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Information and application forms about most of our departmental scholarships become available in January and will be posted here as soon as possible. If you have questions about scholarships, don't hesitate to contact us at

All application forms available on this page are in .pdf format.

Peter D. Hoekstra Scholarships

Two scholarships were established by the history department in honor of one of its founding members and are made possible by gifts received from Dr. Robert G. and Mrs. Kathryn (Schuringa) Andree.

To apply for a Peter D. Hoekstra Scholarship, you must be a first-year student entering Calvin with the intent of majoring in history. Your high school record must demonstrate an interest and accomplishments in history and additional projects or independent study. One scholarships of $1,900 was awarded for 2014-15. Applications for 2015-16 are due February 13, 2015 by 5 PM to the history department office. The application includes a 400-500 word essay. Click here for the 2015-16 Hoekstra Scholarship guidelines and application form.

The history department also awards a Peter D. Hoekstra Senior Prize each year. The faculty chooses recipients for this prize, so there is no application.

John De Bie History Scholarship

John De Bie was a former professor of history at Calvin. This scholarship was established by his family of to honor God in gratitude for his full life as a history teacher. De Bie also dreamed of being able to financially encourage individuals who plan to dedicate their lives to teaching history.

To apply for the John De Bie History Scholarship, you must be entering your junior year, be a history major pursuing a career in education, and have a GPA of 2.75 or higher. One scholarship of $900 was awarded for 2014-15. Applications for the 2015-16 scholarship will be due February 13, 2015; check back in January for an application form.

The history department also awards a John De Bie Essay Prize each year for the best History paper. The 2013 award was $100. The deadline for submissions is April 14, 2014.

Edwin J. and Elaine F. Van Kley Scholarship

This scholarship was established by Elaine Van Kley to encourage young scholars to seek relationships and influences among countries and people of the world, to merge faith and learning in the broadest sense. Since both Ed and Elaine had the privilege of realizing this faith and world view at Calvin College as students and staff, forty-six years in all, they are pleased to offer this scholarship to encourage future students to purse this integration and embrace world knowledge, particularly of Asia and Asian influences.

To apply for the Edwin J. and Elaine F. Van Kley Scholarship you must be entering your junior or senior year, be majoring in history, and have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 or higher in your history courses. You must also have a desire to study (in order of preference) Asian influences in the West or Asian influence on another part of the world. Preference will be given to students with financial need. One scholarship of $1,000 was awarded for 2014-15. Applications for the 2015-16 scholarship will be due February 13, 2015; check back in January for an application form.

Dr. Bernard Zylstra, S.J.D., Memorial Scholarship

Gerrit and Carol Zylstra have established this scholarship to honor their brother Bernard Zylstra, former professor of political theory and president of the Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto, Canada. Bernard Zylstra actively promoted the history and development of Christian political theory, and this scholarship is intended to support the study of Christian political theory in history and practice.

To apply for the Dr. Bernard Zylstra, S.J.D., Memorial Scholarship, you must have junior or senior standing in the year the scholarship is held, have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and have some interest in political theory. One scholarship of $3,000 was awarded for 2014-15. This scholarship is awarded by the political science department; the application form can be found on their website.

Sally and Bert de Vries Archaeology Scholarship

Archeology, especially in the Middle East, is a primary research interest of Bert de Vries. During his years of service in the History department at Calvin, he has been instrumental in setting up the Archeology minor, in leading a number of summer excavation trips for students to Jordan and Palestine, and in building partnerships with Middle Eastern organization and governments as well as other U.S. programs that offer field experiences in archeology for undergraduate students. The de Vries family lived in Jordan for a number of years and returns often for extended periods. Sally’s expertise includes the clothing, artistry, and weaving of artisans in the area. She has collaborated on several books that highlight the beauty of their craftsmanship and the traditions that guide their work.

To apply for the Sally and Bert de Vries Archaeology Scholarship, you must be minoring in Archaeology. The purpose is to defray the costs of taking IDIS 340 at Calvin, which is the field work requirement. Two scholarships of $1,300 were awarded for 2014-15. Applications were due by October 31, 2014.

Earl Strikwerda Memorial Scholarship

Memorial contributions from the relatives and friends of Professor Earl Strikwerda have enabled the history department to honor the memory of their former colleague with annual scholarships to junior history majors who will be returning as full-time seniors. Two scholarships of $1,600 each were awarded for 2014-15. The faculty awards committee chooses recipients each year, so there is no application for this scholarship.

How to apply

Applications for most scholarships are accepted in February and March for the following academic year.

To apply for a scholarship, print out the .pdf application from this web site or pick up a copy in the history department office.

All applications require an essay, and some require references. Make sure you read the application carefully. Contact us if you have questions.

All applications with essays attached must be submitted to the history department office (HH 481) by 5 PM on the due date. You may also email your application materials (application form; essay; and any other supporting documents) to the history department at

Scholarships are awarded by the history department honors & prizes committee. Awards are determined based on the essay, grade point average, and, in some cases, financial need.