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Calvin-Wire: June 1, 2011

President Byker: Leaving a Legacy

President Gaylen Byker

President Gaylen Byker will retire after the 2011-2012 school year. During his tenure, the college has re-envisioned its core curriculum, augmented its academic programs, expanded its campus across the East Beltline, renovated old facilities and constructed new ones, hosted a major art exhibition, welcomed the President of the United States as Commencement speaker, conducted a capital campaign, established six endowed chairs and eight centers and institutes, and greatly enhanced its global presence.

Watch a video and read more about
Leaving a Legacy to Calvin College after 16 years of service to his alma mater. Do you remember his inaugural address, "Embarrassment of Riches"?

Congratulations Class of 2011

Graduation 2011

Calvin's 91st Commencement was Saturday, May 21, 2011. Events for the celebratory weekend included the 50th reunion of the Class of 1961 (see photos) and presentation of this year's Distinguished Alumni Award to Mary Vermeer Andringa '72 and Robert Rooy '70.

If you would still like to watch the address to the graduates, "One Thing Needful," by English professor Jennifer Holberg, you may view the Vimeo here or on the Commencement page.  You may also watch the full graduation ceremony here. Photo galleries for the weekend events are in the Roving Web Cam gallery.


Nick Kramer

The men’s and women’s track teams produced four All-America finishes on the final day of competition at the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships last week. One of the top finishes was turned in by senior Nick Kramer who took fourth in the 5,000 meters less than 24 hours after having finished third in the steeplechase the night before. It marks the second straight year that Kramer has pulled off the difficult steeplechase/5K All-America double. 

Coach Bret Otte was recently named Division III Great Lakes Regional Women’s Track & Field Coach of the Year

Senior Melissa Oosterhouse closed out her collegiate tennis career by advancing to the Round of 16 at the NCAA III Singles Tournament before bowing to a fifth-seed opponent. Oosterhouse is the first Calvin women’s tennis player to pick up a victory at the NCAA III Singles Tournament. She concludes her season with an 19-2 singles record and a career singles mark of 78-14. She is the all-time Calvin women’s tennis leader in singles victories. With her first round victory in the tournament, Oosterhouse qualifies for ITA Division III All-America honors, the first individual in Calvin women’s tennis history to do so.

A Special Olympics competition recently took place on campus and the Calvin softball team spent the day volunteering with the Special Olympians.

Student teaching award, prestigious fellowship

Christine Orlando

Christine Orlando was recently chosen as the Michigan Student Teacher/Intern of the Year. A 22-year-old elementary and special education major from Columbia, Md., Orlando grew up knowing that she wanted to be a teacher. She was encouraged to apply to Calvin by several of her high school teachers who were Calvin graduates. Read more about Christine and her award here.

A prestigious fellowship from the Fund for Theological Education is helping Daniel Camacho fulfill his call to the ministry. Camacho grew up in Uniondale, N.Y, the son of Colombian parents who, though not full-time pastors, did various types of ministry. “I think they know a lot more than I do,” he said. “Even if I know more knowledge in books, they know Jesus, and that continues to inspire me.” Read more about him and how he found Calvin.

Fun with science

Chemistry demo

Area middle schoolers enjoy things exploding, foaming over and glowing in the dark at the 21st-annual Chem Demos (watch the video). These annual chemistry demonstrations bring hundreds of children from area elementary schools to Calvin in order to show them that chemistry is more than formulas and equations they’ll have to memorize in high school—it’s literally everywhere.

The students in Eric Arnoys' biochemistry II class choose their favorite protein for this year via a bracket. Arnoys created the protein bracket last year when he asked his class the question: “What’s your favorite protein?” The results: hemoglobin. By a landslide. But Arnoys didn’t believe these results so, at the end of the semester, he put together a bracket to determine if hemoglobin was still the student favorite. Instead, hemosylin was the 2010 winner.


Herb Brinks

Herb Brinks, Calvin history professor emeritus and founder of the Calvin archives, recently died at his home after a lengthy bout with myeloma. Brinks, 75, served the college for more than 30 years. He is survived by his wife Ruth, four children and seven grandchildren.


Calvin Summer Slam Team Camps are high school basketball tournaments for girls and boys teams from around the country.  They play and stay on Calvin’s campus for three days in the summer.  Read more about Summer Slam.


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