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Calvin-Parents E-Newsletter: March 17, 2009

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Festival of Faith & Music

The Festival of Faith & Music, which will take place this year from April 2 through 4, is a biennial conference that brings together musicians, critics, journalists, musicians, artists, and listeners for three days of discussing and celebrating insightful music that explores, in some significant way, issues of faith. They seek to be conscientious listeners, agents of renewal and prophets of the Light, but this is only one aspect of their mission.  There is now a News & Stories feature on faith and music, Calvin-style, which includes links to the artists and their music, as well as a link to an interview with Ken Heffner, Calvin's director of student activities. 

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Jubilee Fellows named

At Calvin a new generation is being mentored to become the Christian leaders of tomorrow.  Every year, the Lilly Vocation Project gives 12 students the opportunity to discern their vocation for Christian ministry and the Jubilee Fellows are selected. This year the project has named the following students as fellows: Nick Baas, Rachel Bergman, Jonathan De Ruiter, Brandon Haan, Josh Kuipers, Kate Oswald, Katie Pruss, Charlotte Sandy, Tracy Ver Merris and Philip Vestal.  Read more about this year's group of Jubilee Fellows.

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Service spring break trips planned

Calvin students are finalizing their school work as they prepare to get away and relax for a week during spring break.  Some students plan a week of service for their spring break and choose from trips offered by the Service-Learning Center.  The Service-Learning Center sponsors trips which sends groups around the country to serve alongside worthy non-profit organizations.  The goal is that students will also learn about cultures other than their own. Calvin students and mentors will spend spring break doing everything from urban ministry to hurricane relief.  See what trip opportunities are available this year.

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Women's Chorale leaves for Pacific Northwest

Calvin Woman's Chorale, an honor choir founded and led by Dr. Pearl Shangkuan, will tour Oregon, Washington and British Columbia during the college's spring break, March 21-28, 2009.  On that site, you can follow their trip and see photos taken as they meet parents, alumni and friends along the way.  You can also listen to a few samples of their recent recordings.

The Calvin Woman's Chorale has already performed at festivals throughout Michigan and sings at the annual Fall Music Festival, the Festival of Lessons and Carols, and presents a full concert each spring. The chorale toured the East Coast in 2005 and, following that tour, the choir released its debut recording, Music Down in My Soul. In 2007, the chorale spent three weeks on an tour to South Korea, China and Southern California.

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Annual verification of health insurance

During the month of April, each student is asked to submit information about their current health insurance coverage.  Students will be asked to submit this information through an online waiver system offered by UnitedHealthCare Student Resources, the company who underwrites Calvin’s Student Health Insurance Plan.  This online system may be accessed beginning April 1st at

Students will have the opportunity to enroll in or waive out of the KnightCare Student Health Insurance Plan for the 2009-2010 academic year. If a student chooses to waive out of KnightCare, they must be prepared to answer questions about their current health insurance coverage.  Occasionally, this insurance information is something that a college student will need to obtain from a parent or guardian.

Students who enroll in the plan and students who do not fill out a waiver form by May 15th will have the KnightCare premium posted to their Miscellaneous Account in July.  The 2009-10 premium is $999. Plan coverage begins August 15, 2009 and expires on August 15, 2010.  

For additional information about student health insurance, students and parents can visit Health Services.

For questions or concerns, please contact Kelly Moore (Immunizations and Insurance) at 616-526-6568 or

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Summer Academy at Calvin

The Summer Academy at Calvin is still recruiting for the July 2009 session.  See their site for information on the extended deadline and application process. Nothing prepares you for the real thing like the real thing.  The Summer Academy; a real college experience for real college experience.  Contact Julie Veeneman (; 616-526-7643 or 616-617-7317), manager of The Summer Academy and Academic Content Experience (ACE) International Program.

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Living in van Reken hall

Junior and senior students are applying to live in a new residence hall, van Reken, that creates an intentional community of learning.  The residential part of college life is essential to the whole college experience. It’s also the main reason for increased demand for on-campus living opportunities (they have been filled beyond capacity) and it is what prompted the creation of van Reken hall.  Completed in the fall, the new wing of Kalsbeek-Huizenga, named after the van Reken family who were primary donors to the project, reflects the heart and work of the entire van Reken family which has a legacy of involvement with mission work.  Read more about van Reken hall.

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Swimmers and divers head to nationals

Calvin's swimming and diving team will send 11 individuals to this week’s NCAA III Championships scheduled to be held at the University of Minnesota. Competing for Calvin in swimming events will be seniors Cara Van Woerkom and Julie Wolfe, juniors Maggie Vail, Emily Roberts, Laura Price and Libby Veldkamp and sophomores Kendra Kinzer and Monica Bressler. Competing for Calvin in the diving competition will be seniors Erica Deur and Jeena Velzen and junior Casey Herman.

The Calvin sports information department caught up with seniors Cara Van Woerkom and Julie Wolfe along with junior Maggie Vail on Monday before the Knights departed for Minneapolis and recorded interviews that can be heard on the sports site.

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Student Treats:  Popcorn

The next installment of student treats to order for your student features popcorn!  Your student can dive into a bag of popcorn to help get back into school after spring break.  They'll also need some snacks (and maybe more to share?) to help with the last push until exams.  The Popcorn Treat features three bags of deluxe, flavored popcorn—caramel, cheese, and butter—and includes a personal-sized bag of the fruity favorite "Monster Munch."

The order deadline is March 24 with delivery on March 31 (PLEASE NOTE date correction from the brochure).  And don't forget your off-campus student!  Students living off-campus will receive an e-mail notifying them they have a treat to pick up, within two business days, at the appointed location on campus.  If you have questions about the treats, contact or 616-526-6802.

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Events for alumni, friends and families

Bookmark the alumni events calendar to keep track of important dates throughout the year, to which you are warmly invited, as a parent, alumni and/or friend of the college.  More information is found there for each of the following events:

Mar. 20-26: Baseball team in Phoenix
Mar. 21-28: Women's Chorale Pacific Northwest tour
Mar. 24 & 28: Prof. Quentin Schultze in Florida
Apr. 25: Calvin 5k Spring Classic

Don't forget to read the spring 2009 issue of Spark, the magazine of alumni and friends of Calvin College.

Parent Calendar

Bookmark the parent calendar to keep track of important dates throughout the year, including:
  • Mar. 20: Spring break begins at 5 p.m.; First half semester courses end
  • Mar. 21: Residence halls close at 10 a.m.
  • Mar. 29: Residence halls open at noon
  • Mar. 30: Spring break ends 8 a.m.; Second-half semester courses begin
  • Apr. 1: Miscellaneous charges payment due (1st of each month)
  • Apr. 3: Last day to add second-half semester courses
  • Apr. 9: Last day to drop or change full semester courses
  • Apr. 15: Deadline for students to verify health insurance status on Knightvision
  • Apr. 20: Tuition, room & board payment due
  • Apr. 22: Honors Convocation

News & Stories from campus

Check out a wealth of great stories that are always available on the News & Stories site.

Be sure to bookmark the Parent Calendar page (which also links to other campus calendars for sporting events, music department concerts and student activities office concerts) to keep track of important dates throughout the year, including:
Calvin Sports: This week's athletic events

Calvin KnightsFor information about athletic events visit the redesigned Sports Information Web site. Need Calvin sports results fast? Call the Calvin sports hotline at 616-526-6522 for current sports updates. You can also sign up for the Calvin Sports-Report, a free e-mail bulletin notifying Calvin sports fans of current sports news.

Other Helpful Links:
Parent & Family Resources
Parent Calendar
Worship & Discipleship
Campus News
Daily Sports Update
Roving WebCam Click for the weather forecast at Calvin