partners include local health departments, tribal nations, wastewater treatment and environmental engineering agencies, colleges and universities, and public, private and academic laboratories.

Hope’s program was developed and is led by a team of Hope biologists and chemists, and was established in August 2020 as a central component of the college’s effort to mitigate the presence of COVID-19 on campus. Testing of campus wastewater will be continuing during 2021-22.


Three members of the faculty and staff were honored with this year’s two traditional college-wide end-of-year awards.

Dr. Jennifer Hampton of the physics faculty, who was killed in an automobile accident in Holland on Sunday, March 14, received the Hope Outstanding Professor Educator Award during the Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 16. The H.O.P.E. award is presented by the members of the graduating class to the professor who they feel epitomizes the best qualities of the Hope College educator.

Eric Elgersma, custodian in Durfee Hall, and Dr. Christopher Fashun, assistant professor of music, received the Vanderbush-Weller Awards for strong, positive impact on students. The awards are presented based on nominations from the campus community and coordinated by the Office of Student Development.