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Distinguished Alumni Award recipients

Awards: Distinguished Alumni Award: Past Recipients

Distinguished Alumni together in 2013
Front: Robert Poel, Corrine Kass, Tony Van Zanten, Juliana Steensma
Row 2: James VanderKam, Cal DeWitt, Kathy Bosscher, Ardy Meekhof
Row 3: John Booy, Al Plantinga, Nick Wolterstorff, Dale De Haan, Mike Meekhof, James Haveman
Back Row: Alex Dragt, Herm Keizer, Harlan Kredit, Robert Daverman, Robert Swierenga, Dave Dykhouse, Jan Dykhouse

The Distinguished Alumni Award was established in 1965 to recognize alumni who have made significant contributions to their field of endeavor and manifest a Christian commitment, thus honoring Calvin.

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Dr. Silas Cheuk '62, a medical doctor who established a free clinic in the city of Detroit's Chinatown district and served there for 20 years, receiving Spirit of Detroit and International Hall of Fame honors for that work. He was also a leader in the Chinese Church of Detroit, serving a translator in worship services for over 25 years. In retirement, he has worked with a number of ministries in China. Dr. Cheuk has used his gift of singing in a variety of choirs and companies. His wife, Helen, now deceased, was also a Calvin graduate and taught kindergarten for 36 years in suburban Detroit.

Says a nominator:  "Silas found various outlets to express his Christian commitments. He sought to act on this faith by promoting social justice and civil rights for vulnerable Chinese. In retirement, he organized numerous short-term mission trips to rural China to provide health services and also to teach English. Way beyond his days at Calvin, medical career in Detroit, and more recently, taking care of Helen, it was Silas's faith that animated him the most to serve God in so many unique ways."  

Dr. Michael J. Mantel '83, is the president and chief executive officer of Living Water International, based in Houston, Tex., starting there in 2008. His organization is a global implementer of water solutions in 23 developing countries. Prior to joining Living Water, he led World Vision's regional, area and metro teams in the central U.S. for 17 years. Before World Vision, Dr. Mantel was a management team leader and then executive assistant to Tom Monaghan, the president of Domino's Pizza, Inc.

Says a nominator: "Mike is a great husband, father, son and community member. He is full of hope, love, joy and compassion. He has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to reconciling relationships and transforming communities by bringing people together in ministry in the name of Christ. Mike is an innovator, a hard worker and an exceptionally bright strategic mind who has dedicated his career to bringing safe, sustainable water and the Gospel of Jesus Christ to thousands of poor communities worldwide."


Dr. James VanderKam '68 BD'71
VanderKam is the John A. O'Brien Professor of Hebrew Scriptures at the University of Notre Dame. He is internationally respected for his outstanding contributions to the study of the Old Testament, Second Temple Judaism and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Among his best-known works is The Dead Sea Scrolls Today, which is the most widely used introduction to these texts in use at colleges and universities. Says a nominator from Jerusalem: "Professor VanderKam's contribution [to the study of the Scrolls] was felt in every aspect...characterized by his dedication, scholastic rigor and professionalism. Beyond being one of the great scholars of our time in the field of Second Temple Judaism, and especially of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Professor VanderKam is also a man of notable modesty and pleasant demeanor."

Ms. Kathy Bosscher '68 and Rev. Mike '76 MDiv'84 and Mrs. Ardy Engbers '76 Meekhof
All three of these award recipients are central to the Zuni Christian Mission and School in Zuni, N.M. Mike is the pastor of the church, assisted by Ardy; Kathy is the principal and 1st/2nd grade teacher at the school and Ardy is the kindergarten teacher. In 1897, the Christian Reformed Church started working with the Zuni people of Northwestern New Mexico. Today, Zuni Christian Mission and School (ZCMS) is still bringing the Gospel of Jesus to this Native American community. The school has about 60 Zuni students, from kindergarten through eighth grade. Most of the children come from non-Christian homes and about 50 percent come from families whose income is less than $14,000 per year. Says a nominator: "These Calvin grads are Zuni today, really. Rev. Mike Meekhof, wife Ardy and Kathy Bosscher areif there ever will be—perfect examples of selfless giving to the promotion and life of the Kingdom. Together, they have themselves almost 100 years of service."


Mr. John Booy '74 MAT '81 (1951-)
Mr. Booy is a superintendent of Potter's House Christian School in Grand Rapids. While still a teacher in the Grand Rapids Public School system, Mr. Booy founded an innovative Christian urban school in 1981 and has continued to nurture the development of Potter's House since then. The school now has 530 students, pre-k through 12th. Says a nominator: "[John] dreamed that students from any neighborhood in Grand Rapids and of any ethnicity could have access to the best education the city had to offer. And now, as the superintendent of Potter's House, he stands daily at the door of the school to welcome each one. They come from more than 30 countries around the world." Mr. Booy has adopted two sons from India, and he is active in national conversations about urban education. Spark profile

Dr. Ilga Svechs '58 (1936-)
Dr. Svechs, of Cleveland, Ohio, is a professor of social work emerita at Case Western Reserve University and a psychotherapist. As a young girl, Dr. Svechs and her family were taken from their home in Riga, Latvia and sent to a Nazi detention camp. The family was eventually sponsored by a Michigan family and Dr. Svechs enrolled in Calvin, graduating with a degree in sociology. She earned additional degrees at the University of Michigan and The Union Institute, doing post-graduate work at Smith College. Dr. Svechs worked as a psychiatric social worker at Wayne County General Hospital and at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital. Then, she taught in the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University and maintained a stil-active private therapy practice for adult clients with a childhood history of abuse. Her continued work in establishing social work, social ethics and human development course work and expertise in her home country of Latvia resulted in her receiving the "Cross of Recognition" from the Latvian government. Spark profile


Mary Vermeer Andringa '72 (1949-)
After seven years as a teacher in Iowa and Nebraska, Ms. Andringa began working in market research at Vermeer Manufacturing Company in Pella, Iowa. She became president and chief operating officer and then, in 2003, president and chief executive officer. She has been involved in many church, community, state and national boards and organizations. She is currently the chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the first woman vice-chair in NAM history. In 2010, she was one of 18 national business executives and labor leaders named to President Obama's export advisory council.

See the Spark profile. Ms. Andringa was a keynote speaker in 2006 for the Calvin young alumni business organization MBA@Calvin and her lecture can be accessed here (.ram file).

Robert Rooy '70 (1948-)
Mr. Rooy, of Frederick, Maryland, is owner of Rooy Media LLC. He earned an MFA degree from Yale Univ. and began a career as a Hollywood filmmaker, serving as assistant director on numerous motion pictures (e.g. "Tombstone," "Thirteen Days" and "Minority Report") and television miniseries productions and programs (e.g. ""Lonesome Dove," "The West Wing" and "Gods and Generals"). Over time, he turned his skills and energies toward documentary film making. His PBS series "To Our Credit" on microfinancing has won national acclaim and he has continued other film projects on the same topic, some of them in collaboration with Nobel Prize recipient Muhammed Yunus of Grameen Bank. Mr. Rooy is currently working with an autistic young man from Iowa as full partner on a film about living with autism.

See the Spark profile. Also, Mr. Rooy was a January Series speaker in 2009 and his lecture is available on video or as an audio download here.


Edward T. Begay '60 (1935-)
Mr. Begay, of Gallup, New Mexico, spent his career serving the Navajo Nation, including as a member of the Navajo Nation Council from 1991-2003, in being named Speaker of the council from 1999-2003 and in heading a variety of posts for the Navajo Tribal Council at local, regional and state levels. In addition, Mr. Begay represented the Navajo Nation at United Nations conferences in Geneva, Switzerland. He also served as a county commissioner and on a variety of commissions for the State of New Mexico, including the state's highway, human resources, economic and Indian affairs offices. The Christian Reformed Church has also benefitted from his counsel on race relations issues over the years. Spark profile

Anna Belle Engbers '58 (1928), Jacqueline Greenman '58 (1926), Marjorie Van Kooten '58 (1929)
Ms. Engbers, Ms. Greenman and Ms. Van Kooten are all nurses who left Calvin College for Alaska the year before that territory became a state. Each pursued her own area of nursing: Anne in hospital and private nursing, Jacque in health care to native populations, and Marjorie as a nursing teacher and instructor. In retirement, they live in Cooper Landing, at the head of the Kenai River on the Kenai Peninsula, leading their small community in housing, medical, environmental and senior service areas. They helped build the Trinity Christian Reformed Church in Anchorage in 1961 and helped rebuild the entire city of Anchorage after the devastating 1964 earthquake. Spark profile


Sidney J. Jansma Jr. '65 (1943-)
Mr. Jansma joined Wolverine Gas and Oil Corporation in 1966 and has been the CEO since 1978. In addition to directing the company's oil and gas exploration, he has served in leadership roles at the state and national level concerning energy issues, balancing advocacy for the industry with respect for God's creation. Jansma has faithfully used his business and leadership skills to support the work of his church, Christian schools and many other non-profit organizations. Spark profile.

Bastian Vanderzalm '69
Mr. Vanderzalm has been involved in the relief of human suffering his entire career, serving as the executive director of the Salvation Army Harbor Light Center in Boston; the vice president for international ministries for World Relief; and, since 1997, the president of Medical Teams International. MTI’s disaster relief and long-term development volunteers are currently active in 27 countries; the organization also ships humanitarian aid to more than 70 countries each year. Spark profile.


David and Janice Entingh Dykgraaf '66 (1944-, 1944-)
Mr. and Mrs. Dykgraaf are marking their 40th year on the mission field in Nigeria. After spending their first 20 years among the Tiv people, they are currently working among the Avadi, with an emphasis on literacy, health and agriculture. The Dykgraafs speak three Nigerian languages-Tiv, Hausa, and Tsuvadi-and have worked to provide the Bible in previously unstudied languages. Spark profile.

Fritz Rottman '59 (1937-2013)
Dr. Rottman served as a professor of biochemistry at Michigan State University and professor of molecular biology at Case Western Reserve University. He focused his career on piecing together some of the steps whereby cells use information contained in DNA to build proteins. He has also been active in many mission-related projects, including work to broaden the distribution of medications to AIDS and HIV patients in Kenya and Uganda. Spark profile.


William J. Garvelink '71 (1949-)
Mr. Garvelink is serving as the Deputy Coordinator for President Obama's Feed the Future, Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative located at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), with responsibility for all government agencies involved in implementing this program. In summer 2010 he completed a three-year term as the U.S. Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Prior to that, he served as the Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance for USAID, where his responsibilities included oversight of their worldwide humanitarian assistance programs, and as the USAID Mission Director in Eritrea. Spark profile

Joel D. Holtrop '74 (1952-)
Mr. Holtrop is the Deputy Chief of the National Forest System, U.S. Forest Service. He is responsible for the management of approximately 192 million acres of National Forest System land and all programs and policies for National Forests and Grasslands throughout the United States. These programs include ecosystem management; engineering, forest and range management; lands, minerals and geology management; recreation and heritage; wilderness resources; and watershed, fish, wildlife, air and rare plants. Spark profile


Dr. Gerald Gabrielse '73 (1951-)
Dr. Gabrielse is the Leverett Professor of Physics at Harvard University. He and the international team that he leads are known for developing ways to cool and manipulate extremely cold antimatter particles and for making cold antihydrogen atoms. His Harvard research team tests some of the fundamental laws of nature with extremely accurate measurements of the properties of single electrons and antiprotons and with laser spectroscopy. Spark profile

Mr. Charles Spoelhof '51 (1930-2010)
Mr. Spoelhof is a retired engineer from the Eastman Kodak Company. During the height of the Cold War, Spoelhof was part of a small group of experts that helped develop the highly sophisticated camera technology used in spy satellites. Later, he worked with NASA to develop the techniques of lunar photography that identified appropriate landing sites for the Apollo missions. He also served on the blue ribbon commission to fix the Hubble Space Telescope. Spark profile


Mr. Edwin Bos '68 (1945-)
Mrs. Carol Yonkers Bos '68 (1946-)
Mr. and Mrs. Bos are the founders of Worldwide Lab Improvement, Inc. (Kalamazoo, Mich.), a non-profit ministry devoted to assisting mission hospital and clinic labs in developing countries with consultation, equipment, supplies and training. While working in medical technology careers, Ed and Carol began WWLAB in 1995 and now in "retirement" continue full-time in this effort. Spark profile

Mr. Richard Katte '58 (1936-)
Mr. Katte has served as a mathematics teacher, coach, athletic director and assistant principal at Denver Christian High School since 1960. His boys' basketball teams have won over 700 games in his career, winning six state championships. In 2004 he was elected to the National High School Hall of Fame and the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame; in 2000 Dick was the first-ever recipient of the Dave Sanders Award, named after the teacher-coach killed at Columbine High School in 1999. Spark profile


Dr. James Gage '60 (1938-)
Dr. Gage is professor of orthopaedics at the University of Minnesota and a former medical director of the Gillette Children's Hospital. He specializes in walking (gait) problems in cerebral palsy patients. He developed the first computerized gait analysis laboratory and has regularly been doing analysis and surgeries on children with cerebral palsy in Quito, Ecuador. Spark profile

Ms. Lois Ackerman Raap '68 (1946-)
Ms. Raap, of Los Gatos, California, has been an adoptive and foster parent and advocate of numerous HIV-positive and other special needs children, with the support of husband Peter '68 and family. After a "first career" in teaching and then serving her children — both biological, adopted and foster — at home, Lois enrolled in law school so she could better represent the rights of foster children and parents. In 2001, she graduated with a J.D. degree in the same class as her daughter, Rachel Raap Bouman. Spark profile


Dr. Robert Swierenga '57 (1935-)
Dr. Swierenga is A.C. Van Raalte Research Fellow, Hope College, and Professor of History, Emeritus, Kent State University. Dr. Swierenga is the "dean of scholars" concerning Dutch-American studies in the 19th and 20th centuries. His recent 928-page volume, Dutch Chicago, has won accolades from historians and lay audiences. In 2000, he was knighted by Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. Spark profile

Dr. Paul Vanden Bout '61 (1939-)
Dr. Vanden Bout is Director Emeritus of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Charlottesville, Va. He is a pioneer in the field of radio astronomy, a science that now brings us more information about the nature of the universe than optical studies. He remains the NRAO's leader in developing the next stage in radio astronomy, the construction of the international ALMA site in Chile. Spark profile


Prof. Jack Kuipers '42 (1921-)
Prof. Kuipers is known for his ability to apply complicated mathematical models to practical uses. He spent the first part of his career in aerospace engineering developing systems for defense and aerospace contractors and holds several patents in this arena. He later spent more than 20 years teaching mathematics at Calvin, while continuing consulting work in the aerospace field. During his career he developed a six-dimensional graphics system for which he is widely regarded as the founder of virtual reality. Spark profile

Mr. John Steensma '47 (1921-2003)
Mrs. Juliana Flietstra Steensma '45 (1923-)
John lost both of his arms when he was 17 years old and has, with his wife, Juliana, spent a lifetime helping the disabled. He was an early pioneer of designing and fitting prostheses for children. Together they spent eight years in Korea helping pave the way for major advances in rehabilitation services in that country. Juliana also was influential as a column writer for the Korea Times. The Steensmas also worked in the U.S. as rehabilitation specialists. Spark profile


Chaplain Colonel Herman Keizer Jr. '65 (1938-)
During his 33-year military career, Chaplain Keizer served in the field and as special advisor on the U.S. Army's drug and alcohol program. He served as Command Chaplain of the U.S. European Command during which he established chaplaincies in Central European nations. He has worked as an advisor in the State Department monitoring religious freedom in Africa and the Balkans. Chaplain Keizer has been recognized with numerous awards and decorations. Spark profile

Dr. Jacquelyn Mabin Nickerson '55 (1930-2006)
Dr. Nickerson has long been a champion of urban education. She has spent her entire career teaching or supporting the interests of at-risk youth. As part of her position at Michigan State University's Mott Institute for Community Improvement, she developed field experiences in urban education across Michigan. She continues to be an advocate for central city education through speaking engagements, consulting and mentoring at-risk students. Spark profile


Mr. James Haveman Jr. '66 (1943-)
Mr. Haveman has spent his life working in public service. He began as executive director of three major non-profit organizations in Grand Rapids: Project Rehab, Kent County Community Mental Health and Bethany Christian Services. He now is director of the Department of Community Health for the State of Michigan, responsible for programs that impact virtually every resident of the state every day from public and mental health, to Medicaid, to crime victim services.

Mr. Elmer Yazzie '76 (1954-)
For the past 23 years Mr. Yazzie has taught art at Rehoboth Christian School in Rehoboth, N.M. He has emphasized how the testimony of the artist is important to the art and how his Navajo culture is important to his paintings, many of which are done with hand-made yucca brushes. These works have become signature pieces and are sold worldwide. Mr. Yazzie has been a tireless advocate of building cultural ties through worship, education and athletics.


Mr. Jonathan Bradford '71 (1949-)
Mr. Bradford is the longtime director of the Inner City Christian Federation (ICCF), a non-profit housing corporation which seeks to provide safe, clean, affordable housing for those who need it in Grand Rapids' inner city. Under his direction the ICCF has served thousands of people by providing emergency shelter, permanent rental and houses to purchase through a transformation of older, neglected homes and new construction.

Mr. Frederick Stuart Kingma '50 (1927-)
Mr. Kingma worked as a public health employee for his entire career, with most of his service as a Centers for Disease Control official. There he was involved with the eradication of the smallpox virus, the attempt to eliminate malaria and an improved national capacity to prevent and/or respond to biological and chemical terrorism. After his retirement, he was instrumental in the distribution of a drug that alleviates the symptoms and progression of river blindness.


Dr. Calvin DeWitt '57 (1935-)
Dr. DeWitt has been professor of environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1972. An environmental scientist and ethicist, DeWitt has dedicated more than 30 years to wildlife habitat protection efforts. He has been consulted by numerous government agencies on issues including wetlands use and endangered species. In 1977 he co-authored Earthkeeping, which has become the central piece for the study of Christian environmental stewardship. In March 2005 DeWitt received a Special Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation. DeWitt has also been director of the Au Sable Institute from its inception, building an environmental stewardship education program in partnership with 60 Christian colleges and universities worldwide.

Rev. Anthony Van Zanten '61 (1939-)
Rev. Van Zanten has spent his career working in the inner cities of America. In 1976 he came to Roseland Christian Ministries in Chicago, Ill., which is the hub for a homeless shelter, a drop-in center, a youth after-school program, a senior citizens club, a self-help job program, a food and hot meals program and a referral source for drug and alcohol abusers. He has also gone on to address broader community issues and is a spokesman for improving community life.


Mr. Harlan D. Kredit '61 (1939-)
A longtime teacher of biology at Lynden Christian School in Washington, Mr. Kredit has spent his life making the outdoors a classroom for students. He earned statewide recognition as the Outstanding Environmental Educator and the National Conservation Teacher of the Year in 1995. Since 1972 he has spent summers as a ranger in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. His performance there has twice earned him the Department of the Interior's Special Achievement Award.

Dr. Harry S. Stout '69 (1947-)
Dr. Stout has established a noted career as a Christian historian. He is the Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Christianity at Yale University, where he specializes in Puritan history. His two books, The New England Soul: Preaching and Religious Culture in Colonial New England and The Divine Dramatist: George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelism, were both nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.


Dr. Vernon J. Ehlers '56 (1934-)
After a 17-year teaching career at Calvin as a physics professor, Dr. Ehlers joined the political arena. After being elected to the Kent County Commission, he advanced to the Michigan House of Representatives, the Michigan Senate and next to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1993. Throughout his time in political life, he has gained notice as a leader on issues involving the environment, education and public health.

Dr. Calvin Seerveld '52 (1930-)
Thirty-eight years of teaching aesthetics at both Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Ill., and at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, Ont., mark the career of Dr. Seerveld. In addition to many articles and books, he also has made his mark as a composer of songs. He was on the study committee for the latest edition of the Christian Reformed Church's Psalter Hymnal and contributed 39 songs to the volume.


Dr. Stephen P. Beals '73 (1951-)
Dr. Beals is the founder and medical director of the Southwest Craniofacial Center in Phoenix, Ariz. He is an internationally recognized plastic surgeon specializing in repairing congenital facial defects. He has also established the Southwest Craniofacial Foundation, which raises funds for patient assistance, education and research. In addition, he is an assistant professor of surgery at Mayo Clinic.

Mrs. Trena Korfker Haan '34 (1903-2005)
Mrs. Haan spent more than 60 years teaching music at elementary school, high school and college level, including 32 years as choral director at Grand Rapids Christian High School and more than 20 years as adjunct professor of voice at Calvin. In her retirement she was involved as a vocal therapist for people with physical vocal problems. She helped numerous teachers, singers and speakers deal with hoarseness or abused vocal cords. She continued to teach privately until she approached her 100th birthday.


Dr. Thomas R. DeMeester '59 (1938-)
As chairman of the department of surgery at the USC School of Medicine, Dr. DeMeester is regarded as one of the world's foremost specialists in esophageal surgery. He previously taught at the University of Chicago School of Medicine and then served as chairman of the department of surgery at Creighton University School of Medicine. He has also served as a board member for the Luke Society, which provides medical and dental care to the economically disadvantaged.

Dr. John Kromminga '39 ThB'42 (1918-1994)
For the first nine years of his ministry, Dr. Kromminga served as pastor in Christian Reformed congregations in New Jersey, Illinois and Michigan. In 1952, he was appointed professor of church history at Calvin Theological Seminary. Four years later he was named president of the seminary, a position he held for 27 years. He also was interim editor of The Banner from 1992-93 and worked to find common ground among Christian Reformed people.


Mr. Milton Kuyers '56 (1936-)
Mr. Kuyers has developed numerous businesses in the Milwaukee area including the Star Sprinkler Corporation, a manufacturer of fire sprinklers and valves marketed internationally. He also co-founded the Lighthouse Gospel Project, which works to employ every available person in an inner-city church. He is involved in numerous other community development and ministry projects in his area and also headed up the MOSAIC campaign at Calvin for ethnic-minority student scholarships.

Dr. Gary Vander Ark '58 (1937-)
Dr. Vander Ark runs a private practice in neurosurgery in Denver, Colo., along with serving as medical director and president of the Colorado Neurological Institute. He is well-known in the Denver area for his volunteer efforts with Doctors Care. He helped establish a group of doctors who volunteer their time to help the working poor — people too prosperous to be on welfare, but not well-off enough to afford health care. In 1990, he won the A.H. Robins Award for Outstanding Community Service by a physician from the Colorado Medical Society.


Dr. Donald Mulder '40 (1917-2009)
Dr. Mulder spent 32 years as a professor of neurology at Mayo Medical Clinic in Rochester, Minn. His particular research interest has been the area of neuromuscular diseases. He focused on the eradication of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. In the 1950s he was chief investigator of the U.S. Navy research project on ALS in Guam. In 1992 he was recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives for distinguished service on behalf of medicine and humanity.

Dr. Nicholas Wolterstorff '53 (1932-)
Dr. Wolterstorff was a long-time professor of philosophy at Calvin before moving to Yale University in 1989. He has addressed a broad spectrum of interests from metaphysics to aesthetics and has written numerous books and articles on the subjects. He has received numerous awards including one for distinguished teaching and the prestigious Wilde Lectureship from Oxford and Gifford Lectureship from St. Andrews. He was also instrumental in writing Christian Liberal Arts Education, a document which is the foundation of Calvin's curriculum.


Miss Jo Boomsma '48 (1920-2003)
Miss Boomsma began Christian Appalachian Homes in eastern Kentucky in 1978. The home, a Christian organization concerned about sharing Christ's love, became a safe haven for countless women and children fleeing from abuse. Numerous volunteers from North America have come to help her with her work, which is intended to put Christ's love into action by helping abused women with their children get back on their feet. Spark tribute

Mr. Edsko Hekman '35 (1914-2000)
After graduating from Calvin Mr. Hekman used his skills as an entrepreneur in an array of endeavors: furniture (sales, retail and manufacturing), glider wing building, Volkswagen distributing, radio broadcasting, oil and gas investing, land developing and dairy cattle breeding. He used his business skills to benefit the local community. As board chairman, he helped Mary Free Bed Hospital in Grand Rapids with various challenges for many years. He also was a major supporter of the Campaign for Calvin College, funding the fifth-floor addition to the Hekman Library.


Dr. P. Dean Bok '60 (1939-)
Dr. Bok is a world authority on aspects of retinal structure and function. He served as professor of anatomy, cell biology and ophthalmology in the Jules Stein Eye Institute at the UCLA School of Medicine. He was acknowledged with the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award as well as the Jonas Friedenwald Award, the highest honor given for vision research by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Brigadier General Dr. Robert Poel '57 (1934-)
Answering a call by the Pentagon for more physicians in 1962, Brigadier General Dr. Poel joined the Air Force. His career has led him to numerous Air Force base hospitals including service as the chief medical officer caring for recently-released hostages. He was honored for his service in the military many times including the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak clusters and the Air Force Medal of Commendation.


Dr. Robert J. Daverman '63 (1941-)
Dr. Daverman's career has been spent at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he has been a leading teacher, researcher and writer. Dr. Daverman's area of expertise is geometric topology. Within that field, he is considered to be one of the top researchers of decomposition space theory in the world. He has written numerous articles and books on his many new discoveries.

Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp '55 (1932-)
Judge Ryskamp has been involved in commercial litigation and appellate work for more than 30 years and was appointed United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida. His other work involved the Presbyterian Church in America, for which he drew up the legal papers for the Florida churches. His influence in the new denomination led to his election as moderator of the church's General Assembly.


Dr. Austin Lamberts '36 (1914-2006)
Dr. Lamberts began his career as a neurosurgeon in Grand Rapids. After 18 years of practice a tragic fall left him with a shattered wrist and later partial paralysis in his right hand, a condition which prevented him from continuing his practice. His second career found him collecting shells in Samoa and eventually becoming an expert in reef corals; he has spent years collecting samples and pioneering research techniques for the Smithsonian and other agencies. He has also spent a great deal of time volunteering for medical mission work throughout the world.

Mrs. Nella Louws Snapper '44 (1923-2011)
Mrs. Snapper spent 43 years teaching elementary school students. She spent 27 of those years as a fourth-grade teacher at Oakdale Christian School in Grand Rapids. Most of her years at Oakdale were years of change for that school. As the city changed, Oakdale grew into an urban school in which the school's ministry reached beyond traditional Christian school boundaries. She was instrumental in helping other teachers adapt teaching materials to the needs of children from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.


Ms. Geraldine Vanden Berg '53 (1923-2009)
As a missionary to Nigeria, Ms. Vanden Berg touched many lives in her more than 30 years of service. Her ministry took place in the educational sector where she served as a teacher and principal at various schools. Another one of her contributions was as liaison secretary for the Church of Christ in Sudan among the Tiv (NKST). Her work helped ease the transfer of church leadership in Nigeria from the Christian Reformed Church to the NKST.

Mr. Herbert Van Denend '43 (1924-1994)
Mr. Van Denend was acknowledged as being at the forefront of technological developments in engineering systems throughout his career. He served in top-level executive positions in various companies in Chicago and New York before settling in Paterson, N.J. Here he began reclaiming desolate areas of the city for use in various Christian ministries. Under his leadership, Dawn Treader Christian School and the Evangelical Committee for Urban Ministries in Paterson were started. He moved his own company into the inner city of Paterson to further influence the area.

Rev. Stanley Vander Klay '57 BD '60 (1935-2013)
Mrs. Barbara Osterman Vander Klay '60
The Vander Klays dedicated their ministry to the urban poor in the Northside area of Paterson. Here Rev. Vander Klay worked personally with hundreds of people providing food, counseling, transportation, hospital and jail visits, shelter and, of course, the Word of God. He helped found the Paterson Habitat for Humanity and helped Northside Chapel begin the area's first drug rehabilitation clinic. Mrs. Vander Klay was an integral part of the Northside ministry. Both were actively involved in the Evangelical Committee for Urban Ministries in Paterson and were instrumental in starting Dawn Treader Christian School.


Dr. Bastian Kruithof '27 BD'31 (1902-1990)
After receiving his Ph.D. while studying and living in Edinburgh, Scotland, Dr. Kruithof spent the first half of his career as a pastor in three Reformed Church in America congregations. In 1957, Dr. Kruithof began teaching at Hope College in Holland, Mich. He served as professor of religion and Bible until his retirement in 1972. He wrote several influential books and articles. He is widely remembered for his efforts to keep ties between the Reformed Church and the Christian Reformed Church close.

Dr. Alvin Plantinga '54 (1932-)
Dr. Plantinga taught at Calvin in the philosophy department for 18 years before moving to Notre Dame, where he was philosophy professor and the director of the university's Center for the Philosophy of Religion. He has given numerous lectures at conferences and institutions. His books, which are highly regarded by scholars worldwide, include Faith and Philosophy, God and Other Minds, and Does God have a Nature? He has been a recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship twice.


Dr. Alexander Dragt '58 (1936-)
After two years at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J., Dr. Dragt became a physics professor at the University of Maryland. His research area is mathematical physics with an emphasis on nonlinear dynamics. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a consultant to numerous laboratories including the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Dr. Lewis Smedes '45 ThB'50 (1921-2002)
Dr. Smedes spent the majority of his career as a professor of religion and theology at Calvin and at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. He is perhaps best known as an author including such titles as Forgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don't Deserve, Mere Morality: What God Expects for Ordinary People and How Can it be All Right when Everything is All Wrong? Another important contribution of his is his translations of Dutch theological works including those by Kuitert, Van Ruler and Rinzema.


Dr. William Frankena '30 (1908-1994)
Dr. Frankena spent his career as a philosophy professor at the University of Michigan and in 1969 was awarded the university's Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award. In 1974, he was appointed the Carus Lecturer of the American Philosophical Association, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Association. He wrote numerous articles and books including Ethics, Some Beliefs About Justice and Perspectives on Morality.

Rev. Leonard Verduin '26 ThB'29 (1897-1999)
Rev. Verduin spent 21 years as pastor of the Campus Chapel in Ann Arbor, Mich. Throughout his career, he was well known for his penetrating books and articles. His published works include Toward a Theistic Creationism, The Reformers and their Stepchildren, Somewhat Less than God, The Anatomy of a Hybrid, and That First Amendment and the Remnant. He also translated The Complete Works of Menno Simons.


Rev. Jacob Eppinga '39 (1917-2008)
One of the best-known preachers in the Christian Reformed Church and a popular speaker, Rev. Eppinga is also a beloved writer. He is author of a number of devotional books and the long-running "Of Cabbages and Kings" column in The Banner. He was a delegate to Synod numerous times and served as president. He was particularly active in ecumenical relations with the Reformed Church in America and the Roman Catholic Church. He retired from LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church after serving as pastor there for more than 30 years.

Dr. Florence Kuipers '42 (1921-)
Dr. Kuipers' 32-year career was in applied linguistics in the languages of Eastern Europe—Russian, Polish, Croatian and Hungarian. Her areas of expertise were cryptanalysis, the writing of training materials, language teaching, translation and lexicography. This part of her career was spent working for the National Security Agency of the Department of Defense. Upon her retirement in 1976, she was awarded the National Security Agency's Civilian Meritorious Award. She then began working for Wycliffe Bible Translators.


Mr. Richard DeVos '47 (1926-)
As co-founder (with partner and Calvin alumnus Jay Van Andel) of Amway Corporation (now Alticor), Mr. Richard DeVos is well-known in West Michigan as well as nationally for his community service and charitable contributions. He has taken a leadership role in civic and philanthropic activities while heading up a multi-billion dollar company which has distributors throughout the U.S. and the world. He is also the owner of the NBA's Orlando Magic. In 2002, the DeVos Communication Center opened on Calvin's campus.

Dr. William Radius '28 (1906-1989)
Mrs. Marianne Vos Radius '28 (1906-2000)
The Radiuses together spent their career writing for various publications. They often wrote articles together for publications such as The Banner. Marianne Vos Radius also wrote three Vacation Bible School manuals, Sunday School papers and God With Us, a life of Jesus for young readers. Dr. William Radius taught Greek at Calvin and was the chair of the classics department for many years, published a college and seminary textbook and composed study manuals on Greek and Roman history.


Rev. Bernard Haan '39 ThB'42 (1917-1994)
Rev. Haan was one of the moving forces behind the establishment of Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. He became Dordt's first president in 1957 while serving First Christian Reformed Church of Sioux Center as pastor. He was known as an enthusiastic spokesman for Reformed Christian education. He also served as a delegate to Synod and chaired various synodical committees.

Dr. Ralph Heynen '30 BD'33 (1907-1993)
Dr. Ralph Heynen spent most of his career as a chaplain for Pine Rest Christian Hospital in Grand Rapids and as associate pastor for First Christian Reformed Church of Cutlerville, Mich. He became interested in Christian mental health as an outgrowth of his ministry at Pine Rest. Over the years he conducted many workshops and seminars on the subject and wrote a number of books including The Art of Christian Living and The Christian Family.


Mr. Dale S. DeHaan '55 (1934-)
Mr. DeHaan began his work with refugees as foreign policy counsel in the U.S. Senate and its Subcommittee on Refugees. In 1978 he became the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees. In the governmental and private sectors, he has been a leader in international efforts to solve refugee problems. For efforts in Africa and Southeast Asia, he shared in the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the High Commissioner's Office in 1981.

Miss Marian Schoolland '34 (1902-1984)
For more than 40 years Miss Schoolland translated, edited and wrote books, most of which were published by Eerdmans. Many are familiar with her devotional books Leading Little Ones to God, Marian's Book of Bible Stories and Marian's Favorite Bible Stories. Her other well-known works include the Patsy books and the Tomboy Janie series. She also wrote for The Banner and other periodicals.


Dr. William Spoelhof '31 (1909-2008)
After teaching in junior and senior high schools, Dr. Spoelhof came to Calvin in 1946 as associate professor of history and political science. He became president of Calvin in 1951 and continued in that position until 1976, leaving an indelible impression on the school. He served on countless committees for organizations of the community, the church and the college.

Dr. Cornelius Van Til '21 (1895-1987)
Dr. Cornelius Van Til spent his career as a professor of apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary, beginning with the school at its inception. He was the author of 26 books and pamphlets. He was known as an ardent defender of the faith with strong loyalty to the Reformed tradition.


Dr. Peter Boelens '55 (1934-)
Dr. Boelens devoted his life to serving the needy. He spent six years as a medical evangelist in Korea setting up clinics in Seoul and rural areas and assisting in the establishment of 15 churches. In 1970, he began the Christian Health Center in Cary, Miss., significantly reducing the non-white infant mortality rate. In 1979, he began partnering with Christian physicians in developing countries and later became director of the Luke Society, establishing 22 community health programs worldwide and active in evangelistic outreaches, discipleship and church planting.

Miss Dena Korfker '43 (1908-1997)
Miss Korfker spent 46 years teaching in Grand Rapids Christian schools. For 38 of those years she was a kindergarten teacher at Oakdale Christian School. She dedicated her life to children including the writing of such well-loved books as My Bible Story Book, Bible ABC Book and Questions Children Ask. My Bible Story Book has been read and loved by children and adults all over the world. In addition she wrote Sunday School lessons for small children and The Children's Page in The Banner.


Dr. Henry Stob '32 ThB'35 (1908-1996)
Well-known at Calvin as a professor of philosophy, Dr. Stob spent most of his career on Calvin's campus—first at the college for 10 years and then at the seminary from 1952-1975, where he taught philosophical and moral theology. His writings were published in leading evangelical journals, encyclopedias and dictionaries, and he was one of the founders of The Reformed Journal. The college and seminary continues to honor his legacy through the annual Stob Lectures each fall.

Mr. Jay Van Andel '46 (1924-2004)
Mr. Van Andel established the Amway Corporation (now Alticor) with business partner and Calvin alumnus Richard DeVos in 1959. The company has grown into a multinational corporation with billions of dollars in sales of household cleaning and personal care products. He was awarded the Professional Leader of the Year Award and has been a strong supporter of the Grand Rapids community. Many prominent Grand Rapids structures—among them the Van Andel Arena, Van Andel Museum and Van Andel Institute (for medical research and development)—point to his civic generosity.


Dr. Lawrence Den Besten '49 (1926-1988)
Dr. Den Besten spent nine years as a medical missionary to Nigeria where he served as medical director of Takum Christian Hospital and as medical director and chief of surgery at Mkar Hospital. After leaving Nigeria, he worked at the University of Iowa as professor and vice-chairman for the department of surgery for University Hospitals and as chief of surgical services for the Veterans Administration Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa.

Dr. Corrine Kass '50 (1927-)
Dr. Kass spent her career teaching those who teach in special education. She was a professor at Calvin College, the University of Illinois, the University of Michigan and the University of Arizona. For three years she served as the coordinator for the unit on learning disabilities at the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped for the U.S. Office of Education in Washington, D.C. For her work there she was awarded the Distinguished Government Service Award.


Mr. Meindert De Jong '28 (1906-1991)
Perhaps best known for his book The Wheel on the School, which received the Newbery Medal in 1954, Mr. De Jong has made many contributions to children's literature. Author of more than 25 books for children and adolescents, De Jong received numerous awards for his works including the 1962 International Hans Christian Anderson Award for his contribution to young people's literature and the 1969 National Book Award in Children's Literature for Journey from Peppermint Street.

Dr. John R. Huizenga '44 (1921-2014)
Dr. Huizenga, an internationally-recognized nuclear chemist, began his 50-year scientific career on the "Manhattan Project," the World War II research venture which produced the first atomic bomb. For his seminal research in nuclear science carried out at the Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Rochester, where he was the Tracy H. Harris Professor of Chemistry and Physics, Huizenga received a number of national awards.


Dr. Ralph Blocksma '36 (1914-2001)
Early in his career Dr. Blocksma served as a medical missionary to Lahore, Pakistan, where he helped establish the United Christian Hospital. In the field of plastic surgery, he gained international recognition. He served as chief of the division of plastic surgery and residency training program and director of the Oral Cleft Clinic at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, where he was also chief of staff. His interest in missionary medical work continued throughout his career with stints in Nigeria, Liberia, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Haiti. More info

Mr. Joseph T. Daverman '34 (1912-1998)
Mr. Daverman served as director of Daverman Associates beginning in 1937. His architectural firm had offices in Grand Rapids. Mich.; Petoskey, Mich.; Milwaukee, Wis.; and Menlo Park, Calif., during his career. He served on various business-related committees as well as serving as treasurer of the Christian Reformed Board of Foreign Missions for 13 years.


Dr. Oets K. Bouwsma '19 (1899-1978)
For 37 years Dr. Bouwsma served as a professor of philosophy at the University of Nebraska and then went on to teach at the University of Texas. He was widely regarded by his colleagues as one of the top scholars of the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein and was also recognized for his studies on Descartes.

Dr. T. Kreps '17 (1897-1981)
Dr. Kreps began his career at the University of Colorado and also taught at Harvard and the University of Southern California. He then settled at Stanford University where he taught economics until his retirement in 1962. Throughout his academic career he served as a consultant to various business organizations and government agencies.


Dr. Stuart Bergsma '23 (1900-1986)
Dr. Bergsma began his work as a medical missionary in Ethiopia and India. After a residency in psychiatry he devoted his energy to work at Pine Rest Christian Hospital in Grand Rapids, where he served as clinical director, senior staff psychiatrist and superintendent. His research focused on tropical medicine and psychiatry.

Judge John Feikens '40 (1917-2011)
Judge Feikens began his career as a lawyer in Detroit, Mich., where he served on the Michigan Civil Rights Commission for the first three years after its inception. He was appointed United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan and later became Chief Judge. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Calvin College, president of the Detroit Bar Association, a commissioner of the State Bar of Michigan and a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.


Dr. Harry Boer '38 ThB'41 (1913-1999)
Dr. Boer served as a career missionary and was professor and director of the Theological College of Northern Nigeria. His numerous and influential theological writings appeared in The Banner, The Reformed Journal and various other publications. His enthusiasm and his ability to organize made him a leader among his fellow missionaries.

Mr. J. Herman Fles '35 (1912-1982)
His career in the trucking industry boosted Mr. Fles to the head of the business community in Michigan. He rose from office clerk to chairman and chief executive officer of Associated Truck Lines, Inc. He was also recognized for his community service on various boards both locally and nationally. He was also recognized for his love of and involvement with Calvin College and Seminary, the Grand Rapids Christian School Association and various agencies of the Christian Reformed Church.


Dr. James Wyngaarden '43 (1924-)
Recognized for his outstanding career as a medical doctor, Dr. Wyngaarden was internationally known for his work in the field of biochemical genetic diseases such as gout. At the time of his selection he was Hames Professor of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C. He later became director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md. More info


Dr. Roger Heyns '40 (1918-1995)
Dr. Heyns became chancellor of the University of California-Berkeley in 1965, then considered the nation's toughest post in higher education. Dr. Heyns gave first priority to resolving problems generated by a nationwide period of student restlessness. Prior to his work at Berkeley, he was a professor at the University of Michigan and was named the youngest dean ever to head Michigan's College of Literature, Science and Arts. Dr. Heyns was awarded the university's Outstanding Teacher Award in 1952 and its Faculty Distinguished Service Award in 1958. More info


Mr. James Bere '42 (1922-1992)
Mr. Bere's career began as a draftsman for Clearing Machine Division of U.S. Industries, Inc. Through a series of promotions he rose to management level before joining Borg-Warner in Chicago, Ill., which manufactured automotive original equipment, in 1961. He was elected president of Borg-Warner in 1968.


Dr. Wm. Harry Jellema '14 (1893-1982)
Many Calvin alumni know the name of Dr. Jellema. He was a philosophy professor at the college from 1920 to 1935 and again from 1947 to his retirement in 1963. During the 12 years in between he taught at Indiana University and became head of the department of philosophy there. While at Calvin, he did much to mold the thinking and the direction of countless Calvin students.

Dr. Gordon Van Wylen '42 (1920-)
Dr.Van Wylen began his career as an engineer with DuPont Company and later went on to teach and become dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Michigan. Early in his career he authored a nationally-recognized textbook on the subject of thermodynamics. He also served in the U.S. Navy during WWII as a naval officer on submarine duty. Later, he served as the president of Hope College in Holland, Mich.


Dr. Garret Heyns '11 (1891-1969)
Dr. Heyns' contributions in the field of Christian education as a teacher and high school principal in Hull, Iowa, and Holland, Mich., greatly stimulated the Christian school movement. His contributions in the field of penology were nationwide, as a warden and director of the Department of Corrections in Michigan and as director of institutions in Washington state as well as service on national committees.

Dr. Amry Vandenbosch '17 (1894-1990)
Dr. Vandenbosch was a distinguished teacher of political science and international relations at the University of Kentucky. As a scholar, he was regarded as an expert in international relations and an authority on South Asian and Indonesian affairs.