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Calvin Wire - May 15, 2006 -- Volume 6, No. 10

The Calvin Wire newsletter is a bulletin of the Calvin Alumni Association sent to alumni and friends of Calvin College to inform them of the latest news from campus.

In This Issue:

Commencement 2006 schedule of events: May 18-20

Commencement 2005Commencement 2006 is slated for this Saturday, May 20 at 2:00 pm as 880 graduates prepare to receive diplomas in Calvin's Fieldhouse. Dr. Nicholas Wolterstorff '53, Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology at Yale University and former philosophy professor at Calvin College (1959-1981) will provide the Commencement address. Commencement weekend highlights include:

•  Department of Nursing Pinning Ceremony - Thursday, 8:00 pm
•  Teacher Commissioning Ceremony - Friday, 7:30 pm
•  Breakfast for Parents of Graduates - Saturday, 9:00 am
•  Senior Brunch - Saturday, 10:00 am
•  Commencement Ceremony - Saturday, 2:00 pm
•  Commencement Receptions - Saturday, 3:30 pm
Weekend events also feature the 50th reunion of the Class of 1956 and the opportunity to honor distinguished Calvin alumni, Dr. Gerald Gabrielse '73 and Mr. Charles Spoelhof '51. Commencement is a ticketed event, and all tickets are distributed to the graduates for their family and friends. The public is invited to listen to a live WebCast of Commencement 2006 on the Commencement Web site.

Calvin senior presents paper at prestigious technology conference

Bryan Klingenberg '06A Calvin senior engineering student, Bryan Klingenberg, had a rare opportunity for an undergraduate when he presented a paper on "fuzzy logic" at the 2006 IEEE International Electro/Information Technology Conference, held May 7-10, at Michigan State University's Kellogg Center. Klingenberg originally wrote his paper, "Fuzzy Logic for Harmonic Distortion Diagnosis in Power Systems," for a student contest and then submitted it to the IEEE conference. "It is a prestigious conference," said Calvin engineering professor Paulo Ribeiro. "I think this is a remarkable opportunity for a student." Klingenberg, who will graduate May 20, has also designed a Web site for teaching fuzzy logic to undergraduates, an effort funded by the Digital Studio at Calvin. Read more.

Graphic arts students work with Grand Rapids Symphony

Ed VanPoolen (rt.), a creative director from The Image Group, dialogues with student Scott Miller about his ideas and the upcoming presentation.This semester a dozen Calvin College seniors in art professor Frank Speyers' graphics class have prepared and presented comprehensive communications campaigns for a real-life client: the Grand Rapids Symphony. The marketing campaigns mark the culmination of their semester-long projects for Communications Design, an art class that serves as a marketing simulation. "It's an exploration of branding," says Speyers. "It's the most realistic simulation that I could make it." Every year Speyers' class takes on the marketing challenges of a real-life organization, attempting to capture that client's message in brochures, mailers, letterhead and other materials. Past clients have included Jubilee Jobs, Goodwill Industries International, Inc., DeVos Place and the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Read more.

Class Reunion alert: reserve the date

Hundreds of Calvin alumni will be attending class reunions this spring, summer and fall:

•  1956: Friday & Saturday, May 19-20
•  1961: Friday, June 23
•  1966: Saturday, June 24
•  1976: Friday, October 20
•  1981: Saturday, October 21
•  1986: Saturday, June 17
•  1996: Friday, June 30

Class of 1975 reunion, October 2005 The Heritage Class, those who graduated from Calvin 51 years ago and before, holds a reunion on campus each summer. This year that gathering will be on Friday, June 16, beginning at 10 am. If you have questions about class reunions visit the Alumni Web site or contact Cindy Wolffis, reunion coordinator, at 616-526-6142 or

Aay announced as first Meijer Chair in Dutch Language and Culture

Dr. Henk AayDr. Henk Aay, professor in the geology, geography & environment studies department, has been appointed as the first Meijer Chair in Dutch Language and Culture. This chair was established this spring, thanks to a generous donation from Meijer grocery store founder Frederik Meijer, whose many other contributions to the West Michigan community include Meijer Gardens (a botanic garden and world-class sculpture park) and the Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center (established in November 2004 as West Michigan's first and only heart center), to name just two very different, but essential local facilities. An inaugural event to celebrate Meijer's gift and Aay's selection (and to chart a course for the chair) will take place at Calvin in September 2006. Dr. Aay, a native Dutch speaker, who began at Calvin in 1983, will serve an initial three-year term. Read more.

Spring sports wrap up--Calvin track teams capture MIAA league titles

Men's track Both the Calvin men's and women's track and field teams captured league titles at the 2006 MIAA Field Day on May 10. The Calvin men earned their 13th straight league title, while on the women's side, Calvin captured its 17th straight MIAA title which ranks as the longest championship streak in MIAA women's athletics history. In softball, Calvin senior Jeanne Cole became the sixth player in MIAA history to be named All-MIAA four straight years. Calvin's baseball team took fourth place in the MIAA standings. Both Calvin tennis teams took second place in the MIAA with the women's tennis recording its highest-ever point total at the MIAA tournament. Read more.

Dave Warners is selected as 2006 "Professor of the Year"

Dave WarnersProfessor Dave Warners, professor of biology, was recently named as the 2006 Professor of the Year by the senior class at Calvin, an award sponsored by Calvin's Student Alumni Association. This student-selected award was instituted in 1998 as a way for the senior class to honor a current Calvin faculty member who has made an impact on the lives of students. The recipient is "an outstanding teacher, one who has made significant efforts to guide the lives of students in faith and in learning." Criteria for the award include excellence in teaching, spiritual impact and concern for students. Professor Warners also recently received the Mary Jane Dockery Award from the Land Conservancy of West Michigan (joining Calvin colleague Randy VanDragt as one of two honorees). Read more.

Calvin Institute awards $750,000 in worship renewal grants

WorshipThe Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW) has selected this year's grant recipients in its Worship Renewal Grants Program. This year the CICW is granting almost $750,000 to 57 churches and organizations across North America , from a variety of worship traditions. Grant recipients represent congregations and schools from 14 denominations in 23 states and a trio of Canadian provinces. "The selection of grant recipients from a large number of excellent proposals is a thoughtful and prayerful process that involves many people," says Betty Grit of the CICW. Several projects this year will engage worshipers of diverse cultures, ages and traditions, including worshipers who are often marginalized, such as those with addictions and the homeless. Read more.

PLANT! class project deals with gardens as sculpture

PLANT! projectEvery year, Calvin College art professor Adam Wolpa allows his sculpture class to choose their final project, which they accomplish in teams. This year, the class project is coined PLANT! and the effort expands the concept of sculpture into the creation of community gardens. As they fashion their neighborhood gardens, the students, Wolpa says, are also exploring the concept of "place." "We're kind of breaking out of the traditional definitions of sculpture and art," Wolpa says of the garden-as-sculpture project, "but there are definitely concerns involved that are similar to artistic concerns. You're talking about color, texture, lines. And when you're landscaping, you're shaping the earth." Wolpa's students are shaping the earth at six different garden sites in Grand Rapids: in the Baxter, Eastown, East Hills, Fulton Heights, Alger Heights and Heartside neighborhoods. Read more.

June Hamersma announces her "moving on" after the 2007 January Series

June HamersmaDon't call it a retirement. Or a resignation. For June Hamersma, her plan to leave her duties as director of The January Series of Calvin following the 2007 series is a "moving on." Calvin president Gaylen Byker says Hamersma has been a great representative of Calvin and its Christian, liberal arts mission. "The January Series has become a vital and integral part of each Calvin year," he says, "and has provided the entire community with wonderful intellectual sunshine in the middle of winter. June has been an inspiration and a role model. We will miss her." Read more.

Conference on faith and technology coming to Calvin in July

Hessel Bouma IIIA top-notch conference on the relationships between Christian values and science and technology is coming to Calvin this summer. Among the keynote speakers will be U.S. Congressman Vern Ehlers, a former professor of physics at Calvin. "Embedding Christian Values in Science and Technology" will take place at Calvin on July 28-31, 2006 as the 61st annual meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA). Hessel Bouma III ,Calvin professor of biology, is serving as program chair for the annual meeting and says the mix of speakers and workshops touches on some of society's hot-button issues vis a vis the intersections of faith and science. Read more.

Calvin Distinctive #4: Promising Futures

Alumna Jennie Nichols '01A Calvin education is the foundation for a successful life calling. Through the development of essential character, knowledge and skills, Calvin helps students understand God's world, discover their unique gifts and excel in vocations of meaning and purpose. Within six months of graduating, 90 percent of the Calvin senior class has either secured a job or begun graduate school. For more information visit the Distinctives Web site.

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The Calvin Wire newsletter is a bulletin of the Calvin Alumni Association sent to alumni and friends of Calvin College to inform them of the latest news from campus.