After graduation, I attended the University of Iowa Medical School and did my residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Nebraska. I practiced internal medicine in Des Moines, Iowa, followed by a number of different roles. I was the medical director for a large medical group, the chief medical officer of the Iowa Health System and later the chief medical officer of Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. I have now embarked on the “third phase” of life. I serve on a number of boards, do some consulting, travel with my wife with her business and most, importantly, am an active grandfather (Opa).
Since attending Calvin, life continues to leave me amazed that God knows and loves me.
Dori Wiltjer De Graaf
Relocating to Phoenix, Ariz., opened up new adventures in my role as trauma social worker in a level one trauma center helping individuals and families cope with tragic loss and managing the grieving process. I’ve had my own multiple life “losses” but consider myself a survivor, which helps me reach out to others during their tough time.
I attended Calvin Theological Seminary after a year of ministry experience in Boulder, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Then I worked for the Michigan Department of Corrections while in seminary—that combination gave me the best education for ministry. I became ordained in the Christian Reformed Church in 1979. I married Deanne Stob in 1975; we had three children, now all married, and have seven precious grandchildren living in Michigan, Montana and Colorado. I was a parish pastor in Calgary for five years and then in Honolulu for six years. In 1990, I then transitioned to chaplaincy work in Denver. Now I am the director of pastoral education and care at Swedish Medical Center, conducting a clinical pastoral education residency. I am still singing—now at Wellshire Presbyterian, which has a truly incredible choir. Dee has worked at Denver Christian as support services director since 1990. God is good, life is good and our children and their families love and serve the Lord, for which we give thanks.
Since attending Calvin, I earned a master’s degree in European history from the University of Virginia and a M.A.L.S. from the University of Michigan. We moved to Mishawaka, Ind., after life in Ann Arbor, and I have been the library director of the Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library since 1980. We are active in the South Bend CRC, and I am very active in Lions Club at a local and regional level.
In 1972, I married Calvin student Claire Pals and attended Calvin Theological Seminary, graduating in 1979 with an M.Div. degree, and in 1989 I graduated from Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Mich., with a Doctor of Ministry degree. As an ordained minister in the CRC I’ve served churches in Holland (Park, South Olive, and Bethany), Chicago (Western Springs), and Grand Rapids (Ada and Hanley, which is in Grandville). Claire and I have three children and seven grandchildren. Calvin prepared us well for serving the Lord.
Fay Bossenbroek Garrett
I taught in Cutlerville for two years and then moved with my husband to his hometown of Everett, Wash., in 1974 and have lived there since. It was tough getting a job in Washington at the time, but I finally found one at a new Christian school. I taught at another Christian school and then started teaching at a large middle school in Everett. I’ve been there over 20 years, and I have enjoyed teaching math and science. I haven’t retired yet, but I am looking forward to it. I have two daughters who both went to Calvin and now both live in the Bay Area of California. After a divorce in 1989, I was a single mom for several years, but I met someone in 2000 (a fun story!) and am now happily remarried for six years. God is good!
Cindy Vander Veen Ippel
Jack and Cindy are planning to return in 2012-2013 for their fifth year of living in Budapest, Hungary. Jack is teaching English to high school students at a Hungarian state high school and Cindy is volunteering with Ecumenical Diaconate Year Network (EDYN) and with Hungarian Baptist Aid, doing editing and proofing of their websites and English documents. Jack and Cindy are able to return to their condo in Zeeland, Mich., over the summer and Christmas to spend time with their eight grandchildren and the rest of their family and friends.
I met the love of my life 40 years ago in the library at Calvin. We now have three daughters and three sons; all are married except our youngest son. We have 17 grandchildren. We have seen the world, but choose West Michigan as our home. Despite great success throughout our family over the years, I realize more and more what a sinner I am and how grateful I am for the forgiveness and salvation afforded me in Jesus.
Nancy Tess Van Halsema Lindholm
My life since Calvin has included a teaching career, then an M.A. in applied linguistics, followed by ten years with Wycliffe Bible Translators doing literacy work with the Quechua people in the Andes Mountains of Peru. The Lord brought my future husband to Peru and I married for the first time at 40 and had our two children at 42 and 44 years of age (20 years later than most of you!). By the way, at Calvin, I was Nancy Van Halsema and now I am known by my second name and married name – Tess Lindholm. After living in California for eight years, we moved to Grand Rapids in 1997. I have worked a variety of part time jobs while raising our two children, a son who is now a sophomore at Calvin and a daughter who is a high school senior. I am now working in my third position at Calvin College as the administrative assistant in the sociology and social work department. This July, following a lifelong interest of mine, I started a one-year online course to become a certified health coach. While continuing my job at Calvin to get my kids through college with the employee tuition discount, I hope to also focus on creating opportunities to inspire others (especially Baby Boomers like us) one on one and in groups to make healthier diet and lifestyle choices. One of my first gigs as a health coach will be teaching a free, six-week class at Gilda’s Club here in Grand Rapids in January 2013 on how to live an anticancer lifestyle. Anyone in the GR area who has been impacted by cancer personally or through a family member is welcome to attend! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details!
My journey has been very blessed and I feel extremely fortunate as I write to you from Halifax, Nova Scotia, known as Canada’s Ocean Playground. After leaving Calvin, I lived in Oak Park, Ill.; Edmonton, Alta.; and now live in Halifax. I have been well blessed regarding educational opportunities. After I graduated from Calvin College, I graduated from Roosevelt University in Chicago with a master’s degree in urban studies and then from the University of Alberta in Edmonton with an M.Ed. in special education and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology. My time at Calvin College certainly instilled a spirit for learning and a thirst for knowledge that has continued into the present. From a career perspective, I have also been blessed. I am a practicing psychologist at the Student Counseling Centre at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Previously I worked for Edmonton Public Schools as a researcher and at the Glenrose Hospital in Edmonton as a child care counselor. I am the proud father of three daughters. Krista is a pediatric nurse at the children’s hospital in Halifax. Lesley lives and works on Sault Spring Island in British Columbia. Joy will graduate from the University of Victoria in environmental science and political science at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. In addition, I am engaged to a wonderful woman, Christine, who is also a counselor and who has a terrific and sweet daughter, Angeline. God has been good. Regardless of the ebb and flow in my spiritual life and how I might apply that faith and practice, I am thankful for my exposure to a spiritual education and environment in which faith and practice were highly valued.
After Calvin, I attended and graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary. I have been a CRC pastor for 35 years—in Michigan, New York, Indiana, and now again in Michigan. I married Jill when I was a senior; we have been blessed with eight children, and our ninth grandchild arrived in summer 2012. We have done some traveling, including two pilgrimages in the Holy Land. Our oldest is a CRC missionary in Mexico, and we enjoy visits to his country. Ten years ago, we took both of our Korean children to their homeland. We have been blessed to be part of a six-family camping group composed of seminary classmates. Over the past 35 years, we have shared many joys and sorrows—but we have always been there for each other as an extension of our families.
Debra Bergsma Otte
Life has brought me an enduring relationship with my amazing husband, Michael Otte; the overwhelming blessing of two talented and fantastic children, Elizabeth and David; the challenge of graduate training (in design at Tisch) which in turn brought career opportunities in both (costume) design and teaching; engaging and stimulating work in commercial (too many to begin any sort of list) and educational theatre (director of theatre at Long Island University and director of production and design at Montclair State University); the joy of mentoring thousands of theatre students as a professor and through regional and national leadership with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival; challenging work in the design of hundreds of productions; and so many great friends. And each year I find that there is still need to practice better judgment, speak more kindly and live with greater humility.
God has been good to me. I’ve been privileged to live and work in several countries, mostly with the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC, now known as World Renew): Belize, Honduras, Mexico, Costa Rica, Kenya and Thailand. I’ve been privileged to study bilingual education at Grand Valley State University and agricultural development at University of Florida and University of East Anglia. We have been blessed with vibrant kids and grandkids, too.
Nancy Van Hoff Reenders
After graduation I taught preschool for a few years before staying home to raise our three children. Following that I worked for Access of West Michigan as hunger response director for 20 years. Now I am retired and helping to care for our in-town grandchild a couple of days a week. My husband Garry and I enjoy traveling to see family on both coasts and our children in Kentucky and North Carolina. A highlight of the last several years has been attending the Calvin Festival of Faith & Writing Workshop.
Doris Wynbeek Rikkers
After a short stint as an English teacher, I became an editor for the Young Calvinist Federation publication called Insight Magazine. After four years there, I received a call from staff at Zondervan Publishing who needed a managing editor for the final stage of the New International Version of the Bible. I accepted that position and remained in Bible publishing for 17 years, building the Bible editorial department and a long list of best-selling Bibles. I worked briefly for another Bible publisher before beginning my own business in 1998. I have written several best-selling children’s books and have been involved in many Bible projects; the most recent ones are The Grandmother’s Bible and the Family Reading Bible. Currently I am a student at Calvin Theological Seminary getting my master’s degree in Bible and theology. My husband, Bill, died in 2009. I have a son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Sheena, who live in Redando Beach, Calif., and my son Brian lives in Grand Rapids.
Having only completed two years in Calvin’s music program, I spent a couple years in the Navy and then 38 years at Berger Chevrolet in Grand Rapids where I am director of parts operations. For the past 13 years, I have been the choir director for our church. I sang with the Schubert Male Chorus of Grand Rapids for five years, and I am presently in my seventh year with The King’s Choraliers. I have had the honor to sing under James DeJong, Howard Slenk, Merle Mustert, Pearl Shangkuan, Don Scott and several other learned musicians, and I have absorbed much that I have been able to share with my choirs. It’s a great journey and I am very thankful!
Dawn Vanden Heuvel Terpstra
Since graduation from Calvin, I married Doug Terpstra ’71 and we lived in California for seven years; that time included teaching fourth grade for two years at Ontario Christian. We now live in Orland Park, Ill., enjoying our four children and three grandchildren. I’ve always loved teaching and serving young children in Bible clubs, Story Hour, Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) and preschool. God’s call to orphan care ministry has led me to Romania, Guatemala, Kenya, Honduras and Haiti.
Linda Lou Tjepkema-Schroeder
Life since Calvin College has opened many doors for me. One year after graduating I married Steve Schroeder and moved to Imlay City, Mich., where I began subbing in the public school system there. The following year I taught third and fourth grades at Imlay City Christian School. A year later we moved to Howe, Ind., where I began raising our first daughter, Kelly Lyn (now age 35 and living in Omaha, Neb., with her husband, Adam, and daughter, Teagan Leigh). Eighteen months later, during the blizzard of ’78, we moved to Jackson, Ohio, where we had two more children, Craig Steven (age 33, now married to Amy Southland; they have three children), and Katie Lu (married to Adam Bunday). Twelve years later, we moved to Grandville, Mich., where I went back to get my early childhood endorsement at Grand Valley State University and began teaching 3- to 5-year-olds at the Grand Valley Co-op Preschool. Nine years later, in 2000, we moved to Perrysburg, Ohio, where I taught second grade at Toledo Christian School for one year, and we then moved back to Byron Center, Mich., where I now live in a cozy condo on Reflection Lake, sub a little, and work part time for RDV Corp. Life has been good. God has blessed us abundantly and my husband retired early so we can help out with CRWRC mission projects and travel a bit.
Joan Halma Vander Haak
After graduating, my husband and I lived in Denver for a few years where we both taught. We then moved to Lynden, Wash., for Bob’s teaching job and I worked as a secretary before having a family. I quit my job of 20 years as a church secretary/worship coordinator at the end of 2010 and have since been a pianist and choir accompanist at a local Methodist church, as well as a volunteer at the local Christian school. We have two married sons and twin grandsons.
Collene Lubbinge Van Noord
Life has been wonderful. My Calvin education has helped prepare me for life and for my career. Alan and I raised two terrific sons and moved from West Michigan to Mid-Michigan and then to Central Pennsylvania. My career has moved through teaching (reading support K-12 and kindergarten), language arts consultant, curriculum director and superintendent. Through this journey, I believe I have been blessed to be a blessing.
Karen Van Grouw Veldman
Shortly after graduation I married Bob Veldman and also began teaching fourth grade at Holland Christian School. I taught there for almost five years until our first child, Michelle, was born in 1977. Our son, Craig, was born in 1978 and we raised our family in Jenison, Mich. Ten years later, in 1988, I returned to teaching part time at Borculo Christian in the middle school. I have continued teaching at BCS for 24 years until the present time. My husband, Bob, works for Spartan Stores Inc. and both of our children are married and live in the area. We currently have six grandchildren—three girls and three boys all under age seven. We feel very blessed and are thankful to God for the many ways my education at Calvin College has enriched our lives.
After receiving a B.S. degree in medical record administration I worked at hospitals in the Chicago, Ill., area and in Grand Rapids. I then made a career move from acute care hospital settings to an outpatient setting by working at the Health Center of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich., for 17 years. Over 400 patients were helped each day. I was very involved in the transition from paper to electronic health records. I have been able to travel to many different countries in the world which has provided many interesting and broadening experiences. I now enjoy taking many different classes through the Calvin Academy for Lifelong Learning (CALL) program.