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Scholarships and Awards

Scholarships and Awards


The English department offers many scholarships to its majors each spring. To apply, download an application. Applications are due in mid-March.

Winifred Holkeboer Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship was established as a tribute to Winifred Holkeboer, who, through her many years of service to the English Department and Calvin, engaged students in the study of language and literature. This scholarship will be given annually to an English major who demonstrates academic excellence, commitment to the major, and potential for leadership within the major. Selection is based on academic record, participation in the activities of the department, and a brief statement of the applicant's reasons for choosing English as a major. Candidates should be entering the junior or senior year and have a grade point average of 3.00 or higher.  Students may be considered for renewal upon reapplication. See application for scholarship amount.

Kenneth and Lillian Kuiper Scholarship

To honor the many years of service and commitment to Christian education that Dr. Kenneth Kuiper and his wife Lillian have given so generously, their family and friends established a scholarship in their name. Dr. Kuiper taught in the English Department at South Christian High School in Grand Rapids and then served with distinction in the English Department at Calvin for thirty-seven years, encouraging students and mentoring faculty. Lillian taught for seven years in grades three through twelve and later ran the student teacher placement program in the Calvin Education Department for ten years. All five of their children have graduated from Calvin. Their son George, a dedicated employee of the college, took the lead role in initiating this project to honor his parents. In recognition of the Kuipers' high regard for the classroom teacher, this scholarship will be awarded to a student entering his or her senior year and pursuing a teaching career in junior/senior high school English. See application for scholarship amount.

Schemper-Kamp Family Scholarship

This scholarship is established as a tribute to Calvin professor John J. Timmerman and his wife, Mrs. Carolyn Hager Timmerman, both of who had a profound impact on the lives of the donors, Mr. Henry and Mrs. Carol Kamp. The Kamps established this scholarship out of gratitude for what the Timmermans have done for them and in recognition of what Dr. and Mrs. Timmerman have done for Calvin and many of its students. The scholarship is awarded annually to a returning junior or senior English major who has demonstrated academic excellence and a Christian perspective in his or her writing; students may be considered for renewal upon reapplication. See application for scholarship amount.

Henrietta Ten Harmsel English Scholarship

Henrietta Ten Harmsel established this scholarship for promising English majors. Dr. Ten Harmsel served the English Department for twenty-seven years, both as a beloved teacher and as departmental chair. She awards an English major because English is a crucial element of the liberal arts education, because it prepares students for a wide range of professions, and because it enables them to verbalize their Christian faith in an articulate, forceful, and humane way. Recipients of this scholarship must be enthusiastic readers and writers and must be able to explain how their Christian faith informs their study of literature; students may be considered for renewal upon reapplication. See application for scholarship amount.

Richard R. and Kathleen J. Tiemersma Scholarship

This scholarship has been established to promote and further respect for language, the liberal arts, Calvin College, and its objectives. Dr. Tiemersma has set up this scholarship in gratitude to Calvin for opportunities he and Kay received to learn from gifted professors, for the joy of working in a satisfying profession, and for deep enrichment of their personal lives. Dr. Tiemersma taught in the English Department for twenty-eight years where he was a respected and beloved professor whose specialty was Victorian literature and a careful attention to use of the English language. Mrs. Tiemersma was an English major and taught in the department for several years. Candidates should be entering the senior year and have a grade point average of 3.30 or higher. See application for scholarship amount.

William E. and Margaret J. Van Wienen Scholarship

William Van Wienen, a noted Grand Rapids architect, and his wife, Margaret, appreciate the contributions of Calvin as a Christian institution that enriches this community. Their daughter and her husband, Marcia and the Rev. Mark Van’t Hof, and their son, Dr. Mark Van Wienen, all were English majors and all are graduates of Calvin. Their daughter-in-law, Dr. Anne Windholy, is also an English professor. In appreciation for Calvin and in recognition of their children’s love for English language and literature, the Van Wienens have set up this scholarship to encourage other students majoring in English. Candidates must be English majors entering their junior year, have a grade point average of 3.00 or higher, and have an interest and be active in community social involvement projects. Financial need may also be considered. The scholarship is automatically renewable if the recipient continues to meet these requirements and remains in good standing in the major. See application for scholarship amount.

Steve J. and Viola Van Der Weele Scholarship

The family of Steve Van Der Weele, who taught at Calvin from 1950 to 1986, has provided for two scholarships to be given annually to a returning junior or senior English major who shows evidence of coming to maturity through a liberal arts education and of enriching the Christian community through those studies. Academic excellence and Christian character are the primary criteria; need may be considered as a secondary criterion.  Students may be considered for renewal upon reapplication. See application for scholarship amount.

Henry and Mildred Zylstra Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship was established by family and friends in honor of Henry Zylstra. Professor Zylstra had a formative influence both in his classes and through his scholarly essays on the Reformed Christian tradition and its critique of culture and literature. Some of these essays were published in his book, Testament of Vision. Mildred Zylstra also taught in the English department for many years. Selection for this scholarship is based on academic ability, commitment to pursuing success in graduate studies, and a concern for Reformed Christian liberal arts education. Candidates should be entering their senior year, have a grade point average of 3.50 or higher, and be planning to attend graduate school to study literature or language within five years following graduation. See application for scholarship amount.


L. C. de Haan Award

This award is established by the family of Lippe C. de Haan as a tribute to his Christian faith and for the importance of Christian higher education he instilled in the hearts of his family members. L.C. de Haan graduated from Calvin in 1964 with an English major and dedicated his career to inspiring young people in the art and study of language and literature. Through this award, L.C.’s family wants to honor his life and contributions and encourage the next generation of students who share his love of the English language. Candidates for the award must meet the following criteria: Be a current senior at Calvin College; Be an English major; Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher; Demonstrate academic excellence, active participation in the activities of the department, and a passion for the art and study of the English language.

William B. Eerdmans Literary Award

The late Mr. William B. Eerdmans, Sr., established this award in the interest of encouraging original, critical, and creative writing among Calvin College students. The award is administered annually by the English Department; there is no application procedure. The award is announced each spring.

Harmon D. Hook Memorial Award

An monetary award is offered each spring to an English major who has indicated a serious interest in English or American language and literature and whose work in the discipline gives evidence of personal enrichment and promise of future service. To be considered, a student should have demonstrated not only academic competence but also such qualities as an interest in humane letters and a Christian concern for cultural and spiritual growth through literature. The English Department selects the person to receive the award; there is no application procedure. The award is announced each spring.

Minnaar Writing Awards

The English Department is pleased to recognize excellent writing in Written Rhetoric through the Joseph and June Minnaar awards. These awards are described on a separate page.

Previous Award Winners

Holkeboer Scholarship

2014: Carrie Ott
2013: Matt Coldagelli
2012: Josh deLacy
2011: Jake Schepers
2010: Jacob Eizenga
2009: Rachel De Vries
2008: Arielle Fischer
2006: Caitlan Spronk
2005: Jonathan VanderHoek
2004: John Cooper
2003: Leslie Harkema
2002: Abram Huyser-Honig
2001: Nathan Sytsma
2000: Anne Brown

Kuiper Scholarship

2014: Jennifer Kuiper
2013: Joseph Kessel
2012: Teresa Lubbers
2011: Stephanie Garvelink
2010: Abby Schartner
2009: Kimberly Randle
2008: Betsy Vandenberg
2006: Jacqueline Klamer
2005: Hendrik Johan de Zoete
2004: Rebecca Morrison
2003: Susan Reedyk
2002: Lori Engbers
2001: Rhonda Hartgerink
2000: Steffi Huhn, Jacoba Sytsma
1999: Emily Bosscher
1998: Valerie Smits

Schemper-Kamp Scholarship
2014: Claire Lambert, Laura Sheppard
2013: Connor Sterchi, Carrie Ott
2012: Cassie Westrate, Jessica Nieboer
2011: Taylor Osborn, Hope Velthouse
2010: Maria Post, Sarah VanderMolen
2009: Amy Allen, Brooke Reichert
2008: Michelle Smit
2006: Kaitlyn Bohlin
2005: Allison Ruth Graff
2004: Mandy Suhr
2003: Jason McFarland
2002: Nathan Sytsma
2001: Katherine Swart
2000: Joseph Lapp
1999: Hannah Meilander
1998: Jane Knol
1997: Greg Veen

Ten Harmsel Scholarship

2014: Benjamin DeVries, Caitlin Gent, Anneke Kapteyn, Julia LaPlaca, Jack Van Allsburg
2013: Nathan Groenewold, Sarah Kuipers, Claire Lambert, Laura Sheppard, Tom Speelman
2012: Sabrina Lee
2011: Michelle Vecchio
2010: Stephanie Garvelink
2009: Stephanie Garvelink
2008: Ryan Weberling
2006: Natalia Lentini
2005: David Bishop
2004: Erin Ondersma
2003: John Cooper
2002: Leslie Harkema
2001: Perry Trolard

Tiemersma Scholarship

2014: Jessica Koranda
2013: Jennifer Cuffman
2012: Rebecca Stout
2011: Abby Koning
2010: Sarah Wong
2009: Mitchell Terpstra
2008: Kathleen Merz
2006: Nathan Gelinas
2005: Eric Baker
2004: Katie Alley
2003: Joel DeMoor
2002: Laura Patten
2001: Elisabeth Bont

Van Wienen Scholarship

2014: Anneke Essenburg
2013: Anneke Essenburg
2012: Josiah Kuiper
2011: Justin Majetich
2010: Andrew Steiner
2009: Tabitha Speelman
2008: Tabitha Speelman
2006: Erica Boonstra

Van Der Weele Scholarship

2014: Maria Cupery, Katerina Parsons
2013: Benjamin De Vries
2012: Erica Jensen, Sarah Nikkel
2011: Sarah Vander Molen, Brad Wassink
2010: Michelle Vecchio, Hope Velthouse
2009: Arielle Fischer, Erin DeWyn
2008: Anita Greenfield, Anne Fennema
2006: Gabriel Kruis, Tom Mazanec
2005: Rachel Borycz, Rachel Van Harten
2004: Kay Bykerk, Ryan Bykerk
2003: Abram Huyser-Honig, Nathan Sytsma
2002: Kristen VanHeukelem, Noah Borgondy
2001: Sarah Bailey
2000: Carrie Titcombe, Katherine Jacobs
1999: Kelly Klaasen, Jane Knol
1998: Coray Ames, Keri Schutt
1997: Amy Sitar
1996: Abram Steen
1995: Eric Smith

Zylstra Scholarship

2014: Ye Joon Chung
2013: Sarah Nikkel
2012: Ae Hee Lee
2011: Samantha Vanderberg
2010: Taylor Osborn
2009: Alissa Goudswaard
2008: Calah Schlabach
2006: Jason Waeber
2005: Jason Waeber
2004: Angeline Tanis
2003: Kristine Johnson
2002: Robin Zahir
2001: Tim Thompson, Krista Betts
1999: Andrew Hoogheem, Jane Knol
1998: Coray Ames
1997: Gregory Veen
1996: Matthew Forsythe, Abram Steen
1995: Monique Bos, Susan Bruxvoort, Laura Veltman
1994: Kathleen Nichols, Melanie Van Stralen

L.C. DeHaan Award

Eerdmans Award

2014: Michael Kelly
2013: Josh deLacy
2012: Andrew Steiner
2011: Jenica Groot-Nibbelink
2010: Mitchell Terpstra
2009: Calvin Brondyke, Ryan Weberling
2008: Casey Nagle
2007: Nate Gelinas
2006: Jenn Langefeld
2005: Sarah Hogan
2004: Abram Huyser-Honig, Tim Schuringa
2003: Abram Van Engen
2002: Tim Thompson
2001: Joe Lapp
2000: Jane Knol
1999: Lori Engbers
1998: Rob Huie
1997: Matthew Forsythe
1996: Susan Bruxvoort
1995: Jennifer Leep

Hook Award

2014: Alexander Westenbroek 2013: Sabrina Lee
2012: Jake Scheppers
2011: Tze Yuin (Sara) Wong
2009: Rebekah Bell
2009: Devin Byker
2008: Paula Kielstra
2007: Ruth Anna Spooner
2006: Laura Peterson
2005: Jared Jonker
2004: Kristine Johnson
2003: Kristy Gesink
2002: Rebecca Van Elk
2001: Rebecca Hurrell
2000: Andrew Hoogheem
1999: Kristen DeRoo, Katherine Fick
1997: Abram Steen
1996: Rebecca Spurrier
1995: Sara Uekert