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The 2002–2003 Year in Review



  • The award-winning January Series returns with its annual mix of provocative and illuminating speakers for 15 days of free liberal arts education.

  • Women and Twentieth-Century Protestantism, co-edited by Calvin history professor Margaret Lamberts Bendroth, is selected by CHOICE (the journal of academic librarians) as one of its Outstanding Books of the Year.


  • Peter De Jong, professor of social work, is the 2003 recipient of the Presidential Award for Exemplary Teaching, Calvin's highest faculty honor.

  • Calvin College is one of 15 winners in the 2003 awards for the Merck/AAAS Undergraduate Science Research Program.

  • An innovative collaboration between students in an English 101 class at Calvin and residents of the Burton Heights community in Grand Rapids opens at Center Art Gallery. The Good City: Burton Heights in Image and Word brings together both images and text, in Spanish and English, to paint a picture of one of the city's most interesting neighborhoods.

  • Calvin's international students present a gift to the community with a variety show they call Rangeela—billed as "a trip around the world in one night."


  • Professor Steve Timmermans' long career of knitting Calvin College into its surrounding community is honored with a Faculty/Staff Community Service Learning Award from Michigan Campus Compact.

  • Calvin co-hosts a conference to help Christian colleges examine how they educate students of color from North America and beyond.


  • The Calvin College Youth Writing Festivals bring over 2,000 student writers to campus for two days that include young authors gathering in small groups to praise and critique the writing of their peers; tips from local journalists, poets, children's authors, and educators; and talks by nationally known authors.

  • Calvin—which has an Asian Studies minor, a semester in China program, and summer internships in China—cancels an upcoming three-week trip to China and six summer internships because of SARS.

  • The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship announces 54 grants to churches and organizations across North America to foster worship renewal. The awards, funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc., total more than $700,000.


  • Calvin honors William Spoelhof, president emeritus, for his work as a historian with a conference on the subject of his dissertation: religious non-city and tolerance in the Netherlands in the late 1300s and into the 1400s.

  • The 2003 Commencement speaker is John M. Perkins, a sharecropper's son who grew up in Mississippi amidst dire poverty but went on to become a leader in the civil rights movement. Calvin's 2003 Commencement ceremony is also marked by the presentation of Calvin's highest alumni honor—the Distinguished Alumni Award—to Robert Swierenga and Paul Vanden Bout.

  • Calvin track and field coach Jong-Il Kim is honored as NCAA Division III national men's and women's track and field Coach of the Year—the first coach in Division III history to be named both men's and women's outdoor track and field Coach of the Year in the same season.


  • The annual Entrada Scholars Program at Calvin returns with a record enrollment. Entrada, designed to help ethnic minority high school students prepare for college, welcomes 52 students for a four-week college immersion experience.

  • Over 365 alumni who graduated from Calvin 51 or more years ago return to campus for the annual Heritage Class reunion.  The weekend event includes a stirring address by Calvin professor Quentin Schultze.

  • Garth Pauley, professor of communication arts and sciences, wins one of the top awards in his field—the Karl R. Wallace Memorial Award—for his work on civil rights rhetoric.

  • For the eighth consecutive year, Calvin posts a top-25 finish in the final NCAA III Director's Cup standings (points earned for national finishes in all sports), finishing 22nd with 403.75 points. Calvin is one of only nine schools to finish in the top 25 every year that the competition has been held at the NCAA III level.


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The Good City: Burton Heights in Image and Word
Cover photo from The Good City: Burton Heights in Image and Word










Calvin coaches Nancy Meyer and Jong-II Kim
Calvin coaches Nancy Meyer and Jong-II Kim