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Calvin-Parents E-Newsletter: May 15, 2012

This Saturday, May 19, 2012, marks Calvin's 92nd Commencement. If you aren't able to attend, you may watch the LIVE broadcast which will begin at 1:30 p.m. EST, with Commencement beginning at 2 p.m. Be sure to check the Commencement pages to find all the complete, last-minute information about the schedule, gifts and flowers, special ceremonies and receptions.

If you have any questions about Commencement, call the Commencement Hotline (800-560-6391, 616-526-8615) or e-mail

ROTC Commissioning Ceremony

Immediately following the Commencement worship service on Friday, May 18 (5 p.m., Chapel), a brief ceremony commissioning Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Cadets Benjamin Byma, John Eske and Ross Pursifull as 2nd lieutenants in the United States Army will be held (6:15 p.m., also in the Chapel). This commissioning, including an oath, pinning, and first salute, will mark the completion of their ROTC training. There will still be time to attend the Commencement picnic immediately following this service. Families are encouraged to support these students with their attendance at that ceremony.

Calvin is an affiliate of the ROTC program at Western Michigan University. Students can participate in this program while studying at Calvin.

Commencement parking, seating

Since campus will be very busy for Commencement, it's a good idea to check over the parking information before you arrive. The most important thing to remember is that you should leave plenty of time to get to the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex, which houses the Van Andel Arena (where the ceremony will take place at 2 p.m.), from wherever you park. Also see the graduate seating chart to locate your graduate's approximate seat on the seating chart for the arena.

Commencement accessibility

If you are bringing guests with mobility, hearing or other accessibility needs, please pay special attention to the designated accessible seating areas. Only those who have requested accessible seating IN ADVANCE will have reserved seats; graduates who requested these seats have received specific instructions. Also found on that page is special information about the sign language interpreter and the Loop audio system.

Distinguished Alumni Awards

This year's Distinguished Alumni Awards will be given to John Booy '74 MAT '81 and Ilga Svechs '58 at Commencement 2012. Recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award have made significant contributions to their fields of endeavor, are recognized by their associates for outstanding achievements, and manifest a Christian commitment that reflects honor upon Calvin College. Read more about them and their work.

Inspirational students, alumni

Alum Marcia Beare, who lost her sight at age two, is back at Calvin as a pre-med student.

Cheri Ackerman '11, a former Goldwater Scholar, seeks a balance as a Christian and a biochemist.

Senior Ryan DeVries will teach English in an ESL classroom in Taiwan funded by a Fulbright Scholarship.

Part of the homework in psychology 209 is creating the life histories of older adults. Through the assignment, students learn about older adults from something other than a textbook.

Byker farewells

The spring semester of 2012 will mark the completion of Gaylen and Susan Byker's 17 years of service to Calvin. There are many ways for the community to express our thanks. Faculty, staff and students met over lunch recently to honor the retirement of President Gaylen Byker. See photos.

"A Byker Farewell: God's Grace and Gratitude"
This public program of appreciation and thanks will be held Wednesday, May 16, at 8 p.m. in the Covenant Fine Arts Center. Some participants include Randall Bytwerk, Gary Schmidt and Richard Mouw; a special choral and instrumental work commissioned by the Alumni Association, Parable, will be performed and feature the Calvin Alumni Choir. A reception will be held immediately following.

Farewell Reception
On the Bykers' last day on campus, Monday, June 25, all are invited to a farewell reception at 10:00 a.m. on the Commons Lawn.

Contact with any questions.


Thank you for your support of the Student Treats Program!

1,340 seasonal treats were delivered to students for the 2011-2012 school year. In addition to these seasonal treats, 314 Birthday Treats, 112 Pizza "Anytime" Treats and 70 Hugs From Home were delivered. That makes a grand total of 1,836 special deliveries made to students throughout the year thanks your love and care from wherever you are!

Proceeds from this program are used to help fund Family Weekend activities in the fall. Thank you, again!

Museum discount

The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) is pleased to offer a special $5 admission and 10% discount in the Museum Store for graduating Calvin students and their families from May 11th-25th, 2012. Please present your Calvin student ID to Guest Services or the Museum Store to receive the discount. (Discount is good for $5 admission for each person in your family/group at time of visit). Enjoy!

Share your gifts...

The Calvin Annual Fund exists to bridge a gap—the gap between students’ financial capabilities and the value of a Calvin education. In short, the Calvin Annual Fund exists to support every student every day. Need a reason to participate? We'll give you 4,000. That's how many Calvin students benefit when you support the Calvin Annual Fund. It's not about giving your share. It's about sharing your gifts.

"Like" the Calvin Annual Fund on Facebook to see photos from campus events, interesting links and profiles of alumni serving around the corner and across the globe.

Check the Parent Calendar for important dates

Here are the next dates coming up from the Parent Calendar:

May 16: Exams end, 10 p.m.
May 17: Residence halls close, 10 a.m.
May 17: Nursing Pinning Ceremony, 8 p.m. Go here [] to purchase a nursing pin for your son, daughter or grandchild.
May 17: Social Work Commissioning Ceremony, 8 p.m.
May 18:
Teacher Commissioning Ceremony, 7 p.m.
May 18-19:Commencement weekend

If you ever have any questions, contact (616-526-6142). Thank you for reading Calvin-Parents!