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Calvin-Parents E-Newsletter: June 2, 2009

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Commencement 2009

The Calvin community celebrated with over 900 new graduates and their families for Commencement 2009 events on Saturday, May 23, including the 50th reunion of the Class of 1959 and presentation of this year's Distinguished Alumni Award to Sidney J. Jansma, Jr. '65 and Bastian Vanderzalm '69. Take a behind-the-scenes look at the 2009 Commencement ceremony at Van Noord Arena on campus. See all of the work by many unsung heroes leading up to the event!  There is also a story about Prof. Larry Louters wearing Dr. William Spoelhof's gown and hood to Commencement.  And photo galleries, photo ordering options, event highlights, programs and other links are posted on the Commencement site.

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Student retention: What you can do to help

Now that the Fall-2009 registration process has concluded for most returning students, we have reviewed our student retention numbers and can report that they are tracking closely to enrollment trends recorded in recent years.   While this is certainly good news, it is important that each member of the Calvin community continue to look for ways to encourage and serve our returning students throughout the summer as they finalize their plans about returning in the fall.

So - We need and ask for your assistance!    Please continue to help us keep an eye and ear out for those who are struggling with the decision to return.    As you encounter students who are unsure about their plans for the fall, we ask that you do your best to help connect them to the Calvin people and resources they need to help sort it out. Below are a couple of key areas to remember and recommend as you interact with these students.  

Financial aid  - Students who express concerns about college financing and affordability should be encouraged to contact a financial aid counselor ( or 616.526.6134) at any time.   Financial aid staff will be available throughout the summer to meet and/or talk with students about these important challenges.

Academic planning - Students who are struggling academically and/or are having difficulty deciding on which course of study to pursue should be encouraged to contact the academic services team ( or 526.6155) for assistance.   Both academic counselors and advisors are available to consult with students on how to effectively navigate the curriculum and find success in their studies.

Please know that we appreciate and recognize the genuine support you offer to our students all year long.  The members of the student retention committee regularly reflect on how fortunate we (and our students) are to work and study in such a supportive community.

Thanks again for you good work! 
The Student Retention Committee

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Professor of the Year: Cal Jen

For presumably the first time ever, Calvin’s prestigious Professor of the Year award is going to a professor who is named after the college. Business professor Cal Jen, the son of Chinese immigrants, was born the year his father graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary.

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Parent Resource Guide 2009-2010

A printed copy of the 2009-2010 Parent Resource Guide has been mailed to the homes of all incoming first-year students.  All parents can now find this new edition online [.pdf].   Parents of returning students who would like to receive a printed copy of this guide can request one by e-mailing Please include your mailing address in the e-mail request.

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Calvin Knights Shootout

Calvin will play host to a boys high school basketball team camp, the Calvin Knights Shootout, later this month. The three-day team camp, which will include a team tournament, will take place June 25 through 27 and will involve 12 high school varsity boys basketball teams, seven from the state of Michigan and five from outside the state.  Read more here.

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The uKnight Web community

The new alumni Web community, uKnight, plugs you into the worldwide Calvin network. Find former classmates, network with alumni professionals, share class notes and more. 

What is it? A
n online community exclusively for Calvin alumni, uKnight is a meeting place that encourages alumni to reconnect with one another---a virtual extension of campus!  The Alumni Association also hopes that uKnight will unite alumni with other alumni and with the college. Login in and try it today!

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A Gift to All

Please join Calvin colleague Daniel Garcia at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9 at the Ladies Literary Club in downtown Grand Rapids for a special event called A Gift to All. This event will feature the presenting to the historical collection of the Grand Rapids Public Library (GRPL) of 50 hours of original interviews done by Garcia with local philanthropists. From those interviews he created a well-received documentary called The Gift of All: A Community of Givers, a film which tells the story of the many people who contributed to the revitalization of greater Grand Rapids. After the presenting of the interview archives to the GRPL the documentary will be shown at the LLC and a reception will follow.

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Summer camps

Speaking of Prof. Louters, he and other Calvin professors use a visually appealing and entertaining program to help elementary kids become more familiar with chemistry. The program is a teaser to the science camps that Calvin offers over the summer. Take a look at some of the highlights and see what summer camp offerings for all ages there are available on campus.

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Calvin-Parents summer schedule

Because student life and campus activities slow down considerably during the summer months, Calvin-Parents will be published less frequently (once every two weeks) starting in June.  There will be no Calvin-Parents next week, May 26.  Weekly issues of Calvin-Parents will resume again at the end of August. Special summer bulletins will be published as needed. If you have individual questions or concerns during the summer please do not hesitate to contact Sue Kuyvenhoven in the parent relations office at 616-526-6802, or send a message to  Thank you for participating in this important communication link between the college and Calvin families! Have a blessed summer!

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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:

June 5: River City Improv downtown Grand Rapids (Festival of the Arts)
June 19: Heritage class reunion on campus
July 10: John Calvin's birthday celebration on campus

News & Stories from campus

Check out a wealth of great stories on the News & Stories site, including a library award for a dining services guru, and more about the partnership with a local church collecting the clothes, furniture and other items that Calvin students leave at the end of the school year.

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