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Class Notes


Howard DeHaan ex'48 and his wife, Verna, are the 1997 Leadership Award Recipients from the Pine Rest Foundation in Grand Rapids. They have been Foundation members since 1964 and Howard has served on the Pine Rest Foundation Board of Governors.


William R. LaFleur '57, Joseph B. Glossberg Professor of Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania, recently lectured at Leiden University in the Netherlands about debates in Japan concerning the propriety of organ transplants. He is also a fellow at Penn's Center for Bioethics and is writing a book about religious factors in Japanese decision-making in medical matters. He and his family will spend -99 in Kyoto, Japan.

John Monsma '58 will retire from his position as professor of speech communication at Northern Arizona University on July 2, , an appointment he has held since 1970. He previously taught at Northern Michigan University and Purdue University. He co-founded the Family Communication Division of the National Communication Association and served in the Arizona Communication Association. He was the 1992 Arizona Professor of the Year. The students of Northern Arizona University named him the 1991 Homecoming Dedicatee and gave him the 1997-98 Louie Award as "Most Caring Professor." He and his wife, Marcia DeGood Monsma '59, plan to develop a marriage mentoring program to assist couples in their first two years of marriage.

Corrine Kass '50 has received the J.E. Wallace Wallin Award from the Council for Exceptional Children for her commitment and exemplary performance in serving children with disabilities. She received Calvin's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1976 for exemplary work in the same field.

George Werkema '58 retired after 22 years with the U.S. Department of Energy in Albuquerque, N. M., where he was director of the Nuclear Programs Division. He was responsible for funding and direction of the nuclear materials science programs valued at more than $100 million at Los Alamos National Laboratory and other sites. He was a member of the Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque, where he sang in the Chancel Choir, served as an elder and was chairman of the Worship and Music Committee. Upon his retirement he and his wife, Alyce, moved to Lynden, Wash., where they have joined Third Christian Reformed Church. They work one day a week at volunteer docent staff at the Lynden Pioneer Museum.


Eltjen Flikkema '66 received the Governor's Award for Teaching Excellence in St. Louis, Mo., last year. He hast just completed 25 years of teaching at Drury College and was recognized for this at May Commencement. He and his wife, Jerri, have two daughters, Tamara, an attorney, and Lisa, a registered nurse. They are enjoying their role as grandparents for their first time with their granddaughter, Hailey, 15 months.

Ronald Bengelink '64, director of the Ed Wells Initiative at the Boeing Company in Seattle, Wash., was recently elected to the grade of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Fellow. Selection of AIAA Fellows is limited to those who distinguished themselves in the field of aerospace and show strong potential for leadership. Ron was honored for leadership in improving the practice of engineering and the effectiveness of engineering education.

William C. Haverkamp '68 will become superintendent of the Calvin Christian School Association this July. His wife, Marybeth Hartger Haverkamp '68, was appointed ministries coordinator at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids.

Vernon L. Snoeyink ex'62, Ivan Racheff Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Martin Batts '65, professor of English, philosophy and biblical studies at LeTourneau University, has been chosen as the university's nominee for the Piper Professor Award given by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation. The Piper Professor Award is given on a statewide basis each year to outstanding faculty at colleges and universities. The major emphasis of the Piper Foundation Award is on teaching.

Andrew Zylstra '66 was recently named director of Kent County's (Mich.) Family Independence Agency. He takes over the position vacated by the retirement of longtime director and another Calvin alum Evert Vermeer '59. In a recent Grand Rapids Press article he stated that welfare reform and helping as many people as possible find full-time work are his biggest challenges.

Trudy Kievit Faber '60, professor of music and chair of the department at Wittenberg University, has received the Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Teaching. Trudy is also a performer who presents concerts on both organ and harpsichord throughout the United States and Europe. She has performed in such places as Coventry Cathedral and St. Paul's Cathedral in London. She has also performed throughout the U.S. including the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C.

James Kett '69 and his wife, Jeri Beenen Kett '74, are now living in Singapore, where James is a math instructor at Singapore American School. He recently completed his Ph.D. in math education through Western Michigan University.


Mary Beth Vannette Sullivan ex'74 is a teacher/librarian/bookkeeper for Evangelical Theological Seminary in Osijek, Croatia. She recently received her bachelor's degree from Oral Roberts University and master's from Wheaton Graduate School.

Ken Hekman '75 and Marybeth Teune Hekman '75 were grieved by the death of their daughter, Carla, on January 9. Carla was a high school senior and was planning to attend Calvin in the fall when she died from accidental injuries.

Lisa Van Dragt Vander Wal ex'75 MDiv'97 was ordained in the Reformed Church of America and installed as pastor of the Reformed Church of Canajoharie, N.Y., earlier this year. Her husband, David Vander Wal ex'75, is a principal of Walker Parking Consultants/Engineers Inc. in Boston, Mass.

Russ Bloem '75 has been promoted to vice president, ASEAN Region, for the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. He is responsible for the management of Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Indochina. He, his wife, Jacqueline Bremmer Bloem '77, and their four children will be relocating from Japan to Singapore, where the regional headquarters is located.

Thomas Kennedy '75, associate professor of philosophy, was awarded the Valparaiso University Alumni Association's Distinguished Teaching Award, which is given in recognition of excellence in the art of teaching.

Walter DeBoer '77 has served as service leader for research and evaluation for the Grand Rapids Public Schools for more than 10 years. Last year he earned his Ed.D. from Western Michigan University. His dissertation topic was "The Use of Data in School-based Decision Making."

Jeff Sage '75 accepted the position of director of process engineering for supply chain in General Motors Corporate Office. His group is responsible for the design of business processes worldwide. Prior to joining GM, Jeff had led international management consulting projects in the automotive industry in Germany, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. Jeff states that "it feels great to be working closer to home."

Ron Willett '79 and Diane Bruchmann Willett ex'78 live in Mankato, Minn., where Ron is the executive director of the Twin Valley County Boy Scouts of America for 15 south central Minnesota counties. Diane works as a registered nurse for the School Sisters of Notre Dame, a retirement home for Catholic nuns. Ron's career with the Boy Scouts has led the family to live in Greenville, Mich.; Denver, Colo.; Indianapolis, Ind. and Rochester, N.Y. They have three children, Heather, 16; Eric, 14; and Melissa, 11.

Arthur Treadwell '76 was named 1997 Outside Representative of the Year for ITT Educational Services, Inc. As outside representative, Arthur recruits and advises high school graduates interested in pursuing an education and career in a technical field. He was honored for his leadership and expertise in recruiting skills.

David Stravers '71 has been executive vice president of ministries at The Bible League since 1986. Dave and his wife, Jan Driesens Stravers '72, worked in Taiwan and the Philippines for Christian Reformed World Missions for ten years. Dave organized the implemented the "lights out" prank, which shut down Calvin College FAC chapels for two days when he was a junior at Calvin (see "Letters"). These days, Dave's prank-pulling abilities are applied to, among other things, figuring out how to deliver Chinese Bibles to the 50 million Christians who worship illegally in mainland China--he has been to China 40 times--and figuring out how to convince Americans that daily Bible reading (rather than compulsory chapel attendance) is the most spiritually powerful habit a person can engage in.

Carl Byker '77 is a film producer in Los Angeles, Calif. He was recently awarded a Peabody Award by the Producers Guild of America for The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century. The series, which aired on PBS won the award for best non-fiction series.

Tim VanLaar '73, professor of art at the University of Illinois, and his brother-in-law, Len Diepeveen '81, professor of American literature and poetry at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, have co-authored a book, Active Sights: Art as Social Interaction. They are currently working on second book on the same topic, due out this summer, meant more for the general reader.


James Cnossen, Jr. ex'86 and Linda Fowle Cnossen '87 live in Zurich, Switzerland. Jim is marketing and product planning manager for General Motors Africa and Mideast Operations. Linda recently received her diploma of professional studies in dance from the Laban Center for Dance and Movement in London, England.

Jody Betten Rice '83 recently graduated from Western Theological Seminary and is serving Palos Heights Reformed Church in Illinois.

Jackie Veldman Petrusma '87 has been promoted to the manager of Global Product Pricing at Amway Corp. in Ada, Mich. In her new position she will be responsible for coordinating levels of product pricing for all Amway products.

Linda Ann Dahnke '83 fulfilled a lifelong dream of adopting a baby with Down Syndrome when she picked up Shelby Rae Dahnke from Dallas, Texas, last year. (See "Newcomers.")

Tom Robinson '81 is now employed at the Christian Opportunity Center in Pella, Iowa, as a program coordinator. His responsibilities include writing programs for persons with mental and/or physical disabilities who live independently in the community. He was formerly principal of the Peoria (Iowa) Christian School, and has earned his master's in school administration from Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) in Kirksville, Mo.

Thomas Glashower '88 has been promoted to manager of SEC Reporting/European Support for Amway Corp. in Ada, Mich. In his new position, he will be responsible for coordinating internal, external and SEC required financial reporting for Amway's public companies and European affiliates.

Tom Sinke ex'84 and Carol Vredevoogd Sinke '84 have moved back from Cadillac, Mich., to Grand Rapids, where Tom is a project architect with A.M.D.G. Architects and Carol is busy at home with their four children.

Gayle Hoekstra DeHaan '81 earned her Ph.D. in educational psychology with a major in school psychology last year. After four moves and two children, she finally managed to write and defend her thesis which examined parent-adolescent communication in a sample of families with biological and transracially-adopted adolescents. "My education at Calvin well-prepared me for the challenges of graduate school," she wrote. "I couldn't have done it without the love and support of my husband, Doug DeHaan '80."

David Petno '88 was recently named by Crain's Cleveland Business Magazine as one of the "40 up-and-coming executives under 40." He was appointed the president and CEO of HealthRays Alliance last year.

Bill Van Antwerpen '80 was awarded the Herman B. Wells Award posthumously by Indiana University recently. Bill lost a battle with cancer on July 11, 1997. The award, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to Indiana University, was given in honor of his enthusiastic work as an English professor.

Randall Gemmen '84 received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan while working at Sandia National Laboratories. He is now working for the Department of Energy in Morgantown, W.V., performing research and advanced fuel-cell concepts. He is also learning to be the father of a beautiful baby girl. (See newcomers.)

Jim Griffioen '85 has been promoted to associate professor of computer science at the University of Kentucky.

Mark Stephenson '82 and Beverly Luchies Stephenson '81 live in West Olive, Mich., where Mark is the pastor of West Olive Christian Reformed Church. Their son, Ben, a kindergartner at South Olive Christian School recently had a chapter published in a new book, Views From Our Shoes edited by Donald Meyer. The book is collection of stories by children and young people who have siblings with special needs. From the cover: "The kids whose essays are featured in the book range in age from 4-18 and are siblings of youngsters with a variety of special needs, including autism, cerebral palsy, ...ADD, Down and Tourette syndromes." The book can be ordered directly from the publisher, Woodbine House at 1-800-843-7323.


Karen Hutcheson '96 completed her first year as a University Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is working towards a master's degree in theatre research. She is particularly interested in studying the history of women in humor and the theoretical perspectives on funny women especially as it relates to improvisational comedy performance.

Stephanie Fisher Shea ex'92 recently accepted a job with the city of Southfield, Mich., as a counselor/outreach worker with older adults and the physically challenged.

John Ausema '94 has completed three years of teaching biology and physical science at Wilmington Christian School in Hockessin, Del. During the summers he has been pursuing a master's degree from Rensellaer Polytechnic Institute in a program designed for science and math teachers. John welcomes you to check out the web page that he is developing as a part of his master's program. It brings together various resources that students can use in the classroom:

Dana Kuipers '97 has been accepted to the Los Angeles Police Department Academy. She will complete the program this fall and then will be sworn in as a Los Angeles police officer.

Todd Faasse '94 is working as a clinical nuclear medicine technologist at Saint Agnes Medical Center in Fresno, Calif. He will begin a master of public health degree this summer.

Chad Kooyer '91 was named 1997 Police Officer of the Year by the Grand Rapids Police Department. He has been a member of the department since 1990.

Laurie Malm Kooienga '95 teaches seventh and eighth grade physical education and health at Hudsonville Middle School in Grand Rapids. She also coaches track at the middle school and cheerleading at Unity Christian High School (Hudsonville). She is involved in the Hoops for Heart program at her school which raises money for the American Heart Association.

Todd Buikema '96, Jacob Dykstra '96, Cara Mulder '96, Kim Schulte Postema '96 and John Lambers '95 all recently passed the Uniform CPA Exam. John, Jacob, Cara and Kim work at Plante Moran in Michigan. Todd works at Pandolfi, Topolski, Weiss & Co. in Oak Brook, Ill. Both are public accounting firms.

Sue Fridsma Lanser '91 and her husband, Mark Lanser '97, moved to Minneapolis, Minn., where Sue is completing her family practice residency. After completion of her residency, they will be moving to Cadillac, Mich., where she will be joining a multi-specialty clinic to practice family medicine. Mark works as a mechanical engineer and telecommutes from Minneapolis for Extol, Inc. in Zeeland, Mich.

Tanya Stormo Rasmussen '91 is the pastor at East Natick United Methodist Church in Natick, Mass. Her husband, Joel, has begun a doctoral program at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University.

Amy Tigelaar Orr '91 has joined the Grand Rapids Christian Schools as director of student recruitment. Previously, she was marketing coordinator for a law firm in Grand Rapids.

Mark Swenson '95 graduated from Indiana University with masters' degrees in library science and ancient history. He currently works as electronic and technical services librarian for Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District in Winnetka, Ill., near Chicago. While there he has designed the library's web page and is responsible for the cataloging of some non-book materials and general assistance with computer problems.

David Baar '96 has joined Earth Tech as an environmental engineer with the total Water Management Division. Based in Grand Rapids, Mich., he is responsible for environmental engineering issues for various water and wastewater treatment projects throughout the United States.

Kelly Planer '93 was a member of the production team which received the Pennsylvania Crime Prevention Officers Association award for Media of the year. The award-winning program is entitled, The Alert Partnership: Building a Better Future--Block By Block. Kelly served as editor for the project, which is a 30-minute documentary defining The Alert Partnership's role in creating crime prevention programs in area communities.

A. David Besteman '93 received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Florida. He accepted a position as a research chemist at Pfizer Pharmaceutical and is working at their research lab in Groton, Conn.

Melissa Sikkema George '91 received her MSN degree from Grand Valley State University last year.

Lael Witte Mulder '90 recently earned a master's degree in educational leadership from Western Michigan University.

David Niewiek '90, owner of Paris Motors in Grand Rapids received "Michigan's Quality Dealer of the Year 1997" from the Michigan Independent Automobile Dealers Association.

Diane Besteman Estrella '90 received her master of education from Grand Valley State University. She is completing her eighth year of teaching at the Santiago Christian School in Santiago, the Dominican Republic. She and her husband, who also teaches at Santiago Christian School, have two young daughters.

Laura Gelderloos '97 is working as a Spanish teacher for Grosse Pointe Public Schools, just outside of Detroit, Mich.

Patrick Race '90 has become the national coordinator for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Fireworks Enforcement Program in Washington, D.C.

Victoria Jones Jager '96 recently bought ASAP Professional Printing Services in Sparta. Victoria has changed the name of her new company to The Printer's Inc., which will continue to specialize in letterheads, envelopes, business cards, brochures, newsletters and logo designs.

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Contact Lynn Bolt Rosendale or Mike VanDenend.
Last revised by Nathan Vandenbroek on 6/16/98.