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.