Skip to Navigation | Skip to Content

Alumni Nurses Reunion

Please join us on October 18–19, 2013— during Homecoming Weekend! Calvin has had a variety of nursing training programs in its history, and alumni of all of these programs are invited to attend the gathering.

At the reunion, you’ll have the chance to tour department facilities, meet with current students, hear from an exciting lineup of speakers, receive CEU credits, and share a few meals and many stories with one another.


Friday, October 18, 2013

9 a.m.–5 p.m. Registration — Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex
Nursing reunion packets available

12:30 p.m.–5 p.m. Visit Classes

See the list of open classes on Friday: by time | by department
Please note: these are the classes that are not open.

6–7 p.m. Registration — DeVos Center Atrium
Nursing reunion packets available

7 p.m. Dinner Reception — DeVos Center Atrium
Celebrating Nurses through the Decades: 1932–2013

8 p.m. Welcome Address — Bytwerk Theater
Nursing at Calvin: 1932–2013
Judy Baker, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Nursing

Saturday, October 19, 2013

8 a.m. Registration & Morning Refreshments — DeVries Hall Atrium

9 a.m. Keynote Address — Science Building 010
Nursing in a Changing Occupational Landscape
Carolyn Wilson ’83, RN BSN MBA
One Contact Hour

10:30 a.m. Refreshment Break — Science Building

10:45 a.m. Continuing Education Sessions — Science Building
Pain Management - Room 201
Beth Byma, RN PhD, Professor of Nursing
One Contact Hour

Humor in Nursing - Room 203
Jesse Moes ’05, RN PhD, Professor of Nursing
One Contact Hour

12:30 p.m. Luncheon — Commons Dining Hall
Devotions: Tonya Church ’89, RN BSN
Nursing Manager, San Quentin State Prison

1:45 p.m. Tours

Lab Tour - Science Building Room 220
Shelly Bartels, Lab Assistant

Nursing Department Tour - DeVries Hall Atrium
Kendra Pennings ’14, Calvin Student Nurses Association President

2:30 p.m. Focus Group Discussions — Science Building

  • Session 1 - Room 101
    Nursing Alumni Affinity Group
    Join a conversation about strengthening our network of Calvin nurses.
  • Session 2 - Room 102
    Tonya Church ’89, RN BSN
    Devotions Speaker Q & A
  • Session 3 - Room 103
    Carolyn Wilson ’83, RN BSN MBA
    Keynote Speaker Q & A
  • Session 4 - Room 110
    Beth Gordon, RN MSN FCN, Professor Emeritus of Nursing
    Faith Community Nursing

3:30 p.m. Closing Reception —North Hall First Floor

6 p.m. On the Town
Sign up to go to dinner with fellow alumni for fun and conversation. Participants are responsible for meal costs and transportation.

Keynote Speaker ~ Carolyn Wilson '83
“Nursing in a Changing Occupational Landscape”

Carolyn Wilson A seasoned health care administrator with a nursing background, Ms Wilson will give perspective to the “healthcare of tomorrow” and the evolving role of nursing within a dramatically changing landscape. The uncertainty of healthcare that surrounds the Affordable Care Act, coupled with the myriad of pressing issues—including the impact of rapidly expanding technological advances, shifting patient populations, soaring costs, increasing payer and regulatory demands to name a few—sets up an unprecedented set of challenges for providers, patients, government officials and the community at large. This presentation will give a perspective from a nurse administrator background and set the stage for a dialogue on how nursing can and should participate, influence and prepare for the altered landscape in which we’ll practice.

About Carolyn

Carolyn Wilson has nearly 30 years of health care experience, ranging from direct patient care positions to strategic leadership roles. She is currently president of University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, the state’s largest hospital and core teaching hospital of the University of Minnesota Medical School. She has direct oversight and operational accountability for the medical center and its University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. In addition, she oversees Fairview Health Services’ integrated clinical service lines.

Prior to her current position, Wilson was the chief operating officer and associate dean at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she held a variety of roles for 13 years.

Wilson will address the evolving role of nursing within a dramatically changing landscape during her keynote address.


For more information about the reunion, please e-mail or call (616) 526-6142.

Friday and Saturday - $75
Friday - $20
Saturday - $60

The first 125 will receive a mug!
Register now »

See who's coming »

See you soon!

  • Ruth Rosendall Alward '59, EdD
    Calvin pre-clinical program
  • Karen Blamer '75, MSN FNP-BC
    Calvin-Blodgett nursing program
  • Debra Bossenbroek '86, MSN FNP-BC
    Calvin assistant professor of nursing
  • Benita Samuel '05, RN, BSN, MHA
    Calvin nursing major


Nursing at Calvin officially began in 1932 when the college first offered its one-year pre-nursing program. After finishing Calvin’s preparatory curriculum, students entered a school of nursing associated with a hospital to earn a registered nurse certification (RN).

Beginning in the fall of 1945, Calvin offered a bachelor of science in nursing on the combined plan degree to students completing about 2½ years (94 semester hours) at Calvin and about 2½ years at a school of nursing (which issued an RN). Many Calvin students opted to participate in the nearby Blodgett Hospital program.

In the fall of 1948, nursing students continued to complete one year of pre-nursing curriculum at Calvin, and then, after two years at Blodgett Hospital (where they received their RN certification), they were invited to return to Calvin in order to complete the 94 semester hours required for a BSN on the Combined Plan.

In 1962, nursing education delivered at Calvin was put on a hiatus. From 1962-82, the collaboration with Blodgett continued, with students attending Calvin for one year (general pre-nursing classes) and then two years at  Blodgett Hospital for an RN degree. The BSN program returned to Calvin in 1982 in cooperation with Hope College and Supported by Butterworth Hospital. This joint nursing program split in 2002, setting the stage for additional growth and the flourishing of today’s hallmark Calvin nursing program.

Historical information from Richard Harms, Curator of the Archives