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Calvin Wire - February 15, 2009 - vol. 9, no. 4

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:
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A letter from President Byker about the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Dedication events

Dear Calvin Community,

The Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex is now open and being used by many already.  Renovation of the old Fieldhouse continues as it will be converted into a new state-of-the art health and recreation center, scheduled to open mid-May.

With gratitude to God, and to many who contributed toward this vital project, we will celebrate the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex in a public dedication ceremony on Friday, February 20, at 4 p.m. in the Van Noord Arena.  A reception will follow.

The week of February 17 - 22 will include a variety of campus events for everyone to enjoy.  Please take advantage of the many opportunities to gather together and be reminded of God's goodness to the Calvin community.

Gaylen Byker

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Homecoming 2009, Calvin Theater Company's 75 years and "Go Calvin Women!"

The 2008-09 school year marks 75 years of theatre at Calvin. To celebrate this milestone in theatrical achievement, the Homecoming theme is, “A Knight at the Theatre” and will feature receptions, luncheons, lectures and workshops for all.  The featured work on stage is The Government Inspector, a  witty, imaginative and wildly satirical play that is being directed by alumni Kirsten Kelly and features many alumni actors.   

Other Homecoming 2009 activities include hockey, tennis and basketball, Airband in its 25th year, the annual Sem Pond Jump (yes, into the pond near the Seminary!), the Ambassadors Dinner and Award Celebration honoring Professor Ed Ericson and more!  The events of the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Dedication celebration will also be taking place that week and are open to all.

A special "Go Calvin Women" promotion is underway for the Calvin women's basketball game against Hope on Homecoming Saturday, Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. Since this is the first Homecoming game to feature only the women's teams, we want to show our support in a big way.  Tickets are on sale for $2 each and each ticket entitles the holder to a free hot dog and soda at the Knight's Cafe in the fieldhouse lobby.  Tickets will be available at this special price at the Calvin Box Office during the week and at the Calvin men's game vs. Albion on Feb. 18.  Get your tickets, fill up the arena and cheer on the Knights on Homecoming Saturday, Feb. 21!

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A new Knight for Calvin

Speaking of the new athletic complex and upcoming sporting events, did you know that Calvin has a new mascot?  The new Knight was was introduced in front of the 4,632 fans that sold-out the arena on February 11 when the men's basketball team hosted Hope College at the new Van Noord Arena for the first time.  The mascot was part of the excitement which included the Knights defeating Hope by one point in the final seconds of the game!  You are now able to watch a video of the mascot tryouts and read more about how this mascot was chosen.  If you are in town, be sure to get tickets to an upcoming event held in one of the new facilities and look for the new mascot to be there, too.  Any of these sporting events offer a fun, family-friendly outing for all ages that you won't want to miss!  (Also, check out the photo gallery from the mascot's first game.)

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Comenius Scholars program

The Comenius Scholars program, supported by a $250,000 grant from the McGregor Fund, is designed to place Calvin's liberal arts majors in internships with non-profit organizations. The program partners with local non-profits to provide high-quality, paid internships in their organizations. Community partners provide 25–50 percent of the student’s stipend, and the Comenius Scholars program, through the McGregor grant, provides the remaining amount. Students also receive course credit for their experiences and participate in a weekly seminar with other Comenius interns. Read more about this resume-building opportunity.

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Festival of Faith & Music

The Festival of Faith & Music, which will take place this year from April 2 through 4, is a biennial conference that brings together musicians, critics, journalists, musicians, artists, and listeners for three days of discussing and celebrating insightful music that explores, in some significant way, issues of faith. They seek to be conscientious listeners, agents of renewal and prophets of the Light, but this in only one aspect of their mission.  Read more, such as what artists will be performing and who the presenters will be, on the Festival of Faith & Music site.

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Calvin alumni, faculty in symphony production of "The Planets"; House resolution for President Spoelhof

A performance of Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” is a breathtaking experience.  Add spectacular images from NASA and you have a concert that’s out of this world. The Grand Rapids Symphony, led by John Varineau from Calvin's music department, leads an outer space tour on Feb. 20 and 21 in a multimedia performance featuring still photos and video from NASA.  The musical work also includes women from the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, which is led by Calvin's Pearl Shangkuan, and narrarated by U.S. Congressman Vernon J. Ehlers '56, physics professor emeritus at Calvin. 

Congressman Ehlers has introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives honoring former Calvin president William Spoelhof, under whom Ehlers served. House Resolution 91 concludes with these words: "Resolved, That the House of Representatives honors the life of Dr. William Spoelhof and his outstanding devotion and service as a member of the military, teacher, and professor, president, and friend of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan." Ehlers is now a U.S. Congressman, representing Michigan's 3rd Congressional District, and the first research physicist to serve in Congress. He spent three years at Calvin as a student before earning his undergraduate degree in physics and his doctoral degree in nuclear physics from the University of California at Berkeley. He taught at Calvin for 16 years, beginning in 1966, including the final decade of Spoelhof's 25-year tenure as Calvin's president.

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There is a story about the new climbing wall and the half-semester class associated with it, plenty of photos from the new athletic complex activities, linked videos from a variety of activities and topics, and many fascinating faculty and staff profiles -- all found on News & Stories.  You can also link to Calvin on Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and Twitter from there.

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.