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Calvin Wire - September 1, 2006 -- Volume 6, No. 17

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:


Chapel theme for 2006-2007: Caught Up in God's Story

Chapel theme for 2006-2007: “Caught Up in God's Story”God's people live by stories. After the miraculous crossing of the Jordan River near Jericho, God commanded his people to set up twelve stones from the river so that when their children would ask them, "What do these stones mean?" they would be prompted to tell the story of God's deliverance. (Joshua 4). We are surrounded by reminders of stories, like stones that invite us to ask questions, to hear stories, and then to find our place in God's story. This will be the focus of our campus worship this year - hearing the story God is telling and letting it shape us. Read more about this year's theme and worship at Calvin College on the Calvin Faith Web site.



Calvin ties for #1 spot in US News & World Report college rankings


2007 edition of “America's Best Colleges,” the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings guideCalvin College is the best school in the Midwest in its category of comprehensive bachelor's colleges according to the 2007 edition of America's Best Colleges, the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings guide that hit newsstands last week (Monday, August 21). Calvin is tied for the top spot with St. Mary's, Ind., in the 107-school category, which encompasses Midwest colleges and universities that focus on undergraduate education and offer a range of degree programs, both in the liberal arts, which account for fewer than half of their bachelor's degrees, and in professional fields such as business, nursing and education. That tied-for-first ranking is up one spot from both 2005 and 2004 when Calvin was second in the category behind St. Mary's, a women's Catholic college in South Bend that is Notre Dame's sister school. Calvin scored the best of any school in its category in peer assessment, a rating that measures what presidents, provosts and deans of admissions at Calvin's competitors think of the school's academic programs. Dale Kuiper, Calvin's director of admissions, was pleased by that, noting that to be recognized positively by one's peers is encouraging. Calvin also scored high in its category in percentage of faculty who are full-time (91%), freshman retention rate (87%), graduation rate (74%) and alumni giving rate (33%). In fact Calvin was third-best in its category for graduation rate and fourth-best in its category for alumni giving.


New students fill residence halls to capacity


1,036 first-year students moved onto campus this weekSome 1,036 first-year students began their Calvin careers this week, an increase of about 30 students from last year and up about 130 from the year before. This large first-year class, coupled with more sophomores, juniors and seniors who want to live on campus, has meant a pleasant problem for Calvin's residence life staff: the dorms are full. But, in resourceful residence life fashion, the college has addressed the issue. It has converted most of the coffee kitchens (rooms on each floor intended as community gathering spots) in the men's residence halls into rooms for resident assistants. Calvin dean of residence life John Witte jokes that the overcrowding in the halls has been a summer stressor for him and his staff. But, he says, more students living on campus is exactly what the student life division at Calvin is looking for. Read more.


Fall Orientation for first-year students began this past week

QUEST is the fall component of Calvin's orientation program for new studentsQUEST is the fall component of Calvin's orientation program for new students. It began on Wednesday evening, August 30 and ends on Monday, September 4. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday during QUEST, small groups of first-year students proceed through three modules, each based on components of Calvin's vision statement:
•  Module 1: Reformed Liberal Arts College
•  Module 2: Agents of Renewal
•  Module 3: Doing God's Work in God's World
In their orientation groups, students spend the three days of QUEST focusing on one module each day through workshops, presentations, and interactive opportunities. Events and activities are also planned for Sunday and Monday (Labor Day): worship opportunities, Lake Michigan beach outing, Michigan Adventures theme park, paint-balling, water-tubing, rock-climbing, etc. Read more.

Streetfest 2006: Seeking the well-being of the cityStreetfest is a major component of Module 3 and provides students with a small taste of service-learning. Students may work alongside agencies like the Inner City Christian Federation building sheds, accompany residents from the Heartland Health Care to the John Ball Park Zoo, or plant a rain garden with the West Michigan Environmental Action Council. Wherever they go during StreetFest, new Calvin students contribute to work that is already being done in Grand Rapids.  Read more.


Opening Convocation: Tuesday, September 5 at 9:50 am


Stories & Faith: The Roles of Narrative in Christian Life and WitnessThe Calvin community celebrates the gathering of students, faculty and staff each September with a service of dedication and worship. Alumni, parents and friends of the college are invited to join with the Calvin community for the Opening Convocation on Tuesday, September 5 at 9:50 am in the Calvin Fieldhouse. Dr. Gaylen Byker, president of Calvin College, will provide the Convocation address: Stories & Faith: The Roles of Narrative in Christian Life and Witness. You are also invited to listen in to a live audio Webcast of this event at the Convocation Web site.


Calvin awarded $100,000 grant to promote college for African-American men

Rhae-Ann Booker, director of Pre-College ProgramsThe Office of Pre-College Programs is pioneering a program to prepare African-American young men for college entrance thanks to a two-year, $100,000 grant from Lumina Foundation for Education. The program, to be called P2P Excel, is a fresh spin on Pathways to Possibilities (P2P), a 12-year-old effort partnering Pre-College Programs with churches and community ministries to foster college awareness in at-risk youth. Calvin's Rhae-Ann Booker, director of Pre-College Programs, says the primary target of P2P Excel is African-American males because of concerns about their traditionally low college attendance and graduation. In addition P2P Excel will depart from the old Pathways model in a number of ways, including becoming the first Pathways program to partner Pre-College Programs with schools rather than churches. Read more.


Calvin again named to Princeton Review Best Colleges

The Best 361 CollegesCalvin College is again considered one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education by the Princeton Review. The New York-based education services company features Calvin in The Best 361 Colleges, the new 2007 edition of its annual "best colleges" guide released in late August. Calvin is one of seven schools from the state of Michigan in The Best 361 Colleges. The others are Albion, Hillsdale, Kalamazoo, Michigan State, Michigan and Michigan Tech. Only about 15 percent of the nation's four-year colleges are included in the guide.


Two new members appointed to Calvin's Board of Trustees


Calvin College has named two new members of its Board of Trustees. They are: Roger Brummel of Holland, Michigan, the CEO and director of the Grand Rapids based Au Sable Institute; and Scott Spoelhof of Holland, Michigan, a managing director for Bayside Capital Management in Holland. Both men were elected to three-year terms (as is true for all Calvin board members) with an option for further three-year terms. The 31-member Calvin Board of Trustees meets three times annually, usually on the Calvin campus, with those meetings taking place in October, February and May each year. Read more.


Calvin Golf Tournament for Alumni & Parents: Saturday, September 9

37th annual Calvin Alumni Association Golf Tournament for alumni and parents at Pilgrim Run, Pierson, MIYou are invited to the 37th annual Calvin Alumni Association Golf Tournament for alumni and parents. This event is an opportunity to combine great golf and fellowship with a great purpose: raising funds for the Grand Rapids Area Alumni Chapter Scholarship for first-year students. The Tournament will be held at Pilgrim's Run (in neighboring Pierson, Michigan)-- named one of the "Top 100 Golf Courses You Can Play" by Golf magazine in 2002 and one of the "Top 10 Public Courses in Michigan" by Michigan Golf magazine in 2006. For more information and to register online visit the Alumni Association Web site.


Calvin Around Town: Grand Rapids Civic Theatre - September 22

You are invited to join Calvin alumni, parents and friends on Friday, September 22 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. as the curtain lifts on the 102-year-old Grand Rapids Civic Theatre which has been completely restored to its century-old gloryYou are invited to join Calvin alumni, parents and friends on Friday, September 22 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. as the curtain lifts on the 102-year-old Grand Rapids Civic Theatre which has been completely restored to its century-old glory. Tradesmen have been hard at work refurbishing and rebuilding the original decorations that adorned the theater located at 30 North Division Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids. Be among the first to view this grand renovation, discover a bit about the history of Grand Rapids' own theater, learn about Calvin's fine theater program and share some laughs with other Calvin alumni and friends. Cost is $15 per person; reservations are due by September 21. For more information visit the Calvin Alumni Association Web site or call 616-526-6142.


Calvin Distinctive # 1: Profoundly Academic

This past summer a record number of 91 science student researchers worked at sites on and off campus through Calvin's annual summer undergraduate research program.Calvin consistently receives national recognition for academic excellence. Calvin's well-respected faculty, inquiring student body and innovative core curriculum come together in an environment that links intellectual freedom with a heart for service. Undergraduates get scholarship and research experiences equivalent to those available at large universities. This past summer a record number of 91 science student researchers worked at sites on and off campus through Calvin's annual summer undergraduate research program. 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.