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Calvin-Parents E-Newsletter: September 13, 2011

Sights, sounds and stories

Streetfest photo album
Incoming students stock shelves, spread mulch and paint a playground during Streetfest.

Video: The first week
Watch incoming students move in, get acquainted, serve in the community and bat a few beach balls around.

Remembering 9-11
Calvin faculty, staff and students remember where they were and what they did on 9/11/01.

Convocation 2011
Watch Dr. Byker's last Convocation address as president of Calvin. He retires at the end of this school year.

Other news: Calvin's speech pathology/audiology program expands its outreach in the community.

Treats deadline this week

Parents may send their student some "love" by having the parent relations team deliver a treat to them during the school year. There are birthday, exam, holiday and special event treats to send for on- or off-campus students. The full list of treats is available on the Student Treats page and you can order online now!

To start off the year, send a Pizza Treat, but do it soon. The order deadline to send your student(s) a large pizza from a popular, locally-owned pizzeria is September 14, 2011.

For a great deal order A Year of Treats, which happens to include a Pizza Treat, and save $$. This package deal includes a free birthday treat. The order deadline for this "package deal" is also September 14, 2011.

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Psalms study, parent blog

As the Calvin community begins its study of the Psalms, we encourage parents to read, pray and sing along with us. You may purchase the study book, follow the study guides and listen to LOFT services (all linked from Faith). Parents can also be part of their own "study group" by reading and commenting on a blog for parents. Each week, parent relations staff members or other parents will be posting a reflection and inviting your feedback. 

This week, we consider how we can turn our dreams and wishes for our students into prayers, using the language of the Psalms. How do you use the Psalms to pray for your student? Add your comments to the blog!

President Byker spoke about his reading of Psalms in the Convocation address last week.

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Residence Hall Living Booklet, Parent Resource Guide

Some parents who attended Passport IV may have missed out on receiving the "Residence Hall Living Booklet" because we ran out. We have more copies now, and they are available to students at their residence hall desks or by stopping by the student life office. However, the full document is also available as a .pdf on this page. The booklet has important information about living on campus, including key dates, policies, and other resources about the campus.  -John Witte, dean of residence life, 616-526-6546

A printed copy of the 2011-12 Parent Resource Guide has been mailed to the homes of all incoming first-year students. Parents can find a link to the .pdf on this page or, if you would like to receive a printed copy, e-mail Please include your mailing address in the request.

Message for new college parents about studying

First-year college students experience a major adjustment in handling their academic workload during September. They are in the classroom/lab less frequently than high school and, consequently, may succumb to the illusion that they have more "free" time. Generally speaking, college students should be working (reading, studying, research, writing, etc.) at least two hours outside of class for every hour they spend in the classroom or lab. Of course, this formula will vary according to the student, subject matter, etc., but it is a general rule for students to gauge their academic workload. By the end of September, students most likely will have graded assignments and tests returned to them.

If there are academic concerns at this point, now is an ideal time for your student to seek support. Encourage your student to talk to her professor, take advantage of free tutoring (academic services, 616-526-6113), and seek advice from upperclassmen, RAs, RDs, and advisors on success strategies. Midterm grades for freshmen students will be posted on Portal during the week of October 24. That is also a good time and occasion to "check in" with your student regarding academic progress. Please note on your calendar that Academic Advising Days will be during that same week on Tuesday, October 25 and Wednesday, October 26. -Tom Steenwyk, registrar

Addresses, Career Link

Snail-mail is not dead! If you'd like to send something to your student(s), addresses for the residence halls, on-campus apartments and Project Neighborhood homes are available on the mail services website.

Check out the fall edition of Career Link (.pdf), the newsletter from Calvin's career development office, featuring some students who completed summer internships, as well as a calendar of upcoming job fairs and events.

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Worship and prayer opportunities

Join us for worship this year: daily chapel or weekly LOFT (Living Our Faith Together) services. The live feeds are available 10 a.m., Monday through Friday for Chapel, and 8 p.m. on Sunday evenings for LOFT  services.

All throughout the year you are encouraged to pray with Calvin. This page guides you in prayers for the daily life of Calvin and its students.

Please also join the Facebook group Praying for the Calvin College Presidential Search. Join with us in praying for the process, the search committee, and our next president. We covet your prayers as we seek God's leading.

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Professor news

Michigan Author Award
Professor of English Gary Schmidt was recently named the winner of the 2011 Michigan Author Award. The Library of Michigan and the Michigan Library Association sponsors the award, which honors Michigan writers for their contributions to literature based on an outstanding published body of work.  Read more about this award and watch a trailer for professor Schmidt's new book, "Okay for Now".

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Events, dates, Facebook

Here are several alumni and friends events coming up. Parents and family members are invited--encouraged---to join us!

Also, check the Parent Calendar page to keep track of important academic/financial dates throughout the year.

Become a fan of Calvin on Facebook and you'll see links to top news stories from Calvin and news stories about Calvin and the Calvin community.

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