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Calvin-Parents E-Newsletter: December 13, 2011

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As students take exams, for which 273 Winter Exam Treats were delivered (see photos!), we want to wish you and your family a blessed Christmas and New Year, and say thank you for supporting the Student Treats program.  Please note that there will not be a Calvin-Parents issue sent until Tuesday, January 3, 2012.

And as you prepare for Christmas during this time of Advent, see the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship's Advent and Christmas resource guide.

"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

During Christmas break...

From the housing calendar for December:
Dec. 16: Exams end and Christmas vacation begins at 10 p.m. Please note: students should leave the residence halls the day of their last exam or the next morning. (For questions or special circumstances, students should contact their resident director).
Dec. 17: Residence halls close at 10 a.m. for students with Friday exams or special permission only. Due to staffing and security issues, this is the LATEST that the halls will remain open. Transitional housing for special circumstances should be arranged by contacting the student's resident director or the housing office.

As parents and grandparents prepare their homes for the arrival of college students over Christmas break, this information about "The Twelve Days of Christmas for Current College Parents" might be helpful.  Here are some additional holiday suggestions for parents of college students from Calvin's Parents & Family site.

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Support basketball, Capella as they travel

The men's basketball team will be in the Pacific NW during Christmas break, December 29 & 30, 2011. Cheer them on if you will be there, too; the alumni office will be hosting receptions after their games. E-mail (616-526-6142) if you have more questions.  Thank you for supporting the Knights!

The Capella will be in Asia for interim and the tour includes performances in Hong Kong, China, Philippines and Singapore. This ensemble is the advanced mixed chorus from Calvin and its repertoire consists of outstanding motets, spirituals, folksongs, and art music. The Capella is directed by Dr. Joel Navarro. For more information regarding music tours, please contact Jason Reiffer (616-526-6432), music tours coordinator.

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Spring break gift idea

Don’t know what to get your student for Christmas this year? Consider sending your son or daughter on a spring break trip sponsored by Calvin’s Service-Learning Center! All trips have a learning focus and offer the opportunity to serve and connect with a non-profit organization. All trips are $400 or less, with need-based financial aid available. Trips fill up on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications can be downloaded or picked up from the S-LC office.
Find out more about specific trips and guidelines. If you still have questions, e-mail with "Attn: Emily" in the subject line.

---Service-Learning Center (616-526-6455)
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January Series 2012

Coming this January for the 25th year, Calvin presents January Series 2012—the award-winning, free liberal arts education delivered in 15 weekday, lunchtime lectures.

Thousands will gather on the Calvin campus to hear pioneers in their fields speak on topics ranging from the sociological effects of technology, the future of Christianity, the power of social justice movements, the Arab spring and the question of democracy in the Middle East, the state of public education in America  and much more. Thousands more will join the conversation by watching a live feed at 34 remote webcast sites across the continent or by listening online.

For details on the series, including presenter bios, remote site locations, online listening instructions, archived presentations and more, see January Series 2012. Also keep track of what the presenters are up to on the January Series Facebook page.

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Worship Symposium 2012

Online registration is open for the 2012 Worship Symposium, to be held January 26-28, 2012 on Calvin's campus. We expect more than 1,500 attendees from around the globe to journey to Grand Rapids for three days of reflection and renewal around issues of worship. This conference brings together a wide audience of pastors, worship leaders and planners, artists, musicians, scholars, students and other interested worshipers.

Housing reminder

As you may be aware, the college initiated a new off-campus housing policy last year. 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. Thank you for your assistance and support.  Contact housing (, 616-526-6120) if you have further concerns or questions.

Another gift idea

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. 

Jan. 1:
Miscellaneous charges payment due (1st of each month)
Jan. 3: On-campus housing opens - 10 a.m.
Jan. 4: Interim term begins - 8 a.m.
Jan. 4-24:
The January Series 2011
Jan. 5: Tuition, room & board payment due
Jan. 24: Interim ends - 5 p.m.
Jan. 30: First day of spring semester; classes begin - 8 a.m.

Feb. 1:
Spring Semester Convocation

Don't forget Calvin...

Gifts to the Calvin Annual Fund provide much-needed financial aid for our students. Learn more about the Beat Hope Challenge that's happening this year and how your contribution will be used. Make a gift online to take advantage of 2011 tax savings. 

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