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updated 2/14/01

Calvin Celebrates 125

Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary will officially celebrate their 125th anniversary on March 15, 2001.

But the highlight of the anniversary year promises to be a special worship service in the Calvin College Fieldhouse on Sunday, March 4, 2001 at 4 p.m.

Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary are inviting not just members of their campuses, but all of West Michigan to the celebratory service. Already they have extended the invitation to local churches, many of which plan to cancel their evening service that day and meet at Calvin instead.

Highlights of that service will include participation of local choirs, the preaching of Calvin College dean of the chapel Dr. Cornelius Plantinga (also a professor at the Seminary) and the unveiling of a 125th anniversary hymn. That hymn was the winner of a contest held this past fall, a contest that drew some 30 entries. The theme text for the 125th anniversary year comes from Ephesians 3: 14-21, part of which reads: "To Him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than we can ask or imagine..."

Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary (now two separate institutions) will host a special banquet for friends of the college and seminary on March 14, 2001 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. And on March 15, 2001 there will be celebratory events on both campuses, including the traditional birthday cake and ice cream and more.

As befits an institution of higher education, Calvin College also has already held, and will continue to hold, a number of more contemplative events. For example, on February 2 (as part of Homecoming weekend) former Calvin professor Dr. Nick Wolterstorff (now at Yale) delivered a talk titled "Christian Philosophy and Calvin College." On February 3 (again as part of Homecoming) professor of music emeritus Dr. Howard Slenk spoke on "A History of Music at Calvin College."

February also includes two events event aimed at Black History Month. On February 15 Calvin will host a panel discussion called "Calvin's Multicultural Past, Present, and Future," featuring a variety of ethnic minority Calvin alumni. There will be a pre-panel reception at 3 p.m. and the panel will begin at 3:30 p.m. in Gezon Auditorium. And on February 23, Dr. Willie Jennings, an African American alum who now is a professor at Duke University, will speak on "The Color of the Mind: Race, Christian Discipleship and the Intellectual Life."

Music will again take center stage in March when, on March 31, Calvin alum Michelle De Young, a nationally acclaimed opera singer, performs "an evening of opera music" in the Fine Arts Center. Other March events include a March 8 lecture on "Communications Technologies and Truth" by Calvin graduate Dr. Clifford Christians, University of Illinois.

Calvin also plans to publish a special commemorative publication that will trace the arc from a one-room schoolhouse with seven students to two institutions, one highly respected theological school and the other one of the nation's top Christian institutions, drawing 4,300 students from almost every U.S. state, a majority of Canadian provinces and some 40 countries around the world.

Read fun facts about Calvin

For more details on the celebration see

For photos from Hekman Library see

For a timeline see

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Contact Phil de Haan.