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Calvin-Wire: August 1, 2010

Oil spills: Calvin prof and grad weigh in

Amanda Hoffmeye

Gerry Van Kooten, professor of geology, geography and environmental science, is monitoring Michigan's Kalamazoo River oil spill from Alaska where he is currently doing research. Before Calvin, he worked in Alaska for more than 20 years as a petroleum geologist for the Atlantic Richfield Company and as an independent consultant. Since joining Calvin's faculty, Van Kooten has taught mineralogy and petrology, structure, and geochemistry. Here he gives his thoughts on the cleanup in this Q&A.

The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico added a few extra challenges to Amanda Hoffmeyer's internship with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She landed an internship there while still a student at Calvin and prior to the April 20 explosion on a BP offshore drilling platform that set off the world’s largest oil-spill disaster in history.

Amanda was recently in Calvin news for another reason.  Watch a video about Amanda Hoffmeyer when she ran a race to help fellow student Steve Okeyo.

Homecoming and Family Weekend; Alumni Travel, Alumni Golf Tournament

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Plan a visit to campus this fall when a variety of events will be taking place.  For the first time, Homecoming and Family Weekend is being combined into one weekend, October 22 & 23, 2010.  Some of the activities planned include the annual Calvin Music Festival, but also events for the Covenant Fine Arts Center dedication, 25th anniversary of the Ecosystem Preserve, reunions for the 10-year, 25-year, 40-year and 45-year classes, and special events for parents.  You don't want to miss the English department presenting, "A Flight of Words in Honor of a New Home," culminating in a lecture by Walter Wangerin, Jr., which will take place in the Covenant Fine Arts Center.

Have you heard about Calvin Alumni Travel for alumni, friends and families?  Trips planned include:

  • "Paul’s Missionary Journeys in Turkey and the Seven Churches of Revelation," March 31 - April 12, 2011, with Jeff Weima, professor of New Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary (and leading biblical scholar) and Aaron Winkle, associate chaplain at Calvin College
  • “River Cruise through France,” May 15 - 22, 2011, will take you sailing through the heart of Provence and Burgundy with Dr. William and Mrs. Delores Stob.  This trip has early-bird booking and pay-in-full incentive deadlines coming up that you can find online.
  • “China: Past and Present,” October 24 - November 7, 2011. Explore ancient and modern China with off-campus program director, Don De Graaf.

Read more about these trips online and contact the alumni office at 616-526-6142 or e-mail

Also coming up: the 41st annual Alumni Golf Tournament on September 11, 2010.  Please join us!

News and stories from campus

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The Calvin Institute of Worship was recently honored by one of the nation's largest gatherings of African-American church leaders.

Heather Sanderson, a senior elementary education major, is an intern at Meijer Gardens this summer. One of her responsibilities involves helping to run the Kids' Tram. Ride along on one of Sanderson's recent tours.

The Calvin women’s volleyball team has received the Team Academic Award from the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Calvin alums Hannah Bormann '09 and Robert Zandstra '08 have been selected as Lilly Graduate Fellows for 2010-2013, an honor bestowed upon just 16 people each year. The program, an initiative of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts, supports outstanding students in PhD programs who are interested in teaching at Christian institutions.   Other news briefs >>

New, interactive estate and gift planning

Calvin's Gift Planning website
Good estate planning provides for your family or heirs, distributes your personal possessions as you have designated, and minimizes estate settlement expense and distress.  It also expresses your Christian values and convictions through special bequests. And it can minimize taxes.  Yet 55% of Americans have no will.
If you’re without a will, or your current estate plan needs a check-up, Calvin College’s new gift planning website has information to help, along with customized, interactive tools.  There you’ll find a wealth of information, including:
  • Age-appropriate information about estate planning
  • An estate planning toolbox and glossary of terms
  • E-brochures and current estate and gift planning news you can read instantaneously
  • A gift calculator to immediately determine the personal, charitable and tax benefits that various types of charitable gifts provide you
  • Customized, side-by-side comparison of giving options
Of course, Calvin’s gift planning staff is also available to help you. Contact Sally Vander Ploeg or Ruth Vis at 616-526-8719 or by sending a message to:

Prince Conference Center

Prince Conference Center, Grand Rapids

Tucked away in a peaceful, serene setting, just a bridge walk east from the main Calvin campus, is the Prince Conference Center.  You'll find the atmosphere casual and relaxing with many windows to take in the view, two cozy fireplaces, a patio overlooking the nature preserve and a baby grand piano—all designed to make your visit a pleasant and enjoyable one.

Whether you're visiting family in the area or a student on campus, or looking for a retreat location, you'll always feel right at home at the Prince. Visit their new website for pictures and more information about amenities, rates and discounts.

Vimeo...and more!

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Did you know that Calvin College has eight Vimeo channels?  You can watch January Series speakers, such as James K. A. Smith, author of "Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation," a 2010 Christianity Today Book Award winner.  Or you can watch an episode of Calvin's cooking show, "Hey Mom I Can't Cook."   Read more student profiles, faculty and staff profiles, and alumni profiles on News & Stories, or subscribe to the News & Stories Vimeo channel to see all the latest news from campus.

Here are other cool resources for Calvin ...

Vimeo - Calvin | Alumni
Twitter - Calvin | Alumni | Calvin News | Knights
Facebook - Calvin | Alumni | Admissions
LinkedIn - Calvin | Alumni



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