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Calvin-Parents E-Newsletter: August 31, 2010

moving in image

Move-in day information

When you arrive on campus you'll notice a major renovation project underway— the Covenant Fine Arts Center. While this project will benefit the Calvin community for years to come, it has required us to make some minor changes to the move-in process. We ask that you read this information carefully, as it provides important information that will help as you move into the residence halls.  It also has links for a map and car parking signs.

Here is the schedule for QUEST Move-in Day (for first-year students) on Wednesday, September 2, 2009.  Move-in day for returning students is Friday, September 3, after 9 a.m. Meal plans will be active at lunch that day.

Please join with the campus community and other parents as we worship together on Move-in day. This service of praise and prayer for parents, as their children enter the community at Calvin College, will be held on Wednesday, September 1,  at 4 p.m. in the Chapel. Russell Bloem, vice president for enrollment management, will give a meditation: "God of the Empty Nest," and other parents will offer prayers. Please join us for a time of prayer, reflection and praise.

The Parent Oasis tent is a hospitality area for parents that is available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Move-in Day, under the white canopy on the lawn between Eldersveld and Van Dellen halls, to enjoy some refreshment or come to just sit and relax.  You will also have a chance to visit with Calvin staff members and other parents and get your questions answered as you prepare to leave your son or daughter at Calvin for the 2010-2011 fall semester.  As always, many resources are available for you on the Parent Resources site.

student treats

Order treats for your student

Student Treats are a fun and easy way to let your student know that you're thinking of them. Everybody loves to give and get treats! There are six seasonal treats and three special occasion or "anytime" treats available.  Encourage and surprise your student with a delicious gourmet apple, a box of goodies at exam time, or a sweet Valentines treat.

You can order them individually or as a "Year of Treats" package (which includes a FREE birthday treat) but that offer expires on September 15. Treats may also be ordered for students who live off campus. Although treats cannot be delivered to off-campus locations, those students will receive an e-mail notification and can pick up their treat in the registrar's office.

Order your treats online today!

Philippians Campus Bible Study starting Sept 12, 2010

Campus-wide Bible study

This fall the Calvin community--students, faculty and staff--will be studying Philippians together starting on September 12, 2010.  Study groups will gather for 10 weeks, using study guides provided by the campus ministries office and books by N.T Wright and the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. The Sunday evening LOFT services will also dig into these themes. 

Parents are invited to follow along individually or are welcome to use these resources to lead a small group in their church, workplace or community.  The campus ministries website provides links to order books and download study guides.  Hope College and congregations from Michigan to Washington will also be studying Philippians with us this fall.  You can also "join" us in the Chapel at LOFT by watching live on Sunday evenings at 8pm when our preaching team will bring us deeper through the book.  And the Calvin Symposium on Worship is focusing their worship theme on Philippians. Attend the symposium next January to join with other worshipers and leaders from around the world to grow further with Philippians.


Textbook reservations

The Calvin Campus Store textbook reservations system is now open! Visit the site for full details and instructions on the easiest way for your student(s) to get textbooks for fall. Book orders will be delivered directly to dorms before classes start, or held at the store for off-campus students.  There's still time to be one of the first 1500 to reserve textbooks (on orders over $75) and receive a FREE Vapur foldable, reusable, freezable water bottle! 

As always, parents can consult the Incoming Student Information and Gifts page to prepare for the start of school. 
Send an e-mail to if you have any questions or problems.
students on    Commons    lawn

Helpful links

Check financial services for helpful forms like the Student Billing Information Brochure 2010-2011.

Visit the housing office for information about two new initiatives starting in the fall for off-campus housing.

Read the complete Welcome Back message for students from the vice president of student life.

Bookmark the Faith website in case you want to catch daily Chapel (shown live at 10 a.m.) or pray with Calvin.

The Calvin vernacular can be confusing.  Here are some definitions to help you along.

Calvin wall calendar

Have you received your calendar?  This year’s Calvin wall calendar—back by popular demand after a one-year absence—depicts in images and words the seasons of our Ecosystem Preserve. A jewel on our campus, the 100-acre preserve is used creatively by several academic departments. It is also a gift to the Grand Rapids community, an oasis where each year thousands of visitors study and enjoy the rhythms of God’s creation.

Like the preserve, the educational pursuits that take place at Calvin also have seasons: students progress from the promising days of arrival on campus to the fruition evident at Commencement; professors grow as teachers, mentors and scholars; new buildings arise, while others are rejuvenated. And through it all we feel the Spirit’s moving as together we faithfully seek to educate young men and women to answer God’s transformative call in their lives.

Thank you for your support of Calvin.
Gaylen Byker

Coop on a tractor

Coop's column

Dale Cooper is chaplain emeritus and adjunct faculty in the department of congregational and ministry studies at Calvin.  He has recently begun publishing a column for the Calvin Institute of Christian WorshipCoop’s Column: reflections on the Christian walk,  a weekly article that explores numerous facets of corporate Christian worship. He hopes his column will both teach and encourage readers, while promoting dialogue.

"I want these weekly articles to teach. Worshiping God worthily demands careful thinking about what we’re doing, and why. I also hope that they encourage. Accordingly, as I write each one, I shall offer a prayer that what I write and you read equips us to live more faithfully and as God intends."  Read the articles he's published so far.

Homecoming and Family Weekend, Oct 22 & 23 2010

Family Weekend...aka Homecoming; Alumni action

Calvin College's Homecoming is now in the fall -- combined with Family Weekend -- on October 22 & 23, 2010, and all are invited.  Some of the activities planned include tours of Grand Rapids and trolley tours of campus, lectures, a River City Improv show, the dedication of the Covenant Fine Arts Center and the Calvin Music Festival held there, Disco Bingo, Poetry Jam, Art Show, class reunions, sporting events and many more family-friendly activities.  All this takes place while the campus displays the beautiful colors of fall.  See or call (616) 526-6142.

Another event that weekend is "A Choral Retreat For All Who Enjoy Singing" with Pearl Shangkuan and the Calvin Alumni Choir.  They will present creative ways to improve your musical skills as individuals and in community with others.  If you enjoy singing and would like to learn something new, consider taking part in this half day workshop.  Registration fee to attend the workshop is $10 per vocalist (includes music packet and refreshments). You can register online or by calling (616) 526-6360.

Have you heard about Calvin Alumni Travel for alumni and friends?  Trips planned include:

Read more about these trips online and contact the alumni office at (616) 526-6142 or e-mail

Please also plan to join us for the 41st annual Alumni Golf Tournament on September 11, 2010!

Check the Parent Calendar for important dates

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

Sept. 1: Tuition, room and board payment due; residence halls open 9 a.m.; QUEST (fall orientation for new students) begins
Sept. 1 - 4:Orientation and Registration
Sept. 3: Move-in day
Sept. 7
: Fall semester classes begin at 8:00 a.m.; Opening Convocation 9:50-10:50 a.m.
Sept. 13: Last day to add fulland first-half semester courses

The Student Activities Office tries to accomplish two goals in all of its programs: it seeks to help students engage with popular culture and to discern the positive and negative messages contained within. It also strives to provide a season of concerts, films, lectures and other programs that allow Calvin students to interact with the best and the brightest artists of a wide array of genres.  See their site for an event listing.

The music department also hosts many events all year long.  Bookmark their event page to keep track of who's performing when and where.

Want to keep track of on-campus programs and events open to the public?  The Calvin-Connection is an e-mail newsletter sent regularly to friends and neighbors of Calvin College.  If you would like to receive this e-mail, please visit the community relations site. Your e-mail address will be kept private and never be sold.