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In the Spotlight: Dave and Jane VanderHaagen
Alumni couple establishes scholarships for musicians, teachers

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Jane and Dave VanderHaagen with scholarship recipients
Front: Jane and Dave VanderHaagen with scholarship recipient Rebecca Schmurr. Back: Students Tim Leugs, Erin Wigboldy, and Sarah Sikma.
Dave ‘69 and Jane Noteboom VanderHaagen '69 met in the Commons Dining Hall as Calvin freshmen. The two 18 year-olds—Dave from Dearborn, Mich. and Jane from Bellflower, CA—met while working in the dining hall. Dave washed dishes and Jane served tables. "Can you imagine having waitresses in the dining hall today?" Jane asks. But in the mid-sixties when formal dinners were served weekly and a dress code enforced (suits for men and "church attire" for women), college students worked as waiters and waitresses. The VanderHaagens will say it was a fine beginning.

Following their freshman year, Dave and Jane became members of the residence hall staffDave in Rooks-VanDellen and Jane in Beets-Veenstra. They served as resident assistants and resident directors until they graduated from Calvin in 1969Jane an education major and Dave a philosophy major and Greek minor. They were married in 1969 and currently live in Okemos, Mich. Dave is an attorney at Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC, and general counsel/secretary for the Michigan Farm Bureau Companies. Jane is the gifted and talented program coordinator for the Lansing Christian Elementary School.

Dave says he is "enormously grateful" for the education that he and Jane, and their children, Elizabeth and John, received at Calvin. He also expresses gratitude for the faculty scholarship at Calvin. "Without exception," he says, "the faculty have considered serious scholarship to be an act of worship in their walk of faith." He believes Calvin has produceddisproportionate to its sizea significant number of people who have notable influence in the broader academic world and who provide a positive, Christian influence. Dave sums it up in these words: "Calvin is a bright jewel in the crown of the denomination and a remarkable gift to the larger Christian community."

The VanderHaagens found a tangible way to express their appreciation for Calvin. They established two named scholarships for Calvin students: the VanderHaagen Family Scholarship for Church Musicians and a family scholarship for fifth-year education students. The scholarship for church musicians was established with Dave's parents who were musicians. His mother served many years as a church organist and his father sang in church choirs for more than 50 years. Dave said creating the scholarship for church musicians has been "very satisfying for our family." A member of the Oratorio Society during his student days, Dave also sings in his church choir and worship ensemble. He says, "The Holy Spirit uses music to open the window to the soul, and well-trained church musicians greatly enhance corporate worship."

The idea to establish the VanderHaagen Family Scholarship for Fifth Year Education Students resulted from a presentation Dave and Jane heard at a Calvin Homecoming event when English Professor James VandenBosch addressed alumni of Calvin's education program. He noted that it was often difficult for education students to complete all of their academic requirements in four years. On their return home following Homecoming weekend, Dave and Jane discussed the financial burden education students often bear for a fifth year of college. They decided to offer help, and consequently funded their second family scholarship.

The VanderHaagens have long enjoyed Calvin events and campus activitiesfrom annual Messiah performances and current Artist Series concerts to Summerfest. She believes the Summerfest experience (now called "Midsummer at Calvin") had a significant influence on their children's college selection. John graduated from Calvin in 2001 with a major in communication arts and sciences, including an interim in Hollywood. He now works for D.P.Fox Sportsin "the business of sports."

Elizabeth VanderHaagen found her future academic advisor and mentor at Summerfest. Former Calvin sociology professor, Donald Wilson, taught Summerfest classes which Elizabeth attended. When she enrolled at Calvin, Professor Wilson became her "official" academic advisor. "There is a strong relationship among Calvin faculty and students that is not the norm elsewhere," Jane says.

This spring, Elizabeth VanderHaagen completed a year at Calvin Seminary after having received her Master of Divinity Degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. She was granted ministerial candidacy at the 2002 session of Synod. As an elder delegate for Classis Lake Erie, Dave VanderHaagen was present to approve his daughter's candidacy. For this occasion and the years precedingall the way back to the Commons Dining Hall—Dave and Jane would surely say, "We are enormously grateful to God!

Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

Music Dept. Concert Calendar

Establishing a Scholarship

The William Spoelhof Society

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