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"This I promise you—you will never forget Calvin College."—Class of '52 
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Forming a Family Tradition

Henry and Peggy Ritsema Tazelaar graduated from Calvin in 1978. Graduate school followed —and a medical degree for Henry, a master's degree in social work for Peggy. They have two sons, Andrew and Jeffrey. Their son Andrew is a student at Calvin who initially thought about attending the Air Force Academy but changed his mind after a "Fridays at Calvin" campus visit.

As Peggy reflects on her college experience, she recognizes that Calvin helped her develop an understanding of what it means to integrate faith and learning, and she is grateful Andrew is experiencing the same. She believes Calvin is even more helpful today in guiding students to be thoughtful, discerning Christians—especially considering the college's position regarding responsible freedom. Peggy says, "While Calvin holds strongly to its foundation, it does not insist students be straight-jacketed. Taking responsibility for oneself is expected." But perhaps it is the priorities the college establishes that please her most. "I observed that students are encouraged to be Christians first, and then members of their chosen professions," she said.

Calvin's strong theological underpinning and the reformed understanding of scripture "that Calvin teaches so well," influenced Henry as a student. This, he says, provides a framework—and helps support whatever we come across in life. It continues to be supportive for him. Henry saved his notes from Professor Spykman's class on Calvin's Institutes and says, "After 25 years, I still refer to them—and fairly often. They're the only notes I kept, and they're a valuable resource for me."

A physician-professor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Henry's specialty is heart and lung pathology. Outside the clinic, Henry continues his interest in music. He plays the organ for weddings and occasional church services, and Peggy sings in the church choir. They were both members of Calvin's Oratorio Society during their student days and continue to experience many musical opportunities. These joys are among the riches that Henry and Peggy acknowledge have graced their lives. It is their prayer that Andrew will also carry with him many gifts from his Calvin years. And maybe even important class notes.

 

Andrew, Henry, Peggy and Jeffrey Tazelaar
Andrew, Henry, Peggy and Jeffrey Tazelaar
Due to a lack of string players in the late 1920's, the college orchestra became the band.
Due to a lack of string players in the late 1920's, the college orchestra became the band. Photographed on the steps of the main entrance of the Franklin Campus Main Building.
 
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