Year in Review - 2003


  • Another successful Entrada Scholars Program ends with an emotional graduation ceremony. This year, 52 ethnic minority high school students from across the United States and Canada complete their four-week Entrada experience.

  • Calvin chaplain Dale Cooper and his brother-in-law, Glenn DeJong, leave the Calvin campus on July 23 for a 675-mile trip from Grand Rapids to Alton, Iowa, on a pair of vintage John Deere tractors. Just six days later, after averaging about 13 miles per hour and putting in 10- to 12-hour days, the daring duo pulls into DeJong's farm in Alton, completing what Cooper calls a journey of "1,000 waves and 2,000 smiles."

  • Calvin is honored by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) with a prestigious fund raising award. Calvin is one of 25 winners nationwide of an Overall Performance Award.


  • Calvin receives its largest National Science Foundation (NSF) grant ever to buy a piece of equipment rarely seen on undergraduate campuses. The school is given $224,934 by NSF to purchase a flow cytometer, a sophisticated instrument for detecting and measuring specific molecules, including DNA, in individual living cells.

  • The annual U.S. News & World Report college guide rankings for 2003-2004 are released, and Calvin College ties for third in the category of Midwest Comprehensive Bachelor's Colleges.

  • Calvin announces eight new members of its 31-member Board of Trustees: Joseph Brinks, Jim Haagsma, Gerald Hoek, Bastian Knoppers, Ronald Leistra, Harry Lew, Martin Mudde, and Dirk Pruis.


Andrew Vanden Heuvel
Andrew Vanden Heuvel
Photo courtesy the Grand Rapids Press
  • The discovery of a new object in the solar system—specifically a previously unmapped asteroid—is made by Calvin senior Andrew Vanden Heuvel, a physics major and astronomy minor. The new telescope was installed just this past March, as a result of a $130,000 grant to Calvin from the National Science Foundation. And the asteroid is now known as 2003 RA11.

  • Calvin learns that its bachelor of computer science degree is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

  • Calvin announces an enrollment of 4,332 students, its third-highest ever and the highest since 1988. The student body includes 2,424 women and 1,908 men, 399 international students (including 202 Canadian students), and 265 non-white U.S. ethnic minorities.


  • Calvin engineering students have a chance to man a firehose—all in the name of science. The event was arranged by Calvin professor Matt Heun as a way to give students in Engineering 319 (Thermal-Fluid Sciences) a real-world example of science in action.

  • Laura De Haan, Calvin College psychology professor, receives $577,400 over four years from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, to study alcoholism in young people in four states—North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Wisconsin.



  • Tapestry, a new program at Calvin, takes a collaborative approach to retaining minority students, aided by a three-year, $61,000 grant from the State of Michigan. Tapestry weaves together mentoring, goal-setting, academic assistance, and leadership development from several college divisions to create a strong fabric of support for Calvin's minority students.

  • Calvin is noted among the national leaders in terms of students who study abroad. In its category—master's-level institutions—Calvin ranks fifth among all U.S. universities and colleges, with a study-abroad participation rate of over 50 percent.

Year in Review - 2004



Rangeela 2004
Rangeela 2004


  • Calvin hosts a Summer Learning Opportunities Fair to bring together representatives from a variety of West Michigan colleges and universities that provide hands-on learning opportunities for area youth in the summer.


  • A quirky movie about romance tours to Russia is the centerpiece of a Calvin Around Town event. A Foreign Affair was written by 1993 Calvin graduate Geert Heetebrij, who also worked on the film as a producer. Heetebrij attended the premiere in Grand Rapids and took part in a special post-screening panel discussion on the making of the movie.

  • Several student leaders at Calvin, working out of the Office of Spiritual Leadership Development, bring a prayer labyrinth to campus. The prayer labyrinth is a maze with one path which, say the students, people traditionally walked through as an aid to contemplative prayer and reflection.

  • The Reverend Dr. Robert Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches and six-term U. S. House of Representatives Democrat from Pennsylvania, is featured as the speaker for the eighth annual Henry Lecture on Faith and Public Life. Edgar's presentation is called "The State of the World as Seen Through the Eyes of the Church."


  • The Calvin nursing program earns a full five-year accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. At the core of the new Calvin program is this seemingly simple statement: "The Calvin College Department of Nursing, in sharing the mission of Calvin College, seeks to engage in professional nursing education that promotes lifelong Christian service within a caring and diverse educational community."

  • Calvin approves a major in Asian studies. Calvin is the only Christian college in the country that offers four continuous years of language studies in Chinese and Japanese and the only Christian college whose students can major in Asian studies.

  • Calvin College celebrates Commencement on Saturday, May 22. This year's ceremony features a graduating class of approximately 900 students, including a record 71 students who graduate with honors. The ceremony is marked by the presentation of Calvin's highest alumni honor—the Distinguished Alumni Award—to James Gage, a 1960 graduate, and Lois Ackerman Raap, a 1968 graduate.


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