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Calvin-Parents E-Newsletter: October 27, 2009

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Thanks for coming to Family Weekend

It's always a privilege to have families visiting Calvin's campus and, despite a rainy autumn weekend, families enjoyed spending time with each other, participating in a variety of events and meeting other families from around the country.  If you were able to be part of any of these events held over the weekend, please fill out a Family Weekend survey to help us plan for next year's gathering.

Thank you to all that were able to visit and support their student(s) in person!  And, as always, you can contact us at or 616-526-6142.  Next year Family Weekend is scheduled for October 22-24, 2010.

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Reformation Day commemoration on campus

This year is the 500th anniversary of John Calvin's birthday. Yearlong celebrations of the event will take place around the world, and Calvin has planned a variety to take place on campus.

On Friday, October 30, 2009, to mark Reformation Day, the H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies will host an open house with refreshments. Come by and visit on the 4th floor of the library, admire our rare books, take the John Calvin Birthday quiz (all new!) and stay for a presentation at 11:00 a.m. on rare books (led by Paul Fields, Curator) or an afternoon presentation at 2:00 p.m. (the Top Ten Things You Should  Know About John Calvin, led by Karin Maag, Director).

At 10:00 a.m. in the Seminary Chapel, the Meeter Center will lead a special Reformation Day chapel service. In the afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in Spoelhof Center 150 (in the basement), professor of German emeritus Barbara Carvill will lecture on the heart-and-hand motif in Calvin's iconography. Visit early and look at the exhibit in the Center Art Gallery, "Picturing the Reformer: Images of John Calvin," an  unparalleled collection of portraits, medals, and artifacts, with narrative displays on Calvin's life and times. Events and free and open to all.

That evening, the Boston Camerata, joined by the Calvin Capella, will perform in the Artist Series in the College Chapel at 8:00 p.m. (tickets required - see the box office), with a pre-concert lecture by Professor Timothy Steele at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel choir room.

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Light in the Night

Hundreds of community children---they are expecting over 700!---will come to Calvin for the annual Light in the Night Reformation Day/Halloween celebration at Calvin's Knollcrest East (KE) apartment complex.  Admission for this event is one canned good per child; all food items will be donated to KE’s partnership, Family Haven Ministries. The evening features traditional "trick or treating" throughout KE using candy that has been donated from the Calvin community.  The night also features a variety of themed games, set up by Calvin students, in the lobbies of each apartment building. See what other exciting things are happening at Knollcrest East apartments!

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Deadline to order popcorn today!

The Student Treats program sends treats and goodies to students for a birthday, special event or as an "anytime" surprise to remind your student of your love and support. TODAY is the deadline for the next treat...Popcorn!  The Popcorn Treat, which will be delivered to students on Monday, November 2, features three bags of deluxe flavored popcorn—caramel, cheese, and butter—delivered in a reusable Calvin shopping bag. Anyone can order.  Find out more on the Student Treats site.

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Interim 2010...interested?

While the deadline to apply for Interim 2010 is past, preparations can now be made for travels and studies during the month of January.  While most students will study on campus---for at least a part of January---many others will travel to such far away locales as India and Cambodia, Germany and Italy, Kenya and Ecuador.  Read more about off campus programs and interim programming.

PLEASE NOTE:  If any interested adults would like to accompany the Vietnam/Cambodia interim (a course on colonialism and the Vietnam War), you may contact Professor William Van Vugt (, 616-526-6008) this week if you might be interested.  Professor Van Vugt needs to fill a few spots as soon as possible and would love to have YOU come along.

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Message for new college parents to listen and encourage

Sometimes your college student will call home to vent frustration or diffuse anxiety after some incident or disappointment, and you are the unsuspecting recipient of this tale of woe. Often after your student hangs up the phone, he or she will feel much better, and will continue to go about the normal routine, adjusting to college life and moving on. Meanwhile, you as the parent are now worried that your student is off sulking in their room. Students don't often call back to say "I'm doing better now," and if a parent calls back too much, that may remind the student of their previous feelings and may create a set-back. One of the best things you can do as a parent is to listen, and then encourage your student to be proactive, positive, and resourceful in dealing with the incident or situation themselves. (Message submitted by John Witte, Dean of Residence Life).

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Health services and illness preparedness on campus

If seasonal sniffles give way to the H1N1 influenza on campus, Calvin's pandemic flu response committee has got a plan.  The Provost’s office has asked faculty members to work with students who report flu symptoms. Sick students should email their professors and let them know that they are communicating with the health center (via Health center staff will not be able to provide written excuses for students but will advocate for those who have communicated with us, in the unlikely event they might run into problems with professors. Also, campus administrators prefer that working students not report to work if they are ill!

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Refer a student...who can apply for free!

We know that many Calvin parents are in a position to recommend Calvin to a prospective student and/or parent. We value and encourage your efforts to help us identify prospective students who are a good "match" with Calvin College. Use the student referral page to submit that information to us or contact us at (616-526-6142).
And if these prospective students apply before December 1 (January 1 for Canadians), the admissions office will waive the application fee! Find out more on the admissions Web site.

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A new annual giving campaign challenges all—alumni, staff, faculty and friends of the college—to support Calvin students. The Every Student Challenge was designed to put a face, or, more accurately, faces, on the Calvin Annual Fund.  On the online banner are seven students’ faces, and if you click on the faces, you learn about the students: One studies chemistry; one studies art. One plays rugby; one dances in Rangeela. One wants to make Christian films; one wants to train Christian leaders. And one is currently painting bicycles maroon and yellow.

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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:

October 27: Zeeland (Mich.) Winter Sports Luncheon
November 1: Grand Rapids (Mich.) Alumni Choir service
November 15: Kalamazoo (Mich.) Alumni Choir service

Check the Parent Calendar for important dates

Bookmark the Parent Calendar page to keep track of important dates throughout the year, including:
Oct. 27-28: Academic Advising for interim and spring semester (no classes 8 a.m. Tues. - 5 p.m. Wed.; Wednesday night classes do meet)
Oct. 30: Last day to add second-half semester courses
Nov. 1: Miscellaneous charges payment due (1st of each month)
Nov. 6: Last day to drop full semester courses; Last day to change full semester courses from credit to audit
Nov. 20: Tuition, room and board payment due
Nov. 25: Last day to drop second-half semester courses; Last day to change second-half semester courses from credit to audit.  Thanksgiving recess begins 5 p.m; residence halls remain open during break.
Nov. 26: Thanksgiving Day (U.S.)
Nov. 30: Classes resume 8 a.m.

News & Stories from campus

Check out a wealth of great stories on the News & Stories site, including how Calvin stays safe in cyberspace.

Campus Events:
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