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Calvin Wire - July 17, 2006 -- Volume 6, No. 14

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:
Youth workers gather for "Googling Youth" conference

Googling Youth in Troubled Times: A Conference for Those Working with Youth amid the Culture WarsCalvin hosted a three-day conference from July 13-15 called Googling Youth in Troubled Times: A Conference for Those Working with Youth amid the Culture Wars. The event was preceded by a July 11-15 workshop sponsored by the Kuyers Institute at Calvin called Soul-Searching: The Spiritual Development of Today's Youth. Organizers say the topic is an important one for churches, schools, and parents who are trying to figure out how to spiritually influence the next generation in the context of a complex and fast-moving cultural setting. Says Quentin Schultze, director of the Calvin Workshops in Communication and a professor of communication: "Christian families, schools, and churches can feel as if they are becoming culturally irrelevant to today's youth. They also feel like their efforts become fragmented as churches, youth ministries, parents, and schools struggle to communicate effectively with one another." So one of the key questions addressed was: How can those involved in discipling young people work most effectively to nurture faithful youth amid the tensions that divide, discourage, and confuse them? Read more.

Calvin celebrates two legacies: Ervina Boevé & Richard Tiemersma
Ervina Boevé Richard TiemersmaTwo legendary Calvin College professors have passed away. Ervina Boevé and Richard Tiemersma both began at Calvin in the 1950s and both left indelible marks on their alma mater during their tenures in the communication arts and sciences department and English department respectively. Tiemersma passed away July 4 at the age of 87. Boevé passed away on July 1 at the age of 81 after a short battle with acute erythro-leukemia. Services to honor and celebrate the lives of both professors were held at the Calvin Chapel. Read more.

Calvin researchers chase elusive hosta genes

Hosta plantAfter four years of attempting to trace hosta ancestry through DNA fingerprinting, Dave Koetje has come to a conclusion: "Hostas are weird," he says. Since 2002 Koetje, a Calvin College biology professor and director of the college's biotechnology program, along with various student researchers, have been trying to track hosta parentage genetically, research that is funded by the American Hosta Society and Calvin's science division and biology department. Read more.

$500,000 challenge grant awarded for Asian Studies program

Dan BaysFour years ago when Calvin College received a large grant for its Asian Studies program, Dan Bays, director of the program, noted simply that "Ignorance of Asia is not an option for the 21st century." Recent events in Asia, including the launching of missiles by North Korea and rumblings this week by Japan about striking North Korea pre-emptively, have done nothing to change Bays' opinion. And he says Calvin will continue to equip its graduates with an understanding of Asia thanks to a significant new grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Calvin will receive $500,000 from the NEH, provided it raises an additional $1.5 million on its own. The money will go toward an Asian Studies endowment at Calvin that will sustain and expand the new, but growing, program at the college (some 500 students a year now are enrolled in Asian Studies at Calvin). Read more.

Conference focuses on Christian values in science and technology

American Scientific AffiliationA decade after the birth of Dolly the cloned lamb a top-notch conference at Calvin College will examine the relationships between Christian values and science and technology. "Embedding Christian Values in Science and Technology" will take place at Calvin July 28-31, 2006 as the 61st annual meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA). Among the keynote speakers will be Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health; Rudolf Jaenisch of the Whitehead Institute at MIT; and Karen Lebacqz of the Yale University Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics. It's a star-studded lineup. In fact both Collins, who mapped the human genome, and Jaenisch, a cloning expert, were featured in recent issues of TIME Magazine. Read more.

Swim teams honored by Collegiate Swimming Coaches Association

Calvin swim teamsThe Calvin men's and women's swimming and diving teams have received the Collegiate Swimming Coaches Association of America's all-academic award. The Calvin women posted a cumulative team grade point average of 3.30 while the Calvin men posted a cumulative team grade point average of 2.98. In addition, three members of the Calvin women's swimming and diving team have received individual all-academic accolades, while two members of the men's team have received honorable mention all-academic status. Read more.

Asian students participate in summer English Study Program

English Studies Program (from Web site)This summer, for the second straight year, Calvin is hosting a contingent of Asian students who are eager to improve their mastery of the English language and to get a little dose of American culture. From July 5 to August 4 the college's English Study Program is hosting 28 students, including 27 from Korea and one from China. The students live and study on the Calvin campus for a month and enjoy the program's cultural events, including weekend visits to Chicago and to Mackinaw Island , bowling, movies, the Frederick Meijer Botanical Gardens and a visit to a West Michigan Whitecaps game! The students are also hosted by families from the Calvin community for dinners and weekend stays and worship at Grand Rapids churches. But while the off-campus outings are both fun and valuable, it's what happens in the classroom that makes the program significant say Calvin organizers. The program's central focus is on improving the students' competence in speaking English. Read more.

Inner Compass: Calvin's award-winning television program
Bronze Telly AwardInner Compass is Calvin's award-winning television show that explores how people make decisions regarding ethical, religious, and social justice issues. Inner Compass airs in western Michigan on PBS station WGVU-TV on Sunday afternoons at 2:30 pm: Grand Rapids (channel 35/cable channel 6) and Kalamazoo (channel 52). Episodes from the current season (2005-2006) are available on the Inner Compass Web site; podcasts (iTunes) are also available. For more information visit the Inner Compass Web site.

Fundraising efforts honored by CASE
Dirk Pruis

Calvin College has been honored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) with two prestigious fundraising awards. It won a 2006 CASE-Wealth Engine Award for Educational Fund Raising for overall performance and a second award for overall improvement. Calvin was one of only four schools to win awards in both categories in 2006. It also was one of 27 four-year college or university winners in the overall performance category and one of 18 four-year college or university winners in overall improvement. Calvin vice president for advancement Dirk Pruis says Calvin's connections to the local community and its national Christian constituency each play a big role in the recent award. Read more.

Calvin Distinctive # 3: Spirited Community

WorshipCalvin's thoughtful Christian community strengthens heart, soul, mind and body. Calvin students, faculty and staff value the task of serving God together through intellectual exploration, spirited interaction, worship and work. To foster each student's faith, Calvin offers numerous campus-wide opportunities for worship, including daily chapel services, the student-led LOFT (Living Our Faith Together), foreign language chapels and dorm Bible studies. An additional 700 events focused on spiritual growth (prayer services, Bible studies, service projects and a weekly hymn sing) are sponsored by student organizations, student life staff, and the Lilly Vocation Project each year. For more information visit the Distinctives Web site.


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.