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Calvin-Parents E-Newsletter: February 22, 2011

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Siblings Weekend this weekend

There is still time to register a guest for Siblings Weekend this weekend, February 25-27, 2011. Does your son or daughter have a younger brother or sister (or cousin, nephew, neighbor, etc.) that would love to visit him or her on campus? Wouldn't it be fun to send a "live" care package to your son or daughter to brighten up a winter weekend? While guests are certainly welcome all year long, it is especially fun for young visitors to come during Siblings Weekend.

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 registration fee ($34). Online registration closes on Thursday, February 24, then registration is available again on-site beginning Friday, February 25, at the Rooks-VanDellen residence hall front desk.

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FAFSA, scholarship application time

Parents, are you planning to apply for financial aid for your son or daughter for 2011-2012?  If so, now is the time to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)  for maximum consideration.  Even if you will not have your tax return finished it's more important to submit the FAFSA by March 1st (using estimates) than to wait until your tax return is completed.  If you have special circumstances to present to the financial aid office be sure to submit a Calvin supplemental aid form in addition to the FAFSA. 
If you have any questions about this process, or anything related to financial aid, you may contact the financial aid office at or 1-800-688-0122.

And don't forget about "named" scholarships and other similar scholarships available that students can access via the online search tool.  A number of other scholarships are awarded to students in particular academic departments. Applications for these scholarships are available from, and must be submitted to, the academic department for which the scholarship is designated. The application for most of these scholarships needs to be completed and submitted by March 1, 2011Contact the scholarships & financial aid office with questions.

News, stories and videos from campus

First-year diver makes big splash
Freshman diver Andy Krafft is already breaking records. Watch him dive.

Why I jump ...
Every year, hundreds of Calvin students line up to plunge into the frozen Sem Pond. Why?

Q&A: African Americans in the Reformed tradition
Eric Washington has made a specialty of studying African-American thought within the Reformed tradition of Christianity.

Little acorn to great oak
Speech pathology and audiology program to offer master's degree.

The January Series website has now been updated from audio archives to video!  Go here and click on the speaker's nameL Temple Grandin, Krista Tippett, Theary Seng, Father Greg Boyle, and many more.  If they allowed a recording you will find the video archive on the individual speaker pages.

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Commencement details, continued

Commencement 2011 is Saturday, May 21, 2011, at 2 p.m. Here are a few details:

Stay tuned for more information.  Questions? Contact the Commencement information line: (800) 560-6391 or (616) 526-8615; e-mail

And if you are a parent or grandparent of a nursing student, here's where you can get more information about purchasing Calvin’s own nursing pin for "pinning" in the Commencement ceremony.
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Worship resources

Last spring the Worship Apprentices produced an album of worship songs regularly sung at chapel and LOFT. It is 100% student-produced and involves all Calvin student musicians plus Paul Ryan, associate chaplain for worship. These CDs are available from the Campus Store for $8 now.  The February schedule for Chapel & LOFT services is available online.

Watch live: Chapel - daily at 10 a.m.; LOFT - Sundays at 8 p.m.
Watch on demand: Chapel and LOFT archives - anytime.
Listen on demand: LOFT podcasts are now available on iTunes!

From the Faith site: Join us in prayer for Calvin by asking God to fill us with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. We pray this in order that we might live a life worthy of the Lord, and please him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that we may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully give thanks to the Father. --Colossians 1:9-12 
Read prayer suggestions for February.
With these Faith resources available, won't you join the Calvin community as we worship and pray together?
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Lenten resources

The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW) aims to promote the scholarly study of the theology, history, and practice of Christian worship and the renewal of worship in worshiping communities across North America and beyond. Read more about the institute.

Lent invites us to make our hearts ready for remembering Jesus’ passion and celebrating Jesus’ resurrection. As a period of preparation, Lent has historically included efforts by all Christians to deepen their piety, devotion, and readiness to mark the death and resurrection of their Savior.  Lent will start on Wednesday, March 9, and will continue until Saturday, April 23.

From the CICW site, explore resources for Lent and read an article, "Yes and No: Lent and the Reformed Faith Today," by John D. Witvliet, director of CICW.


Career thoughts for freshman, sophomores

Are you the parent of a freshman or sophomore student who is undecided?  Encourage your student to visit the career development office.  Career counselors are available to assist students discover a major that is best suited for their interests and gifts.  Students can call (616) 526-6485 or stop by the career development office (372 Hekman Library) to set up an appointment.  More resources are also available on the career development site, or find us on Facebook.
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Calvin Alumni Travel

Calvin Alumni Travel is a new travel program from the Calvin Alumni Associationfor alumni and friends. Each trip will be uniquely planned by a member of Calvin’s faculty/staff or trusted alumna/alumnus and will be an experience woven with education and faith. You are invited!

America's National Parks: September 8-18, 2011
Take an adventure through America's majestic national parks.  Co-sponsored by the Calvin Academy of Lifelong Learning, Calvin alumnus John Apol will take you through the great West.  From the frontier town of Jackson, Wyo., to the Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier national parks, this 11-day trip will show you some of the most beautiful natural areas in the United States.
You will get to explore the wilderness by boat, bus and foot.  Don't miss this opportunity to see God's amazing creation in person.
China: Past and Present - October 24-November 7, 2011
Explore renowned historic sites and immerse yourself in the fascinating cultures of Beijing, Xi'an and Guilin, then head to exciting Hong Kong where old and new blend together in a kaleidoscope of memorable experiences.
Co-leaders Don De Graaf, Calvin's off-campus programs director, and alumnus John Witte promise an amazing journey that will give you a truly unique perspective of these four cities.  A high-light will be the various opportunities to interact with Calvin alumni and Calvin students studying in Beijing and Hong Kong.  Don't miss your chance to travel with a small intimate group on this once-in-a-lifetime tour.
For more information on this trip, contact Don De Graaf at (616) 526-6225 or
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Estate and gift planning website

Give your estate plan a check up at Calvin’s new, interactive estate and gift planning website! 
Good estate planning provides for your family or heirs, distributes your personal possessions as you have designated, and minimizes estate settlement expense and distress.  It also expresses your Christian values and convictions through special designations and it can minimize taxes.  Yet 55% of Americans have no will and many have outdated estate plans.

If you’re without a will  --  or your current estate plan needs a check-up  --  Calvin College’s new gift planning website has information and customized, interactive tools to help you.  There you’ll find a wealth of information, including:

  • Age-appropriate information about estate planning.
  • An estate planning toolbox and glossary of terms.
  • E-brochures and current estate and gift planning news you can read instantaneously.  
  • A gift calculator to immediately determine the personal, charitable and tax benefits that various types of charitable gifts provide you.   
  • Customized, side-by-side comparison of giving options.    

Of course, Calvin’s gift planning staff -- Sally Vander Ploeg or Ruth Vis  --  are also available to help you.  Call (616) 526-8719 or e-mail

Did you know that there's also a Calvin Parent Fund? With your gift, you can help bridge the tuition-education gap and strengthen the education your son or daughter receives.

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.