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Rise of the Dead Ruins p. 18 Wild Hope p. 32

Calvin Collections p. 12


CALVIN UNIVERSITY “Becoming a university grants us permission to think expansively about what might be possible in learning over the next decade and beyond.”

—Michael K. Le Roy President Calvin University

WINTER 2019 VOL. 65, NO. 3


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 of North America (CRCNA). To learn more about the CRC’s work in North America and around the world, visit crcna.org.

18 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, parent, and community relations, Calvin University, 3201 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. ©2019 by the Calvin Alumni Association. Telephone: 616-526-6142. Fax: 616-526-7069. Email: spark@calvin.edu. Spark on the web: calvin.edu/spark. POSTMASTER: Send address corrections to Spark, Office of Alumni, Parent, and Community Relations, 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.


The Umm el-Jimal Project in North Jordan has been a working site for Calvin students, staff, and alumni partnering with local team members for the past 50 years.





Professor Pennylyn DykstraPruim’s new book introduces key ideas, tools, and learning activities for talking about cultures and cultural identities.

Examples of Calvin’s collections provide a glimpse into the history of the university.

Professor emeritus Bert de Vries is honored for his 50 years of “community archaeology” at the Umm el-Jimal Project.





THE CALVIN SPARK Editor: Rick Treur ’93 Managing Editor: Lynn Bolt Rosendale ’85 Art Director: Amanda Impens Designers: Emmanuella Crevier ’20 Emma Tongue ’21 Contributing Writers: Gayle Boss Jeff Febus ’92 Matt Kucinski Contributing Photographers: Andy Calvert Amanda Impens Rick Treur ’93

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.) Director: Rick Treur ’93



Alum Marilee Bylsma has spent four decades helping youth overcome obstacles created by poverty.

Homecoming and Family Weekend 2019 provided opportunities for alumni and students to gather and connect.




Editor’s Desk

Read Spark online


Campus News


8 Sports 10 Scholarship 22 Alumni Profiles 32 The Cultural Calvin 36 Legacy

Take a look at sports pics calvinknights.com/galleries

Connect with alumni facebook.com/calvinalumni

38 Events

Watch alumni honoree videos

40 Class Notes


49 In Memoriam

Leave a legacy for future alum

Members: Sarah Berg ’06 (Chicago, Ill.) Jerry Cooper ex’66 (Holland, Mich.) Jona Eigege ’15 (Washington, D.C.) Carlos Erazo ’14 (Dallas, Tex.) Rachel Johnson-Melville ’02 (Muskegon, Mich.) Dale Kaemingk ’77 (Brier, Wash.) Jack Kalmink ’69 (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.) Casey Kuperus ’97 (Grand Rapids, Mich.) James Lee ’12 (East Islip, N.Y.) Rebecca Mejia ’05 (Hawthorne, N.J.) Debra Perry ’91 (Grand Rapids, Mich.) Valerie Stegink Sterk ’83 (Santa Clara, Calif.) Mark Tigchelaar ’06 (Bellflower, Calif.) Jim Valk ’87 (Paw Paw, Mich.) Cathy Van Zeelt Van Donselaar ’88 (Centennial, Colo.) Gary Van Prooyen ’88 (Wheaton, Ill.) Karen Zwart Hielema ’94 (Toronto, Ont.)

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Letters regarding the contents of the magazine will be considered for publication in Spark unless specifically marked “not for publication.” Correspondence should be no more than 350 words and may be shortened to meet editorial requirements. We will not publish anonymous letters; however, we may withhold names upon request. Send your correspondence to: Spark, 3201 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, or email spark@calvin.edu.


View the Calvin calendar calvin.edu/calendar 3


A providential answer Brenna Duffy knows the life-changing impact donors have on Calvin students. Despite working multiple jobs, Duffy, a New Jersey native, realized she would not be able to afford to stay at Calvin. Devastated by that thought, she reached out to the financial aid office as a last resort. At the same time Duffy was realizing the gravity of her situation, Paul Witte, director of financial aid, received word that the stewards of the Hamstra Foundation Scholarship had additional funds to award— something that doesn’t typically happen mid-semester. Their scholarship specifies that the funds should go to a current Calvin student from New Jersey, and he had selected Duffy to receive the aid. Witte saw her name added to his schedule for the day, and when she walked in, he already had a smile on his face. Knowing she would likely be leaving Calvin, Duffy had a hard time understanding his smile. But when Witte gave her the news, she was hopeful. The Hamstra Foundation Scholarship ended up being exactly what she needed to stay at Calvin. Released from the financial pressure, Duffy has been able to invest in the Calvin community in new ways—playing on the women’s rugby team and serving on the student committee for the Festival of Faith and Writing. When asked what she would say to potential donors, Duffy said: “I would tell somebody…that their gift has so much more



of an impact than just lifting a financial burden. Their gift can also be a providential answer from God for some student.” Stories like this wouldn’t be possible without the support of Calvin alumni and friends. Not only do these gifts help lower the cost of education for hundreds of students, but for many, they make a Calvin education possible. Last year our donors gave over $5.8 million to support student scholarships, exceeding our average of $4.3 million in the past decade. The vast majority of those funds went to endowed scholarships that will benefit students for years to come. In addition, the Calvin Annual Fund received more than $3.2 million. This undesignated fund fills the gap where tuition dollars stop and impacts every single one of our students. Collectively, these gifts also mean the average student debt has continued to decline for Calvin graduates, and we’re almost 8% below the national average of students who default on their loans. For Duffy, the impact of your support is clear. It reminds her that, “No matter what struggles I’m going through, God will always continue to answer my prayers and surprise me in ways that will impact my faith more than I could ever expect.” To see more of Brenna’s story, watch her video posted online: calvin.edu/spark.



Breakfast with the Boevés As I was reading about Edgar Boevé’s passing in the latest issue of Spark, it triggered a memory of being a student in his summer session art class in 1973.


The daily class was divided into two parts with a 20-minute break in the middle. On a certain


Tuesday, I went to the first half and didn’t go back after the break. The following day we were to have class at his house so he could show us the full array of art that he had. He set the class time at 7 a.m. What I didn’t know is that during the second half (which I had skipped), he changed the start time to 8 a.m.








When I showed up at his house the following day at 7 a.m., Ervina answered the door and asked what I wanted. When I told her that I was there for the art class, she said that I must have missed class the day before because he changed the time to 8 a.m. I said, “Great, I’ll go have breakfast and be back in an hour.” At that point she invited me in for breakfast. She made scrambled eggs, toast, and poured me a glass of orange juice. We talked for about 20 minutes until Edgar sat down at the table for breakfast. He greeted me, and then the three of us talked for about 40 minutes until the rest of the class arrived.

Thank you, Arden Post In the spirit of gratefulness and encouragement, and in honor of her recent Faith & Learning Award, I pass along my appreciation to Arden Post for her kindhearted “contagious-passion” and endearing, hospitable ways. I often have reflected how wonderful it was to be invited into her home. While she wasn’t the only professor of mine to do so, she was the first. She blessed me and made an impression. While I didn’t become a professional certified teacher, I did enter a profession relying heavily on the ability to teach. While I did seriously consider education as a profession, I majored in biology, decided on pre-medicine studies, and eventually pursued a master’s in physical therapy and became a physical therapist. Interestingly, my husband, Larry ’90, and I have homeschooled all six of our kids. When did I think teaching wasn’t for me? Additionally, leading in our children’s program at church, I’ve relied on wisdom gained through her (and others like her) that God has faithfully placed in my path. It makes me smile. That’s my point: for us to praise God for how he has blessed us by weaving us together in ways we don’t clearly see or often appreciate, ways bigger and more unimaginable than we could even conceive.

Awkward, funny, but truly amazing. This is validation of what was written about Edgar and Ervina in the Spark. They opened their home to students.

So, I humbly speak up with a tiny voice from the back seat of a class held long ago: Thank you for your life’s work. May God continue to bless you richly!

—S  cott Ravenhorst ’75 Irvine, Calif.

—J  ulie Geels Koornneef ’89 Lakewood, Colo.

Franklin campus memories My wife, Lois ’58, and I can see the cupola of the Franklin Street campus from the patio of our townhome in Grand Rapids. For our 60th wedding anniversary I decided to write a poem about it and put it on a bronze plaque. The foundry did a nice job of doing a relief image of the cupola from a photo I supplied. It stands in direct line of sight off from our patio. —T  om Dykstra ’57 Grand Rapids, Mich.


Send us your letters. Write us at spark@calvin.edu.



Oratorio Society provides community gift for a century.

100 YEARS OF HANDEL’S MESSIAH On Dec. 6 and 7, the Calvin Oratorio Society presented its traditional Christmas season performance of Handel’s Messiah for the 100th time. Thousands of community members have taken the stage over the past century. Sean Ivory sang in the choir as a student in the early 1990s. Since 2013, he’s worn the conductor’s hat, serving as the society’s seventh director. “It’s really thrilling. When I came on board to take over the directorship, it [Messiah] became one of the favorite things I was doing,” said Ivory. Members of the chorus span generations and all walks of life; some are professional musicians and music teachers. Ivory says the community that’s formed is as beautiful as the music. “You have a lot of people who have sung in it for decades, and some for whom this is the first experience singing the Messiah,” said Ivory. “We do devotions every week; it’s become a time when various people will go up in front and give their own testimony, and it really is a beautiful time for everyone to get to know another chorus member a little more deeply and refocus on why we are all there.”


Calvin claims No. 3 ranking in new university category.

NEW CATEGORY, SUSTAINED HIGH MARKS U.S. News & World Report ranks Calvin No. 3 overall among Midwest regional universities in its “2020 Best Colleges Guidebook.” This marks the first year Calvin is ranked in the university category. (For the past three years, Calvin held the top spot in the Midwest regional colleges category.) U.S. News’ top five Midwest regional universities are Butler, John Carroll, Calvin, Bradley, and Xavier. The report helps prospective students and their families evaluate colleges and universities based on 16 widely accepted indicators of excellence, such as first-year retention rates, graduation rates, and the strength of faculty. The report also takes into account qualitative assessments by administrators at peer institutions.

In addition to the No. 3 overall ranking in its category, Calvin also garners U.S. News’ No. 5 ranking among Midwest regional universities on its “Best Undergraduate Teaching” list, is No. 18 on its “Best Value Schools” list, and ranks third for total percentage of international students. When considering all colleges and universities included in all U.S. News & World Report categories, Calvin ranks No. 31 for “First-Year Experiences” and No. 50 for “Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects.” Calvin’s engineering program is also included on the “Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs” list.

Registration for the “feast for readers” is now open.


Construction on the space is slated to begin in February.

CREATING A DESIGN HUB A new space aimed at fostering design thinking is coming to campus in 2020. Current spaces on the ground floor of the Spoelhof University Center and the Gezon Lobby are being reimagined to create a learning-centered, purposeful, and coherent design hub that will inspire collaboration and encourage cross-disciplinary innovation. “We want the design space to model what a professional design space looks like, with an emphasis on flexibility and collaboration,” says Craig Hanson, chair of the art and art history department. The new design hub will include a space for engineering and business students to meet, a classroom for graphic design courses, studio space for fine arts students, a more visible costume shop, and room for student teams to collaborate on design projects. STAY CONNECTED Find more campus news daily at calvin.edu/news.

The design hub will be named after Calvin emeriti Edgar and Ervina Boevé, professors of art and art history and theater, respectively. Both were instrumental in the Calvin and greater Grand Rapids arts scene. “Ed built the art department, and Ervina was similarly larger than life for theater,” said Hanson. “It is difficult to overstate their impact upon students. They modeled an expansive way of living and looking— and ultimately loving. For them, all three were inextricably intertwined.” Construction on the design hub, which is completely donor funded, begins in February, with a completion date set for August 2020.

The Festival of Faith & Writing turns 30 in 2020. What started as a small writing conference in 1990 has emerged as an international gathering of 2,000 literary enthusiasts. The Calvin Center for Faith & Writing, established in 2016, is putting on the three-day “feast for readers.” The 2020 edition runs April 16–18 and features a number of Newbery and National Book Award winners, NY Times best-selling authors and MacArthur geniuses. It also includes emerging and mid-career writers across many genres. For three decades, the festival has created a space for meaningful discussion and shared discovery among people with different religious beliefs and practices. “There are not enough places where strong conviction and charity for others’ ideas goes hand-in-hand,” said Jane Zwart, co-director of the Calvin Center for Faith and Writing. “This is a space where people discover not only new writers, but new ways of thinking about things that they’ve cared about for a long time.” Registration for the festival is now open, and spots are filling up quickly. Scholarships and tickets for a pre-conference day of workshops are also available. Visit ccfw.calvin.edu to register, view the full lineup of speakers, and for a big announcement in early January. 7



Steve Honderd (left), Mike “Mickey” Phelps (right)


A pair of former Calvin Knights were inducted into the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame this fall: Mike “Mickey” Phelps ’70 and Steve Honderd ’93. Phelps and Honderd join Mark Veenstra ’77 as Calvin men’s basketball alumni in the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame. This past February, Phelps and Honderd were both selected to Calvin’s “All-Time Starting Five” as part of the festivities celebrating the 200th Calvin-Hope men’s basketball game. Phelps was first a standout basketball and baseball player at Grand Rapids Christian High School and Calvin and later a Hall of Fame high school basketball coach. The quick and crafty guard accumulated 1,365 points over his three-year varsity career. He holds the third-highest singlegame scoring total in Calvin men’s basketball history with 53 points in a 1968 game against Concordia College of Illinois. Phelps later led the Calvin men’s basketball team to MIAA titles in 1969 and 1970, receiving the MIAA’s Most Valuable Player award as a senior. A standout shortstop on the baseball diamond, he received MIAA Most Valuable Player honors in that sport in 1970, becoming the only player in league history to receive MIAA MVP honors in both basketball and baseball. After graduating from Calvin, Phelps moved into a distinguished teaching and coaching career that spanned nearly 40 years. He spent the first 17 years at East Kentwood High School and the final 21 at Holland Christian High School, where he also served for 17 years as the school’s athletic director. Phelps was later inducted into both the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan and Michigan High School Coaches Association halls of fame. In total, he won 568 games in 35 seasons as a high school basketball


coach. His 568-239 overall record currently places him 12th all-time in Michigan boys basketball coaching wins. He was never whistled for a technical foul. “It feels wonderful,” Phelps said of the Hall of Fame honor. “I’m very grateful, surprised, and excited about it. When you coach as long as I have you have a lot of players, coaches, and fans of the teams you played for and coached who have all participated in what you have done. You have probably touched a few of them, and that’s rewarding. I was fortunate to coach some great players and meet people along the way who changed my life, so I feel they are part of this, too.” Honderd first starred in basketball at Grand Rapids Christian and then led Calvin’s basketball team to the 1992 Division III national championship. He had the first, second, and fifth top-scoring seasons for Calvin during his career, was named Division III Player of the Year in 1993, and was the Final Four MVP in 1992. Honderd is the all-time career scoring leader in Calvin men’s basketball history with 2,649 points. He also holds the Calvin single-game scoring record with 61 points in a 1993 Calvin victory over Kalamazoo. Honderd later played four years of professional basketball in Europe before moving into a business management career in west Michigan. He currently works as a financial manager for J.R. Automation in Holland. “It is a great honor,” Honderd said about his Hall of Fame nod. “Growing up as a Grand Rapids kid was wonderful, and I see all these names on the wall, and they were household names growing up. To be included in that is really great, and to go in with this class, especially Coach Phelps and Jack Doles (sports director for a local television station), two people I’ve known for a very long time, makes it very special to me.”

Lessons beyond the pool SWIM AND DIVE TEAM EXPERIENCES THAILAND Two weeks in Thailand working with Paladin Rescue Alliance—an organization that supports prevention, rescue, and aftercare for victims of human trafficking—turned into a life-changing experience for 16 members of Calvin’s swim and dive team. Starting in Mae Sariang, the Knights taught swim lessons and English to more than 300 students at Huay Song Elementary School. In a country with very high drowning rates, the Calvin student athletes taught the children basic survival skills, and many learned to swim. The lessons also helped build confidence, self-efficacy, and excitement for learning. The Knights also spent a day building and painting a playground for the kindergarten class at Huay Song Elementary. What started as a Calvin project turned into a community project, as many of the older students came out to help dig and paint. At the end of the week, the school honored the Knights in a ceremony. “It was very unexpected and very emotional. The relationships we built in just one week were very strong, and there were a lot of emotions displayed,” said Calvin head swim and dive coach Dan Gelderloos. After eight days spent in Mae Sariang, the Knights relocated to Chiang Mae. There the Knights experienced the second pillar of Paladin’s mission: rescue. “One evening, we visited the red-light district with the goal to talk with some of these girls,” said Gelderloos. “This was intimidating and uncomfortable to say the least. However, after talking about it and getting proper

preparation, we were able to have some successful conversations with some girls. Our goal was to hear their story, to share a good conversation, and try to plant some seeds so that they will reach out to Paladin and ask for help with trying to find a life map into a healthier, successful lifestyle. It was an eye-opening experience.” The final three days of the trip, the Knights had the opportunity to be tourists. “A highlight for the group was the day we visited elephants at an elephant sanctuary. We were able to feed them, bathe them, and play with them; it was a wonderful day. We also took a bamboo raft ride, visited temples, sampled local food, and participated in many other cultural activities. “This trip exceeded my expectations in every way. I was hoping we could make a contribution to something bigger than what we do in our normal lives. By the end of the trip, it was clear that we were able to make a big impact in the lives of the kids at Huay Song Elementary School, and likewise, they made a huge impact on our lives. Our views and opinions on the huge problem of human trafficking were also influenced, and hopefully we can continue to contribute to the cause.” Senior Libby Engle was deeply grateful for the experience. “I realized how God’s love is so enormous. Despite a language barrier and radically different culture norms, we were able to demonstrate and observe Christ’s love through our interactions in the pool while teaching lessons and in the classroom teaching English. This was overwhelmingly powerful for me, and I am so appreciative of each moment our team spent serving together.”











This book, by Pennylyn Dykstra-Pruim, is available from online retailers or the Calvin Campus Store.

Black Lives Matter. Me Too. Make America Great Again. Same-sex marriage. Climate change. Build the wall. Dreamers. Kneelers. And Orwellian Squealers. As The Associated Press highlights on its website Divided America, “the melting pot seems to be boiling over.” We live in a world where the lines of difference easily become walls of indifference. Instead of a richly embroidered tapestry, we are a panel of different quilting scraps with little holding us together. Commentators on different sides, when they can’t agree on anything else, have described the state of the United States as a “cold civil war.”

How do we understand those persons on the other side of the aisle, the other side of the world, or the other side of the Thanksgiving table? How can we build and strengthen our communities, even as we are polarized on many of the key issues that define our times? A few years ago, I was asked to write a book that could build community and bring different people together or at least help equip groups to work with and alongside other groups in situations marked by cultural differences. Call it outreach or bridge building or community building. Understanding Us & Them invites us to step away from our echo chambers, to focus on understanding the cultural identities of others and of ourselves, and to build skills for listening, understanding, and engaging across those lines of difference. The book introduces key ideas, tools, and learning activities for talking about cultures and cultural identities. Designed for use as a book club experience, readers are encouraged to share different stories as they explore together with others what we believe and why we do what we do. Through stories, learning, reflection, and discussion, this book introduces both the basics of cultural intelligence and also some fundamental interpersonal skills.

I have worked my whole career in intercultural learning and teaching. I’ve come to realize that the same skills that help my students understand Cambodian society, navigate appropriately in Germany, or interpret better what can happen when East meets West— those same skills can help all of us, even if we are not in international business or traveling overseas. In fact, some of the cultural intelligence and interpersonal skills that I build into my language and culture courses are exactly what can help us interact in constructive ways with people different from us and with ideas foreign to our ways of thinking. One modest book will not mend all the rifts, nor unify liberals and conservatives, Muslims and Christians, your punked-out niece and your very conservative Uncle George. But Understanding Us & Them can give us tools to create spaces in our hearts, minds, and communities for important dialogue and relationship building. We cannot solve all the problems of our world and country, but we can take small steps to educate ourselves and build our capacity to be part of taming the cauldron, disarming the warring factions, and creating the communities where we actually understand each other a little better and where that understanding holds us together and makes us strong. Pennylyn Dykstra-Pruim is a German professor and associate dean of diversity and inclusion at Calvin University.






Nicholas Wolterstorff ’53, whose Danish-made Wegner chairs were recently on exhibit in the Calvin Center Art Gallery, said of his and his wife’s collection, “Counting the Wegner chairs as works of art, we collected works that we came across that we loved and wanted to live with.” People collect what they love, and once acquired and gathered together, a collection reflects something meaningful about its owner. Sometimes, due to a donor’s generosity or other gift, Calvin acquires a collection that contributes to the mission of the university. The following pages include examples of the university’s collections: art, minerals, books, coins, and plant specimens—some are quite visible around campus and others less so. Each, though, says something about Calvin for having acquired it and something about its collector(s) for having loved it.




Every book has a story and not just the one written on the pages. Just ask Conrad and Delores Bult about any of their books and they will give you an account of where, when, and how they added the volume to their remarkable collection. “Oh The Velveteen Rabbit,” said Conrad, “that one we got from a bookstore in Chicago.” “That was a bookstore that we really learned to love,” added Delores. “There were a couple of elderly women there that had a cupboard just for us, and when they would buy a collection, they would keep the children’s books in our cupboard for us.” She added: “On one trip to the Netherlands, we found this bookstore, and we spent hours up there looking through the books, checking pagination, checking illustrations, checking for cracks in the spine, checking for everything.” “Condition is everything,” said Conrad. “We learned that it’s better to sacrifice and buy one good book than buy a lot of $10 books.” In 50 years of collecting, the Bults amassed an astounding collection of more than 5,500 children’s books, each hand selected for its beauty, rarity, and delight it brought these bibliophiles. The colorful volumes span more than 200 years of children’s literature, from the oldest, Proeve van Kleine Gedigten voor Kinderen (a Dutch counting book) (1778), to Mother Goose (1934) to The Frog Prince (2013). A 1957 graduate of Calvin, Conrad returned to his alma mater in 1965, where he would spend 34 years as a university librarian. Likewise, Dee spent 26 years working at Calvin in the financial aid office.


The couple began collecting children’s books in the 1970s. Myrtle Van Laar, a fellow Calvin librarian, sparked Conrad’s interest in children’s literature, he said. And Dee always had an interest in books. “When I was young, I told people I was going to marry a man with a library,” she said. “When I married Con, my uncle said, ‘You did it, kid.’” The Bults took a special interest in books illustrated and authored by women, which were popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s. “These are very beautiful books,” said Conrad. Among their favorites are a two-volume, signed, limited edition set by Dutch author and illustrator Rie Cramer, featuring beautiful illustrations of children. “It took almost our whole lives to get those books,” said Conrad. “We tried once and were outbid.” The Bults’ entire collection was recently purchased by Calvin through a generous donation from Robert and Shelley Hudson and will be housed together in Heritage Hall. “Calvin is a natural choice for this collection and we are very pleased to have it,” said dean of the library David Malone. “It’s a fabulous learning resource for students and scholars. We could do an entire mini exhibit and lecture just on Little Red Riding Hood, for example.” (The collection includes 21 different editions of this popular tale.) Other notable pieces of the collection include a first edition signed volume of The Velveteen Rabbit, a signed edition of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and a Little Red Riding Hood volume inscribed to Harriet Beecher Stowe.


A little-known room in DeVries Hall serves a very large purpose: It houses Calvin’s herbarium. This collection of more than 13,500 dried plant specimens dates back to the 1940s, when Martin Karsten, a Calvin biology professor, began pressing and documenting plants of west Michigan. Alan Gebben, another longtime Calvin biology professor, added to the collection over the years, along with many others. A recent research undertaking, the Emma Cole Project, under the direction of Calvin biology professor Dave Warners and visiting scholar Garrett Crow, has added more than 5,000 specimens of flora, making the herbarium a very active collection. The project is comparing specimens documented by Cole, a 19th-century Grand Rapids-area high school biology

teacher, more than 100 years ago to those still found in the Grand Rapids area. “We’re doing a comparison of what the Grand Rapids area looked like in the early days,” said Crow. “We’ve lost some things—some high value swamps with rare orchids and that kind of thing. But we’ve also found some to be preserved.” Reassessing the Grand Rapids area’s flora after 100 years of development helps make determinations about which areas are worth preserving and conserving, said Crow. Adding specimens collected and identified to Calvin’s herbarium boosts the value of the reference tool. “It has such a great teaching and reference component,” said Crow. “It’s a wonderful thing that we have this here. I hope that in 100 years someone looks at our specimens and is able to say the same thing.”





Calvin’s world-class mineral collection, which went on display in the university’s Bruce Dice Mineralogical Museum in 2012, numbers more than 350 pieces and continues to grow.

Texas, in a previous interview. “I have several pieces that the Houston Museum of Natural Science would have enjoyed having, but I went to the love of my life—Calvin College.”

A rare, 100 million-year-old octopus fossil; a piece of the Allende meteorite, the oldest isotopically dated material ever found; a 6-ounce gold nugget; a 3-foot-tall amethyst cathedral; and a large angel wing calcite are among the specimens represented in the collection.

The museum draws more than 3,000 visitors a year.

The collection was donated by Bruce Dice, a 1948 Calvin alumnus, who had been and continues to be an ardent mineral and gems collector.

“You don’t see this type of quality outside of a natural history museum,” said Renee Sparks, Calvin geology professor and director of the museum. “What I love about it is it says that God is at work in every square inch even when you can’t see it. You have to go into mines to see these. Yet, here it is on display, and it’s so beautiful.”

“I decided it was time to share it,” said the 85-year-old geologist from Houston,

The museum is free and open to the public 12:30 to 4 p.m. Wednesday–Friday.


Collecting medals forged with the likeness of John Calvin is a bit like acquiring baseball cards, “except with a bit more substance,” said Karin Maag, director of the H. Henry Meeter Center at Calvin. “The medals,” Maag said, “were made to commemorate events and, before the era of photos and media, allowed people to see what the Reformer looked like.” In 1997, a gift from Ray Teeuwissen ’40, an ardent collector, was the seed for the collection, which now numbers nearly 100. The medals come from all over the world and connect us to the Reformed faith, said Maag. “There’s a lot of power in these images that look small,” she said. “They say

something about the identity of the person; they say something about connecting with and valuing the people who have come before.” New medals continue to be produced, including Calvin University’s own medal, which was made in 2009 to commemorate the Reformer’s 500th birthday.


The recently acquired art collection from Calvin emeriti professors Edgar and Ervina Boevé includes Japanese and Chinese pieces. The most notable, Horse With Rider and Attendant, is a terra cotta sculpture from the 7th century Chinese Tang dynasty. Another part of the collection is a carved ivory set of Noh figures, depicting characters from classic dramas in Japan. The figurines combine a love of theater with art, reflecting the interest of the collectors, who were longtime art and theater professors. “The Boevés collected pieces from around the world, and they lived with their art,” said Brent Williams, Calvin’s director of exhibitions. “We want things people have come to love.”

The medals have educational value, for instance, “by reading the text in the margin, one could study what it is saying about Calvin,” said Maag. “By studying these objects, people are able to connect with the past in ways that you can’t do as quickly or as neatly with a book.” Many of the medals are on display in the H. Henry Meeter Center.





From little-known ruins inhabited by Bedouin to a potential UNESCO World Heritage Monument, Umm al-Jimal has slowly risen from obscurity to distinction. Behind the efforts to literally remove the dust from this ancient village is Calvin history professor emeritus Bert de Vries ’60, who has spent nearly five decades directing the Umm el-Jimal Project (project name differs from the village name) in northern Jordan.

Professor emeritus Bert de Vries earns

With a background in engineering and ancient literature and history, de Vries was

honor for 50 years

first awarded a grant to map the site in 1972.

of “community

“No one was doing anything there at that time,”


said de Vries. “Nobody knew what to do with it. When I came there, it was a dead site.”



Remarkably preserved, the 2,000-year-old site garnered de Vries’ interest, leading to nearly 50 years of engagement by de Vries and many others—including nearly 200 Calvin students—and the development of a foremost antiquities site. For his commitment, de Vries was recently recognized with the King Abdullah Medal of Excellence, the highest level of recognition of quality in Jordan. “Bert de Vries is an unassuming scholar, who has made a tremendous impact beyond the bounds of Calvin, both within the international community of Near Eastern Archaeology and within the local community of Umm al-Jimal, Jordan,” said Darrell Rohl, the current director of Calvin’s archaeology program. “Bert has poured his blood, sweat, and tears into both the archeological work and the local community development work. His work over so many decades is what made me so passionate about joining the Calvin faculty and the Umm el-Jimal Project.” De Vries was bestowed the honor at the opening ceremony of the Interpretive and Hospitality Center at Umm al-Jimal this past summer.

A museum with artifacts and historical information about the site, an accessible walking tour with interpretive signs, and trained local guides all add value to a visit to Umm al-Jimal, which was the most prominent town in the Hauran region at its time. From the project’s inception, de Vries has sought to make it a resource for the local community, which was not previously benefiting from the site. In fact, the local residents had settled in the ancient ruins after World War I. Then when they were excluded from the site in 1970, they built their own village of concrete houses adjacent to the ruins. “My principle from the beginning was to include the local people,” said de Vries, who rents a house in the village. “I always felt like they should be considered part of the team. We usually hired 20–30 local people, and I’ve always felt that they should understand what they’re doing and why. “The question ‘What is the role of heritage and what are the rights of people?’ has been central to this project. The term we use is ‘community archaeology.’”


The center, which renders the site more welcoming to visitors, is part of an endeavor to create a local tourism economy, thereby strengthening the community by

training its members as guides and promoting goods and services at the neighboring town.

Summer 2015 Calvin Field School team including senior staff, Calvin students, and local team members.


A community team cleaning out the Roman Reservoir as part of the Water System Reactivation Project, which adapts the ancient water system for modern community use.

“My principle from the beginning was to include the local people. I always felt like they should be considered part of the team. We usually hired 20–30 local people, and I’ve always felt that they should understand what they’re doing and why.” —BERT DE VRIES, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, CALVIN UNIVERSITY

Other Calvin alumni have supported those efforts as well, among them Paul Christians ’03 and Jeff DeKock ’01, who helped with visual documentation of the site and making those resources available online. Elizabeth Osinga ’07 wrote her PhD on Umm al-Jimal pottery and is currently director of the project’s publications. Bert’s daughter Jenna de Vries Morton ex’85 has contributed much to the design and fundraising for the Interpretive Center, community education, and tourism promotion. And Bert’s wife, Sally Northouse de Vries ’62, has been a key staff member and partner on all the excavation seasons, especially working as administrator on field seasons and a designer of the heritage display in the new museum. The future “life” of the site depends on the implementation of a site management plan, which de Vries is writing with the Department of Antiquities, and the sustained involvement of the community in visitor services and site preservation.


Sally de Vries and project architect Shatha al-Haj install the display of a North Jordan traditional costume they designed for the Interpretive Center Museum.

“We’re being helped by the notion that archaeology is more than digging holes in the ground, which has become universal,” said Bert de Vries. “People are seeing this [engaging local communities] as a worldwide movement, and it’s gratifying that we’re making a contribution to that.”

De Vries is grateful for the half century of support by Calvin University and a host of financial contributors, which currently include The Pax Fund, Gerda Henkel Foundation, the USAID-ACOR SCHEP Program, the Norwegian and German governments, and the Norway Refugee Council.





Read more profiles online calvin.edu/spark


With his interest in social entrepreneurship sparked at Calvin, Chris Palmer started PhotoUp, now a thriving company of more than 350 people. The company provides good jobs that are greatly needed and leadership training to its employees in the Philippines.



Spending more than four decades in urban education, Marilee Bylsma has worked tirelessly helping Detroitarea youth overcome obstacles created by poverty.

Turning short-term support into longterm recovery for the most vulnerable populations around the world is the focus of Bob Ottenhoff’s current role as president of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.



Chris Palmer ’06 Young Alumni Award See the video: calvin.edu/go/alumni-awards

A noble idea becomes reality


“I’m proud of PhotoUp, but knowing the true story of our company is that it’s not us. It was never me; it was never even our leadership team. It was a group moving in a direction, but God was in it every step of the way.” As a senior business major at Calvin, Chris Palmer ’06 was working as an intern at Universal Forest Products. Due to his bilingual skills, he was given the task of translating a document from English to Spanish. “I remember the document very clearly,” he said. “I was sitting there translating the dangers of wood dust, and it’s just this tedious work of conjugating verbs, while next door— the walls are so thin—I could hear almost this entire conversation about a $15 million acquisition. I was like, ‘I want to be in that room.’ But I remember thinking, ‘Maybe someday; just be faithful in the small things today.’” That was 13 years ago. Since then, Palmer has been on an unimaginable journey. After working for a nonprofit, going to graduate school, starting his own company, and now working for the entrepreneur side of a large corporation, he loves where he ended up: “The skill sets I learned at Calvin and what I’ve learned along the way have actually prepared me quite beautifully for the job that I’m doing now.”

As a concept lead for new business innovation at Steelcase, the largest office furniture manufacturer in the world, Palmer and his team look at the future of work and create new business models that will be relevant for the company in the future. “We get to go scan and scout the world to see if we can find startups to bring into Steelcase,” said Palmer. “When I get to engage with those companies, I have a lot of deep empathy for them since I spent eight years in the startup world.” Palmer’s own startup, PhotoUp, which is a thriving company of more than 350 employees, began when he saw a need for good jobs in the Philippines. “I was working for Unbound, an international nonprofit, whose mission was simply walking with the poor,” he said. “I was speaking to a group of scholarship students, the cream of the crop, that we had spent years helping get through school, and there were no jobs for them.”

That’s when Palmer and a few partners came up with the idea of matching photographers in the U.S. and around the world who needed help with photo editing with trained workers in the Philippines who could do this work, with a mission of keeping young leaders engaged in their communities instead of having to find work abroad. “We have created one of the most desirable places to work in Cebu,” said Palmer, who continues to serve on the board for the company. “People want to come work for us because of the culture and the benefits and the ability to have meaning at their work. So, just by happenstance, we get to raise the bar of what employment looks like in Cebu.” Palmer says Calvin sparked his interest in social entrepreneurship. “I look back at some of my econ professors that were asking some really good, challenging questions like, ‘Is there anything wrong with our current system of creating a business? Are we morally obligated to care for our environment? Are we morally obligated to care for those who work for us?’” said Palmer. “Those questions haunted me for a long time. How do you reconcile those? What is a redemptive way of creating a business? “I’m proud of PhotoUp, but knowing the true story of our company is that it’s not us. It was never me; it was never even our leadership team. It was a group moving in a direction, but God was in it every step of the way. “When I look back on the things that give me the most joy, it’s when I’m pursuing a noble quest with a small group of people with a hope that we can create something beautiful,” Palmer said. “PhotoUp was an idea. It was a noble idea, and if you invite the right people into those ideas at the right time, beautiful things begin to happen. I think there’s no difference if it’s photo editing or if it’s office furniture. But those are the moments that I love, when you can hear those deep rumblings of something happening that wasn’t there before.”



Marilee Bylsma ’76 Distinguished Alumni Award

Overcoming poverty, changing lives

See the video: calvin.edu/go/alumni-awards

Working in a school that has a 98% poverty level presents many challenges. Marilee Bylsma ’76 has faced those challenges head-on for her entire career, working as a special education teacher and administrator in the Detroit schools. “Poverty creates immense barriers,” said Bylsma, “things I would have never thought of growing up in Wyoming, Michigan.” Bylsma first encountered these challenges in Grand Rapids. “When I came to Calvin I joined KIDS, which is now called Service Learning, and I was assigned as a volunteer to a special ed school. I was there for about five minutes, and I knew this is what I wanted to do. The school was located in the heart of Grand Rapids; it was my first experience with urban kids, and they tugged at my heart.”


Upon graduating from Calvin, she moved to Detroit, where she began her career as a special education teacher, then became an assistant principal at Burt Elementary School, a principal at Samuel Gompers Elementary School, and eventually became the director of the Center for School Leaders, a leadership academy for current and future principals. Bylsma credits Calvin for giving her the skills that supported her passion for education. “When you walk into a classroom where there are minimal supplies, it throws you,” she said. “I was blown away by the condition that the children came to school, in terms of their own clothing or not having eaten breakfast or dinner the night before; it throws you, but you learn to find ways to overcome these challenges in their lives. So, it wasn’t just that I’m passionate about this, it’s about having the tools that you need to accomplish what you set out to do, and Calvin gave me those tools. Calvin taught me how to be a teacher.” Spending more than four decades in urban education, Bylsma built her career around helping children overcome obstacles created by poverty.

“When I came to Calvin I joined KIDS, which is now called Service Learning, and I was assigned as a volunteer to a special ed school. I was there for about five minutes, and I knew this is what I wanted to do.” Elementary was selected as a National Blue Ribbon Exemplary School.

creating a high-achieving learning community and leadership development.

Recognizing Bylsma’s contributions to the schools’ success stories, the superintendent tapped Bylsma to teach her strategies to principals and aspiring principals at the district’s leadership academy.

And while she is appreciative of the accolades, including this award, Bylsma is more grateful for the platform it gives her for her message: “There are children out there that need you, urban kids in particular who deserve to have a quality education.”

“I once had a child in my office who the other kids were teasing,” she said. “I put my arm around him and asked if he knew why they were teasing him and he said, ‘No, why?’ I told him it’s because your breath smells. And he said, ‘We lost our toothbrush.’ So I went to our supply room and found toothbrushes, enough for his whole family, and wrote a name on each toothbrush. Who would have thought a toothbrush could be a barrier to a child’s ability to focus on learning?”

“I very quickly realized that leadership is not about how to manage paperwork,” said Bylsma. “It’s about how to inspire people to have a shared vision; it’s about how to meet the needs of your children; it’s about how to develop partnerships so that you can find the funds that you need to help your children.”

As the culture in the school Bylsma influenced began to change, achievement went up and learning improved. She challenged her staff to work together to achieve excellence.

Having come full circle in her career, Bylsma now is a coordinator of special education programs for charter schools in the Detroit area and provides professional development around the state on various topics such as

During her tenure, Burt Elementary earned the Michigan Golden Apple Award for Improved Achievement, and Samuel Gompers

As an advocate for Detroit Public Schools, she also secured more than $1 million in outside funding for the school system.

“I was talking one day with the head of human resources, and he said to me, ‘You went to Calvin? I knew there was something different about you. Calvin grads, they all have something about them, like they’re mission-oriented or something.’ “I loved that because that is what we are supposed to do,” she said. “We go into the world, and we make a difference. That’s what I think about every day. Have I done what I was supposed to do today? “And if I made a difference in one life, it’s all worth it.”

If you would like to learn more about how you can make a difference in the life of a child, email Marilee.bylsma@yahoo.com.



As a youngster growing up in Chicago, Bob Ottenhoff ’70 read all four of the newspapers his father brought home each day. He knew journalism was his calling. WOOD TV and Radio hired him after his Calvin graduation, and within a few months he became executive producer of the weekend evening newscasts. He went on to earn his master’s in city and regional planning from Rutgers University. Rutgers then hired him to create the first public radio station based in New Jersey. It covered the New Jersey-New York metropolitan area and had a strong emphasis on news, public affairs, and jazz programming. From there he became the executive director of the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority and chief operating officer and acting president of the Public Broadcasting Service, overseeing 350 stations around the country. Ottenhoff recalls during his time as COO, he had the opportunity to lobby Congress for continued PBS funding. “We had several times when public funding was threatened, and it was one of my tasks to oversee our lobbyists. “It was always fun to go up on the Hill with Mr. (Fred) Rogers and have him talk to a congressman. Mr. Rogers was in person exactly like you saw him on television, and he would say to a congressman, ‘Mr. Congressman, have you been doing good work? And the congressman, who probably grew up watching Mr. Rogers, would say, ‘Yes, Mr. Rogers. I’ve been trying to do my best.’ Another good time was accompanying Big Bird up on Capitol Hill. That was always a lot of fun, too.”

“I looked for opportunities in my career where I could be entrepreneurial, where I could make an impact, where I could provide public service and help build community… .” Following his time at PBS, Ottenhoff became the second president of GuideStar, currently the largest source of information on the 1.8 million nonprofits in the United States.“What we were trying to do is gather information about them,” he recalls, “so that donors and others who deal with a nonprofit community could make better, more informed decisions.” After growing GuideStar, Ottenhoff was asked by several foundation leaders to head the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. “We help primarily foundations, corporations, and institutional donors make more strategic, more intentional contributions around disasters,” he said. After a disaster there is an immediate outpouring of support that slows within two to three days, according to Ottenhoff. It is then that the hard work of “taking care of individuals and rebuilding a community begins.” “So part of our focus is on getting donors to think about the full life cycle of disasters: planning, preparation, mitigation, and then long-term recovery,” he said. “All of the dollars we get, that we manage on behalf

of foundations and corporations, we put into mid- to long-term recovery and focus on vulnerable populations, those who are least able to bounce back after a disaster.” In Sunday school, Ottenhoff recalls learning Jesus Loves the Little Children. “We sang the words, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. That’s a song that really had an impact on me, really made a difference in how I viewed the world,” he said. “It suggests respect for others, dignity of the individual, inclusiveness, equality. Those are all ideas that Calvin helped me to turn into action. I looked for opportunities in my career where I could be entrepreneurial, where I could make an impact, where I could provide public service and help build community, which I think is so critical in today’s world where we often feel alienated,” he said. “I was looking for ways that we could feel like we’re all in this together. So interestingly, I think my grounding in both my heritage and my time at Calvin has made me more optimistic about the future.”

28 28

Bob Ottenhoff ’70 Distinguished Alumni Award See the video: calvin.edu/go/alumni-awards

Rebuilding community after disaster

















Wild Hope Stories for Lent from the Vanishing BY GAYLE BOSS

When the hibernations of winter are over, Christian tradition offers Lent. The season means to rouse us from our self-absorption, to wake us to the true state of our hearts and the world we’ve made. Today, species like the black-footed ferret are vanishing at a rate at least 100 times faster than in the past, because of the choices we humans make. Startled awake to that fact, we also wake to an aching, wild hope that something new might be born of the ruin. Is resurrection possible? The promise of Lent is that resurrection is at loose everywhere in the world, surging wherever hearts break open in a larger compassion.


Romans 8:22


Black-Footed Ferret On a mound of dirt on a wind-combed prairie in northern Wyoming, the rarest mammal in North America is dancing. He prances and bucks then stops. Then hops—forward, forward, backward, side-hop left—spins around, and dives into the hole at the center of the mound. A four-beat wait. His black bandit mask peeks over the rim. Then he flings the muscular tube of his torso out again into the prairie dawn, bounding, twisting, frisking for an audience of none. He is fully grown, an adult, not a play-inclined kit. His jaunty moves are not meant to confuse predator or prey, attract a mate, or warn companions. The only reason for his dance is ferret-ness. Curious and quick, lithe and strong, black-footed ferrets often dance just because they are, just because they can.

Curious and quick, lithe and strong, black-footed ferrets often dance just because they are, just because they can. Audaciously alive, this ferret ends his dance as the sun rises and slips underground to sleep away the day in a burrow that a prairie dog clan abandoned. His short fur and slender shape insulate him poorly against prairie cold; he needs the reliable warmth of their underground home. It’s his hermitage now, a base from which he’ll range a mile or more in the dark of the March night, looking for the emerald eyeshine of a female willing to mate in


the nearest empty prairie dog den. Because he ate last night—catching a prairie dog asleep, killing it cleanly with a bite to the windpipe— he has food cached away for two more days. Besides food, prairie dogs supply another essential for a ferret on the hunt. Should a badger, coyote, or bobcat target his emerald eyeshine and pounce, prairie dog holes provide his surest escape hatch. For nearly a million years, prairie dogs and ferrets lived together well in the heart of North America. Prairie dogs fed ferrets and sheltered them. Ferrets culled prairie dog colonies to a size the land could support. Both communities thrived. At one time a million black-footed ferrets lived among hundreds of millions of prairie dogs on grasslands that stretched between Saskatchewan and Mexico. Within 150 years the prairie dog towns were plowed up or poisoned. To the pioneers planting crops and grazing livestock to feed the growing hunger of a growing nation, prairie dogs were competitors for the rich land. By 1980, a mere 2 percent were left, holding on in small colonies cut off from each other. As prairie dogs go, so go ferrets—faster. By 1980, nobody had seen one of the wild dancers for six years. Biologists considered them extinct in the wild. The following year a Wyoming ranch dog named Shep brought a dead black-footed ferret to his owners’ door. Biologists converged on the ranch, sweeping flashlights across its thousands of acres by night, searching for emerald eyeshine. They found 129 of the extinct species alive and multiplying among the prairie dogs of two neighboring ranches.

Then in 1985, distemper and sylvatic plague—a flea-borne disease brought to North America from Asia—infested the ranches’ prairie dog towns. A plague-infected prairie dog is certain to die. The biologists watching knew that as prairie dogs go, so go ferrets— faster. For two years, they spent their nights trapping the ferrets that had not yet fallen to the plague ravaging their prairie dog hosts. On a cold night in February 1987, they caught the last wild black-footed ferret, a large male they named “Scarface,” and took him away in a pickup truck. The risk these biologists had taken excited them and terrified them. Had they rescued the world’s eighteen remaining black-footed ferrets from certain death in the wild only to watch them die in cages? No one had successfully bred the creatures in captivity. They worked slowly, methodically, consulting every known expert. They hoped. Some prayed. In the spring of 1987, Scarface fathered two litters of kits. Since then, nine thousand black-footed ferrets have been born in carefully controlled captivity, and most of those have been released into prairie dog towns at sites across the West—including the ranch that was home to Scarface. It is his descendant now dancing there at dawn. He doesn’t know his survival chances are slim. He is still the rarest mammal in North America, and is apt to be, until prairie dogs receive some measure of the devotion that has saved him. Researchers, understanding the symbiosis of the two species, have developed a peanut butter-flavored vaccine that prairie dogs love and that makes them immune to sylvatic plague. That means ferrets too are spared— if nearly all the prairie dogs at a ferret-release site eat a vaccine. How to be sure every prairie dog takes his peanut butter-flavored medicine is biologists’ next feat.

But all the efforts to protect prairie dogs in order to protect ferrets will work only if farmers and ranchers choose to see the dogs differently. The owners of this ranch have. When they described how a cattle operation works, conservationists listened and eased restrictions on what they could and could not do on their land. Ranchers listened when conservationists described prairie dogs as not only hosts extraordinaire for ferrets, but also as the anchors of an intricately ordered homeplace for more than one hundred species found nowhere else on Earth. At the end of the conversation, the ranchers asked to have black-footed ferrets brought home to the land from which their 18 ancestors were taken. Pledging to protect the ferrets, they’ve pledged to respect the prairie dogs. They are, they see, a new kind of pioneer.

He doesn’t know his survival chances are slim. He is still the rarest mammal in North America…

Gayle Boss is also the author of All Creation Waits: The Advent Mystery of New Beginnings. She and her husband, Doug Koopman, are the parents of two Calvin alumni.

The book offers 25 reflections for the weeks of Lent—each paired with an original woodcut—on species vanishing from the planet and the hope of their restoration. The book is available for preorder from Amazon; discounts for multiple copies are available from Paraclete Press. In January, Paraclete will also offer Wild Hope as an audio book.

DOWNLOAD A FREE EXCERPT online at calvin.edu/spark

Wild Hope: Stories for Lent from the Vanishing by Gayle Boss. Illustrated by David G. Klein. Text copyright © by Gayle Boss; Illustration copyright © by David G. Klein. Reprinted by permission of Paraclete Press, paracletepress.com.




Edward Miller Jr. Spanish 1992–1993, 1994–2019

Christiana deGroot Religion, Gender Studies, Calvin Prison Initiative 1988–2019

Lee Hardy Philosophy 1981–2019

Johanna Kuyvenhoven Education 2007–2019


Ned Nielsen Engineering 1994–2019

Marcie J. Pyper Spanish 1981–1987, 2000–2019

Ralph Stearley Geology 1992–2019

Susan Verwys Education 2007–2019

Wayne Wentzheimer Engineering 1998–2019




First row: Rachel Johnson-Melville ’02, Debra Perry ’91, Gene Miyamoto ’77, Jori Brink Hannah ’04, Rebecca Mejia ’05, Jerry Cooper ex’66, Dale Kaemingk ’77.

Class of ’94 reunion

HOMECOMING AND FAMILY WEEKEND Homecoming and Family Weekend came back together this year creating an energetic and exciting time on campus. After both the alumni board and parent council gathered for their fall meetings, there was time for fun and celebration with the Maroon & Gold Gala, bed races, the Donut Dash, Late Night with Capella, student Improv, soccer and hockey games, alumni athletic events, a campus architecture tour, fireworks, the Class of ’94 25-year reunion, and more. To see all the fun, explore the Calvin Alumni Association Facebook photos.


Second row: Christine Jacobs Mouw ’88, Valerie Stegink Sterk ’83, Jim Valk ’87, Casey Kuperus ’97, Cathy Van Zeelt Van Donselaar ’88, Karen Zwart Hielema ’94, James Lee ’12. Third row: Rick Treur ’93, Mark Tigchelaar ’06, Jona Eigege ’15, Gary Van Prooyen ’88, Jack Kalmink ’69, Carlos Erazo ’14. Not pictured: Sarah Berg ’06.

ALUMNI BOARD At their recent meetings, the board continued work on a new strategic plan, celebrated the accomplishments of the alumni award winners, and participated in Homecoming and Family Weekend activities.

DINNER IN HOUSTON On Aug. 5, alumni in Houston gathered for dinner and to provide advice on how to navigate life well in the city. They also started planning their next gathering, which may occur at the nation’s largest Renaissance festival near Houston.

DALLAS, FORT WORTH ALUMNI VISIT THE CHOSEN Weatherford, Texas, was the location for an Aug. 6 gathering with Matthew Faraci ’98, executive producer of The Chosen, a streaming TV series on the life of Christ. Dallas and Fort Worth area alumni toured the set and learned about video production. To watch the first four episodes, visit thechosen.tv.

WAIT WAIT IN WASHINGTON, D.C. On Aug. 30, D.C. area alumni headed to Wolftrap National Park for the Performing Arts in Virginia to spend time together and watch a recording of the NPR weekly news quiz show, Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!

Constitutional change: The Calvin College Alumni Association seeks to update its name in the association’s constitution to align with Calvin’s change to a university. The proposed new name in the constitution will be the Calvin University Alumni Association. This change will be voted on during the April 23–24, 2020, alumni board meeting on campus.


We would love to see you at our upcoming alumni and university events: Symposium on Worship Jan. 30–Feb. 1, 2020 100th anniversary of The Rivalry Feb. 8, 2020 Festival of Faith & Writing April 16–20, 2020 Spring Classic 5K Run/Walk April 25, 2020 (on campus and virtual 5K at your location) Class of 1970 50-Year reunion May 22–23, 2020 Heritage reunion June 12, 2020

TRAVEL WITH CALVIN Florence Through the Eyes of Dante Centered in Florence with visits to Siena and Lucca. Read from Dante’s Divine Comedy and see the works of Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Botticelli. Host: Jennifer Holberg May 15–28, 2020 Netherlands: Off the Beaten Path Explore and discover how the Dutch made the Netherlands. Hosts: Henk Aay & Robert Hoeksema September/October 2020 Hawaii Big Island, Kauai, hiking, volcanoes. Host: Gerry Van Kooten Nov. 10–22, 2020 Vietnam and Cambodia Ancient and modern history and culture. Host: Jim Bratt Nov. 5–21, 2020 See calvin.edu/go/travel for details. Email alumni@calvin.edu to request tour brochures for specific trips.

More on these events and others calvin.edu/calendar


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 spark@calvin.edu. 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 alumni@calvin.edu, and in return, we’ll send you a Calvin gift.






HERITAGE (graduated more than 50 years ago) 01

In April, WestBow Press released The Letter: The Memoirs of Thomas M. Woodham, a novel by Alan A. Arkema ’51. The story addresses the struggles of faith and belonging when teenage sweethearts, pregnant and facing the opposition of parents, are forced apart then meet again years later. Retired after a career serving churches in the United States and Australia, Alan says his book draws heavily from his experience as a minister. It’s available in the Calvin Campus Store and online. 02 In August, alums from both coasts met in Rockford, Mich., to see friends and take home some new Calvin University swag. On the left, Paul VandenBout ’61 and Rachel Eggebeen VandenBout ’61 came from Susan, Va., and on the right, Sandra Peters Spee ’74 and Mark Spee ’76 came from Turnwater, Wash. The VandenBouts were visiting Roger Brummel ’61 and Connie Northouse Brummel ’60, while the Spees were visiting Bob Leunk ’76 and Thea Nyhoff Leunk ’76.

1970s Marcia Ann Lagerwey ’72 was the guest curator for With Child: Otto Dix/Carmen Winant, an exhibition at the Worcester Museum of Art in Worcester, Mass., from Sept. 21 through Dec. 15. The



exhibition focused on images of pregnancy and birth in the work of German artist Otto Dix and contemporary artmaker Carmen Winant. Marcia’s husband, Loren Hoekzema ’65, recently retired from college teaching and assisted Marcia by offering a class at the museum on three images of pregnant nudes by Dix. Marcia and Loren have spent the past three summers traveling throughout Germany in preparation for the show. 03

On July 10, the day that Calvin College officially became Calvin University, these sibling alums and their spouses celebrated on the deck of the cruise ship Westerdam in Haines, Alaska. They were also celebrating 201 combined years of marriage and family friendship. From left, they are: Keith Bode ’74, Patti Wiersma Bode ’79, Greg Bode ’76, Mark Houseman ’81, Karen Bode Houseman ’81, Barry Unema ’82, Colleen Bode Unema ’83, Calvin mom Jayne Kramer Bode, Randy Bode ’72, and Jan Stouwie Bode ’72. 04 Alan Pauw ’79 has been named to

the U.S. News Best Lawyers in America list for 2020 in the area of employee benefits law. Alan practices in the Louisville, Ky., office of the McBrayer firm. The distinction is given based on peer review.

1980s Schwarzbier, brewed by DeHop’s Brewing Company and Café, was named the best dark lager in the U.S. at the 2019 World Beer Awards in London. Mark DeHaan ’85 and Cathy DeVries DeHaan ’86 opened DeHop’s in 2018 in Walker, Mich., six miles west of Grand Rapids, and offer 16 beers on tap that rotate with the seasons. 05 A team representing Calvin University teed off in the annual Hamilton (Ontario) District High School golf outing in September. They report that the tee they sponsored for Calvinturned out to be “a bottleneck, so people spent more time there,” generating interest in Calvin. Members of the team, from left, are: David van Dokkumburg, Sharon van Dokkumburg, Wil van Dokkumburg ’87, Susan vanderHeiden, Tim Fisher ’87, Rick Stroobosscher ’87, and Mike Fisher ’90.

Valparaiso University began the academic year with a new vice president for student affairs, Julie DeGraw ’88. Julie moved to Indiana from Bluffton, Ohio, where she was the vice president for student life and dean of students at Bluffton University. She got her start in student affairs at her alma mater, working in residence life, leadership development, and Calvin’s Broene Counseling Center from 1990–1997.




From a list of some 4,000 Indiana applicants, Marie Stressman Haraburda was selected as one of 35 career coaches to serve on the Skillful Governor’s Coaching Corps 2019.



06 During their senior year at Calvin, Jack Van Noord, Bill Cornell, Rick Veen, Kenric Van Wyk, Robert McRuer, and Gary Van Prooyen lived together in Chi 35. They, joined by commuter friend John Bekker, had such a great Calvin experience that at their graduation in 1988 they made a pact to reunite every year thereafter. They’ve lived up to that promise. Without missing a single year, they’ve vacationed together in locations from Vancouver to the Bahamas. Their 2019 gathering in Milwaukee marked their 32nd consecutive reunion. The spouses and children of the original “Chi 35 seven” are now friends, too, referring to themselves as “Chi-Lites.”

1990s 07 After serving Walker, Mich., as mayor for five years, Mark Huizenga ’90 won the November 2018 election for Michigan’s 74th district seat in the state’s House of Representatives. Mark is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and chairs the Subcommittee on General Government. The 74th district encompasses much of western Kent County. 08 Musician, lead singer of the group Majestic Praise, and music producer Debra Perry ’91 will join director Nate Glasper and the Calvin Gospel Choir on a January Interim tour of South Korea.

Jon Van Gorp ’91, partner in the law firm Mayer Brown, has been named chair of Bottom Line’s Chicago Regional Advisory Board. Bottom Line is a nonprofit that helps first-generation college students from low-income backgrounds




get into college, graduate, and transition to a career. Jon has a long involvement with the organization, previously serving as chair of its fundraising and visibility committee in Chicago.

director for advancement at David’s House is Greg Vander Goot ’94. Before coming to the ministry, Greg spent three years as a senior development representative at Kuyper College.

From a list of some 4,000 Indiana applicants, Marie Stressman Haraburda ’93 was selected as one of 35 career coaches to serve on the Skillful Governor’s Coaching Corps 2019. The corps will assist Gov. Eric Holcomb in developing resources to better connect employers in the state with the workforce. Marie is a certified as a global career development facilitator.

The French government has made Megan Bush Diercks ’98 a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques. It’s the highest non-military honor a non-French citizen can receive. Megan was recognized for her “eminent service to French education and contribution to the prestige of French culture.” In addition to teaching French at Colorado School of Mines, Megan is the editor of the National Bulletin, the publication of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF), the president of her local AATF chapter, assistant to the National French Contest director, and the local National French Contest administrator.

09 Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira ’94 has a new book out for early-grade readers: Gritty and Graceful: 15 Inspiring Women of the Bible. From Eve to Mary, Caryn tells the stories of women that God empowered to change the world. Caryn’s 2017 book Grit and Grace: Heroic Women of the Bible tells those stories and five more for pre-teen readers. This is her 11th book, some of them for adults! Both Gritty and Graceful and Grit and Grace are available through the Calvin Campus Store and online.

Casey Kuperus ’97 has taken the role of executive director of David’s House Ministries in Wyoming, Mich. David’s House serves 43 residents in five adult foster care homes. The ministry also provides community living support services, like help with grocery shopping and medical appointments, for individuals living with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injury, or mental illness in the Grand Rapids area. Working closely with Casey as the

2000s What started as a small-scale art show by Gwen Kwasteniet Vogelzang ’01 and her 12-year-old son, Rylan, has bloomed into a book. Rylan, who lives with autism and Tourette’s syndrome, originally drew 15 pictures about what it feels like to live in his brain and paired each drawing with insightful explanations. If I Squeeze Your Head I’m Sorry is the art show in book form. “Our hope is that readers will be reminded to take time to ask people around them what it’s like to see, hear, and feel the world through their unique lens,” Gwen writes on her website. The book is available through the Calvin Campus Store and online.

Nate Knapper’s organization offers attorneys the opportunity to connect to a higher purpose.


From exploitation to empowerment Federal law enforcement officer Nate Knapper ’08 was in church when he heard D’Lynn tell her story: Twelve years old, she ran away from home and met a man who gave her methamphetamines. For 18 years, he and others exploited D’Lynn’s addiction to traffic her for sex. She was beaten regularly. Near death after one beating, her trafficker left her at a hospital door. D’Lynn’s story was not unfamiliar to Knapper. Assigned to a Detroit-area human trafficking squad, he’d met other victims. With D’Lynn, he formed a friendship. Then the hospital that treated D’Lynn’s assault injuries sued her for medical costs. Just beginning to rebuild her life, she couldn’t afford a lawyer. In 2018, the National Human Trafficking Hotline identified 1,358 victims and survivors of trafficking

in Michigan—sixth highest in the nation. Nearly all survivors face charges or other legal issues—without legal assistance. Escaped from trafficking, they’re still bound. For Knapper, who’s also an attorney, the statistics became personal in D’Lynn. He found a lawyer who worked pro bono to get her debt paid through Michigan’s Crime Victim Compensation Program, freeing her to continue rebuilding her life. That might have been the end of it. But Knapper also knew and loved the Old Testament story of Joseph, which he now read as an early record of human trafficking. “I knew somebody should do something, and I knew the ‘somebody’ was me.” Knapper founded The Joseph Project “to do for every survivor what happened for Joseph, to transition them

from exploitation to empowerment by leveraging the law on their behalf.” At the same time, in the fall of 2018, the president of the State Bar of Michigan urged attorneys to become “legal first responders,” offering pro bono work for urgent needs. Knapper contacted her to say he had just the project. In October, The Joseph Project co-sponsored a human trafficking training event that attracted hundreds of attorneys and created a legal network committed to assisting survivors across Michigan.

Knapper founded The Joseph Project “to do for every survivor what happened for Joseph, to transition them from exploitation to empowerment by leveraging the law on their behalf.”

“The law is a powerful tool that can be leveraged for good,” Knapper said. “The Joseph Project offers attorneys the opportunity to connect to a higher purpose, to become agents of the broken, restoring dignity and worth.” To learn more, visit josephproject.com.




Pa Thao was one of three community leaders presented with a Chippewa Valley Vanguard Award last February in Eau Claire, Wis.




In August, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) selected Terence Schoone-Jongen ’01 as the new director of the Office of Representation Appeals. At the NLRB for nine years now, Terence has become a leading expert in the area of employee representation case law. In his new role he serves as chief legal adviser and consultant to the entire NLRB on all questions of law, procedure, and policy regarding issues of employee representation in labor disputes and advises the board’s regional offices on representation matters delegated to them. Like one of every three women, Rebecca DeYoung Dekker ’02 had a traumatic child birthing experience. At the time she was an award-winning nurse-researcher at the University of Kentucky and decided to use her skills to understand what went wrong, why it went wrong, and how it could be changed. As a result, she founded Evidence Based Birth to give families and communities accurate information so they can make better choices about childbirth. In Babies Are Not Pizzas: They’re Born, Not Delivered, Rebecca tells her story and the research it fostered. The book is available at the Calvin Campus Store and online. In September, the city manager of Grand Rapids appointed Jono Klooster ’02 acting director of economic development services for the city. Jono is tasked with leading efforts to improve Grand Rapids’ business environment, including initiatives to encourage sustainable development. For more than eight years he’s been part of the city’s economic development team. One of his recent accomplishments was managing the acquisition of more than 15 acres of riverfront property for the Grand River restoration project and the acquisition of tax-foreclosed properties for affordable housing.

The Detroit Chamber of Commerce has chosen Rob Nederhood ’02 as one of 70 participants in Leadership Detroit, a regional leadership program. Rob is a partner and business lawyer in the Detroit office of Foley & Lardner. In July, Missouri Baptist University named Ben Lion ’03 its new vice president of student development. To accept the post, Ben and his family moved to the St. Louis-area school from Orlando, Fla., where he had been the dean of students at Valencia College’s west campus. Ben has also worked in student development at Azusa Pacific University, Belmont University, and Florida State College at Jacksonville. The Tri-City Times has named Maria Mulder Brown ’03 its new editor. Since her Calvin graduation Maria has been a staff writer and assistant editor at the weekly newspaper, which publishes from Imlay City and serves Michigan’s southern thumb region. In June, filmmaker Chad Terpstra ’04 released his first full-length documentary, Father the Flame. Chosen for the Chicago International Film Festival in 2018, the film charts the art of pipe making from roots in Native American culture to modern artisanal pipes, like those made by the world-renowned pipe maker from Michigan, Lee Erck. In telling the story of pipe making through Erck, the documentary also pays homage to a simpler, slower pace of life. Chad’s wife, Stellita Bouma Terpstra ’02, was one of the film’s producers. Father the Flame is available on iTunes, Amazon, and other digital platforms.

10 For the 15th consecutive year, these friends who met at Phi Chi during the 2002–2003 school year reunited for a long weekend of fellowship and fun. From left, Phil Vreeman ’05, Sara Nieuwkoop ’03, Le Thanh Dung, Stacy Zook Callen ’03, Becky Haagsma Swanson ’03, Tessa and Paul Swanson, Tim Lautenbach ’04, Lindsey Van Essendelft Lautenbach ’04, Josh Lautenbach, Ryan Hickerson ex’03, and Bobby and Heather Hickerson.

After earning her PhD in English education from Western Michigan University in August 2018, Sara Erffmeyer Hoeve ’05 has accepted a position as an assistant professor in English education at Purdue University. Having completed a fellowship in cardiac surgery at the University of Michigan, Reilly Hobbs ’06 is continuing his training in pediatric heart surgery at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, part of the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor. Solid Coffee Roasters has expanded its business to a second cafe in Bellflower, Calif. Its original cafe is in nearby Artesia. Co-owner Mark Tigchelaar ’06 describes the business as “buying direct-trade beans from around the world for small batch roasting-to-order.” Pa Thao ’08 was one of three community leaders presented with a Chippewa Valley Vanguard Award last February in Eau Claire, Wis. An advocate for underserved communities in the Chippewa Valley, she was executive director of the Hmong Mutual Assistance Association for seven years. She’s now the executive director of the Black and Brown Womyn Power Coalition.

2010s Mike Drury ’11 began the school year as the official principal of Chicago Christian High School in Palos Heights, Ill. Last year he served as the school’s interim principal while a search was conducted. Before becoming principal, Mike taught history at CCHS. Jacob Schepers ’12 was awarded an MFA in poetry and a PhD in English by the University of Notre Dame in May and August, respectively. He now holds a postdoctoral fellowship at Notre Dame as a 5+1 Teaching Scholar and serves as an associate faculty member at Indiana University South Bend. Last June, Olivia Happel ’13 defended her doctoral thesis “That Which Is Not Yet Known: An Analysis of Michael Maier’s Alchemical Work through Arcana Arcanissima.” Olivia earned her degree in mythological studies from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, Calif. Nathan Groenewold ’14, in collaboration with Resonate Global Mission and faith-based nonprofits in Detroit, has founded Cohort Detroit, an immersive year of learning and Christian leadership development. Cohort Detroit places young adults in a partner nonprofit in the city and assigns them a mentor. It also provides “guided learning intensives” during which participants examine power, privilege, and socioeconomic systems from a Christian perspective. Interested young adults can contact resonateglobalmission.org/cohort/detroit. 11 Three young engineers employed

at Prein & Newhof, a west Michigan engineering firm, have recently earned their Professional Engineer licenses in the state of Michigan. Mark DeHaan, Julie Swierenga Feria, and Jeremy Kamp graduated from Calvin’s engineering program in 2015 with a civil/environmental engineering concentration and joined the firm that same year. Mark has provided construction observation for public utility and paving projects at P&N, while Julie has worked on sanitary sewer modeling, water reliability studies, and geographic information system (GIS) projects. Jeremy has assisted with both design and construction observation for P&N water and wastewater system improvement projects.

Heather Fields Stern works with women in South Africa to build community amongst each other through art.


The Mama Project: Together we can Struggles may come and struggles may go, But the strength of a woman lives on, Together we can, together we can … Fifty women sway and sing, their rapt faces the many skin colors of South Africa. One of them has composed a song, the song they’re living in The Mama Project.

The women who come represent a variety of nationalities, races, cultures, and languages, including Xhosa, Afrikaans, and English. Calvin grad and Cape Town resident Naomi Jackson Sabatta ’93 has joined, too. They call themselves The Mama Project, and the art they create each year during a two-week workshop culminates in an exhibit and performance.

In 2016, the rhetoric of the U.S. presidential primaries made Sara Stackhouse want to draw women together across borders, across race and class divides. A founder of Actors’ Shakespeare Project in Boston, she knew the arts can wake people to their common humanity, no matter their external differences. She and her husband had worked in an orphanage in Cape Town, so she began with women there. The following year her friend and former general manager at Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Heather Fields Stern ’94, joined her.

The skills, confidence, and friendships they’ve developed have led the women to “support each other in ways they hadn’t ever imagined,” Stern said. “They’ve literally worn a new path between their communities. Now they walk to each other’s houses and stand together when they confront struggles.

“We’re opening a safe space where women can eat together, make art, and share their stories,” said Stern, a professor at Suffolk University. “Just doing that breaks barriers between cultures and socioeconomic divides.”

“We’re also asking, ‘How do we do The Mama Project in the U.S. and break down our barriers?’ South African mamas can teach us so much about community and resilience.”

“Our dream is to create an arts center and have an arts bus,” Stern continued, “so all the women can stay connected all year. When they’re isolated, that’s when women feel helpless.

To learn more about The Mama Project, visit themamaproject.net.



LEFT: Jessica Ogden Bandstra on a workday commute. ABOVE: One of the remote British Columbia First Nation schools she serves.


Remote possibilities An easy workday commute for Jessica Ogden Bandstra ’99, ’01 means climbing into a six-seater bush plane and flying an hour and a half north of her home in Prince George, British Columbia. At the landing strip in Tsay Keh Dene someone waits to drive her another hour north on a logging road to the First Nation community of Kwadacha. Her more demanding commutes require driving two hours on paved roads then three hours on dirt logging roads.

from 150 to four. In Kwadacha she stays for a week, also visiting the school in Tsay Keh Dene.

“It’s understandable,” Bandstra said. “They’ve had a very negative experience with schools.”

“I like adventure,” she said.

For more than a century, the government, in collaboration with the Catholic and Protestant churches in Canada, forced indigenous children to attend residential schools where they had no contact with their parents and were forbidden all expression of their language and culture. The last residential school closed in 1996.

“It’s my dream job,” Bandstra said.

Like speech language pathologists everywhere, Bandstra gives standardized language assessment tests to determine the particular kind of help her students need. Parents in First Nation schools sometimes question her about those tests or are wary about meeting with her.

A speech language pathologist, Bandstra serves seven remote First Nation schools in British Columbia with student populations ranging


It’s more than that. Bandstra, who grew up in rural northern Michigan, has known since she was at Calvin that she wanted to work in rural schools with underserved children. “I’m drawn to students growing up in lower-income homes, like I did. That’s where my heart is.”

First Nation-run schools encourage indigenous culture and language, and Bandstra talks with teachers to learn about the local language. “I’m not here to dictate what they should do, but to support language development. I want these children to have the best opportunities possible.”

Your gift to the Calvin Annual Fund becomes art shows and basketball games and summer research. It provides smart classrooms and service-learning opportunities. It helps create a vibrant environment on campus where students can ask hard questions as they discover more about who God created them to be. The Annual Fund fills the gap where tuition dollars stop, and your support opens the doors to a Christ-centered education even wider for our students.



Deaths HERITAGE Fran Dantuma Aardema ex’44 Sept. 25, 2019, Grandville, Mich. Alida Haan Akker ’69 June 6, 2019, Buchanan Dam, Texas Gordon Arnoys ’64 Sept. 30, 2019, Grandville, Mich. Eugene Bartman ’67 Oct. 5, 2019, Rockford, Mich. Roscoe Bennett ’50 Apr. 30, 2019, Jackson, N.J. Paul Brink ’64 Sept. 17, 2019, Oakland, Calif. Bertha Ver Meer Brouwer ex’46 Dec. 6, 2018, Pella, Iowa


Robert Bytwerk ’50 Oct. 1, 2019, West Olive, Mich.

Theodore “Ted” Persenaire ex’53 Mar. 25, 2018, Crete, Ill.

Elizabeth Nelson Williams ’65 April 5, 2019, Wayland, Mich.

James Clousing ’60 Aug. 5, 2019, Saint John, Ind.

Robert Plekker ’56 Aug. 23, 2019, Hanford, Calif.

Leon Witteveen ’50 June 10, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Judith Camping Davies ’66 April 10, 2019, Penney Farms, Fla.

Lucile De Stigter Poel ’49 Aug. 17, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Ken Zandee ’59 June 21, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Phillip De Lange ’60 Aug. 18, 2019, Hudsonville, Mich.

Leonard Postema ’57 Sept. 28, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich.


Alvin Diephouse ex’49 Nov. 23, 2018, Naples, Fla.

Mary Ondersma Prince ’59 June 6, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Sue Helder Goliber ’69 July 2, 2019, Ellicott City, Md.

Annetta De Boe Prins ex’44 May 11, 2019, Holland, Mich.

Thelma Jordan Hekhuis ’52 Aug. 17, 2019, Grandville, Mich.

Martha Rose ’56 Jan. 27, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich.

David Holkeboer ’62 July 29, 2019, Rockford, Mich.

Karen Kamphuis Slager ’68 Mar. 28, 2019, Bellflower, Calif.

Grace Huitsing ’46 Oct. 11, 2019, Carol Stream, Ill.

Clarence Star ’52 July 30, 2019, Sarasota, Fla.

Harvey Huiner ’59 Feb. 16, 2019, Lynchburg, Va.

Mary Lummen Stouten ex’62 Oct. 10, 2019, Caledonia, Mich.

Marian Ike Huizenga ex’47 Oct. 13, 2019, Richland, Mich.

Marjorie Monsma Stuit ’54 Aug. 8, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich.

James Jager ’61 July 11, 2019, Grandville, Mich.

Edward Teune ’68 Aug. 21, 2019, Warsaw, Ind.

Thelma Mulder Kingma ’48 Sept. 7, 2019, Decatur, Ga.

Marian Vander Ark ’53 July 13, 2019, Denver, Colo.

Lester Knot ’59 June 18, 2019, Zeeland, Mich.

James Vanderlaan ’60 Aug. 18, 2019, Caledonia, Mich.

Coral Haveman Kreykes ’53 June 8, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Barbara Nieboer Vander Zyden ’51 Aug. 21, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Gertrude Oppewal Kuiper ex’50 July 27, 2019, Jenison, Mich.

Elinor Bouwsma Van Dyke ’50 Aug. 22, 2019, Charlevoix, Mich.

Florence Kuipers ’42 Sept. 6, 2019, Washington, D.C. Florence was a Distinguished Alumni Award winner in 1983 for her notable contributions in the field of linguistics.

James Van Eerden ’64 July 3, 2019, New Brighton, Minn.

Mary Vanenk Lamse ’62 Sept. 24, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich. George Lubben ex’50 July 19, 2019, Lemont, Ill. Dorothy Vander Veer Monsma ex’56 Mar. 5, 2018, Grand Rapids, Mich. Dwight Monsma ’53 Sept. 17, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich. Carole Oostendorp ’64 Oct. 2, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Lois Kieft Van Hoef ex’46 Jan. 9, 2019, South Pasadena, Fla. Carol Vander Slik Van Zytveld ’62 Oct. 20, 2018, Vancouver, Wash. Charlotte Veenstra ’60 June 26, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich. Calvin Verbrugge ’59 Mar. 10, 2019, Racine, Wis.

Carol Oppewall Botting ex’75 Sept. 27, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich. William Buikema Jr. ex’79 Oct. 12, 2019, Englewood, Colo. Patricia Buist ’78 July 30, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich. Pamela Doorn Dykehouse ex’79 July 18, 2019, Fort Wayne, Ind. James Eldersveld ex’73 June 24, 2019, Crete, Ill. Helen Fredricks ’73 July 14, 2019, Holland, Mich. Timothy Palmer ’73 Aug. 20, 2019, Lincoln, Neb. Lynn Karsten Pappas ex’70 Apr. 24, 2018, Hudsonville, Mich. Glenda Wierenga Prins ’71 Apr. 7, 2019, Rochester, N.Y. Ben Snoeyink ’70 Aug. 9, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich. Bruce Sturing ’72 June 28, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich. Scott Vander Molen ’74 Oct. 17, 2018, Alexandria, Minn. Faith La Fleur Van Halsema ’70 Sept. 22, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich. Wanda Wansley ’76 Aug. 10, 2018, Grand Rapids, Mich.

1980s Susan Dykstra Poel ex’83 Oct. 8, 2019, Rochester, N.Y. James Yonkers ’81 July 1, 2019, Grand Haven, Mich.


Judith Hofstra Waanders ’59 Apr. 17, 2019, Grand Haven, Mich.

Troy Dokter ’93 Aug. 6, 2019, Holland, Mich.

Robert Wassenaar ex’65 Sept. 29, 2019, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Joseph Kim ’95 July 5, 2019, Kentwood, Mich.

Norman King Wierenga ’63 Sept. 8, 2019, Horton, Mich.

Alice Anderson Smith ’94 July 22, 2019, Coopersville, Mich.

CHRIS OVERVOORDE, 1934–2019 Best known for his expansive paintings of clouds and his gracious spirit, Chris Stoffel Overvoorde died Sept. 3. He was 84. Overvoorde spent 31 years in the art department at Calvin, from which he retired in 1997. “Chris was a fantastic colleague who cared deeply about his family, Grace Christian Reformed Church, and Calvin,” said art professor Henry Luttikhuizen. “He worked hard, but he was always generous with his time, offering guidance and assistance to those in need.” “Prolific” was another word used to describe the accomplished artist. Overvoode leaves a legacy of more than 2,000 works, including paintings, drawings, prints, and designs. Overvoorde grew up near Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where he always had a prowess for drawing and painting but was unable to pursue art as a profession. A decision to emigrate from the Netherlands alone as a young man of 22 proved challenging but also life-changing.

Upon receiving his master of fine arts degree, he was recruited to Calvin, where he would spend his entire teaching career. In 1993, Overvoorde spent a sabbatical on the Alberta prairie. While consistently interested in landscape paintings, he gained a deeper appreciation for open expanses and clouds during his time there. Overvoorde was quick to use his artistic talent to benefit others around campus, as well. For more than a decade he served as the art director of Calvin’s alumni magazine, Spark. For this he was recognized with the university’s Outstanding Service Award in 1994. “Chris inspired many alumni artists and art lovers with his enthusiasm about how paint can transform a canvas to bring meaning and delight,” said Mike VanDenend, former university alumni director. He is survived by his wife, Greta; children, Sonja (Bob) Timmer, Paul (Lynn) Overvoorde, Joy Overvoorde, and Pete (Nora) Overvoorde; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

MAX RENAULDO, 1997–2019 “He was one of the most likable kids I’ve been around … I just really, really enjoyed him.” It didn’t take Dirk Pruis, a business professor at Calvin University, long to discover that Max Renauldo, a finance major at Calvin, stood out among his peers. Pruis had Renauldo in two classes during the 2018–2019 year and was his academic adviser. “He had such a good heart. He cared about people and you could just see that in the way he interacted with other students in and around class,” said Pruis. Renauldo, a week away from beginning his senior year at Calvin, died in a motorcycle accident Aug. 23, 2019. Renauldo’s younger brother Zach, a junior at Calvin, remembers his brother as a man devoted to God, to his family, and to his country. “He was a devout traditional Roman Catholic, went to Mass about three times a week, so God was a big part of his life,” said Zach. “He was always reading about Christian theology and everything like that. He was just

a very morally virtuous person, and he loved family and he loved friends and every single person in his life. He made sure to embrace them and to make sure that they knew he loved them.” One of the ways he showed that love was through service, including to his country. Max was in the ROTC program while at Calvin. “He was in his element doing military stuff,” said Zach. He was a grinder. He was a servant leader. He was someone who encouraged others to keep going. “I think he knew life wasn’t going to be easy, he was going to have to work for it, and he was not afraid of that,” said Pruis. “And he was very much a glass half-full kind of a person, always happy, of course had stress like anyone else, but saw things positively.” He is survived by his parents, Julie McGrath-Renauldo and Ralph Renauldo; his brothers, Justin (Lacey Ferro) and Zachery; his nephew, Korben; and a grandfather, Burr McGrath.



January 8–28, 2020 15 days of a free liberal arts education calvin.edu/january | View live at 60 remote sites

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Spark Winter 2019  

Spark is published three times a year by the Calvin Alumni Association, Office of Alumni, Parent, and Community Relations, Calvin University...

Spark Winter 2019  

Spark is published three times a year by the Calvin Alumni Association, Office of Alumni, Parent, and Community Relations, Calvin University...

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