SPARK T H E C A LV I N
The Decision That Changed Everything p. 16 Wise Data p. 24
Wisdom for the Heart p. 14 SPRING 2021
— Kristi Potter, Director of the January Series
PHOTO CREDIT: NATHAN ROELS
“Although we couldn’t gather in person this year, more people were able to experience the January Series than ever before. We received grateful comments from people saying they watched every night in the evening when in past years they were not available to participate.”
TOP: Tara Westover, New York Times best-selling author, speaks at the January Series to a virtual audience. BOTTOM LEFT: Jemar Tisby is an author, speaker, and president of The Witness: A Black Christian Collective. BOTTOM RIGHT: Scott Sauls, pastor and author, speaks on gentleness.
SPRING 2021 VOL. 67, NO. 1
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Calvin University equips students to think deeply, to act justly, and to live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world.
Calvin University is an educational institution of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA). To learn more about the CRC’s work in North America and around the world, visit crcna.org.
14 Calvin University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). For more information, visit cccu.org. Spark is published three times a year by the Calvin Alumni Association, office of alumni relations, Calvin University, 3201 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. ©2021 by the Calvin Alumni Association. Telephone: 616-526-6142. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Spark on the web: calvin.edu/spark. POSTMASTER: Send address corrections to Spark, Office of Alumni, Calvin University, 3201 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. CANADIAN POSTMASTER: Publication Mail Agreement No. 40063614. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: CRCNA-Calvin University, 3475 Mainway, P.O. Box 5070, Burlington, ON L7R 3Y8.
A new stadium with a synthetic turf field has been approved. It will seat 1,200 spectators and be the home of Calvin’s men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse teams.
THE DECISION THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING We asked some people in the Calvin community to share about their big decisions. Hear how God is directing and guiding people’s lives.
24 WISE DATA
Detecting the trend toward big data, Calvin launched a degree in data science in 2017. Discover how the degree is preparing graduates for a life of meaning in this evolving field.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE CALVIN SPARK Managing Editor: Sarah Potter Johnson ’00 Art Director: Amanda Impens Designers: Erin Barents Elders ’16 Kelsey Smith ’22 Contributing Writers: Jeff Febus ’92 Matt Kucinski Lynn Rosendale ’85 Contributing Photographers:
PHOTO CREDIT: CYDNI ELLEDGE, THE NEW YORK TIMES
Amanda Impens Stephen Norregaard ’15 Adrian Van Stee ’23
CALVIN ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD President: Gene Miyamoto ’77 (Holland, Mich.) Vice President: Jori Brink Hannah ’04 (Chicago, Ill.) Secretary: Christine Jacobs Mouw ’88 (N. Little Rock, Ark.)
Alumna Ariangela Davis Kozik is a microbiologist studying the human microbiome.
Father and son Jim and Tim Paauw started an organization to combat the global hunger crisis.
Read Spark online
12 Sports 14 Scholarship 22 Career 28 Alumni Profiles 38 Legacy
Follow us on Instagram @calvinuniversityalumni
Connect with alumni facebook.com/calvinalumni
40 Class Notes
Leave a legacy for future alum
48 In Memoriam
Members: Jerry Cooper ex’66 (Holland, Mich.) Jona Eigege ’15 (Washington, D.C.) Carlos Erazo ’14 (Dallas, Tex.) Minwoo Heo ’09 (Chicago, Ill.) Rachel Johnson-Melville ’02 (Muskegon, Mich.) Dale Kaemingk ’77 (Brier, Wash.) Casey Kuperus ’97 (Grand Rapids, Mich.) Maxine Asante Mosley-Totoe ’06 (Minneapolis, Minn.) Debra Perry ’91 (Grand Rapids, Mich.) Valerie Stegink Sterk ’83 (Santa Clara, Calif.) Levi Stoep ’13 (New York, N.Y.) Mark Tigchelaar ’06 (Bellflower, Calif.) Jim Valk ’87 (Paw Paw, Mich.) Cathy Van Zeelt Van Donselaar ’88 (Centennial, Colo.) Johanna Chambery Zandstra ’91 (Schererville, Ind.) Karen Zwart Hielema ’94 (Toronto, Ont.)
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View the Calvin calendar calvin.edu/calendar
COVID-19 information calvin.edu/go/coronavirus 3
Every student at Calvin navigates important decisions while they’re here. Professors, mentors, and friends help students discern God’s call and the path for their future.
The joy of Calvin decisions This issue of Spark is about decisions. You’ll read stories about alumni as they followed God’s call. Some started on a newfound career path. Others made life-altering personal decisions. You may find yourself in some of these stories. It is a joy for me to work in the advancement division at Calvin University. I have the privilege of hearing how this has shaped the decisions and lives of alumni. Many of you have a “Calvin story” that has deeply changed you. Those stories often involve a Calvin faculty member. Calvin professors often recognize special gifts, build self-esteem, and point our students to live wholeheartedly for Christ. We have been blessed to see this happen in our family beginning with my own experience as a 1986 graduate of Calvin. Professor Bob Bolt became my “encourager.” We would frequently discuss history, politics, baseball, and our shared passion for Calvin. He predicted that I would work at Calvin one day. At the time, I couldn’t imagine the likelihood of that ever happening, but 2021 will mark my 12th year in the advancement division! Professor Bolt provided the spark that kindled my deep commitment for this mission and work. My wife, Dawn, and I have three children who are Calvin graduates and one who is a freshman. Did Calvin faculty members impact their personal and career decisions? Absolutely.
Our son, Kyle, points to business Professor Brian Cawley’s mentoring as pivotal in launching his career in human resources. Sociology and social work professor Stacia Hoeksema helped our daughter Kim by honing her skills in counseling and encouraging her to go to graduate school. Our daughter Kayla recognizes the guidance that Professor Scott Stehouwer provided. He instilled confidence in her so that she could go on to thrive in her work. We are confident that our last born, Kristyn, will have similar experiences. We know Calvin faculty members will recognize her God-given gifts and will point her toward God’s call. Calvin continues to be the remarkable place that many of you remember when you were students here. You can be confident that today’s Calvin faculty still care deeply for the students who are writing their stories and making important life decisions. Please continue to share your “Calvin story”—with us and with others!
TRAVEL WITH CALVIN Danube River Cruise From Budapest to Linz via Vienna Plus a stop in Prague Hosts: Ellen and George Monsma May 2022 Croatia by Land and Sea Explore the lands around the Adriatic Sea Host: Ken Bratt June 2022 Ireland (tentative) Host: Debra Freeberg June 2022
KEN ERFFMEYER ’86 VICE PRESIDENT FOR ADVANCEMENT
After 10 years of service to Calvin, Rick Treur has been called to a new role. You can read about his new job in Class Notes. We look forward to introducing you to the new alumni director Jeff Haverdink '97 in the next issue of Spark.
See calvin.edu/go/travel for details. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request tour brochures for specific trips.
Share your Calvin story. Write us at email@example.com.
RESEARCH LEADS TO TOYOTA PATENT “People have been studying this for years,” said Rich DeJong, professor emeritus of engineering at Calvin University. “And we’ve figured it out.” The “it” is how to reduce the wind noise in an automobile when traveling at highway speeds. The “we” is a team of faculty and student researchers. Together, their discovery led to a patent for Toyota Motors Co. “It’s very unusual for undergraduates to be involved in this research in the first place,” said DeJong, “let alone be part of a patent.” DeJong’s experience in the automotive and aerospace industry has served students well over the years. Through his connections, Calvin University gained access to a unique piece of equipment used in this research: a wind tunnel, which DeJong says is one of only about a dozen of its kind in the country. Beyond the cutting-edge equipment, it’s the industry connections that are bringing projects like this to Calvin’s campus. One of DeJong’s former students in the 1990s, Todd Remtema, now works in Toyota’s research center in Ann Arbor. He’s been sending research projects Calvin’s way for years, and when he needed someone to find a solution for this specific problem, he asked Calvin to take a shot. DISCOVER MORE To read more about the patent and research, visit calvin.edu/go/toyota.
University president Michael Le Roy is joined by university leaders and supporters for the ceremonial breaking of ground.
BREAKING GROUND ON BUSINESS SCHOOL On March 2, Calvin University held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new School of Business building. The ceremony was livestreamed at the future site of the new building, just south of the DeVos Communication Center. The establishment of the new school was announced in spring 2020 following a $22.25 million gift, the largest single gift in the institution’s history. The cost of the building project is about $10.25 million, which includes the construction of the 15,000-square-foot building that will house new offices, modern classrooms, contemporary breakout spaces,
and large gathering areas. Funding to improve shared spaces in the existing DeVos Communication Center, which will connect to the School of Business, are also included in the construction cost. The remaining funding from the $22.25 million gift will provide significant endowment funds that will be used to support the new dean of the School of Business and business faculty. The purpose of the endowment is to serve as a catalyst for a number of new academic programs intended to serve new populations of students at Calvin. GDK Construction is managing the project, which will commence in spring 2021 and is scheduled to be completed by mid-summer 2022.
SEE THE VIDEO Watch an inspiring two-minute video of the groundbreaking at calvin.edu/go/groundbreaking
A NEW PATHWAY FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES A $1.2 million Transition and Postsecondary Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities grant from the U.S. Department of Education puts Calvin on a path to be the first university in Michigan to offer a comprehensive transition and postsecondary program. The lower level of the Spoelhof University Center has undergone a renovation.
A NEW HUB OF CREATIVITY A space in the lower level of the Spoelhof University Center has been transformed from a tucked away space to an imaginative center for art and creativity. The Edgar G. Boevé Design Hub and the Ervina Boevé Costume Shop celebrate the enduring influence of two of Calvin University’s founding artists. With a combined 60 years as professors in art and theater respectively, the Boevés taught their students to value the power of story, aesthetics, and technique. And that’s exactly what students will learn through experiences in this new design hub, said Brent Williams, director of exhibitions. The 6,000-square-foot space includes a common area, an open classroom, two conference rooms, four studio suites, a copy
room, and costume shop. The space will serve as a home base for graphic design students, and engineering courses will also be taught in the classroom. Designed to look like a professional setting with polished concrete floors and the latest technology, it’s been a welcome change. “Student feedback has been really positive,” said Williams, who taught the first class in the space in January 2021. Because the space includes corkboards, whiteboards, and flexible seating, the space itself evolved as students got further into their projects. “It feels like a living space, and that gives students a lot of energy.”
Up to this point, the university’s partnership with the Ready for Life Academy (RFLA) allowed students with disabilities to take classes on campus and participate in organized campus life activities, but they were not officially enrolled as Calvin students and were not living on campus. Now, this grant enables RFLA students to be enfolded more into the campus community, which organizers hope will lead to a greater sense of belonging. Besides the mutual community benefit, the students will also now be able to earn a certificate not only from the RFLA, but also from Calvin University. In addition to the life skills courses they take through RFLA, they also are able to choose Calvin courses in an area of interest, such as ministry, creation care, or helping professions, to name a few.
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS GET JUMP START ON CALVIN DEGREE College Access Programs is expanding its offerings this summer. All of its programs, like Entrada, inspire interest in postsecondary education and promote readiness for college life. A new opportunity called the Career Exploration Program is open to all high school students. The one-week program provides students with experience in a particular field of study. The College Access Programs team saw a need to help students explore majors before college, developing a program that helps students see potential careers, and participate in hands-on learning experiences. “Through this program, we hope to help students save time and money by making decisions ahead of time based on this valuable experience,” said Rosalba Ramîrez, director of College Access Programs. Another new program is the International Summer Academy, aimed at international students. The academy has two tracks: a language track and an academic track. The language track is for students who need to improve their understanding of the English language before beginning college courses. The academic track is for students who are already at an advanced language level but who want a first college exposure. Both are residential programs. To learn more, visit calvin.edu/ offices-services/college-access-programs. 8
Calvin was the first university in west Michigan to receive approval to become a COVID-19 vaccination site.
CALVIN APPROVED AS VACCINATION SITE In January, Calvin received approval from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services Division of Immunization to become a COVID-19 vaccination site. Calvin was the first university in west Michigan to receive this designation. Sarah Visser, vice president for student life and co-chair of the university’s COVID Response Team, notes the institution is set up well to handle this task, both in physical space and experience. “It is a huge perk for Calvin to have a medical space on campus to facilitate this effort, and a staff of medical professionals
under the direction of a medical doctor equipped to carry out this work,” said Visser. “Our health services clinic has historically been a vaccine site, and we have been planning and gearing up to be a mass vaccination clinic.” Calvin’s Health Services team continues to lead the way for safe and healthy campuses around the country. For nine years running, The Princeton Review ranks this team among the top 20 higher education health services in the nation. The team of health professionals continues to work closely with local and state health officials, which has been instrumental in the university’s planning and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
STAY CONNECTED Find more campus news at calvin.edu/news.
PROGRAM PROVIDES OPPORTUNITY FOR SPANISH IMMERSION STUDENTS
Calvin developed an online cohort for international students when some were unable to return to campus.
REMOVING BORDERS TO CALVIN UNIVERSITY When embassies shut and travel bans were enacted this past spring and summer, Calvin had a choice to make: either accept that most of its international students would likely have to wait a semester or year to join its community or work to create a path for them. Calvin chose the latter. “In this cloud of uncertainty, we were able to collaboratively pull together an option,” said Sara Vander Bie, English as a second language instructor and academic counselor at Calvin University. The option was the international online cohort, a group of 65 students who were unable to attend in-person for the fall
semester, but who chose to begin their time at Calvin online. In order to make this online cohort successful, it would take an army of professors, tutors, and student life workers to deliver a meaningful college experience online, one that not only delivered a quality educational experience to the first-year students, but placed equal importance on helping students feel a sense of belonging to the community. The cohort proved successful: All 65 students who completed the fall semester are either continuing online or in-person this spring. Calvin’s international student population is 13%, more than double the national average.
Calvin University launched a unique program for high school juniors and seniors who are in a Spanish immersion program at their high school. These students are already fluent in Spanish and are ready to deepen their understanding of the language, which they now can do by taking Calvin courses. The inaugural cohort of 12 juniors is from Grandville Calvin Christian High School. The students can earn a minor in Spanish along with a semester’s worth of college credit before they even graduate from high school. They are taking a course each semester on Calvin’s campus. “Learning Spanish in college as a high school junior is an amazing opportunity, a head start to be able to learn so much,” said Melissa Scholten. “All the time we spent learning Spanish can have some benefit to our lives, and it can actually help us go somewhere in the future,” said Savoie Bryce, high school junior. “I feel like this partnership gives opportunities to our students that we couldn’t have offered in our program,” said Katy Chadwik Rozemma ‘09, Grandville Calvin Christian’s Spanish Immersion director.
PHOTO CREDIT: CRISTOFER-JESCHKE ON UNSPLASH
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KICKING OFF A NEW STADIUM BY JEFF FEBUS ’92
The board of trustees approved a project concept for a new outdoor stadium. This stadium would be the home for Calvin’s men’s and women’s soccer and men’s and women’s lacrosse teams. Those teams currently play at Zuidema Field, located on the north end of campus on natural turf. The approved concept has seating for 1,200 spectators, a synthetic turf field, and lights. Additional plans include team locker rooms, a press box, a ticket entrance center, public restrooms, and a concession stand. Jim Timmer, Calvin director of athletics, said the time is right for a new outdoor stadium. “During my time as a coach and administrator, it has become increasingly clear that a competition field with synthetic turf is greatly needed,” said Timmer. “In a northern climate, keeping natural grass growing into the late fall or regenerating the field in the early spring is challenging. The wear and tear on the field with four teams has also increased. We have frequently moved home games for soccer or lacrosse to local high schools with synthetic turf fields when our
own field becomes unplayable. Our fervent goal is to play our games on campus. Doing so is a great benefit to our student-athletes and to the greater Calvin community.” The stadium opens up new opportunities for Calvin. National tournament events could rent the space. High school games could also be played on the field. Timmer expects that the field would be in use for summer sports camps. The Calvin community would also benefit. The stadium could be used for outdoor physical education classes and intramural activities. The baseball and softball teams could use the synthetic turf as a practice site when their fields’ conditions are inadequate. The Calvin development office is working with interested donors. “We have been blessed with significant donor interest, which has helped move this concept forward,” said Timmer. “I would also like to thank the Calvin board of trustees for its support and recognizing the need for this outdoor facility.” Calvin is working with the design firm GMB. The company designed Calvin’s Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex.
STUDY OF VICES IS AN INVITATION TO BE SET FREE
Excerpt from Glittering Vices by Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung. Brazos Press published a second edition of this book in 2020, which includes a new chapter on grace. The first edition sold 35,000 copies and was a C.S. Lewis Book Prize award winner. Questions for discussion and study are included at the end of each chapter.
Glittering Vices is a book about sin and selfexamination, but sin should never be the first or last word about us. The Christian life begins and ends with love. Ultimately, what draws us from brokenness and bondage is the power of love—God’s love. Taking our inspiration from Henri Nouwen, we can say that our belovedness and blessedness form the essential context for confronting our brokenness. When I wrote the first edition of Glittering Vices, I was coming straight from a philosophical study of Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae and the vices tradition. I found the primary source material conceptually rich but also— surprisingly—personal. I confess I did not expect to find these texts speaking to my own deep spiritual longings. I was not alone in this reaction, though. My students encouraged me to condense the course material into a book, because they found it was the most practical thing they’d studied yet in college. They wanted to know: How should I live? What sorts of goods and what types of relationships should I commit to and center my life on? What patterns of thought and rhythms of desire have I fallen into that are thwarting that good life? How do I discern that? What would restoration and freedom feel like? How do I move forward into new practices and a new way of life?
My best description of this book is that it is a translation of ancient ideas from disciples and saints who have walked in wisdom before me, colored by my own experience. Glittering Vices is my attempt to make this material understandable and accessible to contemporary Christians and other students of the vices. The implicit frame of the book is sanctification—that is, the ways the Holy Spirit operates in our lives to conform us more and more to the character of Jesus Christ. God is working for us, and with us, and in us. When vices prompt self-examination and reflection, this is neither a guilt trip nor a recipe for despair. Rather, anything convicting that you find in these pages is an invitation to be set free. In my original, more philosophical frame for the book, I was mentally pairing the deformation of our character through the vices with the reformation of our character through the virtues. That’s not entirely off course, but I prefer a different schema for thinking about the project now. The vices mark things we need to leave behind. That is our starting point. The virtues, by contrast, mark the end or goal; they give us a picture of the Christlike life in all of its fullness. What’s the bridge between the two then? The ancient philosophers would say “habituation in virtue.” Start practicing. Try harder.
A more adequate and effective response invokes “graced disciplines,” daily rhythms of discipleship that bridge a life held captive to vice and a life that shines with beautiful virtue. Character reform is not powered simply by our own efforts. It’s true that we must do something, and that we must be intentional about doing it. But what we often find is that something is also being done in us, and it’s not always what we anticipated or intended. In those moments, our efforts are, at their best, ways of opening our lives and submitting ourselves to the Spirit’s transforming work. Spiritual disciplines cover everything from resting, working, speaking, listening, shopping, spending, and giving, to recreation and celebration, feasting and fasting, worship, prayer, solitude, and silence. The Spirit’s goal is to reshape and enliven every inch and corner of your life and character.
BY REBECCA KONYNDYK DEYOUNG ’93 PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY ILLUSTRATED BY ANDREW GILBERT ’20
N O I S I EC G
D N I H E T Y H R E T GED EV T
N A H C T A H
Some decisions are easily forgotten—what did you eat for breakfast last Tuesday?—and some stick with you. As people of faith, we ask God for help in guiding our choices and sometimes have a hard time trusting that he is leading us in the right direction. We asked some people in the Calvin community to share about decisions they have made that have changed their lives.
Within weeks of arriving at Handlon, CPI’s incarcerated students learned that an important visitor was on the way, an agent of an accrediting body. This person’s decision determined whether CPI was fully accredited. CPI’s director, Todd Cioffi, explained what was at stake and told us that we need only sit there while the person looked around. As Todd left for home that day, we gathered in a gameday huddle. Someone asked, “Are we really going to do nothing?” The reply started with a word I cannot write in this article and ended with “no!” With that, CPI students made a decision to get to work. Creative students designed pamphlets. Bold speakers prepared speeches. Administratively skilled students coordinated the unfolding of events. Someone even practiced a song on an acoustic guitar!
NICK NICHOLS ’20 WE MADE A DECISION TO GET TO WORK. Sometimes a person’s destiny rests upon a single decision. Similarly, sometimes a program’s destiny rests upon a single decision as well. I was a member of the first cohort of the Calvin Prison Initiative (CPI). This program provides a Calvin education to inmates at the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia, Michigan.
The next day, the prison’s warden, Director Cioffi, and the accreditor strode into the school building and abruptly stopped in wide-eyed shock. CPI students with informational pamphlets waited on them. With pamphlets in hand, the group was ushered into the classroom and seated. Impassioned speakers moved forward to present the case for accreditation. Next, the musician played guitar and sang. Afterwards, CPI students took turns expressing their gratitude to the accreditor, director, and warden. As they left the classroom that day, Todd turned to us and gave the thumbs up. The program was accredited.
RICHARD HOPPER ’70 I DECIDED TO CHANGE CAREERS. During my high school and college days I developed a passion for both the law and the theater. After college I decided to pursue the law, and in particular trial law, which, in a way, is theater where the stakes are for real. I had a long and interesting career in the law, first as a criminal prosecutor and eventually as a trial judge for 20 years. My wife and I shared our love for the theater with our six children, attending local productions in Minnesota and traveling to New York City several times a year to visit family and see Broadway shows. After retiring from the bench and my legal career, one of my daughters introduced me to a young Broadway producer. He was producing the 40th anniversary revival of Godspell, and it was then that I decided to “dip my toe” into the business of creating Broadway shows by signing on as a co-producer. The rest, as they say, is history. I thrive on being creative, solving problems, and building new ways to meet people’s
“I thrive on being creative, solving problems, and building new ways to meet people’s needs.” needs. These attributes, combined with my passion for the theater, have taken me on an amazing adventure in Broadway producing these past 10 years, including two Tony nominations and one Tony award. To set the record straight, however, there have been failures, including a show that the critics absolutely hated, and we had to close after a couple of months. I loved that show just as much, if not more, than the winners. Although the pandemic has Broadway shut down, the work goes on getting shows ready for Broadway. In 2022, we will be bringing a musical based upon the life and music of Neil Diamond to the Great White Way. It just so happens that my wife and I went on our first date to a Neil Diamond concert in the Calvin Fieldhouse. Who would have thought? God’s plan has brought us full circle.
ONLINE EXTRA To read more of Rich’s story, visit calvin.edu/spark.
The first few hours of International Orientation were an affirmation that I was at the right place. I met other students from all over the world and got acclimated to the new culture. As a student, I had an amazing experience— serving as an RA, leading student organizations, and learning from professors. I truly fell in love with the community at Calvin and in West Michigan. I even stayed a fifth year to complete the master’s in accounting program.
FERNANDO VIRGIL ’19 I DECIDED TO MOVE MORE THAN 3,000 MILES FROM HOME.
Now, I’m still here in Michigan working in finance, a career field that I love.
When I was in high school in El Salvador, I decided to move more than 3,000 miles from home to study in a place I had never been— Calvin University. I wanted to attend college in the States, but I imagined a secular school in New England or the West Coast. I had never heard of Grand Rapids. The vice principal of my school encouraged me to apply to Calvin because he knew I was a Christian and had a strong academic record. At the time, I was pretty hesitant. I was accepted to many U.S. colleges, but the financial aid packages weren’t enough to make it work for my family. College felt like a lost cause for me. And then, Calvin came through. I’m not sure I would have had the courage to make the decision on my own, but it was clear that God’s hand was directing me to Calvin.
LINDSEY GUTBROD ’92 I ACCEPTED JESUS AS MY LORD AND SAVIOR. The decision that changed everything for me happened my freshman year at Calvin when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I’d grown up with the Bible but had misunderstood the gospel. I’d spent my life attempting to atone for my sin with good behavior instead of putting my faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross.
I transferred to Calvin to be at a Christian college where I assumed I’d meet friends who were legalists (like me!). Instead I found peers who were joyfully assured of their salvation. They lived moral lives under the authority of scripture, but were doing so peacefully. This joy-filled, obedient living came as a refreshing surprise to someone who was stressed out every day, trying to “get” saved. After years of trying to earn God’s favor, I submitted my life to him, praying alone in my dorm room to receive the Lord. My life became an outpouring of thankfulness. My spirit could rest, serving him as my Lord and knowing my eternal future is secure. I also realized that I had a responsibility to share the gospel with others who might be as confused as I had been. This has led to a lifetime of vocational opportunities: a summer service project with Cru, five years in Hungary working with Protestant churches, and here in Michigan alongside our local church and as a homeschooling mom to our two children. I believe that every day is an opportunity to get out of bed and be of service to the Lord, even in the most mundane things. By staying in his word and connected to a local church, he gives me the direction and opportunities to be a part of his Great Commission.
offered me a clerkship upon graduation, but he died before that opportunity came to pass, and I lost my greatest mentor and support system.
CIARRA ADKINS ’11 I DECIDED TO OPEN A SOLO PRACTICE. I always knew I wanted to be an attorney; as a child I lined up stuffed animals and held court sessions. My family relocated from Detroit, Michigan, to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I met the late Hon. Benjamin H. Logan. He took me under his wing, and my dream of becoming an attorney felt attainable. I had to care for siblings and work fulltime during both college and law school. These were extremely difficult years, but I ultimately graduated in the top third of my legal class. The decision to open a solo practice was never a part of my plan. I wanted to join a large firm with a community of attorneys, but I never landed another clerkship. As a result, Logan
I passed the bar exam and continued working my day job. I distinctly remember attending an attorney gathering years ago; everyone was so kind and welcoming and offered to help make connections. The following year, the same gathering, people, and words, yet this time they rang hollow as I still hadn’t landed a single interview despite my best efforts. I remember crying the entire drive home, as I was desperate to find legal work. Another year passed without a single interview. I prayed and asked God for guidance. It became clear that the only way I would practice law in west Michigan was by establishing a solo practice. It was a demoralizing decision, and it wasn’t what I wanted to do—but I somehow knew this was what God wanted me to do. Now, three years later I am doing God’s work. AQUME Law has filled a much needed gap for accessible business and intellectual property legal services for several local small businesses of color. Plus, I recently hired a paralegal and I wouldn’t have made the same equitable impacts that my firm has achieved if I followed my own plan. And although it is difficult at times, I am glad I finally listened to God.
“I lost my greatest mentor and support system.” 19
Once I started to learn to control my emotions, I started to feel calmer and could focus on what’s important. I am grateful for my support system and that I have a God I can rely on to help me.
“I couldn’t focus on my classes, and I was worried I might fail—or that I might have an emotional breakdown whenever something bothered me.”
KEZIA TJAHJANTO ’22 I MADE A DECISION TO SLOW DOWN. I love to do everything fast, and I can be ambitious. I can plan out my life ahead to the smallest detail. For me, these personality traits lead to over-worrying and anxiety. That anxiety increased throughout 2020, as I studied at Calvin remotely with a 12-hour time difference. I couldn’t focus on my classes, and I was worried I might fail—or that I might have an emotional breakdown whenever something bothered me. I learned a lot from my advisor, Julie Yonker, and from the support of my parents. I made a decision to slow down and enjoy the blessings that God has provided me with. I learned to relax my mind, as our emotions are controlled from our brain. I started to shift my anxiety to my hobbies that requires me to do physical work such as baking.
MATTHEW HALTEMAN I DECIDED TO GO VEGAN FOR INTERIM. In 2003, I started teaching philosophy at Calvin, invigorated by our mission of “educating for shalom.” My job is helping students to discern their gifts and inviting them to commit wholeheartedly to the work of renewing God’s world—a fallen but ultimately good place in which ostriches and oceans, cultures and climate patterns, science and spirituality, food systems and the bodies they nourish are woven through divine love into a marvelous cosmic adventure where human creatures made in the divine image seek the flourishing of all creatures.
One great reward of teaching at Calvin is that students whose imaginations catch fire for this vision tend to hold their professors’ feet to it. Such students wondered how a shalom-minded, climate-concerned, dogloving professor could be so unreflectively committed to eating animals. Already by 2005, I was under pressure from students to explore these issues in class. I decided to withdraw a proposal for an interim course on boredom (!) and teach one on creation care instead. “Peaceable Kingdom” is a course that invites students to consider the theological, moral, and environmental consequences of our current attitudes and actions toward animals. Given the unbecoming irony of preaching (without practicing) the importance of practicing what one preaches, I decided to err on the side of caution and go vegan for interim. Aspiring to be vegan began as a three-week experiment. No dramatic lifelong commitments. No self-flagellation for cheating. That decision was 15 years ago now, and, as you might have guessed, that simple practice of opening a window to shalom has stuck with me. I have no illusions that I live a perfect or pure or “cruelty-free” life. Aspiring to be vegan, to me, means striving to live a life animated by compassion for all God’s creatures.
Like aspiring to be a follower of Jesus, aspiring to live compassionately toward animals is more about striving toward a goal than arriving at one. But there is progress on the journey. A reluctant experiment became a joyful way of life. A moment of curiosity matured into a scholarly calling. I now see smart, social pigs where once I saw only bacon and an all-creatures kinship where once I could imagine only human domination over things.
“One great reward of teaching at Calvin is that students whose imaginations catch fire for this vision tend to hold their professors’ feet to it.”
ONLINE EXTRA Halteman recently contributed to an app that helps Christians contemplate animals and God’s call to care for them. To learn more, visit calvin.edu/spark.
PHOTO CREDIT: LEON ON UNSPLASH
Ways to Avoid Costly Organizational Decisions BY PAM HARALAKOVA MARMON ’05
As an organizational change management consultant, I work with companies that struggle to embrace change. Grand visions can be stifled by inability to execute the work. Too many choices blur the right choice and frustration sets in. But that doesn’t have to be your story. Leaders are made based on their ability to make decisions and manage risk. Practicing the art of great decision-making allows you to focus on growing your legacy, your people, and it can ultimately lead others to Christ. You want to prevent your organization from making decision-making mistakes that lead to costly projects, low employee engagement, and limited growth. Here are three ways to avoid common mistakes:
CRAFT CLEAR GUIDELINES
EMPOWER YOUR PEOPLE
Without proper decision-making guidelines, our ability to make effective decisions is at risk. Minimal guidance increases the probability for indecision, limited action, and less than optimal results.
Some organizations thrive on a consensus-based culture. In such organizations, people may have been rewarded and recognized for giving voice to every individual. That process can generate a greater amount of ideas, but it comes with a high cost of lower speed of adoption and agility.
When one leader makes most of the decisions in your organization, it’s likely to result in faster task completion but with a potentially damaging aftermath. When decision-making is not adequately shared throughout the organization, neither is risk and accountability.
Create decision guidelines that align with your organization’s mission, vision, and priorities. It’s best if you have fewer than 10 decision guidelines and they are widely communicated. After all, if you fail to communicate, even the best decision guidelines are irrelevant. If your organization struggles with the need for consensus, then a potential decision guideline may sound like, “We trust our colleagues to make decisions and understand that for the sake of speed, all cannot be included in the decision-making process.”
It’s important to remember that everyone in your organization has a role to play when it comes to significant decisions. Assign who is responsible, who is accountable, who needs to be consulted, and who needs to be informed.
Leaders empower people by delegating authority, which increases team engagement. The role of a leader is to set a vision, equip people to move toward that vision, provide guidance, and enable others to lead. Decisionmaking is critical in establishing ownership, and when there’s ownership, engagement follows. Great leaders sparingly use the “golden vote,” or the right to veto decisions, and allow others to share in the commitments, failures, and successes.
Pam Marmon is the CEO of Marmon Consulting, a change management consulting firm that provides strategy and execution services to help companies transform. Growing up in Bulgaria and moving to America has taught her to be adaptable and resilient to change. Marmon and her family live in Nashville.
WISE DATA BY SARAH POTTER JOHNSON ’00
CALVIN’S DATA SCIENCE MAJOR DELIVERS CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE IN BURGEONING FIELD
The data about data is mind boggling. One study shows that internet users generate about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day. Another says that the big data market is nearly $140 billion. Data is being collected by social media companies, banks, researchers in the natural and social sciences, utility companies, sports teams, government agencies, and even your robot vacuum cleaner. As the deluge of data expands, so does the need for people who know how to make sense of it. In 2017, Calvin became one of the first Christian colleges to launch a major in data science. “Learning how to deal with huge volumes of data was clearly an increasingly significant area of study,” said computer science professor Joel Adams, who collaborated to launch the program.
Because of the nature of data science, the program couldn’t just live in one department. Jake VanderPlas ’03, who has worked as an astronomer and data scientist at University of Washington, explained that “preparation to be a data scientist is inherently interdisciplinary: you have to dig-in on the math and statistics, dig-in on the computer science and software engineering, and find a field or application where you’re interested in building your expertise and applying those skills.” At Calvin, data science majors take classes in computer science, statistics, and an applied field. The core classes students take in the humanities and arts also strengthen their ability to solve complex problems and create visual models, said Adams.
“Learning how to deal with huge volumes of data was clearly an increasingly significant area of study.” —JOEL ADAMS
“Virtue and integrity as a data scientist involve a lot of humility.” – KENNETH ARNOLD
What are some of the complex problems that data scientists encounter once they start working in the field? That’s a question that Michael Bloem ’04 has helped answer for Calvin. He’s part of an advisory council that offers guidance for the major. In his career at several companies, Bloem has used data analytics to better understand things like how many burgers a fast food chain should make and how businesses can best use their office space. Now, Bloem works at Amazon on its supply chain optimization technologies team. “Our team owns decisions about what we’re going to buy, who we’re going to buy it from, and how much we are going to ship to different warehouses,” he said.
CHRISTIANS IN DATA Ethical issues arise when human beings consider how and why to collect, analyze, and draw conclusions from data. And the potential for Christians to influence the field includes and extends beyond ethics, Bloem said. “As Christian colleges scramble to launch data science and analytics programs, we have a unique opportunity to create distinctive programs that go beyond churning out data wizards,” wrote computer science professor Derek Schuurman in a recent article in The Christian Scholar’s Review. “Christian colleges are well-positioned to train faithful and responsible computer scientists who
recognize that not everything that counts can be counted, even with the most complex algorithms,” he wrote. Professor Kenneth Arnold agrees. “A lot of the secular narratives around tech ethics are pretty narrow,” he said. “If you look at the conversations happening in data and ethics, they’re trying to correct power imbalances. But what we’re trying to do at Calvin is cultivate virtue.” Arnold joined Calvin’s faculty in 2019 and teaches several data science courses. He completed a PhD at Harvard University in 2020 and received his master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “Virtue and integrity as a data scientist involve a lot of humility. You don’t just show a result, but you also show the process and explain the limitations of your findings,” he said.
DATA FOR GOOD Ivanna Rodriguez ’20 was drawn to study data science because it was an avenue for her to act justly. She intended to study economics and international studies, but got a taste for data science through a job with the Calvin Center for Social Research her freshman year. “I was getting data from different sources, cleaning it, and making visualizations to present it to clients,” she said. “It was really interesting and exciting work.”
She decided to add a data science major and now works in the Youth Policy Lab at the University of Michigan, using data to understand and find solutions to social challenges youth face. She uses available information like census and spatial data and performs computational operations and statistical modeling to answer specific research questions. “Calvin taught me that data science can be used to advance the gospel,” she said. “I want to use data science to bring justice to people who have been marginalized historically.” The details and intricacies of data can also reveal new layers of understanding about our Creator. “I’m interested in thinking about how data, and data science, can help us worship,” said Arnold. “Data science mimics the kinds of intelligent processes that all living things have: they receive information through the senses, recognize useful patterns, and act appropriately,” Arnold said. “In our attempts to mimic this, we can marvel at the complexity of the creatures that God made. We are able to take the raw input in our eyes and ears and construct something that’s a reasonably faithful representation of what the world actually is. As flawed and limited as our perceptions can be, it’s still pretty amazing.”
ONLINE EXTRA Read Derek Schuurman’s article “Weapons of Math Destruction” at calvin.edu/spark.
WHY CONSIDER A CAREER IN DATA SCIENCE? In astronomy, the last few decades have seen rapid growth in the amount of data available, and it’s meant that the set of skills that we call “data science” has become central to much of the research in the field. That move toward answering questions with large datasets seems to be happening across research and industry, and is why this skill set will continue to be valuable. — J ake VanderPlas ’03, software engineer in Silicon Valley and previously an astronomer and data scientist at the University of Washington
HOW THE DATA SCIENCE MAJOR WORKS + DATA SCIENCE In their first or second year, students take “Data Science for All,” which introduces problem solving and ethical issues. Other courses teach data visualization techniques and standards for encoding data. + COMPUTER SCIENCE
Data science is still a new field. There are a lot of exciting opportunities in a variety of domains. It’s allowed me to explore and learn about different things in the world. It’s a great field for people who are intellectually curious.
Data scientists write computer programs to analyze data, so students get hands-on training in programming languages, machine learning, and parallel computing techniques.
— Michael Bloem ’04, senior applied scientist at Amazon
A career in data science will expand your worldview. Depending on the role, you’re learning so much more about the world either through digging into one type of data or a variety across different topics. It definitely encourages you to have a wide range of skill sets from mathematics and computer science to communication and a deep understanding of the business domain of focus. — Beka Agava ’17, quantitative Researcher at BlackRock
On the statistics side, students take two calculus courses, intro to statistics, applied statistics, and other high level math courses. + COGNATE Because data science is applied, students take 15 hours in another discipline, like biology, business, economics, geography, political science, or public health.
ALUMNI PROFILES FEATURE STORY
Alumni Profiles Calvin seeks to equip students to think deeply, act justly, and live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world. These stories demonstrate how our alumni are living out that mission. Ariangela Davis-Kozikisisdoing doing Ariangela Davis-Kozik postdoctoral research on the microorganisms that live in human airways, hoping to better understand asthma in adults. She’s also co-led Black in Microbiology, a weeklong conference that attracted global attention. When he graduated from Calvin, Lt. Gen. Michael Michael Groen Groen joined joined the the U.S. U.S. Marine Corps. As the director of the
Read more profiles online calvin.edu/spark
Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), he works to incorporate artificial intelligence into the functions of the of Defense. functions of Department the Department of Defense. Allison Vermeer VanWyngarden has always lovedVanWyngarden horses. Now, she’s Allison Vermeer combining love of horses has always her loved horses. Now,with she’sa passion for her children in horses a new horse combining love of with a therapeutic riding program passion for children in a newthat horse helps children in Iowa. therapeutic riding program that helps children in Iowa. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, movie theaters closed. J.D. Loeks When the COVID-19 pandemic hit,is the president a chainJ.D. of Michigan movie theatersofclosed. Loeks is theaters, and he his of team have the president of aand chain Michigan found some to reach theaters, andcreative he and ways his team have audiences. found some creative ways to reach audiences.
Janet Lenger Staal ’98’13 Ariangela Davis Kozik
Allison Vermeer VanWyngarden ’03
Katelyn Ver Woert Egnatuk ’13
Lt. Gen Michael S. Groen ’86
J.D. Loeks ’99 Evan Talen ’06
PHOTO CREDIT: CYDNI ELLEDGE, THE NEW YORK TIMES
Ariangela Davis Kozik ’13 Biotechnology Postdoctoral research fellow University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan
On the edge of what we don’t know
When you take a breath, the air travels into your trachea, your bronchial tubes, your lungs. You may have learned in a Calvin biology class about alveoli and how they get oxygen to your cells. What you might not have learned is that there are microscopic organisms in your airways. Scientists didn’t even know about them until 2010. It’s the edge of what we don’t know—and that’s exactly where Ariangela Davis Kozik ’13 likes to be. “We’ve only scratched the surface of understanding all the ways the microbiome is involved in keeping us healthy,” she said. In addition to her research, she organized a virtual conference and awareness week called Black in Microbiology, which has earned her national recognition. She was profiled in The New York Times in September 2020 and was recently named one of the top 1,000 inspiring Black scientists by Cell Mentor.
‘On fire’ for research This recognition comes as no surprise to Calvin biology professor John Wertz, who first met Kozik in his “phage hunters” class, where students isolate a unique bacterial virus or phage. “After doing a major research project as a freshman—and getting a publication from it—she was on fire for scientific research,” Wertz said. Wertz hired her to work in his lab, where he was studying the bacteria that live in the guts of termites. “He loves insects,” said Kozik, who added with a laugh, “I do not.” “What impressed me about Ari was that her fire, passion, drive, was in everything she did,” said Wertz. Kozik went to Purdue’s interdisciplinary life sciences program, earning a Ph.D. in comparative pathobiology.
“When Black microbiologists deserved the limelight, [Kozik] built a power plant. I am not surprised in the least at what Ari has done, both in and outside of the laboratory. But I am incredibly, incredibly proud.” —John Wertz, biology
“I love the concept that we humans are literally covered by other organisms. We don’t think about them because we don’t see them, but they impact our health,” she said. As a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan, her current research looks at the microbial communities of adults with asthma.
Black in Microbiology She came away from Calvin with a passion for scientific research and a framework for restorative justice. “I learned that justice is not something that is confined to a certain area—the entire world should be just, science included.” Kozik and a virologist friend co-founded Black in Microbiology, an online conference to raise the visibility of Black scientists across industries and career stages in the field of microbiology. Before she started organizing, she knew only one other Black microbiologist, which she said isn’t unusual. She was inspired by similar online conferences, including Black in STEM, Black Birders Week, and Black in Chemistry. “As Black people, there are stereotypical limits
on who we are and what we can achieve. We’re trying to counteract that typical narrative,” she said. She networked on Twitter, using the hashtag #blackinmicro to find other microbiologists. The conference had 3,500 people register, attracted a global audience, and garnered academic and corporate sponsors. Kozik and other organizers launched the nonprofit Black Microbiologists Association (BMA) to partner with other scientific organizations, scientific journals, funding agencies, and institutions to promote the advancement of Black microbiologists while advocating for a more equitable and just scientific enterprise. “There are problems and disparities everywhere across all of the layers of society. Black in Microbiology is something that I, as a Black academic, am able to do to effect change,” said Kozik. Her Calvin community continues to cheer her on. “When Black microbiologists deserved the limelight, she built a power plant. I am not surprised in the least at what Ari has done, both in and outside of the laboratory. But I am incredibly, incredibly proud,” said Wertz.
ALUMNI PROFILES Lt. Gen. Michael S. Groen ’86 Engineering Director, Joint Artificial Intelligence Center Department of Defense Washington, D.C.
Compelled to continue military service 32
A 35-year career in the military is not the path Lt. Gen. Michael Groen ’86 was expecting to take when he joined the U.S. Marine Corps officer candidate school upon his graduation from Calvin. “My intention was to join the service for a couple of years and then move on,” said the three-star general. “But every time I thought about getting out, some new exciting thing that I wanted to pursue came along. I have found the service very compelling.” Groen has served multiple tours overseas and led battlefield intelligence centers. He has also served as the director of intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and director of Marine Corps Intelligence, and he earned master’s degrees in systems management, applied physics, and electrical engineering. His current position as Director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) is something he never would have imagined, he said, but in looking back, all of his experiences have contributed to his preparedness for this role.
Established in 2018, the JAIC was formed to direct and accelerate the efforts of incorporating artificial intelligence into the functions of the Department of Defense. “We are all very experienced in the use of artificial intelligence in our personal lives whether we know it or not,” said Groen. “That technology has not been as integrated into our defense systems. We are looking to apply the same technology that drives internet companies into our business processes and into our warfighting.”
determining what the enemy position looks like, where our own forces are, and what risks our threats pose.” Artificial intelligence can also be used to protect network systems, to automate surveillance, and to simplify business practices. “There is a vast opportunity to make the department more effective and more efficient,” said Groen. “There is opportunity to up the value of human capital and do the drudgery with machines.”
Character at the core
Sophisticated technology that uses data to provide citizens with everyday assistance— like driving directions, restaurant reviews, online shopping opportunities, and potentially self-driving cars—is the same technology the JAIC is working to integrate into America’s defense systems.
Seated at his desk in the Pentagon, Groen said he is challenged by the intertwining of technology and ethics every day; he is grateful for a strong moral foundation, which he said was bolstered by his education at Calvin.
“There are thousands of potential applications for these capabilities,” said Groen. “For example, a commander could use it to make good data-driven decisions by
“When you take a step back and look at how you approach your life, your job, you realize that character is built at places like Calvin. I knew I had a good foundation, an ethical baseline, and that is so important in this work.”
“When you take a step back and look at how you approach your life, your job, you realize that character is built at places like Calvin,” he said. “I knew I had a good foundation, an ethical baseline, and that is so important in this work. “In artificial intelligence, you can look at how the Chinese surveil their population and see that the U.S. rests on a completely different ethical baseline,” he said. “Government service requires a cadre of civil servants who have that same ethical baseline, the kind that is built at places like Calvin. “I would recommend military service or civil service to any grad,” he added. “It is enormously rewarding, and it demands persons of character. It is absolutely critical that we don’t shy away from that. You would be joining a large cadre of people of good faith, who are committed for all of the right reasons.”
ALUMNI PROFILES Allison Vermeer VanWyngarden ’03 Business Director of Therapeutic Riding Program Grace Therapeutic Riding Pella, Iowa
Career grows from horse training hobby 34
A two-time world champion in showing American Saddlebreds as a youth, Allison Vermeer VanWyngarden ’03 believed her horse training days were over as an adult. “I always loved horses. I worked in the barn growing up; I was always around horses. But when I got to Calvin, I made a conscious choice that I was not going to go into horse training,” she said. “I decided that horses would be my hobby but not my job.”
“I love the idea of using animals to help people. It’s amazing how animals can do this, and it’s good for the horses, too.”
Upon graduating from Calvin, VanWyngarden stuck to that decision: first pursuing a career with a large financial company, then earning her master’s in business administration from Drake University, and finally working for her family’s business, Vermeer Corp., a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of industrial and agricultural equipment. “That was the first 10 years of my career,” said VanWyngarden. After a hiatus to stay home with her and husband Kyle’s two young children, she planned to return to the family business.
Joyful noise That’s when her career path took an abrupt turn. She had heard about a program called Mainly Music, an interactive program for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and their parents that provides education and development outcomes through music and play, and, “I had thought, ‘I wish we had that here,’” she said. Despite an initial hesitation, VanWyngarden lanched Mainly Music at Calvary Christian Reformed Church in her hometown of Pella, Iowa. This, she said, prepared her for her current venture: Grace Therapeutic Riding. “Mainly Music taught me how to gather volunteers, how to start a program, and it
made me realize how much I care about kids— blessing them, seeing them grow, and helping them build community,” she said.
mals can do this, and it’s good for the horses, too. It’s really important for them to have meaningful work.”
Embracing God’s plan
So when VanWyngarden was introduced to the idea of training her family’s horses for therapy, she was interested but tentative. “I reached out to Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy in Pella, and told them I have access to horses and I’m willing, and then went on to tell them all of the reasons it wouldn’t work,” she said. “But God kept opening doors, and I kept walking through.” VanWyngarden earned certification as a therapeutic riding instructor and now serves as the director of the therapeutic riding program at Grace Therapeutic Riding, which serves 1520 participants—mostly children—a week. “I love the idea of using animals to help people,” said VanWyngarden. “It’s amazing how ani-
The riding program has also brought her parents, Bob and Lois De Jong Vermeer ex’67, full circle in the horse business. The Vermeers offer their support by providing the horses, the arena, and encouragement. VanWyngarden’s goal is to include more adults in the program and expand more on the mental health side. She has focused her recent efforts on hippotherapy, a form of therapy that uses the natural gait and movement of a horse to provide motor and sensory input for participants with physical and mental disorders. “I am really embracing who God created me to be,” said VanWyngarden. “I have this love for working with animals, and I am trying to lean into that and grow while creating a place for people to belong.”
Planning a new celebration J.D. Loeks ’99 Business President Celebration Cinema East Grand Rapids, Michigan
A movie quote seems like an appropriate place to start. Near the end of The Martian, when the lead character is asked how he reacted to an impossible situation, he says: “You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem. And then you solve the next one. And then the next. And if you solve enough problems, you get to come home.” J.D. Loeks ’99 can identify with that kind of relentless determination. Loeks is the president of Celebration Cinema, a company that manages 13 movie theaters in Michigan. And in spring 2020, while he wasn’t stuck on another planet, he faced a situation that felt impossible. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, movie theaters in Michigan were closed for months. Even when they reopened, there were restrictions to navigate, and studios stopped releasing major films. “A year ago, I thought I was good at solving problems,” Loeks said. “Now, I’m solving problems I didn’t even know existed.”
Creative change Loeks can rattle off a dizzying list of problems—pivoting programming, lobbying the government, restructuring debt, and becoming well-versed in unemployment laws. “And like a lot of leaders, I’ve also had to become an armchair epidemiologist to figure out how to keep our staff and guests safe,” said Loeks. “The irony is that our business is to give people a two-hour vacation from the stress of life. At the moment in history where we’re needed the most, we’re unable to do it in the ways we used to,” said Loeks. Loeks has been at the helm of the leadership team at Celebration Cinema for 14 years and worked to cultivate a culture that is open to
“The irony is that our business is to give people a two-hour vacation from the stress of life. At the moment in history where we’re needed the most, we’re unable to do it in the ways we used to.” change. “We don’t want to get comfortable with the status quo,” he said.
grandfather, Jack Loeks, was a movie theater pioneer. J.D.’s father, John, also served as president of the company.
It might come as no surprise that Celebration Cinema has found some small, creative ways to continue its mission in the time of the pandemic. They created a drive-in movie experience by stacking 40-foot shipping containers and attaching screens to them. In the summer, they hosted 100 guests at a time in an outdoor lawn environment for movies and concerts.
After Calvin, J.D. worked for his dad for two years and moved to Colorado to work in residential real estate and earn a master’s in business finance. “I realized that I wanted to lead a company that could have a lasting impact on the community, and that I could do that back in Grand Rapids,” he said.
Hello, Studio Park
Loeks has been interested in problem-solving for a long time. Philosophy classes at Calvin sparked his interest
For the past several years, Loeks has spearheaded a major development that’s having that kind of lasting impact: Studio Park. Located in downtown Grand Rapids, this development has a cinema, restaurants, shops, offices, and apartments.
“Philosophy teaches you how to make decisions and process complex things,” he said. He graduated with a business major, just one class short of a double major in philosophy. “I had a great time at Calvin. I sang in the choir, played lacrosse, was involved with dorm leadership, and made a ton of lifelong friends.” Loeks wasn’t sure if he would go into his family’s business for his career. His
“Though it’s the smallest part of Studio Park, my favorite part of the project is the Listening Room, a 200-seat small-format music venue,” said Loeks. “That’s got a special place in my heart, and what I’m personally looking forward to most as we get to the other side of this current crisis.”
“After losing somebody,” Corrine Junga VanderSpek ’10 explained, “you pretty quickly figure out that you want to do anything to keep their memory alive and to keep their legacy going.” That sentiment led the alumna to create a named scholarship to honor her husband, Danny, after he unexpectedly passed away in 2014 from complications related to a short battle with cancer. “It was really meaningful to have his name be a part of Calvin forever,” VanderSpek said. “We are able to help someone else and also connect our journey at Calvin with students who are there now.” Though she could have memorialized her husband in countless ways, VanderSpek said funding a scholarship was the obvious choice for her. “Calvin was such a special place to us, and it was so crucial to forming us as people.”
CREATING COMMUNITY The couple met in their dorm freshman year and built a friendship within a supportive community of peers. Though she was pursuing a degree in sociology and he was focused on engineering, the two took several core classes together and had the chance to explore different topics as they became acquainted. “It’s such a unique time,” VanderSpek reflected, “just being able to live and study with your friends. We were dealing with difficult questions and figuring out who we were—individually but also as a group.” At some point, VanderSpek explained, something shifted in their relationship, and she and Danny started dating. They spent their final two years at Calvin learning and growing together and got married after graduation. All of this occurred amid a supportive community of friends, and it was that same community that rallied around her in 2014 after her husband’s sudden death.
BUILDING TOGETHER Friends and family have been a driving force behind funding the Daniel VanderSpek Memorial Scholarship. While VanderSpek admits she had to step out of her comfort zone to ask for money, it was a little easier knowing it was to support the future of a Calvin student. “It was a way of turning something that is really awful and devastating into something that can help someone else,” she said. “It felt like channeling that sadness into hope and joy and good things for others.”
her husband. “It was a tangible way in the beginning that we could do something to remember him,” she said. From the start, VanderSpek knew she wanted the award to be endowed. Endowed scholarships live in perpetuity because the interest goes to the annual recipient. That meant raising at least $60,000, but VanderSpek never faltered in her resolve to meet that goal. “It’s been a community effort,” she said. “Calvin wasn’t something that just Danny and I shared, it was something we shared with a lot of the people, and this has been a way for us to connect.”
LEAVING A LEGACY Among those giving regularly to the scholarship are VanderSpek’s in-laws, Peter and Marianne. They have been intimately involved with honoring their son’s memory in this way and were grateful to have the first recipient receive the scholarship in 2020. The entire family is excited for the opportunity to meet with the student and learn more about his goals and what Calvin means to him. One of VanderSpek’s hopes is that the individuals who receive this scholarship can have experiences like she did at Calvin, and she is eager for her daughter to hear their stories. While she is 6 now, she was only a few months old when her dad passed away. “This is a significant way for our daughter to have this as part of her life,” VanderSpek added. “Now, every year, there is going to be another person we get to share Danny’s life and legacy with.”
The Daniel VanderSpek Memorial Scholarship is one of more than 825 awards that are part of Calvin’s Named Scholarship Program. Each year approximately 20 new scholarships are added and, for the 2020-21 academic year, roughly $4.2 million was given to students through over 1,400 individual awards. While many awards are in memoriam, others are gifts of gratitude for the role Calvin played in an individual or family’s life. Donors can indicate criteria for students, including financial need, program of interest, residency, high school attended, and diversity.
She started by selling T-shirts and magnets—items that were packed with meaning for anyone who knew and loved
CLASS NOTES Spark readers: This section emphasizes Calvin graduates’ service, vocational, and reunion stories, along with “In Memoriam” notices. Send us news of your promotions, achievements, recognitions, and other announcements at firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos must be 300 dpi or approximately 1MB or greater in size. The alumni association is also interested in knowing about important family milestones such as marriages and newcomers. Please send that news to email@example.com.
HERITAGE (graduated more than 50 years ago)
Independent missionary scholar and retired Christian Reformed missionary to Nigeria John Boer ’62 is developing an online Christian academic library. Visit www.socialtheology.com to read collected academic articles as well as some personal history of the Boer family. The trustees of Rotary International awarded John DeWitt ’66 the Rotary’s Service Above Self award for his volunteer work throughout the world. This is Rotary’s highest honor, which recognizes Rotarians who demonstrate Rotary’s motto, “Service Above Self,” by volunteering their time and talents to help others. The award is internationally competitive and is granted to no more than 150 Rotarians worldwide. 01
Delia Anne Greydanus Koops ’69 stepped down from being associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, Calif. in February of 2020. She does not use the word “retired”, because, she says, “we never retire from serving in the kingdom of our God and following our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1970s After 43 years in ordained ministry (PCUSA) as a hospital chaplain and interim pastor, John VanderZee ’70 has begun a new ministry as a life and leadership coach. John specializes in coaching pastors, health care providers and executives, nonprofit executives, and persons facing life transitions. For more information visit his website at alongthewaycoaching.com.
Randall W. Kraker ’73 has been named by Best Lawyers as Grand Rapids’ 2021 Lawyer of the Year in municipal law. This is his 10th selection as Lawyer of the Year. Randall is an attorney with Varnum LLP. He joined Varnum in 1977 after earning his master of city and regional planning and juris doctor degrees from Rutgers University. Doug Steenland ’73 has been elected to American Airlines’ board of directors and will serve on the company’s finance and compensation committees. Doug also serves as the lead independent director of Hilton Worldwide Holdings and the non-executive chairman of the board of directors of American International Group.
1980s Visual artist and musician Rick Beerhorst ’82 has found a great deal of inspiration in Paris since moving there last year, resulting in both a new solo album released in February on Germany’s Ziegel Records and a solo exhibition of his artwork at Paris’ Sobering Galerie. In May, Margaret Hanenburg Walker ’84 graduated from Covenant Theological Seminary with a master of arts in counseling. She is pursuing licensure and practicing psychotherapy under the supervision of a forensic psychiatrist in St. Louis, Mo. 02 Former veterinarian and current business lecturer Steven Tjapkes ’85 has joined the Grand Rapids office of Foster Swift as a senior attorney with the business and tax practice group. He
will focus on counseling agribusinesses and family farms in organization, succession planning, and transactional matters. 03 Jeff Bouman ’87 and his wife, Julie, have been hired by Resonate Global Mission to serve as career missionaries in partnership with the Reformed Church in Hungary. This is a fitting transition for Jeff after having served at Calvin as the Service-Learing Center’s director for more than 18 years and the director of the Hungary semester abroad program three separate years. He and Julie will come alongside the welcoming ministry to refugees and asylum-seekers as well as teach courses and participate in campus ministry at Károli Gáspár University, Calvin’s partner university.
At the end of June, Jim Klingenberg ’88 was promoted to the position of director of hospital and community investigations for the Office of Recipient Rights under the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. In addition to overseeing the investigations that the office completes in Michigan psychiatric hospitals, Jim supervises the field staff who conduct the investigations.
Doug Steenland has been elected to American Airlines’ board of directors.
04 Tim Rietkerk ’89 was appointed via unanimous vote to the role of director of the CRC’s Chaplaincy and Care Ministry in January. Tim feels that the education and experience he gained in the Army, his nearly 30 years as a chaplain, and his passion and compassion for people have equipped him for the role and will serve him well in his work.
1990s 05 Jim Zwiers ’90 has been named president of Wolverine Woldwide’s global operations group after almost 23 years with the company. He will oversee portfolio-wide sourcing, logistics, distribution, customer service, and IT while also continuing to serve as the president of the international group, executive VP of the company, and a member of the executive leadership team.
Josiah Sinclair completed his PhD in quantum physics and is beginning his postdoc at MIT.
Dan Hamstra ’92 has taken on the roles of professor and chair of the department of radiation oncology at Baylor College of Medicine. He will serve as the radiation oncology service line chief for St. Luke’s Health Texas division and radiation oncology lead at the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Mark ’93 and Karla Zwagerman Lemoine ’92, owners and operators of the Coloma/St. Joseph KOA Holiday in Benton Harbor, Mich., were recognized by Kampgrounds of America Inc. with the 2021 Rising Star Award. This honor is presented annually to a franchisee who has owned a KOA campground for less than five years and has demonstrated business growth, leadership, and commitment to exceptional guest experiences. 06 In the spring of 2020, Jonathan
Eiten ’92 began auctioning his paintings on his Facebook page and has started the practice again. Each week, he paints a small painting in his studio in Gorham, Maine. People comment on a photo of the painting and one is selected to purchase it. The painting above is titled Sweet Invention and was in a national juried show with Oil Painters of America. To follow Jonathan’s work and be part of the painting auction, find the Jonathan Eiten Studio page on Facebook. Rick Treur ’93 has a new job as the district director for U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer, who represents the 3rd Congressional District of Michigan. His work includes
running the in-district operations for Meijer and handling community outreach to organizations and groups in the district. Kirsten Kelly ’94 directed her second Healing the Healers documentary series. The first series, which focused on recovery in the aftermath of school shootings, is now being used to help faith leaders in crisis during the pandemic and recently won a Golden Telly Award. Released this January on healingthehealers.org, the second series focuses on domestic violence and asking faith leaders to go beyond the silence and stigma and address the issue at the crisis level where incidents occur. Each series features intimate peer-topeer conversations with faith leaders on issues of crisis and trauma. Dark Winter Nights: True Stories from Alaska, a podcast created and hosted by Rob Prince ’99, was included in The New York Times list “The Best Winter Podcast for Storytelling Lovers.” Rob is an associate professor in the communication and journalism department at University of Alaska Fairbanks. He started the show in 2014 with the goal of sharing true stories from Alaska with the rest of the world.
2000s 07 Thelma Van Gelder Ensink ’01 started her new role as the executive director of Grand Rapids homeless shelter Dégagé Ministries this January. Dégagé works to assure that everyone it serves knows they are not alone, and Thelma is excited to continue that work, to walk alongside patrons through their hardships, and provide them a safe place where they will be treated with respect and dignity.
After 18 years at Colliers International, Steve Marcusse ’01, along with nine other partners, started Advantage Commercial Real Estate in west Michigan. Steve is the senior vice president and is excited to continue providing best-in-class service to his clients.
08 Brian Paff ’04 has joined Paulsen, a Sioux Falls-based marketing agency, as a content editor. Brian considers it a joy to help clients tell their stories. He appreciates the integral role of rural communities and enjoys building relationships with folks throughout rural America.
Carrie Mallett Decker ’06 and her fellow nurses with Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital were recognized by the Chicago Bears for going out of their way to keep an elderly couple of 76 years together as they both fought COVID-19. The nurses made sure the two could be side by side during their final moment together before the husband passed away. The wife has since recovered her health.
2010s Five years ago, Dan Evans ’11 and his business partner, Alex Aguiar, started RecoverX and began developing a battery-powered cold and heat pack that optimizes recovery from an injury and tracks helpful data. This January, their startup was acquired by Hyperice, the industry leader in recovery technology and a company the pair have long admired. Josiah Sinclair ’13 completed his PhD in quantum physics at the University of Toronto in January and is beginning a postdoc at MIT. His dissertation is titled “Weakly Measuring the Time a Transmitted Photon Causes Atoms to Spend in the Excited State.” 09 In November, Will Thies ’16 earned his Professional Engineer (PE) license in Michigan. Will initially joined Prein & Newhof as a field technician intern in 2014 and has been a full-time employee with the firm since 2016. His responsibilities focus on process engineering, including assisting in the design of pump stations and treatment facilities, improvements to wastewater treatment systems, and community asset management.
Andrew Haagsma ’18 received the Downtown Yonge Award of Excellence in Place-Making for a
project completed as part of his master of planning (urban development) program at Ryerson University in Toronto. He worked with a team of six other graduate planning students to recommend innovative and bold place-making and design interventions in support of a “meanwhile” strategy in downtown Brampton, tasked by the city of Brampton’s urban design team. Their proposed strategies can position the city as a leader in urbanizing the suburbs, demonstrate the longterm potential for cohesive spaces downtown, support Brampton’s vision as a hub for innovation and diversity, and contribute toward a vibrant, revitalized downtown Brampton.
2020s Maria Bleitz ’20 is working as a research technician on a study for the department of fisheries and wildlife at Michigan State University. In September, Maria gave a presentation at the Michigan Inland Lakes Conference on a then recently completed analysis of various boat wash systems. The goal of said analysis was to assess decontamination, outreach, and cost effectiveness of the systems. Working as a tool engineer on the F-15 program at Boeing, Nathan Hall ’20 maintains old tools and designs new tools for the operators who assemble the F-15s. And in this case, “tools” doesn’t mean screwdrivers and hammers, it means large structures that hold various parts of the plane to enable operators to more efficiently and accurately complete their work. Tanaka Remba ’20 is working as a research associate at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. Her lab focuses on mRNA-based vaccines for cancer and HIV using nanoparticles as a delivery method. Tanaka is responsible for producing different mRNA constructs that are used in lab and with various collaborators.
An economy of connection “What happens to an economy when its people retire and begin to consume less?” That’s the question that Neely Tamminga ’96 asks at the beginning of her TEDx Minneapolis talk. More than two-thirds of the economy in the United States is tied to what people consume, and Tamminga has spent her career researching that consumption. She’s the CEO of a firm that advises CEOs and boards about consumer behavior, all through an economic lens. “If economic data were nutrition, I’d be a nutritionist,” she said. She was hooked on economics after her first class at Calvin. “It was the class that made the most sense to me,” said Tamminga, who credits her advisor, Kurt Shaefer, with sparking her interest. “Calvin was recommended by a family friend. I fell in love with the campus right away,” she said. She’s always loved the tulips on campus. “It tells you something about a place when they go through the process of planting tulips each year. Calvin is a place that cares about intention and beauty.”
After 20 years working on Wall Street covering the consumer sector, Tamminga and a business partner founded DISTILL in 2017. “Our clients come to us for all different reasons. The common element is that they are curious about something in their consumer behavior and are looking for creative and well-researched insights,” Tamminga said. DISTILL has helped companies like Google, Duluth Trading Co., Maurices, and Blue Apron identify strategies for growth. With her TEDx talk, she brings economic insight to everyday consumers. Her talk is less than 15 minutes, and it breaks down how consumer purchases begin with an economic priority and lifestyle stage and what it means that the baby boomers are retiring. She challenges her audience to shape an economy that values connection over consumption. “As individuals searching for our own identities think less about keeping up with the Joneses and more about connecting with the Joneses, caring for the Joneses, being kind to the Joneses,” she said.
ONLINE EXTRA To watch Tamminga’s TEDx talk, visit calvin.edu/spark.
Feeding the world’s poor from west Michigan farms “Jesus says when we feed the least of these, we are feeding him.”
Matthew 25 is what motivated father and son Jim ’75 and Tim ’03 Paauw to launch Sus Manos Gleaners in Jenison, Michigan. “Jesus says when we feed the least of these, we are feeding him,” said Jim, who works as a doctor of nutrition. “We can’t feed all of them, but we are doing what we can.” Sus Manos Gleaners is an organization that accepts food donations from west Michigan farms. Volunteers chop the produce and then process it in an industrial food dehydrator. The dehydrated food is packaged in 55-gallon drums that are shipped to Christian missions that serve the poor. About a million meals from Sus Manos Gleaners have gone to orphanages in Haiti. “Haiti has been on my heart ever since my wife and I visited there on a mission trip in 2009,” said Tim, who is a principal in Jenison Christian schools. “One morning I woke to the
sound of the entire village wailing, crying, and playing drums. I learned this was a mourning ritual as a young boy starved to death just outside of my living quarters during the night.” Jim said the orphanages in Haiti are struggling to feed children. “The pandemic destroyed what little they had. People who were getting by with one meal a day are now getting by on three meals a week.” The Paauws got the idea for Sus Manos Gleaners in 2004. They were both youth group leaders and led a group of high school students on a trip to a Gleaners organization in British Columbia, Canada, which followed a similar process. “Each morning we woke up there were literally thousands of pounds of green peppers waiting next to the warehouse as donations from the local farmers to be chopped and dried,” said Tim.
There were similar organizations in Canada, but none in the United States. That didn’t stop the Paauws. “Christ laid a task on us,” Jim said. “Tim and I were too ignorant to know what we were getting into.” There were many hurdles they had to overcome to get the organization off the ground. Farmers in west Michigan have been eager to partner with the organization and donate food. The biggest need that Sus Manos Gleaners has now: more volunteers. Julia Doornbos ’08 coordinates volunteers, many who come from local churches. “Whenever I talk to volunteers and thank them, they are so grateful to be a part of this,” she said. For more information about Sus Manos, visit smgleaners.org.
BOOKS BY CALVIN ALUMNI AND PROFESSORS
Furthest Peoples First Glenn Geelhoed ’64 Greenleaf Book Group Press
Doc Slik: Not a Life of My Own Jack Van Der Slik ’58 Independently published
Stones that Speak Ray Vander Weele ’59 WestBow Press
A Name for Herself: A Dutch Immigrant’s Story Kent Van Til ’80 Resource Publications
Using Graphic Novels in the English Language Arts Classroom William Boerman-Cornell ’88 and Jung Kim Bloomsbury Academic
Little Ricky’s Circle of Trust Eric Evenhuis ’68 WestBow Press
Yes You Can, Raeann! Laura Dykhouse Schuler ’03 Independently published I Need Hope: Recognizing the Divine in Your Life Kolin Goncalves ’95 Independently published The Undergrounds Geert Heetebrij, communication professor Independently published
Communicating with Grace and Virtue Quentin Schultze, communicaton professor emeritus, offers an engaging and practical guide to communication that helps Christians listen, speak, text, and interact effectively at home, work, church, school, and beyond. Based on solid biblical principles and drawn from Schultze’s life experiences, this book shows how to practice servant communication and to use the gift of communication responsibly. Topics include how to overcome common mistakes, be a more grateful and virtuous communicator, tell stories effectively, reduce conflicts, overcome communication fears, and communicate well in a high-tech world. Helpful sidebars and text boxes are included.
Deaths HERITAGE Peter Algra ex’ 48 May 26, 2019, Calif. Lucille Bos Apol ex’44 Jan. 18, 2020, Sunnyside, Wash. Paul Assink ’51 Sept. 21, 2019, Homer Glen, Ill. Anthony Baar ’60 Nov. 28, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Elwood Baker ex’47 Nov. 12, 2020, Deerfield, Ill. Vivian Vanklompenberg Baker ex’53 Dec. 16, 2020, Wyoming, Mich. Jack Berends ’61 Nov. 18, 2020, Muskegon, Mich. John R. Bielema ’60 Jan. 31, 2021, Grand Rapids, Mich. Jan Bolhuis ’56 Sept. 22, 2019, Pinckney, Mich. Bert Boonstra ’60 May 24, 2020, Wassenaar, Netherlands Franklin Bouwsma ’48 Oct. 15, 2020, Altamonte Springs, Fla. Dorothy Dykstra Bratt ex’55 Nov. 5, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Marius Broekhuizen ’55 March 24, 2020, Ossipee, N.H. Annette Star Broene ex’44 Aug. 23, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Harvard Brouwer ex’53 Dec. 29, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Harriet Verlare Bruinooge ex’47 Dec. 21, 2019, Sheboygan, Wis. Mary Verboom Bruinsma ’46 July 31, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich.
John Buiter ’65 Nov. 16, 2020, Jenison, Mich.
Roger Faber ’53 Nov. 5, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Stewart Kanis ’56 Dec. 12, 2020, Pella, Iowa
Conrad Bult ’57 Nov. 24, 2020, Rio Rico, Ariz.
Roy Feringa ’52 Nov. 3, 2020, Asheville, N.C.
Robert Kempski ex’44 May 3, 2019, Rockford, Mich.
Henrietta Ehlers Buurma ex’47 May 25, 2020, Willard, Ohio
Frances Hiddema Frigoli ’52 July 14, 2019, Grandville, Mich.
Ralph Kickert ’65 June 14, 2019, Holland, Mich.
Joyce Van Dusseldorp De Armond ex’67 Sept. 9, 2020, Des Moines, Iowa
Ruth Vandervelde Frisbie ex’59 Nov. 14, 2020, Stockton, Ill.
Carolyn Van Dam Kiekover ’49 Jan. 15, 2019, Zeeland, Mich.
Maurice Gabrielse ex’59 Dec. 18, 2020, Jenison, Mich.
Audrey Riddering Klaversma ex’48 March 29, 2019, Aurora, Colo.
Edwin Geels ’61 March 30, 2019, Sioux Center, Iowa
Thomas Knol ex’55 Oct. 25, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Dick Gootjes Jr. ex’58 Nov. 17, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Geraldine Pastoor Knott DuMez ex’48 June 2, 2020, Holland, Mich.
Arietta De Graaf ’49 Oct. 7, 2020, Pella, Iowa Norman De Graaf Sr. ’51 Aug. 23, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Stanley De Haan ex’49 June 5, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Jacqueline Bouma De Jong ’62 Jan. 1, 2021, Hospers, Iowa John De Vries ’58 Oct. 25, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Sylvia Kempenaar De Vries ex’43 Jan. 31, 2019, Randolph, Wis. Vera Ensing De Vries ex’46 April 3, 2020, Grand Haven, Mich. Harvey De Went ex’49 Nov. 3, 2020, Byron Center, Mich. Cornelius Doezema ’60 Dec. 18, 2020, Jenison, Mich. Frederick Doornbos ’54 Jan. 11, 2021, Grand Rapids, Mich. Marjorie Vanderweele Dorman ’50 Feb. 23, 2020, Skowhegan, Maine Jerald Douma ex’48 Feb. 22, 2020, Warren, Mich. Catherine Velzen Drukker ex’53 Dec. 25, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich. Mildred Botting Dykehouse ’52 Oct. 30, 2020, Hudsonville, Mich. Thomas Dykema ’69 Jan. 9, 2021, Byron Center, Mich. John Dykstra ’58 Jan. 27, 2021, Osage, Iowa William Eerdmans Jr. ex’47 Nov. 13, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Adrianna Geels Espino ’62 Aug. 1, 2020, Bradenton, Fla. Gerrit Eylander ’50 Nov. 3, 2019, South Holland, Ill.
Baukje Gray-Sluis ex’44 Jan. 6, 2021, Chico, Calif. Robert Haan ’53 Nov. 24, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Elaine Holtrop Harper ’48 Oct. 16, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Louis Helder ’48 Oct. 10, 2019, Dorr, Mich. Robert Helmholdt ex’49 Jan. 25, 2020, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Alvin Hinders ’52 Nov. 13, 2019, Fleming Island, Fla. Marianne Dirkse Hinz ex’51 Oct. 13, 2019, Vero Beach, Fla. Ruth Ten Have Hoekstra ’49 Nov. 17, 2019, Northport, Mich. Jack Holwerda ’50 April 29, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich. Wilma Holwerda Horwood ex’45 April 23, 2020, Ionia, Mich. Berwyn Huizenga ex’52 March 27, 2019, Randolph, Wis. Henry Hunderman ex’67 April 7, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Helen Buikema Hutt ex’51 Dec. 13, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich. Richard Iwema ’55 Nov. 21, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Vivian Bieri Johnson ’48 June 29, 2019, Lowell, Mich. Herman Kanis ’60 Nov. 30, 2020, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Roger Kok ’66 May 12, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Katherine Smilde Kooy ’50 Jan. 6, 2021, Orland Park, Ill. Harold Kooyers ex’48 Oct. 19, 2020, Ann Arbor, Mich. Jason Kortering ’57 Dec. 20, 2020, Grandville, Mich. Bernard Kreuzer ’50 Oct. 18, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Carol Overbeck La Botz ex’49 Sept. 21, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Donald Lautenbach ’50 Oct. 28, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Shirley Van Wyk Lautenbach ex’52 Oct. 20, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Arie Leegwater ’58 Sept. 13, 2020, Midland Park, N.J. Gertrude Sopjes Lewis ex’49 May 30, 2020, Kalamazoo, Mich. Lorelie Louters ’60 Oct. 15, 2020, Minneapolis, Minn. Lillian Frieswyk Ludema ’53 Dec. 5, 2020, Caledonia, Mich. Delores Yonkers Maliepaard ex’49 Jan. 28, 2019, Venice, Fla. Phillip Mange ex’47 June 18, 2020, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Kathleen Zandstra Mannion ex’50 Nov. 29, 2019, Redding, Calif. Joan Vreeman Mouw ’51 Jan. 26, 2021, Sioux Center, Iowa
Arnold Rottman ’56 Nov. 22, 2020, Fremont, Mich.
Richard Vander Laan ’59 Dec. 26, 2020, Pella, Iowa
Robert Weersing ex’49 April 15, 2019, Hesperia, Mich.
Arthur Ruiter ’60 June 1, 2020, Spring Lake, Mich.
Milton Vander Molen ex’53 Aug. 4, 2020, Huntington Beach, Calif.
William Weidenaar ’59 Oct. 27, 2020, Evergreen Park, Ill.
Harold Mulder ’61 Oct. 24, 2020, Waupun, Wis.
Joyce Deur Schmidt ex’45 May 16, 2020, North Fort Myers, Fla.
Mildred Mulder ex’44 March 2, 2020, Orangevale, Calif.
Warren Schuitema ex’48 Dec. 8, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich.
June De Jonge Vander Wall ex’45 Oct. 22, 2020, Jenison, Mich.
Twylla Vander Molen Nieboer ’62 Dec. 12, 2020, Jenison, Mich. Twylla received a special edition of the Outstanding Service Award in 2000.
Ruth Vander Meulen Schuiteman ex’45 May 14, 2019, Freemont, Mich.
Raymond Vander Wiel ’60 Dec. 4, 2020, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Arie Nobel ex’68 Nov. 16, 2020, Jenison, Mich. Evelyn Vande Riet Oosterbaan-Young ex’46 Oct. 31, 2019, Jenison, Mich.
Joyce Buist Seif ex’47 Feb. 25, 2020, Caledonia, Mich. Kenneth Slager ’50 Nov. 18, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. George Slomp Jr. ’42 Oct. 23, 2020, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Richard Vanderslik ’62 Nov. 3, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Harry Van Dyke ex’49 Nov. 22, 2019, Lynden, Wash. Joyce Voss Van Oeveren ex’55 Jan. 10, 2019, Comstock Park, Mich. Arthur Van Tol ex’65 Oct. 23, 2020, Grandville, Mich.
Elaine Sikkenga Smeelink ’51 Dec. 2, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Henrietta Holtrop Van Wingerden ex’43 Nov. 22, 2020, Jenison, Mich.
Alyce Oosterhouse Smith ex’42 Oct. 21, 2020, Stevens Point, Wis.
Ida Smedes Van Wingerden ex’49 Aug. 30, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich.
James Stevens ex’57 Oct. 22, 2020, Fruitport, Mich. Garrett Stoutmeyer Jr. ’55 Jan. 5, 2021, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Gordon Van Wylen ’42 Nov. 5, 2020, Holland, Mich. 1967 Gordon received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1967.
Neale Sweetman ex’51 Sept. 12, 2019, Rochester, N.Y.
Alberta Vander Wall Veltman ’51 Jan. 18, 2021, Holland, Mich.
George Tamminga ex’49 Sept. 26, 2020, Lombard, Ill.
Eugene Ver Hage ’52 Jan. 11, 2021, Wyoming, Mich.
Sidney Tamminga ’66 Nov. 8, 2020, Mobile, Ala.
Charlotte Bajema Verhoeven ’51 Dec. 26, 2020, Ontario, Calif.
Jeanne Wychers Poel ex’43 April 5, 2020, Middleville, Mich.
Eugene Telman ex’51 Nov. 5, 2020, Laingsburg, Mich.
James Vermeulen, Sr. ex’52 April 12, 2020, Plymouth, Mich.
Fannie Gunnink Post ’46 Jan. 20, 2020, Ashton, Iowa
Henry Teune ’51 Oct. 27, 2020, Zeeland, Mich.
Gladys De Haan Versluis ’60 Dec. 19, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Kathryn Post ’49 Nov. 9, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich.
John Timmer ’50 Oct. 22, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich.
George Vroom ex’49 Nov. 24, 2020, Portage, Ind.
Glenn Titus ex’51 Jan. 8, 2019, Ferndale, Wash.
Gwendolyn Dykstra Vruwink ’54 Jan. 21, 2019, Hudsonville, Mich.
A. Dean Van Bruggen ’66 Nov. 18, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Ruth Keegstra Walton ex’41 Aug. 2, 2020, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Glenn Vander Ark ’67 Jan. 22, 2021, Lafayette, Ind.
Dorothy Goossen Watson ’50 Sept. 2, 2019, Aldersgrove, B.C., Canada
Adriana Post Ophoff ex’49 Jan. 13, 2020, Jenison, Mich. Ann De Groot Paasse ex’51 Jan. 25, 2019, Englewood, Fla. Robert Palma ’56 Oct. 17, 2020, Holland, Mich. Mary Greydanus Pang ’51 Sept. 11, 2020, Ripon, Calif. Virginia Leistra Pastoor ’58 Nov. 29, 2020, South Saint Paul, Minn. Dwight Penning ’53 Nov. 17, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Helen King Posthuma ex’51 Sept. 8, 2019, Frederick, Md. Marguerite Huizenga Pruim ’54 March 10, 2019, Ocoee, Fla. Donald Rensenbrink ’60 Oct. 17, 2020, Milaca, Minn. Frieda Schaap Rispens ex’47 June 20, 2019, Lansing, Ill.
Arlene Goemaat Vander Laan ex’56 Aug. 4, 2020, Pella, Iowa
Shirley Grasman Weener ex’53 May 13, 2020, Zeeland, Mich.
Clarice Baas Westendorp ex’52 Jan. 8, 2021, Grand Rapids, Mich. Robert Wiebenga ’55 Dec. 30, 2020, McBain, Mich. Faith De Haan Wiers ex’52 May 5, 2019, Bradenton, Fla. Norlyn Wolterink ’58 Oct. 11, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Bernard Woudenberg ex’53 Nov. 17, 2020, Jenison, Mich. Verna Mae Nootenboom Zonnefeld ex’52 Aug. 10, 2019, Los Alamitos, Calif. David Zylstra ex’47 Dec. 30, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich.
1970s Sally Visser Bender ex’75 Feb. 19, 2019, Lone Tree, Colo. Marjorie Love Coe ’77 Dec. 20, 2020, Salinas, Calif. Mary Groothuis Dean ex’71 Aug. 22, 2019, Lansing, Mich. Diane Meyer Exoo ’73 March 20, 2020, Canton, N.Y. Lillian Martin Fuller ex’73 Jan. 9, 2021, Grand Rapids, Mich. Leanne Rosema Herrema ’76 Dec. 14, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Donna Kamper Meyer ’71 Dec. 17, 2020, Pickford, Mich. Bonnie Natte ’76 Dec. 30, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Karen Geisel Nisja ex’78 Nov. 4, 2020, Grand Haven, Mich. Linda Pastoor Phillips ’73 Jan. 19, 2021, Grand Rapids, Mich. Kenneth Scholten ex’73 Dec. 26, 2020, Allendale, Mich. Kathleen Slotsema Spoelman ’70 Dec. 30, 2020, Holland, Mich. Brenda Hovenkamp Stroven ex’78 Nov. 22, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. 47
Randall Van Drie ’75 April 14, 2020, Hudsonville, Mich. Linda Scholten Weemhoff ’71 Oct. 22, 2020, Grandville, Mich.
IN MEMORIAM Conrad Bult ’57
1980s Kurtis Le Febre ex’84 Jan. 26, 2021, Grand Rapids, Mich. Joseph Murphy, III ex’82 June 22, 2020, Los Alamitos, Calif. Rhonda Wishnew Van Dyk ’80 Nov. 18, 2020, Ada, Mich. Susan Van Stedum ’89 Dec. 24, 2020, Kentwood, Mich. Mary Vanspronsen Van Valkenburg ’86 Dec. 20, 2020, Byron Center, Mich. Gloria Anne Grady Washington ex’81 Dec. 8, 2020, Westland, Mich.
1990s Marc Hovingh ’92 Nov. 19, 2020, Manitowaning, Ont., Canada Nancy Huizenga Kapteyn ’92 Nov. 12, 2020, Spring Lake, Mich. Kirsten Bolles Terborg ’94 Oct. 24, 2020, Grand Haven, Mich. Sheri Roberts Vander Lugt ’96 Oct. 23, 2020, Ada, Mich.
2000s Rachel Sluis ’05 Nov. 27, 2020, Gallup, N.M. Betty Scholten Vande Griend ’04 Dec. 28, 2020, Hastings, Mich.
2010s Amber De Graaf Guichelaar ’10 Nov. 16, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. Ariel Hettinga ex’15 Dec. 22, 2020, Grand Rapids, Mich. 48
Conrad Bult, who worked in Calvin’s library from 1965-1999, is remembered as someone who showed up day in and day out, ready to help people find what they were looking for, and oftentimes way more than they expected. “All of the good librarians I know possess a love for books and knowledge,” said Joel Carpenter, provost emeritus and senior research fellow at the Nagel Institute. “The few great librarians I know add to these a passion for helping others. Conrad was a great librarian.” Conrad graduated from Calvin in 1957 as a history major. After two years in the Army, earning two master’s degrees, and working a few years in Chicago-area high schools, he returned to Calvin—first as a librarian for the Franklin campus, then the Knollcrest campus, where he oversaw the periodicals, rare books, and
reference departments at the Hekman Library. He had an unmatched knowledge of every square inch of Calvin’s collections, and for Conrad, every library-goer was on a quest, and he was the expert guide. “He was always so eager to help, and I have to think that part of that eagerness was his own high-voltage curiosity. Whatever your topic was, Conrad got interested in it, too,” Carpenter said. In his 1999 retirement piece in Spark magazine, Conrad stated: “I’ve always had a delight in books and sharing what they have to say. Have I written 50 brilliant articles during my career? No. I hope I’ve made my best contribution by helping people.” Conrad, 86, died Nov. 24 at his home in Arizona and is survived by his wife, Delores.
October 1-2, 2021 Save the date for Homecoming & Family Weekend! We don’t know what this fall will hold, but we’ll have plenty of fun planned for students, alumni, family, and friends. Check out some of our featured events below, and check back for updates as we put plans in place for an exciting weekend of celebrating being a Knight! You can look forward to events including:
• Family-Friendly Fun: Join one of many unique • Calvin Classic: Run in the options—from near or far—that are designed 5K & Youth Fun Run no for all ages matter where you are • Reunions: Watch for more information on a new reunion-in-a-box
• Visit Calvin: Bring your future Knight to check out campus
5 DAYS | 1,250 DONORS | A LIFE-CHANGING IMPACT Calvin Cares is a weeklong campaign that supports every student at Calvin University. Join us May 17–21 and give to what you love most about Calvin! Your gift during this week will help ensure Calvin can continue to offer an unparalleled Christ-centered education. Want to make a gift now? calvin.edu/go/annualfund