September 24, 2009
A crowd of around 150 staff, faculty, students, donors and their families gathered in the Hoogenboom Health and Recreation Center at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 22, to snack on hors d’oeuvres, sing hymns with Calvin worship apprentices and hear from College Chaplain Mary Hulst, President Gaylen Byker and others. Nearby, students were learning aerobic moves in the new dance studio, professors were demonstrating equipment in the human performance lab, and a handful of players were wrapping up their racquetball game in the new court.
The occasion was the official celebration of the Hoogenboom Center, a complete remodel of the original Calvin fieldhouse—including classrooms, dance studios, health services and a human performance lab—that opened for business in early June. “This facility was undertaken with education in mind,” the president said in his acknowledgments. He thanked the Hoogenboom family and the other donors to the project.
In her message, “A Safe Place to Play,” (based on Matthew 6:25–34), Hulst emphasized the need for students to enjoy recreation: “These are over-committed, over-achieving, perfectionist, control freak, wonderful people,” she described Calvin students. "They need a place to play.” The Hoogenboom will also provide lots of service, she said, praising the community outreach offered by the professional staff of health services and the human performance lab.
A final prayer was offered by Harvey Bratt, a 1948 Calvin alumnus who pioneered health services at Calvin.
Following the celebration, worship apprentice Nicole Lenko, who had already offered the scripture reading for the service, offered praise to the new facility. “It’s large and beautiful,” said the 21-year old, senior math education major from Philadelphia. “I have a class in the dance studio. It’s fun. We do a lot of improv and exploring, and it’s exciting.”
A meaningful day
Event coordinator Kat Vinson, who planned the celebration, said: “I think it was very meaningful for the family, which was the important thing for us yesterday. We wanted to honor them for their gift to the college and also to celebrate that gift with the entire campus community.”
Director of campus wellness Roy Zuidema was thinking about what the celebration symbolized: “I think for me, this is the final item on our checklist. It’s been two years, and we can finally say we’re home,” he said. He noted the bustle in the building: “There’s so much going on in here, with intramurals, the Healthy Habits classes, general recreation for students, faculty and staff. And events—we’ve already had several events in here.”
~by Myrna Anderson, communications and marketing