Skip to Navigation | Skip to Content

Calvin-Parents E-Newsletter: February 15, 2011

Larry Herzberg

Prof. Herzberg wins award for exemplary teaching

Larry Herzberg, the father of Asian language studies at Calvin, won the Presidential Award for Exemplary Teaching at the Faculty Awards Dinner last week Thursday.  This excellent, enthusiastic and somewhat eccentric teacher uses props (a Barbie car, a dollhouse, plastic vegetables) and mnemonic devices to de-mystify the Chinese language, and alternates wearing a kimono and a Chinese silk robeto class every day. He knows eight languages, counting English, and his definition of Christianity is love.  Read more about him and why he received the most prestigious teaching award at Calvin.

Did you know that Calvin is the only Christian College to offer four years of continuous study in Chinese and Japanese. 10 full-time professors, all holding PhDs, teach in the program and Korean language classes were recently added.  See a video about the Asian studies program.

Larry Herzberg and his wife, Qin, also a professor in the Asian studies program, created a documentary to get Americans up to speed with China's recent modernizations. Read about it, and watch a clip from the video here.

Four other faculty members were honored at the dinner last Thursday. Find out more about the awards that Professors Konyndyk, Nielsen, Fondse and Sandberg received.

Rangeela dancers

Getting ready for Rangeela

Leave the cold temperatures and gray skies to travel with Calvin's international students as they present song, dance, and skits from their cultures in the Rangeela 2011 talent show.  You are guaranteed an evening of warmth, vibrant beauty and a celebration of God's kingdom!  Read more and watch a video about "Getting ready for Rangeela."

Rangeela is Feb 25 & 26, 2011, at 8 p.m. in the Covenant Fine Arts Center.  Tickets ($6) are available through the Calvin Box Office (616-526-6282, but will sell quickly.

Siblings Weekend

Siblings Weekend early registration deadline

Does your son or daughter have a younger brother or sister (or cousin, nephew, etc.) that would love to visit him or her on campus? While guests are certainly welcome all year long, it is especially fun for young visitors to come during Siblings Weekend, February 25-27, 2011.

This annual event is sponsored by residence life, with help from student activities, food service, and the campus store.  A number of fun activities and events have been planned, and siblings can eat any and all meals as part of the $24 registration fee.  Register by Monday, February 21, for the regular price of $24. Late registrationsafter February 21 are $34. Online registration closes on Thursday, February 24. On-site registration is available beginning Friday, February 25, at the Rooks-VanDellen residence hall front desk.

For information and registration, please visit the Siblings Weekend page and help us spread the word to anyone that may want to join in on the fun!

sem pond jump

News and photos, odds and ends

Photos from the Cold Knight Club jump into the Sem Pond last weekend are posted on the Calvin College Facebook page.  Also see the local news story and video that accompanied this event.  Find out more information on the Calvin College Alumni Association Facebook about the make-up jump scheduled in case you still want to join in the jump!

Student Senate request: Do you have any clothes lying around the house that you never wear? For Student Senate's campaign, "The Least of These-‑Clothing the Needy," World Missions will be at the Women's basketball game on Wednesday, February 16, at 7:30 p.m., collecting gently used clothing. Please stop by and donate yours and check out the women's game while you're there!  --submitted by Jaclyn Sikkema

Eric Washington

African Americans in the Reformed tradition of Christianity

A number of Calvin departments are collaborating on Black History Month events. On Wednesday, February 16, history professor Eric Washington will examine the church’s role in racism in a lecture titled: “The Most Segregated Hour: the History of the African-American Church.”

One News & Events story about Black History Month features Professor  Washington who has made a specialty of studying African American thought within the Reformed tradition of Christianity, specifically Calvinism. His interest in the topic dates back to 1998 when he embraced Reformed theology after reading Martin Luther's, "On the Bondage of the Will," and R.C. Sproul's book, "Chosen by God."  Read more.

Letters to a Young Calvinist

New (-er) to Calvin (-ism)?

Speaking of Calvinism...

Calvin professor of philosophy and Worship Institute research fellow James K.A. Smith has written a "less grumpy," more "winsome" portrait of Calvinism.  Parents and families that are new to Calvin might find this book interesting. (Another book by Prof. Smith, "Desiring the Kingdom," was awarded a "Christianity Today" 2010 Book Award.) There are also some general Calvin College terms that might be unfamiliar.  Will this Calvin lingo guide help?

Here's more information about Calvin and what some alumni are doing:  the most recent issue of the Spark magazine for alumni and friends is available online.  The online edition includes extra links supplementing the stories and news you'll find in the magazine.  In the Winter 2010 issue you'll read more about the alumni-faculty working group tackling the economic recession, the speech pathology and audiology program offering a master's degree and links to interesting videos.

Parent Council

Calvin's Parent Council

The Parent Council 2010-2011 is a representative group of Calvin parents who meet on campus twice annually, foster constructive dialogue between the college and parents, serve as ambassadors for the college, and faithfully support Calvin's mission.  Parent Council meetings are held on campus in conjunction with two parent/family events: Family Weekend (October) and Siblings Weekend (February).

Members are asked to provide their own transportation and lodging for the meetings; some meals will be provided by the college in conjunction with Parent Council sessions.  If you are interested to be a part of this group, you can contact  See the members of Parent Council 2010-2011.


Students in the news

Fitah Rasendrahasina played a starring role in Opera Grand Rapids’ production of Giacomo Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut.” The Calvin College junior portrayed Edmondo, a young student who is a friend to the story’s hero, Des Grieux. Opera Grand Rapids artistic director Robert Lyall said that it’s uncommon for a college student to play a titled role in a professional production.  But Rasendrahasina has an uncommon voice. Read more»

Two Calvin senior civil and environmental engineering students earned prestigious fellowships from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Check the Parent Calendar for important dates

Bookmark the Parent Calendar and alumni and friends event pages to keep track of important dates throughout the year, including:

February 25-27: Silbings Weekend
March 1:
Registration for Summer 2011 begins.
March 16: Tuition, room and board payment due
March 18: Spring break begins 5 p.m.
March 19: On-campus residence halls close at 10 a.m. for spring break
March 27: Residence halls open at noon
March 28: Classes resume 8 a.m.