Campus Scene


Hope College Men's Basketball vs. Calvin College. Photo by Rob Kurtycz.
Hope College Men’s Basketball vs. Calvin College.

“We are children of God first and foremost. That always needs to be front and center.”
–Chad Carlson ’03, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Junior Varsity Men’s Basketball Coach

Hope and Calvin colleges know a thing or two about competition—they have earned national attention through the years as storied rivals in sport. But, rivals need not be enemies and competition need not be incompatible with being Christian, as faculty and students from the two schools shared during the inaugural Global Congress on Sport and Christianity in York, England, while presenting research they conducted together.

More about the research and its impact on its student participants is featured in “The Rivalry: Sport Versus Religion?” in the ongoing Stories of Hope blog. Stories of Hope is one of three dozen blogs on the college’s vibrant blog network, which shares accounts written by students, faculty or staff highlighting scholarship, study abroad, individual academic and co-curricular programs, alumni activities and achievements—and more.

Unity Circle Expresses Commitment to Community and Inclusion

Photo by Lynne Powe

In the days following the presidential election, college campuses across the country faced high levels of anxiety and emotion as they experienced a surge in reports of harassment aimed at minority students. When Hope, too, received reports of student behavior inconsistent with the college’s values and expectations of conduct, the campus community was quick to respond.

At Chapel on Wednesday, Nov. 9, Hinga-Boersma Dean of the Chapel Dr. Trygve Johnson encouraged students and employees to attend to each other and practice the wisdom of quick, slow, slow: “Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry” (James 1:19). In that spirit, Hope student leaders invited their peers to gather peacefully in the Pine Grove on Friday, Nov. 11, promoting a respectful and inclusive campus environment. Hundreds of students, faculty and staff heeded the call, standing silently and holding hands as a show of unity, inclusion and love.

Sophomores Sweep Fall Traditions

The Class of 2019 swept the college’s two traditional fall freshman-sophomore contests, winning both the Pull tug-of-war and the Nykerk Cup competition.

The sophomores won this year’s Pull tug-of-war, held on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the traditional Black River location, by 54 feet and nine inches in a contest that ran for two hours and 42 minutes. The win avenged the Class of 2019’s defeat the year before by a similar amount, 55 feet and four inches.

Their Nykerk victory followed four weeks later, on Saturday, Oct. 29, at the DeVos Fieldhouse in conjunction with Family Weekend. The event moved to the DeVos Fieldhouse in 2014 because strong audience demand had pushed past the capacity of its previous home, the Holland Civic Center.

Preparing to Address the World’s ‘Grand Challenges’

Logo (PRNewsFoto/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation)
Logo (PRNewsFoto/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation)

A major grant to Hope from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will bring together faculty and students from multiple divisions and disciplines in exploring “grand challenges”—the important issues facing the world in which the students are preparing to live and work.

The college has received an $800,000, three-year grant to establish the “Mellon Grand Challenges Initiative,” through which Hope will develop linked courses across the disciplines starting next fall and establish faculty-student research opportunities built around large-scale, relevant themes—like, for example, post-conflict reconciliation, religious coexistence, globalization or freedom of speech. In addition to addressing the questions themselves, the program will model how bringing together the skills and insights of multiple disciplines provides the best hope of addressing complex issues.

Book Celebrates Calvin VanderWerf’s Presidency

A new book by former faculty member Dr. Douglas Neckers ’60 celebrates Hope’s eighth president, Dr. Calvin VanderWerf ’37, for enabling Hope not only to survive in the research-focused era of Sputnik, but to become the nationally recognized institution which continues to thrive today.

Neckers’s book Cal VanderWerf: Anchor of Hope credits VanderWerf, who led the college from 1963 to 1970, with transforming Hope from a relatively typical smaller school into an institution that provided an exceptional education for students of the space age and years since. Published this summer by BioSolar Publishing, the book explores how VanderWerf, who had a distinguished career in higher education as a chemist before becoming Hope’s eighth president, emphasized enhancing the college’s academic quality, particularly in the physical sciences. It was a move, Neckers notes, that was absolutely essential as private colleges and state-supported universities began to compete ever more not only for students but also external funding for their programs—especially for research—resources that were and continue to be crucial.

“Cal’s presidency built Hope College into a place where it would not just survive, but lead in intellectual experiences for American undergraduates in the final decades of the twentieth century,” Neckers writes in the book.

Hope in Pictures

Students were invited to sign the last steel beam being installed into the Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center. Photo by Garrett Gormley.
Students were invited to sign the last steel beam being installed into the Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center.

Please visit the college online to enjoy extensive photo galleries organized by topic and chronicling a variety of events in the life of Hope.

A beam signing on Friday, Oct. 28, celebrated placement of the final piece of structural steel for the Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center. Participants during the Family Weekend event included the first generation of the students that the building will serve for years to come.

Women’s Cross Country Excels at NCAA Championships

Photo by Rob Kurtycz.

Hope’s 10th-place team finish and Erin Herrmann’s All-American fourth-place finish at the NCAA Division III Women’s Cross Country Championships were among several highlights this fall.

Coach Mark Northuis ’82 and the Flying Dutch also claimed one of the school’s four MIAA titles. They were joined by men’s and women’s golf, and women’s soccer. Women’s soccer athlete Elizabeth Perkins tied for the national lead in goal scoring.

Learn more about the fall season on the Hope Athletics website and mobile app, or join Hope Athletics on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.