Rangelaa 2005
Rangelaa... a showcase of international students

Celebrating a Passion for Culture

A pageant of costume, music, rhythm and drama, Rangeela — the Hindi word for colorful — is the international students' gift to Calvin and to the West Michigan community.

Calvin's international student population is one of the largest of any college or university in the area, numbering almost 300 students from 45 countries. And just as Rangeela has become an integral part of life at Calvin for international students, it has also become an annual highlight for Calvin's North American students, as well as for Calvin faculty and staff, and for people across West Michigan.

Linda Bosch, Calvin's international student advisor, is excited about Rangeela and the opportunity it offers for Calvin's many international students to take the stage.

"It takes them from sitting anonymously in a class here to showcasing their talents and their cultures," she says. "It makes them, and the beauty of their cultures, visible to our whole community here."

Adds Asher Mains, Rangeela's student director: "While we're celebrating a passion for culture, I also want the show to point towards the Creator as a Creator who loves diversity. We want to be able to point toward God when all is said and done because by being exposed to these different cultures, we see a diverse yet continuous image of who God is."

Children at play in South America
Children at play in South America

"God doesn't know borders. He Says All The Children of the world Are His Children."

Although his academic training and medical career as a nationally known craniofacial surgeon have been in the United States, Stephen Beals '73 has always seen himself as a citizen of God's world rather than as a resident of one country.

Dr. Stephen Beals
Dr. Stephen Beals

"I grew up in Africa, the son of missionary parents," he says. "In fact, coming to Calvin for college was quite a cultural shift for me. As a result, I am very comfortable in the Third World."

He lauds Calvin for being academically challenging because he feels he was well trained for his medical school experiences, which eventually led him to establish the Southwest Craniofacial Center of Phoenix, Ariz. Beals is also an assistant professor of surgery at the Mayo Clinic. His breathtaking work restoring head and facial features, particularly with young children, has been documented by numerous journals, newspapers and television reports.

But at this stage of his career, Beals is again looking beyond borders to assist the children of the world.

"I've been in Mexico often, but lately my focus has been on Vietnam. We're also developing contacts in Cambodia and Bangladesh for future efforts," he notes.

"I am doing mainly cleft lip and palate surgeries when I'm abroad," Beals explains.

"This condition is one of the most common craniofacial deformities, and it is very prevalent in certain populations. Every time I've gone to Vietnam we discover about 1,500 new cases. We get to as many as we can, but we can't get them all done."

Beals, who was presented with Calvin's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995, is working on a program to train local surgeons and to better equip medical centers so more surgical procedures can be done.

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