Skip Navigation
Return to the Calvin homepage
 Return to the Alumni homepage

Calvin Wire - June 1, 2006 -- Volume 6, No. 11

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

The broader Calvin community celebrates with nearly 900 new graduates who participated in Commencement 2006 on Saturday, May 20. Dr. Nicholas Wolterstorff '53, Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology at Yale University and former philosophy professor at Calvin College (1959-1981) addressed the graduates with a speech entitled You Need Two Eyes. Photo galleries of Commencement weekend are posted at:

Commencement 2006
•  Student Life Gallery

Commencement Cookout 2006
•  Roving WebCam Galleries

Commencement events also featured the 50th reunion of the Class of 1956, and Dr. Gerald Gabrielse '73 and Mr. Charles Spoelhof '51 were honored as the recipients of this year's Distinguished Alumni Award. You can read more about these and other distinguished alumni of Calvin College on the Alumni Web site.

Women's track team finishes 5th at NCAA III Championships; men tie for18th

Missy Smith '06The Calvin men's and women's track and field teams competed at the 2006 NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field championships last weekend. The Calvin women's team tied for fifth place with 40 points, just one point out of a tie for third and just two points out of a tie for second. The Calvin men's team tied for 18th with 15.5 points. The Calvin men had three All-America performances led by senior Nate Meckes who took second in the shot put. Calvin senior Missy Smith (left) became a three-time All-American on the first day of competition with a third-place finish in the pole vault. Smith was part of nine All-America finishes for the Calvin women. Senior Christine Hendricks highlighted the weekend with a national title in the heptathlon. Read more. Photo gallery.

Calvin senior Jennifer Langefeld '06 wins prestigious writing award

Jennifer LangefeldA Calvin senior has won the first prize in the fiction division of the 2005-2006 Conference on Christianity and Literature Student Writing Contest. Jennifer Langefeld, an English major and writing minor from O'Fallon, Illinois, won the prize (and the $100 gift certificate from the William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company that goes with it) for her short story, "The Patron." Langefeld, who was a blogger for the Calvin admissions office, says the award is an encouragement to her as a writer. "My family has been especially supportive, as has the English faculty and my classmates," she says, "but it is really encouraging to hear from an outside, objective judge. I know I still have a lot of growing to do as a writer, but it helps to hear that I'm doing some things right." Read more.

Kurt Visker & Christine Hendricks receive Calvin's top athletic honors
Christine Hendricks
Calvin College has announced the 2006 recipients of its highest athletic honors: the Beré Memorial Award and the Kay Tiemersma Athletic Award. Men's soccer player Kurt Visker (right) of Grand Rapids, is this year's Beré Memorial Award winner, while volleyball and track and field standout Christine Hendricks (left) of Cincinnati, Ohio, is the winner of the 2006 Tiemersma Award. Read more.
Kurt Visker

Lisa Winkle honored as Michigan College Female Athlete of the Year

Lisa Winkle (center) and familyCalvin College junior Lisa Winkle was part of a gala reception on May 15 at the Detroit Athletic Club in downtown Detroit as she received the inaugural Michigan College Female Athlete of the Year Award. Winkle was honored along with 12 high school athletes who were finalists for the Michigan High School male and female athlete of the year awards as well as University of Michigan senior Davis Tarwater who received the inaugural Michigan College Male Athlete of the Year Award. A photo gallery of Winkle's award reception is posted on the Calvin web site. Read more.

Philosophy meets City Hall

Professor James K. A. SmithIt's not often a college-level philosophy course makes it to city hall. But Philosophy 390 - called Seeking the Welfare of the City - is no ordinary offering. For example, it is funded in part by a grant from the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, whose mission is "to significantly increase our knowledge of unselfish love through scientific research, education and publication." So, how does that fit into a course at Calvin and what does it have to do with city hall? For the last three-plus months students in Calvin philosophy professor James K. A. Smith's seminar class have been wrestling with just such questions. Read more.

Senior's photo makes cover of prestigious research journal

Holly HoffmanIn the weeks leading up to graduation, a Calvin senior landed the cover of a prestigious eye research journal, a byline on an article within that publication and a presenter spot at a national conference. An image of the lacrimal gland captured by Holly Hoffman, 22, a biochemistry major from Alma, Michigan, who spent two years doing research in the Department of Biology, is featured on the cover of the May 2006 issue of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. "At first I just thought it was cool, but then I kept hearing about how important this magazine is for eye research," Hoffman says. "As an undergrad, getting on the cover is incredible." Read more.

STEP Conference encourages youth with a pre-college experience

S.T.E.P. ConferenceYoung men and women in grades seven through 10 will enjoy a simulated college experience June 9-11, 2006 at Calvin College. Striving Toward Educational Possibilities, or STEP, is designed to introduce students to college life, give first-hand experience with college instructors and instruction, acquaint students with career opportunities help students determine the necessary steps for college entry and help students grow spiritually. Says Delores Logwood, program coordinator for pre-college programs: "Nearly 100 youth will be provided with an experience that will positively impact their remaining years in high school and also direct them to post secondary educational and career options." Read more.

Items left by students go to giant "yard sale" to benefit local church

Items retrieved by Oakdale Park church for yard saleWhat happens to all of the clothing, furniture, and other items left behind after 2,200 Calvin students move out of their dorm and KE rooms in May? For the 12th straight year, Oakdale Park CRC will be having a giant yard sale, offering clothing, furniture and household appliances, thanks to donations left behind by students in the residence halls at Calvin College. "The church sends a parade of vehicles, and they usually have to make a couple of trips," says John Witte, Calvin dean of residence life. "If they didn't take these items, students would have to store them, take them home or dump them. It really reduces the amount of material that gets thrown out on move-out day." Read more.

Seniors buy long-awaited Hovercraft

1986 Scat II hovercraftA group of Calvin students has reached the finish line in a race they began four years ago. The Hovercraft Collective now owns a 1986 Scat II hovercraft. "It is surreal to see that which we have collectively daydreamed about for almost four years as an accomplished goal," says Chad Vickery, a senior mass media major and member of the Collective (which also includes seniors Samuel de Walle, Daniel Spalink, Dave Riley and Jon Timmer and junior Greg Grutman). Read more.

Calvin's fiscal year ends June 30: please consider a gift to the Calvin Annual Fund

Laboratory setting Calvin's fiscal year ends on June 30, 2006. If you haven't already, we invite you to consider a "year end" gift to the Calvin Annual Fund. Your gift, along with other Calvin alumni and friends, helps Calvin provide daily resources for students that help bridge the gap between tuition and the actual cost of a Calvin education. The Calvin Annual Fund encourages the broader Calvin community to support the mission of the college: furthering God's work Make a Gift Nowof renewal through the preparation of our students for lives of service in God's Kingdom. Every gift, whatever the size, helps every student, every day and strengthens the education Calvin is providing our students. You can make an online gift now on the Giving Web site.

Class Reunion alert: reserve the date

Hundreds of Calvin alumni will be participating in class reunions this summer and fall:

•  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 1980 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

Calvin Distinctive #5: Remarkable Investment

Colleges That Encourage Character DevelopmentCalvin's life-changing education provides lifelong dividends. A Calvin education yields a return on investment that far outweighs tuition, as noted by independent endorsements and as demonstrated by the lives of alumni. A Calvin education is not only an investment in character development but also excellent academic preparation for life. The Templeton Foundation's Honor Roll of Character-Building Colleges has included Calvin in every edition of the publication. For more information visit the Distinctives Web site.

Other Helpful Links:

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.