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Year in Review 2008-2009

July 2008

  • At the site of the new Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex, construction workers uncover a time capsule as they remove the 1964 date stone for the old Calvin fieldhouse. Inside the time capsule are various items, including campaign materials used in the fund raising for the fieldhouse 40 years ago.

  • A Calvin sophomore bikes across the country as part of the Sea to Sea tour, an effort organized by the Christian Reformed Church and intended to eradicate poverty. Lisa Brouwer is part of a group of 127 cyclists, including many Calvin alumni and students.

August 2008

  • Calvin connects with two agencies of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) for a series of conversations on caring for creation. The effort is led by Calvin biology professor Dave Warners, who partners with the CRC for discussion on missions and evangelism, development work and creation care.

  • U.S. News & World Report names Calvin a top-tier national liberal arts college. The magazine also includes Calvin in its roster of “Up-and-Coming Schools.”

  • The International Astronomical Union officially grants the name Rhipeus to a rare asteroid discovered at Calvin in March 2006. Calvin student Josh Vanderhill and professor of physics and astronomy Larry Molnar discovered the asteroid.

September 2008

  • Almost 1,000 new students hit the streets of Grand Rapids as part of StreetFest 2008, a project sponsored by the college’s Service-Learning Center that introduces first-year students to ways they can make a difference in their community.

  • Convocation includes a historic touch: A mobile carillon is stationed near the Fine Arts Center and the Hekman Library and calls the campus to Convocation. This hearkens back to Calvin’s Franklin Street campus days when a carillon in the chapel tower regularly called the community to events.

  • The National Science Foundation awards Calvin almost $100,000 for its TRIAGE (Team Researchers in a GLOBE-al Environment) program, a year-round science research program that brings middle school students to Calvin’s campus, where they hone their research skills and learn about environmental sustainability.

October 2008

  • Calvin celebrates the launch of its Integrated Science Research Institute (ISRI) with a reception and a lecture. The ISRI allows Calvin to foster collaboration in the sciences through research, faculty development, curriculum innovation and outreach.

  • Former Calvin chaplain Dale Cooper is honored as a recipient of the Fr. John B. Zwers Award by the Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools, which represents 516 faith-based schools in Michigan. The award recognizes members of the clergy with a strong history of support for faith-based schools.

  • Calvin students and their professors are published in Langmuir, the journal of the American Chemical Society. The paper “Estimating Kinetic and Thermodynamic Parameters from Single Molecule Enzyme−Inhibitor Interactions” is written by students Laura Porter-Peden and Sarah Kamper, alumnus Mark Vander Wal, and professors Ron Blankespoor and Kumar Sinniah.

November 2008

  • The Gift of All: A Community of Givers, a documentary about local philanthropy directed by Calvin film professor Daniel Garcia, premieres at the Calvin College Fine Arts Center. To create The Gift of All Garcia interviewed 28 local philanthropists who contributed money, time, talent and vision to the revitalization of Grand Rapids.

  • Don DeGraaf, a recreation professor, wins the Building Bridges award from Camp Tall Turf, an inter-denominational Christian youth development organization. Award recipients exemplify and contribute to the camp’s mission of reconciliation and youth leadership development.

December 2008

  • William Spoelhof passes away on Dec. 3. Spoelhof was president of Calvin from 1951 to 1976. A memorial service is held on Dec. 8, which would have been his 99th birthday.

  • A Model United Nations competition honors Calvin students. Peers vote Dan Holtrop and Ana Stutler as the best delegation in one of the several simultaneous simulations: the Economic and Social Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

  • Jim Rooks and KaiLonnie Dunsmore, professors of education, win a $200,000 state of Michigan Improving Teacher Quality grant. The duo will provide development in English language arts to local elementary and middle school teachers.

January 2009

  • The college marks a milestone in athletics as the men’s and women’s basketball teams play their first games in the new Van Noord Arena. The arena will be home to an array of events, including Convocation, Commencement, concerts, lectures, conferences, camps and other activities.

  • The National Endowment for the Humanities awards communication arts and sciences professor William Romanowski a grant for research on a forthcoming book about American Protestants and the movies. The program annually receives some 1,200 applications from scholars across the country.

February 2009

  • Jo-Ann Van Reeuwyk, a professor of art, earns a Michigan  Campus Compact Community Service-Learning Award. The award recognizes the numerous ways in which she integrates service learning into her art education courses.

  • Calvin biology professor Dave Warners wins the highest honor granted to a Calvin faculty member, the Presidential Award for Exemplary Teaching. Warners is the 17th recipient of the award.

  • Calvin Theological Seminary professor Mary Hulst becomes the third Calvin chaplain since the role was created in 1962—and the first woman to serve as Calvin chaplain. Hulst will also teach in the new department of congregational and ministries studies and in the seminary.

March 2009

  • Charity Navigator,  America’s largest independent evaluator of charities, names Calvin a four-star charity—its highest  possible rating. The Web site evaluates the efficacy and responsiveness of organizations by analyzing data pertaining  to the nonprofit’s fund raising, programming and administration.

  • The Calvin Service-Learning Center sponsors spring break trips during which 75 Calvin students give of their time to communities in need. Students work with at-risk young women in Tennessee, clean up hurricane debris and, in Grand Rapids, work at churches and libraries.

  • Calvin selects Michael Harris as the next executive director of its Enterprise Center. Calvin launched the Enterprise Center in November 2007 to facilitate the commercialization of intellectual properties developed jointly by the college and  partners in the business community.

April 2009

  • Calvin College professor of English Nancy Hull wins the 2009 Juvenile Book Merit Award from the Chicago-based Friends of American Writers for her 2008 young adult novel, On Rough Seas (Clarion).

  • Four Calvin students earn the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. The four 2009 honorees—Luke Leisman, Alexandra Cok, Sarah Tasker and Tim Ferdinands—join a 2008 winner (Melissa Haegert) from Calvin to form the largest contingent of Goldwater Scholars ever to study at Calvin.

May 2009

  • Calvin senior Eric Bratt and three Calvin professors—Jim Bratt, Janel Curry and David Hoekema—earn prestigious Fulbright awards, funded by the U.S. Department of State. All will travel outside of the United States for various research projects.

  • The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship awards almost $500,000 for a variety of worship renewal projects to churches and organizations across North America.

  • The Fine Arts Center auditorium holds its final concert. After an approximately 18-month construction project, the building will reopen in fall 2010 as the Covenant Fine Arts Center. The new venue will include a new recital hall, practice spaces, instrument storage, a music library and an art gallery.

June 2009

  • Calvin’s speech pathology and audiology program introduces a new master’s degree, only the third in Calvin’s 133-year history. Approved by the college’s faculty senate, the new degree now awaits accreditation by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Higher Learning Commission.

  • The Calvin nursing department receives full accreditation status for the maximum 10 years from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Some of the key elements leading to accreditation are: a clear mission, goals and expected student outcomes; a curriculum that builds upon a foundation of the arts, sciences and humanities; and faculty members who are academically and experientially prepared.

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