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Calvin-Parents E-Newsletter: December 15, 2009

Every Student Challenge

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.

Watch a short video on ways in which the Calvin Annual Fund benefits all students and make an online gift to the Every Student Challenge.

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Michigan Promise Scholarship elimination

This fall the State of Michigan adopted a budget that eliminated funding for the Michigan Promise Scholarship Program for this 2009-2010 academic year, resulting in a loss of more than $1.2 million in financial aid for Calvin students. We are deeply disappointed by the added financial strain created by our state government’s decisions, and we recognize the challenges it presents for many of our Michigan families. An email with additional details has been sent to the nearly 1,000 Michigan students who are impacted by this. The text of that communication can be found here.

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ReCommend Calvin!

Have you heard?  Any Calvin parent who encourages a prospective student and/or parent of a prospective student to consider Calvin and records that conversation on the site will receive a Calvin coffee card, good for a free cup at either Johnny's, the Fish House, or the Spoelhof Cafe on campus.

In addition, parents who participate will also be enrolled in a drawing to win free textbooks for their son or daughter for the next semester (2 sets @ up to $450 each)!  We hope this inspires you to "tell your Calvin story" and encourage other families to carefully consider Calvin this winter and spring.

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A wonderful career!

As parents and professionals, you can be a great resource to Calvin students and alumni who are searching for jobs and internships.  You can help in the following ways:

1. E-mail job openings that you are aware of to or call the career development office at (616) 526-6485.  We will advertise these positions on CalvinLink, our online job posting system.

2. If your employer uses interns during the school year or summer, e-mail your internship openings to Laurie Lemmen at or call (616) 526-8744.

3. Recruit at one of our job fairs. Calvin will be hosting spring semester job fairs for students studying nursing, engineering, computer science and education, in addition to a short and long term missions fair. Go to for details or contact Laurie Lemmen (, 616-526-8744).

We look forward to working with you!
Calvin's career development office

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Spark magazine available online

The most recent issue of the Spark magazine for alumni and friends of the college is available online now, which includes extra links supplementing the stories and news you'll find in the magazine.  In the Winter 2009 issue you'll read more about the rise in popularity of the Broene Counseling Center on campus; you'll find out what Ryan Bierma '03 is learning about the Earth's innermost layers; and you can read essays on academic freedom at Calvin written by Anthony Diekema '56, George Marsden and Nicholas Wolterstorff '56.

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Knights basketball action

The nationally-ranked Calvin women’s basketball team opened its MIAA campaign on a winning note, defeating Saint Mary’s 64-58 at the Van Noord Arena Friday night, December 11.  Then the Knights made a big statement in early conference play with a 78-35 victory over Kalamazoo on Saturday afternoon. Calvin is now 9-1 overall and 2-0 in conference play. 

The men’s basketball team is preparing to travel to Arizona for Christmas break.  You can cheer on the Knights in the Arizona Cactus Jam in Phoenix,  December 28-31.  Calvin will host Hope at home on Wednesday, January 6, 2010.  The Van Andel Arena will be full of classic rivalry action that evening with the JV team game starting at 5 p.m. and varsity at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets for this game are available online or at the box office (remember the temporary location in the Spoelhof College Center).  The Calvin/Hope rivalry is in its ninth decade of play, with Hope leading the series 88-85.

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The January Series 2010

For over twenty years The January Series has been the leading lecture/cultural arts series in the country. The diversity of presenters and topics has changed as the world of ideas has changed. No issue of importance to a great Christian liberal arts college founded on Reformed, biblical principles has been too controversial or too hot to handle. Why? Because at Calvin we have been taught to think with discernment and thoughtful skepticism. We know this is God's creation and each of us is created in His image so it follows we need to engage that world, learn about it, from it and in some cases confront it.

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How to talk to your student about faith

Christian Smith, a sociologist who studies emerging adults and their faith lives, states that parents are still the most important influence on a child's faith even well into the child's adulthood.  But some parents aren't sure how to raise matters of faith with their children.  They want to encourage, but don't want to be seen as judging or following up.  They are curious, but also want their children to own the faith for themselves. Sometimes a good question can allow for good conversation.  Here are a few ideas that you may want to use over Christmas break to encourage your child to talk about her or his faith.

Conversation starters on the matter of faith:

  • I heard a great sermon recently on _____.   What sermon or chapel talk really resonated with you this fall?
  • I really appreciate [this] about our church.  What do you appreciate about the church where you're worshiping?
  • I'm coming to understand [this] more and more in my faith life.  What are you learning about God right now?
  • I've seen God very clearly [here].  Where have you seen God show up in your life this fall?
  • I find that my prayers often turn toward [this subject].  What are you praying about?
  • I'm currently reading [this scripture text or devotional books].  What book or Bible studies are happening at Calvin?
All of these questions invite your child into the conversation as an adult partner, and can launch both of you into a new season of conversations on matters of faith.  We hope that they make your Christmas break a great time to speak honestly and openly about matters of faith.
-Chaplain Mary Hulst
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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:

December 19: River City Improv
January 6 - 26: The January Series 2010
January 15 & 16: Alumni Choir concerts in West Michigan
January 20: MBA@Calvin
January 30: The Rivalry - Calvin vs. Hope at a viewing location near you!

Check the Parent Calendar for important dates

Bookmark the Parent Calendar page to keep track of important dates throughout the year, including:

Dec. 18: Exams end & Christmas break begins 10 p.m.
Dec. 19: On-campus housing closes at 10 a.m.
Jan. 1: Miscellaneous charges payment due (1st of each month)
Jan. 5: Tuition, room and board payment due; on-campus housing opens 10 a.m.
Jan. 6: Interim term begins 8 a.m.
Jan. 18: Last day to drop interim courses; last day to change interim courses from credit to audit
Jan 26: Interim ends 5 p.m. (Travel Advice)

News & Stories from campus

Check out a wealth of great stories on the News & Stories site, including sophomore Ben Stark recently visiting 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for a clean-energy summit, the new Post-Reformation Digital Library, and thoughts about Advent from the coordinator of worship

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