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Calvin Wire • April 15, 2008 • Volume 8, No. 8

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:

Special convocation ceremony recognizes student academic achievement

Honors ConvocationThis year 55 seniors will be recognized at Calvin's 54th Honors Convocation for the special work they did within one or more of their major programs. The 1,905 students who made the Dean's List this year will also be honored, along with those seniors who have been on the list every year of their Calvin careers. The event will feature a special student speaker, senior Karen Kaashoek, the 49-year-old director of Catherine's Care Center in northeast Grand Rapids who returned to Calvin to pursue an interdisciplinary degree in sociology, psychology and education nearly 25 years after she left Calvin to enter the nursing program at Purdue Unviersity. Bruce Berglund will join Kaashoek on stage as the event's faculty speaker. A reception will follow the event in the Commons Dining Hall.

DeKruyter, Schultze publish book on suburban church growth

The Suburban ChurchCalvin communications professor Quentin Schultz and Arthur DeKruyter '47, former pastor of Christ Church of Oak Brook (Ill.) have released The Suburban Church: Practical Advice for Authentic Ministry. Facing concerns that seeker-oriented suburban churchs will not be able to sustain either spiritual or numerical growth, the book argues that suburban churches need to nurture finders rather than merely attract seekers. Their book includes advice on how to plant, grow and renew suburban congregations. Each chapter concludes with questions for discussion, making the book ideal for pastors and church committees. Read more.

New Use of Force policy designed to make campus even safer

Campus safety assistant with Bill Corner, directorIn recent weeks, Calvin campus safety director Bill Corner has led both incident command system training for the college (how Calvin would respond to such things as a weather-related disaster) and the adoption of a new Use of Force policy that will include arming some campus safety supervisors — those who previously were certified police officers — for the first time in the history of the college. "In both cases," Corner says, "it would be nice to pretend we didn't have to worry about such things. But we do. Schools are asking for trouble if they don't think about these things and have a plan for how they would respond." The Use of Force policy, approved by the college's Faculty Senate last week, gives step-by-step details on the force considered necessary and reasonable in responding to various types of scenarios with the goals in each case being to save lives, prevent injury and overcome resistance. The policy also requires regular training in a variety of defensive tactics in order to equip campus safety supervisors to safely and appropriately respond to situations. Read more.

Festival of Faith and Writing creates oasis on campus

Elizabeth BergEvery two years, the Calvin English department welcomes hundreds of guests to the Festival of Faith and Writing, an event that brings novelists, poets, playwrights, sermon-writers and many more to offer their thoughts on the craft of writing. Festival director Shelly Le Mahieu Dunn says the festival is a bit like an oasis: "Writing and reading are such solitary activities, and the festival gives people a place to encourage one another and to reflect a little bit about what it means to be a Christian, a writer, a reader, and how to do those things faithfully," she said.

This year's festival-this week Thursday-Saturday, April 17-19-welcomes well-known novelists such as Yann Martel, Michael Chabon, Elizabeth Berg and Katherine Paterson, as well as religious writers Kathleen Norris and Francine Rivers. Performances by Caedmon's Call and Iron and Wine also headline the festival schedule. The Calvin Theatre Company will continue to present The Women of Lockerbie, a play written by festival speaker Deborah Brevoort, and the Center Art Gallery will continue to feature the art of Kadir Nelson in conjunction with his festival appearance.

Festival of Faith & WritingFeatured Web Site: Festival of Faith & Writing

The Festival of Faith and Writing Web site, in addition to providing registration and other important information about the biennial event, is a resource for discovering new authors and their books.

Knights 4 Life members encourage fellow students to consider giving to Calvin

Stories from the student-supported Community Care FundMarch 19 at Calvin marks the date when 29% of the academic year remains, making this the date when students' tuition dollars stop covering the costs of their education. This year that date was turned into an opportunity to raise awareness among students about stewardship. Knights 4 Life in conjunction with the alumni office collaborated to produce a Web site encouraging students to consider the ways in which they might give back to Calvin for the education they've received not only with financial gifts but also with their time and spiritual gifts. The site features links to a series on stewardship by senior Casey Nagle and a series on Calvin and donor relations written by Allison Graff '07.

Calvin Around Town: Evening at the ICCF draws 250 alumni to the heart of the city

Calvin Around Town at ICCFOn March 27 Calvin Around Town landed at the Inner City Christian Federation, a non-profit housing developer and housing service ministry that recently moved to a new home on Cherry Street in Grand Rapids. Alumni were able to tour the 100-year-old building which ICCF saved from demolition and restored to its original grandeur. ICCF President and CEO Jonathan Bradford headlined the evening with a presentation about the organization's mission and core values. Three other presentations gave guests a feel for the new building's history, its L.E.E.D. certification and ICCF's plans for the future. Read more about the ICCF event and browse a photo gallery from the evening.

Registration for Calvin Around Town's next event at the Grand Rapids Ballet on Tuesday, May 6, is now open.

Calvin Alumni Orchestra goes to the movies

CAO members at the moviesThis spring the Calvin Alumni Orchestra is going to the movies, and you're invited! The orchestra, conducted by Robert Nordling, will play works associated with some classic films. The program includes Beethoven's Symphony No. 6, familiar from Disney's Fantasia; Barber's "Adagio for Strings," featured in several films; Gershwin's "An American in Paris"; and John Williams' "Suite from E.T." Performances are Sunday, April 20, 2008, 3 p.m. at the Berean Church in Muskegon and Sunday, April 27, 3 p.m. at Calvin's Fine Arts Center. Free admission! See event details.

play posterCTC performs The Women of Lockerbie

The Calvin Theatre Company will present The Women of Lockerbie on April 17-19 in the Gezon Auditorium at Calvin. A mother from New Jersey roams the hills of Lockerbie Scotland looking for her son's remains which were lost in the crash of Pan Am flight 103. She meets the women of Lockerbie, who are fighting the U.S. government to obtain the clothing of the victims found in the plane's wreckage. The women, determined to convert an act of hatred into an act of love, want to wash the clothes of the dead and return them to the victim's families. Although the characters and situations in the play are purely fictional, The Women of Lockerbie is loosely inspired by a true story. Playwright Deborah Brevoort and director Stephanie Sandberg will be participating in the Festival of Faith & Writing, and evening performances are available to the general public. Read more.

Fun Run participantEach year, along with the Spring Classic 5k run and walk, Calvin hosts a 1k Family Fun Run intended for kids 12 and younger, plus their families. This year, this festive event is being named the Karen Muyskens Family Fun Run. Muyskens served for almost 20 years at Calvin as a professor of chemistry before her death in January. In addition to being a beloved professor, Muyskens also was a faithful runner who often took part in the Calvin Spring Classic, including the fun run, with her husband Mark, with whom she shared her position at Calvin, and their three children. For more information, visit the Spring Classic Web site.

Class of 1958 celebrates 50-year reunion

Medallions for 50-year reunion guestsThe Class of 1958 will gather on the Knollcrest Campus on May 16-17 to look back on 50 years as Calvin alumni. Festivities include a showcase of faculty scholarship, tours of campus construction projects, and a reunion dinner. Class members will participate in a worship service and medallion ceremony, and they will be recognized at Commencement. Sign up.

Glenn Bulthuis and the Tonedeafs: May 2 & 3

Glenn Bulthuis, a 1977 Calvin grad and "Calvin Rock-n-Roll Icon" for the past thirty years, will perform with his band, the Tonedeafs, at the historic Ladies Literary Club (61 Sheldon SE) in downtown Grand Rapids on May 2 and 3. Show times are at 8:00 pm on both nights. Glenn Bulthuis, a 1977 Calvin grad and "Calvin Rock-n-Roll Icon" for the past thirty years, will perform with his band, the Tonedeafs, at the historic Ladies Literary Club (61 Sheldon SE) in downtown Grand Rapids on May 2 and 3. Show times are at 8:00 pm on both nights. These shows are billed as "CD Release Parties" for the upcoming "Greatest Hits" CD that will be coming out this spring. Tickets are on sale through the Calvin Box Office, 616-526-6282. For more information, visit Glenn's home page.

Knightfile profiles winter athletes

Knightfile coverCalvin's sports publication, Knightfile, recaps each sports season, profiling an athlete from each team. The spring issue, highlighting the winter teams, features these athletes:
• Derek Griffin, men's basketball
• Sarah Partridge, women's basketball
• Keith Conrad, men's swimming and diving
• Lis Beal, women's swimming and diving
Congratulations to the women's swimming and diving team, which captured the MIAA title for the fourth straight year! To join the mailing list for the print version of Knightfile, send an e-mail to

Calvin Distinctive #1: Profoundly Academic

Lissa HaegertCalvin 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. Calvin's research is recognized and rewarded by national and private funding sources. This year, two students have been honored as Goldwater Scholars by the board of trustees of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation—sophomore Lissa Haegert, Goldwater scholar, and sophomore Sarah Tasker, honorable mention. Haegert is a Calvin physics major whose career goal is a doctoral degree in astronomy, research in solar system astronomy and perhaps teaching at the university level. Tasker is majoring in chemistry at Calvin and hopes to eventually earn a doctoral degree in organic chemistry before going on to conduct research and perhaps teach at the university level. For more stories of Calvin's academic excellence, 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.