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Calvin-Parents E-Newsletter: June 28, 2011

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PASSPORT I: June 30 & July 1

As some parents and families prepare to arrive on campus for the first student orientation session, or PASSPORT I, June 30 and July 1, here are a few reminders.

If you are attending any PASSPORT sessions this summer, be sure to bookmark the PASSPORT pages. There is a tentative schedule, registration information, a list of what to do before you arrive, and academic testing/music auditions information, etc., found there.  If you have general questions, contact (616-526-8507).

If you didn't already receive this brand-new brochure in the mail, here's a link to Planning Your Academic Life at Calvin(.pdf). You can find out more about Core Curriculum at the bottom of this newsletter.

If you are already planning for your trip to bring your student this fall, here is a list of residence hall amenities and other services available, along with a list of what to bring, what not to bring, safety information, storage options, etc.


About Calvin-Parents

Calvin-Parents, an e-mail newsletter, is published to inform Calvin parents of campus news, programs, events and other helpful information and is published weekly when classes are in session, and 1 to 2 times per month during the summer. If you wish to add additional e-mail addresses (work, grandparents, etc.), change delivery to a different address, or unsubscribe, go to the Calvin-Parents website or send those instructions to Additional parent resources (to order student treats, to participate, to plan visits) are available for you on the parent website.

If your student has graduated and/or you no longer wish to receive Calvin-Parents, we will be happy to unsubscribe you. You may email us at

Thank you for participating in this important communication link between the college and Calvin families. If you have any suggestions for us, please send them to or call the parent relations office at 616-526-6142. Have a blessed summer!

Dr Z

Sympathy for Dr. Z

Calvin College has lost one of its legendary Knights. Dr. Marvin A. Zuidema passed away recently after a brief battle with illness. He was 75. Known as “Dr. Z” to those in the Calvin community, Zuidema touched many lives at Calvin, in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and in collegiate athletics across the country.  Read more.

Several of Calvin’s current soccer coaches played for or coached with Zuidema.  Some did both.  Their reflections on his legacy glow with admiration.

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Sports writing/publicity student awards

The MIAA has announced the winners of two awards honoring outstanding publicity efforts by its member schools – the Hartman Writing Award and the Renner Associate SID Award. Andrew Knot, a student assistant in the sports information office of Calvin, has been named the recipient of the Hartman Award, while Nate Triezenberg, a recent Calvin graduate who also worked in the college’s sports information office, received the Renner Award. Both individuals are graduates of Illiana Christian (IL) High School. Read more.

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Entrada Scholars arrive

Seventy-one Entrada Scholars from the United States and China have come to Calvin for a month-long summer course.  Ahmad Johnson came from St. Louis where he discovered Calvin at a college fair. “There were about 70 Christian colleges, and I narrowed it down to this,” he said. “I’ll be going here in the fall.”  Read the full story »

The Entrada Scholars Program, June 19-July 15, offers ethnic minority high school students a "gateway" to the future: the opportunity to experience college learning and living while earning college credit. Three Entrada alumni were honored for their contributions to society.

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Mark your calendar for Siblings Weekend

It's never too early to start planning for Siblings Weekend. Siblings Weekend is fun for siblings, cousins, young friends, and other guests who come to visit a Calvin student! Of course you can visit anytime, but Siblings Weekend is geared for kids. All meals are included in the registration, and a variety of events and opportunities are available. Find out more!

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If you are on campus this summer...

The Seminars @ Calvin program is proud to announce the 2011 Summer Lecture Series. All Wednesday evening lectures will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Gezon Auditorium and are open to the public. Mark your calendars for the remaining evening lectures.
  • June 29: David I. Smith - "How We Learn in Church (Even When No-one is 'Teaching')" 
  • July 6: Gerardo Marti - "Have You Seen Our Gospel Choir?"
  • July 13: Alvin Plantinga - "Religion and Science: Where the Conflict Really Lies"
  • July 20: Frederick Dale Bruner - "The Adventure of Biblical Interpretation"
  • July 27: Eleonore Stump - "The Problem of Suffering"
 Special Afternoon Lectures
  • Wednesday, July 13, at 1:30 p.m. in the Alumni Board Room: Robert J. Russell - "Intelligent Design: Why it should NOT be Taught in High School Biology Class... and how to Debunk 'Science = Atheism'"
  • Tuesday, July 26, at 12:00 p.m. in the Alumni Board Room: Justin Barrett - "Why Religion is Natural and Theology is Not"
 For more information, please visit:

Student retention

As you interact with Calvin students this summer, please help us stay aware of those students who are struggling with the decision to return. If you know of any, help us connect them to resources available. Here are a couple that may help.

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.

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 616-526-6155) for assistance. Both academic counselors and advisors are available.

Please know that we appreciate and recognize the genuine support you offer to our students all year long. -- Student Retention Committee


Research, awards, grants

The Plaster Creek Stewards received a $58,500 grant from the EPA to clean up a local watershed.

Astronomy professor Deb Haarsma and her student researchers study the largest galaxies in the universe.

A professor-student duo researches the economics of studying all the year 'round.

Project SEED allows area high school students to learn basic techniques of science research.
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Core Curriculum

"We are called to obey God as whole persons in every area of life…education should explicitly connect the way we think with the way we live” — Expanded Statement of Mission, p. 18

Learn more about Calvin's liberal arts core and mission:

One helpful tool is the Academic Evaluation Report (AER) which is a real-time document that lists the courses required for graduation. It applies each student's course work to the various requirements of the core, majors, minors and cognates to show what requirements are completed, those that are in progress and those that have yet to be started.  Find out more about the AER.

Read some other frequently asked questions about academics, advising, transcripts, academic help, disability services, etc.