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Calvin-Parents E-Newsletter: November 29, 2011

Calvin Christmas at the Campus Store 2011

Christmas at the Campus Store, Dec. 3

Avoid the mall, skip long checkout lines, stay out of traffic and buy Calvin! Come to campus for Christmas at the Campus Store. There are many gift ideas for everyone on your shopping list. Highlights include complimentary gift bagging, book signings and refreshments, along with 15% discounts on selected items. Every purchase made on this day helps the Grand Rapids Chapter of the Calvin Alumni Association fund student scholarships. We hope to see you there!

It's a Christmas weekend with Calvin!
Saturday, December 3: Men's basketball game ~ 5:30 p.m., River City Improv ~ 7:33 p.m. (Ladies Literary Club), Oratorio's Handel's Messiah ~ 8 p.m.
Sunday, December 4: Lessons and Carols with the Campus Choir and Women's Chorale ~ 3 p.m. & 6 p.m. (LaGrave Ave. Chr. Ref. Church), L.O.F.T. worship service with tree lighting ~ 8 p.m.

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Soccer, sports

Men's soccer is headed back to NCAA III Final Four in San Antonio on Friday, December 2.  If you are in that area or have friends or family there, please encourage them to cheer on the Knights. Be sure to check the main Calvin sports page for a link to live coverage.

Other sports headlines:

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Prayers continue for Brenna

Two years ago on November 17, Brenna Hannan, a first-year student from Ohio, collapsed from a brain aneurysm and remains in assisted care in Grand Rapids.

Please continue to support Brenna and her family through prayer.

Consider writing her family a note or visit them on Care Pages. Read "A mother's vigil" for more about Brenna's story.

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Treat deadline TODAY!

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!

The next treat offered is the Winter Exam Treat which is a reusable tote filled with nut-free goodies and supplies for students heading into final exams. The deadline to order the Winter Exam Treat is today, November 29, 2011. Treats will be delivered on December 7 to on-campus locations only, but may also be ordered for students who live off campus. Your son or daughter living off campus will receive an e-mail notification and can pick up their treat in the registrar's office. Order your treats online today!

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Dance Guild photos, etc.

Any time of the year you can view photos from campus activities on the Roving WebCam photo gallery site. The most recent galleries include the Dance Guild: Footloose event and Wikki Stix competition at the Campus Store.

If you ever want to see the weather on campus, or see who's on the climbing wall, visit the WebCam page which features live pictures from various spots around campus.

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Note to middle/high school teachers

Calvin professors Will Katerberg and Bob Schoone-Jongen have received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to conduct a three-week teaching institute about the place of the American West in global history. The institute takes place June 24–July 14, 2012, at Calvin. 25 middle and high school teachers from around the U.S. will be selected to participate. Professors Katerberg and Schoone-Jongen are interested in making the pool of participants as broad as possible. Would you be willing to pass this along to any high schools or teachers in your area? Or perhaps you or someone you know might be interested. 

Here is the seminar information:
Here is more background information on the NEH grant:

Thank you for helping them spread the word!

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Calvin Theatre Company

The Calvin Theatre Company will present an evening of plays for young audiences (6th grade and older) on Friday & Saturday, December  2 & 3, at 7:30 p.m., in the Gezon Auditorium.

Directed and performed by Calvin students, this night of theater present four plays in two acts. The first act has three ten minute plays and the second act is an adaptation of Gary L. Blackwood's young adult novel, The Shakespeare Stealer. These are stories about the importance of friendship, the relationships between parents and their children, and the silliness found in moments of forgetfulness.

Tickets are $5 and may be purchased online, at the box office located in the Covenant Fine Arts Center, or by calling 616-526-6282.

From campus safety

A recent string of burglaries in the Calvin neighborhood has put the off-campus community on alert. At least six student houses have been broken into since the start of school. Common items stolen include cash, jewelry, computers and other electronic items. Campus safety encourages students to be vigilant about locking their doors and increasing the safety of their off-campus homes.

Here are tips sent to the students from Bill Corner, director of campus safety, who can be contacted at with further questions.

1. Keep windows and doors locked at all times when you are not at home. Lock all windows and doors at night, even when you are home.
2. Make sure your exterior lights are working and keep them on at night.
3. Put wood blocks in windows and slider doors. This will prevent someone from sliding them open from the outside.
4. Keep an interior light or two on inside, even when you are not home.
5. If a stranger comes to your door asking for someone else, take note of what he or she looks like (sex, approximate age, race, weight, height and clothing) as the stranger might be checking to see if anyone is home before committing a burglary.
6. Report any suspicious conditions (like someone looking in windows or doors) to the police as soon as possible, or call 911 immediately if you see a burglary in progress.
7. Introduce yourself and get to know your neighbors so you can distinguish them from strangers.
8. Keep valuables out of plain sight. If possible, lock up valuables such as credit cards, cash, jewelry and electronics (including computers). Any valuable items left out on counters or tables are easy targets.
9. If you are renting a house, report things like broken lights and locks to your landlord and request that they be fixed immediately. Also, if there are spots where bushes or trees are overgrown near your house, ask to have them cut back to eliminate places where a burglar could hide.

If you wish to report suspicious activity but want to remain anonymous, you can contact Silent Observer by phone at (616) 774-2345, by email at: or by texting CRIMES (274637) about the suspicious activity and including the keyword Tip138 in the message.

Anyone who currently lives in the City of Grand Rapids or is looking for an off-campus residence for the next school year can look at a crime map which shows the number and types of crimes being reported to the Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) over a 90 day period. This crime map feature can be found on the GRPD site.

Community Dining Program

Are you looking for a Christmas gift this year for your son or daughter who lives off campus? Or, a great complement for the student treats received from you last year? Does your son or daughter have a busy class, sports and activities schedule with no time to commute home for dinner?

Calvin now has a Community Dining Program that offers 30, 60, 100, and 150 block meal plans per semester to students who live off campus, at Knollcrest East, or the Timmer studio apartments. These are affordable and flexible meal options. Check out more information about the plans.

--Shirley Hoogstra, vice president of student life

Check the Parent Calendar for important dates

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. 

December 1: Miscellaneous charges payment due (1st of each month)
December 9: Last day of fall semester; classes end 10 p.m.
December 10: Reading Recess
December 12: Exams begin 9 a.m.
December 16: Exams end and Christmas break begins 10 p.m.
December 17: On-campus housing closes at 10 a.m.