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Calvin Wire - May 15, 2008 -- Volume 8, No. 10

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:

Spring semester ends today, Commencement slated for Saturday

Final exams for the spring semester end today with Commencement 2008 is slated for this weekend on Saturday, May 17 at 2:00 pm. More than 800 graduates will receive diplomas at the Van Andel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids. Philip Yancey, author and speaker, will provide the Commencement address. Commencement weekend highlights include:

• Dept. of Nursing Pinning Ceremony - Thursday, 8:00 pm (FAC; tickets not required)
• Commencement Worship Service - Friday, 5:00 pm (Chapel; tickets not required)
• Commencement Cookout for Graduates & Families - Friday, 5:30 pm (Commons Lawn. Tickets not required; graduates and family members only.)
• Teacher Commissioning Ceremony - Friday, 7:30 pm (FAC; tickets not required)
• Breakfast for Parents of Graduates - Saturday, 9:00 am (Prince CC. Tickets, purchased in advance, are required.)
• Senior Brunch - Saturday, 9:00 am (Commons. Tickets not required; graduates only.)
• Commencement Ceremony - Saturday, 2:00 pm (Van Andel Arena, 130 West Fulton, Grand Rapids, MI; tickets are required)

Weekend events also feature the 50th reunion of the Class of 1958 and the opportunity to honor distinguished Calvin alumni, Dave and Jan Dykgraaf '66 and Fritz Rottman '59. For additional information about Commencement events visit the Commencement Web site.


Featured Web Site: News & Stories

Calvin's News & Stories Web siteCheck out our brand new Web site, News & Stories, which features a lot of great content about Calvin College including links to:

• Media and press releases
• News in brief
• Calvin in the News
• Calvin on YouTube
• Web resources for the media
• and more!


MIAA Commissioner's Cup Standings End in Tie Between Calvin, Hope


For the first time in the eight-decade-long history of the MIAA Commissioner's Cup (All-Sports) standings, there is a tie for first place. Calvin and Hope each accumulated 202 points in the compilation. The MIAA Commissioner’s Cup award is based on the cumulative performance of each member school in the league's 18 sports for men and women.For the first time in the eight-decade-long history of the MIAA Commissioner's Cup (All-Sports) standings, there is a tie for first place. Calvin and Hope each accumulated 202 points in the compilation. The MIAA Commissioner’s Cup award is based on the cumulative performance of each member school in the league's 18 sports for men and women. The Commissioner's Cup (MIAA All-Sports Award) has been presented since 1934-35. The standings have been based on men's and women's sports standings since 1981-82. The closest finish before this tie occurred in 1999-2000 when Calvin edged Hope 178-176. Hope won the Commissioner’s Cup the next seven years (2000-01 thru 2006-07). This year's "race" came down to the final MIAA athletic of the school year. By winnning its final baseball game, Calvin clinched the MIAA championship and garnered enough all-sports points to cause the tie. Read more.


Students Score Big in Math Competition

Mention of a college math competition conjures up images of diligent students, clad in polo-shirted uniforms, huddled over a red buzzer, whispering about factorials. They boast catchy team names like "The Denominators" or "Math-letes." However Calvin College's victorious students at the 2008 Lower Michigan Mathematics Competition (LMMC) differ from typical notions of a college-level math squad. The students attended the competition sans uniform or clever title. But they were outfitted with a passion for problem solving. Junior Tim Ferdinands of Grand Rapids, senior Jess Vriesema of Lowell and first-year student Ethan Van Andel of Grand Rapids took first place at the LMMC, held April 5 at Lawrence Technological University in Detroit. Thirty-one teams from 12 lower Michigan colleges and universities participated in the three-hour competition. Calvin had two additional teams with impressive placings: the fourth-place team of juniors Greg Clark, Sarah Snoeyink and first-year student Jim Hays and the 16th-place team of juniors Katelyn Plaisier and John Roshko and sophomore Peter Plantinga. Calvin was the only school to have two teams place in the top five in the event. Read more.


Ken Erffmeyer '86 to step into VP position


Calvin College has hired a 1986 graduate to be its next vice president for advancement. In June Ken Erffmeyer will leave a five-year post as vice president of human resources for The Thomson Corporation, recently renamed Thomson Reuters. He will leave his home state of Minnesota to begin his new duties at Calvin and will start on June 9. Calvin College has hired a 1986 graduate to be its next vice president for advancement. In June Ken Erffmeyer will leave a five-year post as vice president of human resources for The Thomson Corporation, recently renamed Thomson Reuters. He will leave his home state of Minnesota to begin his new duties at Calvin and will start on June 9. For Erffmeyer the move has the feel of a homecoming, even though he's originally from Minnesota. "The Calvin Alumni Association this year is talking about Calvin as home," said Erffmeyer, who served on the association's board from 2004 to 2007, "and for me Calvin has always felt that way. It's a place where I grew in numerous ways, including as a Christian. It's where I spent four very important years of my life. So coming back to Calvin as an employee feels good." In his new post Erffmeyer will oversee Calvin's alumni and public relations department, its communications and marketing team and the development office (Calvin currently is in the midst of a $150 million capital campaign). All told, the advancement division at Calvin numbers some 50 employees. Read more.


Calvin Track and Field Teams Claim MIAA Titles

The Calvin men's and women's track and field teams kept the tradition going on May 2 at Alma's Bahlke Stadium as both teams secured MIAA titles with first place finishes at the MIAA Field Day. The Calvin men used a come-from-behind effort to win, finishing with 254 points with Hope second with 208. Hope entered the day with a nine-point lead over Calvin. The Calvin men's and women's track and field teams kept the tradition going on May 2 at Alma's Bahlke Stadium as both teams secured MIAA titles with first place finishes at the MIAA Field Day. The Calvin men used a come-from-behind effort to win, finishing with 254 points with Hope second with 208. Hope entered the day with a nine-point lead over Calvin. The first place performance allowed the Knights to capture their 15th consecutive MIAA title including their league-leading 33rd title overall. Meanwhile, the Calvin women’s track and field team secured its 19th consecutive MIAA title including its 23rd overall with a first place total of 328.5 points with Hope second with 226 points. Calvin's current streak of 19 MIAA championships is the longest championship streak in MIAA women's athletics history. Calvin’s point total was the fifth-highest MIAA Field Day total in MIAA women's track and field history. Read more.


Jensen throws his way into the future of an ancient sport

Ninety-five years later, with the efforts of Calvin senior Ryan Jensen and others, the event is making a comeback in the MIAA. And while only contested in exhibition, the event, which features an implement comprised of a 16-pound ball attached to a wire and a handle, still names an unofficial champion. Calvin's Ryan Jensen was named champion last year, a title that would have surprised the senior thrower a few years ago. "If four years ago you would have told me this is where I would be at, I never would have guessed it," he said. The hammer throw has a long history as a sport, dating back to the Middle Ages, when it was conducted using a blacksmith's sledgehammer. It became an Olympic sport in 1900 (using a modified implement), and the event was even a part of the MIAA's first track and field competition in 1888. In fact, John Hooper, of Michigan State, was the MIAA's first hammer throw champion with a throw of 68-10½. In 1913 the hammer throw was replaced by the javelin in MIAA competition. Ninety-five years later, with the efforts of Calvin senior Ryan Jensen and others, the event is making a comeback in the MIAA. And while only contested in exhibition, the event, which features an implement comprised of a 16-pound ball attached to a wire and a handle, still names an unofficial champion. Calvin's Ryan Jensen was named champion last year, a title that would have surprised the senior thrower a few years ago. "If four years ago you would have told me this is where I would be at, I never would have guessed it," he said. Read more.


Another spring at Calvin for Bob Speelman

Bob SpeelmanWhen this time of year rolls around, Bob Speelman is eyeing the willow buds: "They get very, very large and green," he said of this first sign of spring on the Calvin campus. The other sign that spring has arrived, said Speelman, the Calvin supervisor of landscape operations, is the big maintenance list. "It seems like everything needs to be done at once," he said. "We need to repair our snowfall damage, the damage we cause with our snow removal equipment. Cleaning up, still doing spring cleaning, raking up stray leaves, spreading mulch. The waterfall—we edge it and weed it and spread fresh mulch and bark. There's re-seeding where we replace the topsoil and grass seed." The list, he indicated, goes on. Read more.


Calvin Video Productions Honored with Telly Awards

Calvin Video Productions has been honored with two Telly Awards, which honor local, regional and cable television commercials and programs, video and film productions, and work created for the Web. Calvin Video Productions has been honored with two Telly Awards, which honor local, regional and cable television commercials and programs, video and film productions, and work created for the Web. CVP won a Silver Telly Award (highest honor) for its DVD of a performance last fall by the Calvin Orchestra, and a Bronze Telly for the DVD of "Healing for a Broken World," a companion to the book of the same name by Steve Monsma of Calvin's Henry Institute. The 2008 Tellys received over 14,000 entries this year. CVP is headed by Steven Niedzielski and provides professional video production services to academic and administrative departments, to student organizations, and to individual faculty and students of Calvin College. Its facilities include a video studio and video and audio editing suites.


Baseball Team Captures MIAA Title - Punches Ticket To NCAAs

Freshmen pitchers Peter Steiner and Keith Spoelstra delivered in two pressure packed games at Woodworth Field to give Calvin its first MIAA Championship since 2002. The Knights earned a share of the league title with Adrian (22-6 MIAA, 30-10) winning game one 9-2 and took the title outright with a 2-0 win in game two. Freshmen pitchers Peter Steiner and Keith Spoelstra delivered in two pressure packed games at Woodworth Field to give Calvin its first MIAA Championship since 2002. The Knights earned a share of the league title with Adrian (22-6 MIAA, 30-10) winning game one 9-2 and took the title outright with a 2-0 win in game two. Calvin also receives the MIAA's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament which began yesterday. "We would have taken [the league title] anyway we could have, but this is certainly a lot sweeter, said first year coach John Sparks, drenched by his team after the final out. “I could be knee deep in water and still be feeling good right now." The league title is Calvin's eighth and comes on the heels of a fourth place finish a year ago and a 13-22 overall record. Calvin also added to its single-season record in wins and finishes the regular season with a 32-8 record. Adrian lost its final regular season and league game to last place Alma (8-20 MIAA, 12-28) to open the door for the Knights to take the league title outright. Read more.


Calvin Summer Camps 2008: registration information is online


Calvin provides a variety of summer youth camps and educational programs for elementary, middle and high school students. Included among these programs are: athletic camps, Knollcrest Music Camp, Chemistry Camps, Wetlands & Woodlands Camp, A.C.E. camps (Academic Camps of Excellence), and other youth programs including the popular S.T.E.P. (Striving Toward Educational Possibilities) program. Visit the Summer Programs Web site for program and registration information.Calvin provides a variety of summer youth camps and educational programs for elementary, middle and high school students. Included among these programs are: athletic camps, Knollcrest Music Camp, Chemistry Camps, Wetlands & Woodlands Camp, A.C.E. camps (Academic Camps of Excellence), and other youth programs including the popular S.T.E.P. (Striving Toward Educational Possibilities) program. Visit the Summer Programs Web site for program and registration information.


Professor Halteman Authors Humane Society Booklet

A Calvin professor of philosophy has written a booklet for The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Matt Halteman's "Compassionate Eating as Care of Creation," (PDF, 44 pages), written for the new Animals and Religion department of HSUS, is now available on the organization's Web site and will later be published in booklet form.A Calvin professor of philosophy has written a booklet for The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Matt Halteman's "Compassionate Eating as Care of Creation," (PDF, 44 pages), written for the new Animals and Religion department of HSUS, is now available on the organization's Web site and will later be published in booklet form. "It was one of the most meaningful projects that I've ever worked on," said Halteman. "Most of what I write is pretty arcane, and this was fun for me because it allowed me to communicate to a wider audience. That's something I enjoy, but haven't had much occasion to do in my scholarship." "Compassionate Eating as Care of Creation" provides a theological framework for understanding the everyday practice of eating. Halteman, an animal compassion advocate, details the moral, financial and environmental impacts-globally-of how and what people choose to eat and calls on Christians to examine their food choices as an integral part of their daily spiritual practice. Read more.


Calvin Students Produce Cooking Show on Campus

Calvin College students are getting a real-world experience this semester in media production and having some fun in the process. "Hey Mom! I Can't Cook" is a television show produced by communications arts and sciences (CAS) professor Brian Fuller's advanced media production class, CAS 351.Calvin College students are getting a real-world experience this semester in media production and having some fun in the process. "Hey Mom! I Can't Cook" is a television show produced by communications arts and sciences (CAS) professor Brian Fuller's advanced media production class, CAS 351. And while it was Fuller and fellow CAS professor Daniel Garcia who chose the cooking show concept, the pair is quick to credit their students for bringing the project to life. In fact students work at every level of the production: switcher, floor manager, audio, teleprompter, director, camera operators, and even host (that would be Calvin junior Andy Allen). Episodes were taped live in the studio of the DeVos Communication Center at 1:30 PM each Monday and Wednesday through May 7, 2008. Check out taped shows and more info at this Web address.


Calvin Distinctive #3: Spirited Community

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 faculty and staff "mentoring" program facilitates one-on-one relationships with students, and the residence hall staff helps build connections and meaningful friendships for students living away from home. 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.