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Celebrating the Bykers' 10 Year Anniversary
July 6, 2005

Photos from the Celebration
On July 6 the Calvin College community gathered in both Gezon Auditorium and then on the DeWit Manor lawn to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Gaylen Byker as president of Calvin and Susan Byker as the college's "first lady."

The celebration began with a short program in Gezon Auditorium after which the Bykers, their daughter Tanya, son-in-law Ian and grandchildren Bas and Eva were led, by bagpipers Sam Wanner (director of finance at Calvin) and his son to the DeWit Manor lawn for food and refreshments.



1995 3,963
2004 4,186


1995-96 $10,995
2004-05 $17,770

U.S. Minority Students

1995 147 (3.7%)
2004 223 (5.3%)

International Students

1995 91 (2.3%)
2004 213 (5.1%)

Students from denominations other than the CRC

1995 1,622 (40.9%)
2004 2,144 (51.2%)

Number of Full-Time Faculty

1995 244
2004 307

% Full-time female faculty

1995 22%
2004 30%

The Byker presidency has been a significant one, marked by rapid growth in both academic programs and buildings.

Among the highlights:

Highlights from Academic Programs, Institutes and Chairs at Calvin Since 1995

Highlights from Building Projects at Calvin Since 1995

Focus on Internationalization

A big focus for Dr. Gaylen Byker is international relations. Maybe because his Ph.D. is in International Relations!

Already over two decades ago as a Calvin undergraduate, President Byker was focused on a world bigger than just that of West Michigan. Perhaps that's because when he began Calvin he already had served in Vietnam, entering the Army in the spring of 1967, earning a commission at the age of 19 and serving as an artillery officer in Washington state and Vietnam, where he supervised 90 enlisted men in combat situations and was repeatedly decorated. He was discharged with the rank of captain and returned to study at Calvin.

At Calvin President Byker earned a bachelor's degree with concentrations in philosophy, English, political science and speech with a minor in Russian language (through courses taken at Grand Valley). He then went on to earn a law degree at Michigan (cum laude) and picked up a master's degree (magna cum laude) in world politics at Michigan on the side! He then earned that Ph.D. in international relations at Pennsylvania.

So it should be no surprise that the Byker presidency has been marked by an emphasis on global studies and service to a world beyond the U.S. borders. For example, in 1995-96 Calvin had four semester abroad programs. It now has 10. In Interim 1996 Calvin had 271 students go on 16 interims off campus. This past January the college saw 469 students go on 28 interims away from Calvin. And in 1995 the college had 91 international students (not including Canada) or 2.3 percent of the student body. This past year Calvin welcomed 213 students from other countries (not including Canada) or 5.1 percent of the student body.