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Calvin Wire - October 2, 2006 -- Volume 6, No. 19

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:


Calvin ranks high in national ISI study

Calvin professor Doug Howard, History Department chair, says the improvement at Calvin can be credited to a “classic liberal arts education.” Calvin College ranks third in the country at adding to student understanding of American history and essential institutions according to a recent survey conducted on behalf of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute project. The survey asked college freshmen and seniors at 50 colleges and universities, including Calvin, 60 multiple choice questions about America 's history and its government, about America and the world and about the market economy. Calvin professor Doug Howard, History Department chair, says the improvement at Calvin can be credited to a "classic liberal arts education." He says: "We have a required course in world history at Calvin which certainly puts American history into a global context. But our students also take courses in political science, economics and many more. Even a course in American literature or a sociology course on American diversity contributes to a student understanding of America 's history, its government and how this country fits into the world." Read more.


Kooienga begins as Calvin's first communications & marketing director

Nancy (Zwagerman) Kooienga has joined the Calvin College community as it's first-ever director of communications and marketing. Nancy (Zwagerman) Kooienga has joined the Calvin College community as its first-ever director of communications and marketing. In that capacity she heads up a team of writers, project managers, designers and web experts, a team charged with the task of helping Calvin to manage the college's overall communication and marketing strategy. Kooienga, a 1987 Calvin graduate, previously served in a series of positions in advertising agencies before coming to Target Corporation in Minneapolis as a senior manager in marketing. Among her many responsibilities at Target was managing a five-person staff and $30 million budget to support the corporate food strategy for Target. "It was fun," she says, "and exciting, but also sometimes it felt pretty superficial. I feel like I've become part of something more substantial at Calvin." Read more.


The Calvin Annual Fund: Matching Gifts

Make a Gift NowCalvin alumni and friends join with the college to further God's work of renewal through the preparation of our students and alumni for lives of service in God's Kingdom. We invite you to consider the needs of Calvin College as you plan your charitable giving for 2006. The Calvin Annual Fund encourages the broader Calvin community to support the mission of the college through annual giving. Every gift, whatever the size, helps every student, every day and strengthens the education Calvin is providing our students. In addition, many have doubled or even tripled their gift to Calvin by taking advantage of a matching gift opportunity through a program sponsored by a participating employer. You can make an online gift now.


Calvin Board of Trustees scheduled to meet this week

Please pray for the Calvin Board of Trustees who gather this week (October 5-8) for their October meetings to conduct the business of the Board and the college. Please pray for the Calvin Board of Trustees who gather this week (October 5-8) for their October meetings to conduct the business of the Board and the college. Every other year the October Board meeting takes place at an off-campus retreat location, providing opportunity to build personal bonds and working relationships. Dr. Walter Wright of the DePree Center for Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary will conduct several sessions on board leadership, and Dr. James K.A. Smith (Calvin department of philosophy) will lead the Board through discussions on faculty life and the place of a scholarship agenda at Calvin. The Board will also finalize the 2006-2007 budget and address other college initiatives and matters.


Prof. Blankespoor named first Brummel Chair in Organic Chemistry

Prof. Blankespoor has been named the first Brummel Chair in Organic ChemistryToo often, chemicals get a bad rap according to Calvin professor Ron Blankespoor. "There is a misconception," he says, "that all chemicals are bad for us. What about the chemicals we refer to as water, sugar and aspirin? Are these bad for us? Just because a chemical is made in a natural setting like a plant doesn't make it good for humans. Neither does a chemical made in the laboratory automatically make it bad for us." What's good and what's bad in the world of chemicals will be part of the focus for a talk Blankespoor will deliver at Calvin on October 17 when he is installed as the first-ever holder of the Roger and Connie Brummel Endowed Chair in Organic Chemistry at the college. Read more.


First-Year students enjoy wilderness orientation program

This past summer incoming Calvin students trekked to the North Channel region of Ontario, on the shores of Lake Huron, for a rugged and challenging version of orientation.This past summer incoming Calvin students trekked to the North Channel region of Ontario, on the shores of Lake Huron, for a rugged and challenging version of orientation. All told 40 first-year Calvin students participated in the college's Wilderness Orientation Program, which combined sea kayaking, rock climbing, rappelling, island camping, voyager canoeing, sailing and solo time-all with an eye to bonding as a group. "We're attempting to establish that initial community about which first-year students are so apprehensive," says Ryan Walter Rooks, Calvin's coordinator of outdoor recreation. "In our trips, we're forming a spiritual space where they capture a vision for their next four years." Read more.


Inner Compass: episodes of Calvin's TV show available on Web site

Inner Compass is Calvin's award-winning television show that explores how people make decisions regarding ethical, religious, and social justice issues. Inner 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 are also downloadable from the Inner Compass web site; the most recently aired program is available on the Wednesday following each broadcast. Subscribing on iTunes gives you the latest episode (in audio or video) the Monday following each broadcast. Visit the Web site for downloads and listings of upcoming topics.


Cardboard canoe flotilla traverses Calvin Sem pond


The 10th annual Cardboard Canoe Contest took place last week on Friday, September 29.The 10th annual Cardboard Canoe Contest took place last week on Friday, September 29. Student organizers report that it's a fun way to expand their budding engineering skills. "You don't know who's going to float, who's going to sink and who's going to make it around, and that's part of the fun too," says Calvin senior Eric Wildschut, president of the college's chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Typically, he says, a half-dozen student teams take part, observing some key parameters: The canoes must be constructed out of cardboard, plastic sheeting, garbage bags, duct tape and paint (optional and for decoration), and they can be any shape or size, but must be large enough to hold at least two members of the construction team. Read more.


Minds in the Making: newest edition now online

Minds in the Making gathers the best essays, articles and reflections of the Calvin College community - faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends. The summer 2006 edition of Minds in the Making, a Calvin e-collection, is now available on the Calvin Web site. Minds in the Making gathers the best essays, articles and reflections of the Calvin College community - faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends. In this issue of Minds in the Making we return to Petra . Thousands of visitors saw the "Petra: Lost City of Stone" exhibition at Calvin in 2005. Now, three Calvin authors take a closer look at the ancient Nabataeans. Minds is intended as a helpful resource for the thoughtful Christian, inspiring the reader for intentional participation in the renewal of all things. We think the level of intellectual engagement and discourse demonstrated at this site illustrates the intent of a Calvin College education.


Calvin plans 2nd annual conference for Latino high school students

Calvin College will hold Aspirando Alto, its second-annual conference for Latino high school students and their families from Thursday, October 12 through Saturday, October 14. Calvin College will hold Aspirando Alto, its second-annual conference for Latino high school students and their families from Thursday, October 12 through Saturday, October 14. Some 60 West Michigan seventh to tenth grade students will attend Aspirando Alto, Spanish for "aspiring high," an event funded by a $5,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase and aimed at improving college access for Latino students. "This conference provides an opportunity for the college to walk alongside Latino parents and students as they explore college entrance processes and academic needs and interests," says Rhae-Ann Booker, Calvin's director of pre-college programs. The students, who attend local middle schools and high schools, must be nominated by their school counselors to attend. They will represent a range of academic achievement: both high achievers and those who might be spurred on to higher achievement through participating in the conference. Read more.


Artist Series 2006-2007 season tickets available

The sixth season of Calvin's Artist Series offers musical styles and talents that we are certain will appeal to regular concert-goers and new audiences. The sixth season of Calvin's Artist Series offers musical styles and talents that we are certain will appeal to regular concert-goers and new audiences. The 2006-2007 season features internationally-recognized string and wind ensembles, family-friendly dance, solo piano, and choral artists. Season tickets (admission to all five concerts) are on sale now, ranging in price from $80-$120; Calvin students, $50. For more information visit the Artist Series Web site.


Sexual aggression expert speaks at Calvin

Steve Thompson, a nationally recognized expert on sexual aggression, spoke on that topic in a variety of sessions at Calvin on Thursday, September 28. Steve Thompson, a nationally recognized expert on sexual aggression, spoke on that topic in a variety of sessions at Calvin on Thursday, September 28. "He helped us to address and challenge not just the women, but the men in our community on these issues, which is the approach we want to take," says Anamarie Joosse, a member of the Calvin's Sexual Assault Prevention Team, which is sponsoring the event. "We want to empower the Calvin community to be both safe and respectful." Thompson-the sexual assault services coordinator at Central Michigan University and the author of the rape prevention book No More Fear-spoke to the entire Calvin community in an evening session, "No Zebras-No Excuses: Dating, Sex and Community at Calvin." Read more.


Class Reunions & Family Weekend: October 20 & 21

The classes of 1976 and 1981 will celebrate their 30th and 2 th reunions, respectively, during Calvin's Family Weekend in October:
• Class of 1976: Friday, October 20
• Class of 1981: Saturday, October 21
To register (and also to see who else is coming!) visit the Alumni Web site or contact Cindy Wolffis, reunion coordinator, at 616-526-6142 or reunions@calvin.edu. Calvin College also looks forward to welcoming hundreds of parents and family members to Family Weekend on these same dates. The Family Weekend schedule is available online.


Order Calvin Knights / Chicago Bulls tickets by October 6

The Chicago Bulls have offered Calvin and Trinity Christian College (Palos Heights, IL) a doubleheader of great basketball action on the floor of the United Center on Friday, December 15, 2006. The Chicago Bulls have offered Calvin and Trinity Christian College (Palos Heights, IL) a doubleheader of great basketball action on the floor of the United Center on Friday, December 15, 2006. At 3 pm (CST) the Calvin Knights will play the Trolls from Trinity Christian, followed by the Chicago Bulls against the Milwaukee Bucks at 7:30 pm - for a special price of either $30 or $45 a ticket ($15 less than the usual ticket price for the same seats). For the Calvin-Trinity game, fans can sit in the 110-113 section of the United Center, near the floor. Your ticket will have a different seat number on it for the Bulls-Bucks game, depending on what section you've selected (they will be in the 300 level). In-between games, Calvin fans may watch the Bulls warm-up period from 5-6 pm. The Alumni Association is securing a Hospitality Room the United Center for meeting friends and light refreshments from 5-7 (dinner is on your own). At 6 pm, Calvin men's basketball coach Kevin Vande Streek will share some thoughts on the young season and Bulls great Bob Love will stop by to meet and greet basketball fans. Tickets for this one-of-a-kind basketball double-header are only available at the Calvin College Box Office, via phone (616-526-6282), e-mail (tickets@calvin.edu) or online. Tickets must be ordered by Friday, October 6 to ensure this discounted price!


Calvin Distinctive #3: Spirited Community

A “Faith” website, dedicated to worship and discipleship opportunities at Calvin, is designed to help the Calvin community learn how to better worship, serve and pray. Calvin'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. A "Faith" website, dedicated to worship and discipleship opportunities at Calvin, is designed to help the Calvin community learn how to better worship, serve and pray. For more information visit the Calvin 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.