Alumni hope to play role in Calvin's sustainability efforts

“Creation care” is a phrase that gets bounced around a lot at Calvin, according to Luke Kenbeek ’08. The phrase didn’t just bounce off Kenbeek the minute he graduated though; it stuck. “I believe it’s a calling that we can all take part in—that we all should take part in,” he said. “I have learned that there are many avenues in which students and alumni can be involved within the broad issue of sustainability.”

For Kenbeek, of Uxbridge, Mass., that calling includes working on green building projects for a commercial construction company.

For alum Jordan Hoogendam ’04, of Kitchener, Ont., that calling translates into renewable energy design and green building consulting through his company, Fluent Engineering Inc.

Together, the two hope to raise visibility of the issue at Calvin, drawing in other alumni along the way.

“I think that Calvin students, faculty and staff are making strides, but there hasn’t been a clear voice from alumni,” said Hoogendam. “There should be some way for alumni to communicate about these ideas. I think we could bring some valuable insight to the conversation.”

For that reason, Hoogendam and Kenbeek have organized a discussion group to engage alumni in the sustainability conversation, particularly as it relates to Calvin. “A lot of universities are starting to wake up to these issues,” said Hoogendam, “and there is still time for Calvin to be a part of that leadership role.”

Kenbeek believes there are many alumni who would be interested in making this connection to Calvin. “I think a groundswell of awareness could translate back to Calvin as a great resource on so many levels,” he said.

Starting with a discussion group, Kenbeek and Hoogendam hope to find potential for an energy efficiency/sustainability advisory group, interest in establishing an energy-efficiency fund and/or resources for educational seminars.

“The most important thing is to get the conversation started among alumni,” said Hoogendam, “and the key reason is creation care. We can’t be silent observers. These are not easy issues, and there is a whole range of debate about it, but as members of the Calvin community we need to be engaged.”

If you are interested in joining the discussion group or finding out more about how alumni can participate in this venture, e-mail lkenbeek@alumni.calvin.edu.