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The January Series Draws Near
November 30 , 2006

The 2007 edition of The January Series at Calvin College will be a little like a reunion. The series marks the 20th under the guidance of January Series director June Hamersma, who announced last spring that 2007 will mark her moving on.

To celebrate her final January Series, Hamersma chose to bring back six of her all-time favorite presenters, including the Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble which performed for six straight years in the middle of Hamersma's tenure. And to cap her career, and the 2007 Series, Hamersma herself will take the stage for a talk on January 23 titled simply: "My Story: Twenty Years of The January Series."

She is as excited about the 2007 Series as she was planning her first 1988 Series 20 years ago.

"We've set a pretty high bar for this series," she says. "I want to be sure that 2007 is the best ever."

The 2007 January Series will begin on January 3 with a talk by Lauren Winner called "The Truth about Married Sex." Winner is the acclaimed author of such books as "Girls Meets God" and "Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity" and she returns to the Fine Arts Center stage says Hamersma after a stunning presentation in 2006.

Other 2007 presentations promise to be equally provocative. On January 12 Peter Okaalet speaks on "Health and Hope for a Hurting World." He was named a Global Health Hero in 2005 by Time Magazine and is a Ugandan physician and pastor working to bridge the gap between doctors and clergy when it comes to combating the epidemic of AIDS. In addition he is the father of a Calvin junior. On January 15, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the presenter will be Brenda Salter McNeil on "The Heart of Racial Justice." She is a pastor, teacher, evangelist and author who believes that racial and ethnic hostility is one of the most serious problems facing the contemporary church. Christopher Buckley will speak on January 22. He is an author, political and social satirist and former speechwriter for George H.W. Bush.

And then, on January 23, Hamersma wraps up the 2007 Series with her talk. She is matter-of-fact now about her moving on but knows that she might become a little more emotional around 1:30 pm on the 23rd.

Calvin president Gaylen Byker says Hamersma will be missed.

"June has been a great representative of Calvin College and its Christian, liberal arts mission," he says. "The January Series has become a vital and integral part of each Calvin year and has provided the entire community with wonderful intellectual sunshine in the middle of winter. June has been an inspiration and a role model. We will miss her."