Skip to Navigation | Skip to Content

Calvin-Parents E-Newsletter: December 14, 2010

students with tree

Christmas plans

As students prepare for Christmas break, we want to wish you and your family a blessed Christmas and New Year.  Please note that there will not be a Calvin-Parents issue sent until Tuesday, January 4, 2011.

"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined." - Isaiah 9:25

Be sure to tune in the Calvin Oratorio's performance of Handel's "Messiah," a 90-year tradition in the community, which will be available on radio stations from California to Iowa, Louisiana to Montana and beyond, during Christmas break.  Check the Oratorio site for complete broadcast information.  You can also read about Calvin Stapert, music professor emeritus, who has written a new book on "Messiah."

Brenna Hannan

Prayers at Christmas

Christmas is a special time of year when many families gather together.  This year please especially remember, in prayer or with a card, the families with students that struggle or are hospitalized.  Search the CarePages site for "MatthewDeVlieger" and "prayersforhealing" (Matthew), "BrennaHannan" and "SteveO" to send encouragement and receive prayer updates. 

In the most recent Spark magazine for alumni and friends of Calvin, you can read about "A Mother's Vigil." 

“You get to a point that there’s nothing left but reliance on God,” [Katrina Hannan, Brenna Hannan's mother] said, her eyes never leaving Brenna. “He shows me that He’s right there, near me, near Brenna.”

Read this story and other Spark articles--one about a master's program for the speech pathology and audiology program, from the Winter 2010 issue.


Basketball over break

The basketball teams are making plans for tournament play over Christmas break.

If you are in the Chicago area, please cheer on the men's basketball team as they play in the Bluejay Classic, a holiday tournament at Elmhurst College, on Wednesday and Thursday, December 29 and 30. On Wednesday after the game, in a room near the gym, the alumni office will be hosting a reception for alumni, family and friends, with a light supper provided.  Coach Vande Streek and the team will join us when they can and share a few words with us.

The women's basketball team will be in southern California to play in the Posada Royale Holiday Classic at California Lutheran University, on Thursday and Friday, December 30 and 31. After Thursday's noon game, the alumni office will be hosting a pizza reception for alumni, family and friends, in the Lundring Room (which is in the same building as the arena).  We know this is right between the holidays and a bit north of the city, but we'd love for you to come and support the women!

Contact the alumni office (, 616-526-6142) if you have more questions about either of these after-game receptions.  Thank you for supporting the Knights!

off campus housing

Off-campus housing  information

As you may be aware, the college initiated a new off-campus housing policy this fall. We desire for all Calvin students to live faithfully wherever they are, while also supporting our neighbors who are eager for our students to contribute to--not detract from--neighborly living. If your student is planning to live off-campus in the city of Grand Rapids next year, please underscore the need to make sure s/he does not live with more than four unrelated people unless in a legal duplex or appropriately zoned house.

We know that many of our students are already making plans for future housing and may wish to discuss this over Christmas break, so we ask that you please read this letter from student life staff for further information on this policy.

Thank you for your assistance and support.  Contact housing (, 616-526-6120) if you have further concerns or questions.
Cal Ripken, Jr.

January Series...please encourage students to attend!

From the "Iron Man" of baseball to the founder of Kiva, The January Series speakers this year will cover a wide variety of topics: challenges of autism, gang intervention, schools for AIDS orphans, narcissism, science and faith, Christianity in China, and more. Cal Ripken, Jr., is pictured at right. We have also confirmed 31 remote webcast sites which includes one in Lithuania.  Help us spread the word to family and friends across the country and world; follow us on Facebook

Students that are on campus during Interim, when the January Series is held, will be told about a special "passport" incentive program.  They will be eligible to win signed books and Bonus Bucks if they attend at least 7 lectures.  Would you also encourage them to attend? It's a unique opportunity that comes to them and will enhance their college experience!
Looking for a good book to read?  Check out what our speakers have written.  The Campus Store has a great selection available.  A few "book club" favorites are:
  • "The Price of Stones: Building a School for my Village" by Twesigye Jackson Kaguri
  • "Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion" by Father Greg Boyle
  • "Daughter of the Killing Fields" by Theary Seng
  • "Thinking in Pictures" by Temple Grandin
  • "Get in the Game" by Cal Ripken, Jr.
christmas craft day

Prizes awarded!

Thank you to all parents and alumni who encouraged a high school student to apply to Calvin during our fall “Recommend Calvin” campaign.  Your personal testimonies to the value of a Calvin education are significant in influencing students to explore and choose Calvin. 

These ReCommend Calvin participants were selected as the fall prize winners:

Semester of free textbooks:  Lisa Bale, parent of Matthew Bale, Saginaw, Mich. Student treat:  Alyssa Vis ’04 of Mt. Vernon, Wash.; Usha Divakaran, parent of Anand Divakaran, India; and Louis Mensonides ’59 of Modesto, Calif.

Recommendations can still be made, and there will be prizes again in the spring as we ask alumni and parents to encourage campus visits for those making college decisions.  Thank you!


Gifts to Calvin College

Gifts to the Calvin Annual Fund provide much-needed financial aid for our students. Learn more about how your contribution will be used, and make a gift online to take advantage of 2010 tax savings. 

Don't forget to make your gift by December 31.  Thank you for your support of Calvin College and Calvin students!

Calvin College recently launched an exciting new initiative to fund energy-conserving projects on campus. The Calvin Energy Recovery Fund (CERF) finances projects on campus to reduce Calvin's energy consumption. The monetary savings generated by these projects will be routed back to the energy recovery fund--thereby growing the fund to support future projects. CERF will significantly lessen Calvin's environmental impact, save the college money, and allow students to benefit from hands-on learning. You can make a gift to the energy recovery fund, or propose a project.   Read more about the fund, suggest a project, and make a contribution to support this innovative fund today!

Calvin    College nursing pin

Nursing pin

Dear Parents and Grandparents of Nursing Students,

Our senior year is well under way, and, as many of you may have heard, we are keeping busy!  While we still have much work ahead of us, it is exciting to think that, come May 19, we will be celebrating at the Pinning Ceremony. This ceremony is a long-standing tradition in which graduating nursing students, along with family and friends, celebrate their success in nursing school, and celebrate our efforts toward receiving a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN). Each student is proudly “pinned” with Calvin’s own nursing pin as a signature of completing a baccalaureate degree in nursing, and being eligible to take the state RN licensure examination.  

Perhaps you would like to consider purchasing a nursing pin for your son, daughter or grandchild.  Information about cost and ordering can be found at  (Use Security ID: 36095; Password: Nurse) The pin is delivered to the nursing department in May and your nurse will receive the pin at the Pinning Ceremony.  It is a special gift and keepsake for them since many nurses continue to wear this pin throughout their career.  Receiving a nursing pin is not required, yet it is a special and proud moment for the nursing student at the Pinning Ceremony.  Although your presence and support is the most important, please consider sharing in this special day with the gift of a Calvin nursing pin. 

We are looking forward to seeing you and celebrating with you in May!

Sincerely, the Nursing Pinning Committee, Nursing Class of 2011

Scene from King Lear

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:

Dec. 17:
Exams end & Christmas break begins 10 p.m.
Jan. 1:
Miscellaneous charges payment due (1st of each month)
Jan. 4: On-campus housing opens 10 a.m.
Jan. 5: Tuition, room & board payment due; Interim term begins 8 a.m.
Jan. 5-25: The January Series 2011
Jan. 14 & 15: Alumni Choir concerts
Jan. 25: Interim ends 5 p.m.
Jan. 29: Calvin/Hope Satellite Game (all around the country)
Jan. 31: First day of spring semester; classes begin 8:00 a.m.

In Other News