Established in September 1996 by the Calvin Alumni Association, this partnership between the college and local seniors continues to grow, increasing from its original 230 participants to over 2,000 members today. CALL serves persons who are 50 years of age and older, offering a diverse program of classes, day and overnight trips and activities to enrich its members on their lifelong spiritual, intellectual, cultural and social journeys.
Participants need not have attended Calvin or any college before enjoying the benefits of a membership in this organization, which is affiliated with the Elderhostel Institute Network and collaborates with other Institutes for Learning in Retirement (LIR.) Calvin history professor emeritus Robert Bolt, a past president of CALL, said, "In the early years, it was primarily Calvin alumni and retired professors who became members of CALL, but we are reaching out aggressively to become a more diverse community of learners." In 2016, only 38% of our membership had an affiliation with the college.
In addition to serving its membership, CALL committees plan and present programs that are open to the public. Anna Sietsema was active on the area ‘travelogue’ committee when the films were still shown at the Welsh Auditorium downtown. Anna continued her enthusiastic involvement throughout the years that the films have been at Calvin. According to Sietsema, "we’re fortunate to land some of the artists and films that we do, but it’s because we have such enthusiastic crowds that these films continue to be offered." For a number of years now, CALL has sponsored the Passport to Adventure travelogue series with support from Witte Travel. All films are now shown in high definition.
Noontime Series - Previously known as the "Brown Bag Luncheon Series", Noontime is a free, one-hour series of lectures or programs on alternating Thursdays during the fall and spring. Besides CALL members, Calvin employees and students, area high school classes, as well as retirement community and church groups enjoy these programs.
If you are interested in becoming a member of CALL, please fill out our membership application.
If you have questions, please contact the CALL office at 616-526-8777 or firstname.lastname@example.org.