Return to the Calvin College homepage Spark cover - Fall 1999
The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of Calvin College


  Class Notes
60's 70's 80's 90's

Melvin Flikkema '68 MDiv'76 has been appointed vice president of academic administration at Reformed Bible College in Grand Rapids. He is responsible for the supervision of the academic programs of the college. Previously, he served as the director of field education at the college.

Dirk Evans (Dick van Sligtenhourst while at Calvin) '63 is serving part-time as pastor at Immanuel Christian Reformed Church in Brampton, Ont., and part-time as minister of pastoral care at Second CRC also in Brampton. Previously Dirk worked for 28 years in hospital ministry and the teaching of pastoral care to seminary students, lay persons and ministers. "The change to parish ministry has had a profound impact on me," he wrote. "It is exciting to see the growth and spiritual depth of many persons who are improving their care for each other. Preaching is hard work for me, but most rewarding is relating the gospel of redemption to people's lives. I had hoped to retire at 60, but this is better than retirement."

Rand Carroll '70 has been elected town commissioner for Melbourne Village in Melbourne, Fla. Rand is a public school teacher in the Gifted Students Program at Dr. W.J. Creel School.

Marvin Hofman '74 MDiv'81 is pastor of Fourteenth Street Christian Reformed Church in Holland, Mich. He came to Fourteenth Street CRC from Graafschap (Mich.) CRC.

David Buechner '79 graduated from San Francisco Theological Seminary and was recently reappointed to sales management as director, global sales for Harris Corporation's Communication Products Division in Marin County California. "Seminary provided a needed sabbatical and a way to rethink work and faith in the quick world of high tech," he wrote.

Dick van Halsema, ex'78, of Charlotte N.C., is now a Vice President with, newly formed internet spin-off of newspaper firm Knight Ridder Inc., of San Jose Calif. He and his wife Melissa have lived in Charlotte for 15 years. They have four daughters.

Randy Velzen '75 has joined the Grand Rapids law firm of Smith, Haughey, Rice and Roegge after 15 years of being a sole practitioner. He is also chairman of the House for the national Easter Seals campaign and was recently re-elected as president of the board for Camp Roger in Belding, Mich.

Ren Vandesteeg '70 was promoted to the rank of colonel in March. This is a first for an active duty Air Force chaplain form the Christian Reformed Church. Ren and his wife, Carol Koll '69, presently serve at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., where he is the wing chaplain. In August, they will be moving to Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, where he will lead the ministry team and the Clinical Pastoral Education program. "Y'all come and visit," they write.

Brian Vander Wel '90 and Karen Baker Stevenson '80 are both Episcopal priests. Karen is associate priest at Church of the Ascension in Pittsburgh, Pa., and works mainly with college students from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Brian is interim rector of St. Christopher's in Warrendale, Pa. Both are graduates of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry. This photo was taken at Brian's ordination at which Karen was the preacher.

Carol Nederhood Crevier ex'86 is serving as the secretary of the board of directors of Covenant Christian Academy of Chicago, a new, classical Christian school for grades K-8 in Chicago. "Calvin alums are most welcome to visit us," she wrote.

Bob '85 and Karla Brower Duimstra '86 of Appleton, Wis., were visiting family in Lynden, Wash., where they are were able to see the Calvin-Hope basketball game via satellite with other alums. "As we have come to expect at these get-togethers, we saw old acquaintances and met others with ties (old and new) to our families," they wrote. "Of course, the Calvin faithful relished the Knights' second half rally to win. We ended our afternoon together by singing the familiar refrain of the Alma Mater."

Jack Snoeyink '85 joined the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill as a professor of computer science, moving from a faculty position at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. "Although UBC to UNC is only a single letter change, it is still an adjustment for us," he wrote. He moved with his wife, Elizabeth; daughter, Sarah, 11; and son, William, 4.

David Browne '83 was recently elected partner of the law firm of Bond, Schoeneck & King, P.A. David is a member of the firm's Estate and Financial Planning Department.

Jeff Kooistra '81 and his wife, Dorothy, and their three children moved to New Hampshire, where Jeff works for Cold Fusion Technology, Inc., as the senior scientist in the New Energy Research Laboratory and as associate editor for Infinite Energy magazine. He also writes a bimonthly science column for Analog Science Fiction and Fact, and recently sold his first science fiction novel, Dykstra's War, to Baen Books, scheduled for release later this year.

Kenneth Vermeulen '86 was recently admitted to the partnership in the law firm of Warner Norcross & Judd LLP. He practices in the areas of both real estate and environmental law. He has also participated extensively in recent amendments to Michigan's Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act.

Jerry Kooiman '84 is a candidate for state representative in Michigan for the 75th District in Grand Rapids. Jerry is currently a Kent County Commissioner and serves as the director of constituent services for Congressman Pete Hoekstra (R-Holland). The 75th District is currently represented by Bill Byl '71, who is unable to run for re-election because of term limits.

Liesl Richwine Amos '89 has recently joined the Currents in World Christianity project as project administrator. CWC is a research project based in the Centre for Advanced Religious & Theological Studies at the University of Cambridge, and is focused on the international and inter-disciplinary study of missions and global Christianity, particularly in the 20th century. Her husband, Scott, is finishing the research and writing of his PhD.

Paul Vander Laan '87 and his wife, Amy Quist, live in downtown historic Madison, Ind. They live in a house that was built in the 1850s and enjoy traveling. They and their two golden retrievers walk the banks of the Ohio River daily.

Jeff DeHaan '82 has been named director of planning and business development for Van Wyk Risk and Financial Management. He joins Calvin alum Max Van Wyk '69, the founder and president of the company. For the past 15 years, Jeff has been a leader of advancement programs for several non-profit organizations including the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee and South Christian High School in Grand Rapids. Most recently, he served as the director of mission advancement for the Grand Rapids Christian Schools.

Brian DeVos '85 is director of operations for the central United States offices of Bethany Christian Services and a member of its leadership team. Kristy Monsma DeVos '87 has left her position as legal assistant and client services coordinator at a Grand Rapids law firm to raise their first child, Mariah Rae, born in January.

Randall Shoemaker '83 has been named a shareholder of Howard & Howard Attorneys, P.C., in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. He concentrates his practice in intellectual property law. He has prepared and prosecuted patent applications worldwide covering a wide variety of technologies including chemical, biochemical, materials coating and surgical and medical devices.

Kevin Van Duyn '88 is the athletic director at Jenison High School in Jenison, Mich. His wife, Kimberly Corstange Van Duyn '87 is a full-time homemaker for their three children, Taylor, Peyton and Trevor.

Howard Vroon '86 retired from private law practice in 1996. He now is head men's and women's golf coach at Charleston Southern University, a Division I Christian University. "This allows me to combine by life-long love of golf with teaching and coaching young people," he wrote. "I've been blessed with a great life, doing something I love."

Timothy Bax '88 became a partner in Associated Surgeons in Spokane, Wash., last year. He specializes in general, vascular and laparoscopic surgery.

David Offringa '86 was named 1999 Remodeler of the Year by the Greater Grand Rapids Home Builders Association.

Noreen Van Weelden Vander Wal '87 and her husband, Bruce, run a 120-acre dairy farm in New Sharon, Iowa. "We are proof that small family farms can succeed," she wrote. "The greatest knowledge I carried with me from Calvin is that I can glorify God in every aspect of life. We feel we honor God in our use of the land, in our handling of animals and in raising our children."

Bram Floria ex'85 is president of, an Internet development firm based in Kyle, Texas. He consults a variety of ministry and Christian broadcasting clients. He has also served as associate pastor in California and Idaho. Bram and his wife, Sandi, have two girls, Dempsey and Lyric, and were expecting a third this spring.

Scott Borst '85 is the director of Point of Sales Marketing for the southeast region of Showtime Networks, Inc., in Atlanta, Ga.

David Watson '83 is pastor of Terra Ceia Christian Reformed Church in Pantego, N.C.

Lea Bouwman Lamb '88 graduated with a master of arts in music education from Michigan State University and teaches music for Lemont Public Schools in Lemont, Ill.

Robert Wattez '87 and Julie Koster Wattez '89 live in Vancouver, Wash., where Robert is a cardiac RN and Julie teaches Head Start classes. He previously worked as an emergency response paramedic and she had been director of a childcare firm. They enjoy hiking and wildlife viewing along the Pacific Coast and Cascade Mountain area with their three children, Emily, Elise and Alexi.

Tom Bulten '87 and Lisa Stob Bulten '89 now live in Grand Rapids after spending seven years in Uganda with the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee. Tom is completing a master's degree in geography and urban affairs and Lisa is teaching math and science at The Potter's House High School.

Linda Hubbard Nikkel '86 homeschools her two youngest children, Jessica and Allison. "We started out with the idea of keeping the girls home until they could read," she wrote. "The journey has gone far beyond our original intent. God has blessed our homeschooling efforts."

David Vander Jagt '72 MAT'84 is now teaching seventh-grade science in Kentwood, Mich., after 23 years of teaching art. "My interest in science began at Calvin before being captivated by the art program and Ed Boeve's enthusiasm for art and education," he wrote. "I discovered life as an artist and have had my pottery in various galleries and shows-most recently at Synchronicity Gallery in Glen Harbor, Mich."

Diane Dykstra Ebbers '87 is busy being a full-time mom and running a home-based business that provides families with quality videos that teach Bible stories, character values, history, science and math in a fun way. Check out her website at Her husband, Brian Ebbers '85, runs Cascade Printing and Graphics in Grand Rapids. They have three children, Christina, Elizabeth and Alexander.

Randy Rozema '85 has resigned his ministerial credentials and is now working towards his journeyman's license at Windemuller Electric in Wayland, Mich. Cheryl Ilbrink Rozema '85 works as a bus driver for Calvin Christian Schools and is head counselor for the Gems program at their church.

Bob Koning '85 is a fifth-grade teacher at Grand Haven Christian School. He is also a licensed builder and has been building houses in the summer for the last ten years. He recently retired from coaching boys and girls middle school soccer after 14 years.

Victor Norman '87 and Susan McBurney Norman '88 currently live in Pittsburgh, Pa. They spent part of 1999 in Carlisle, England, where Vic volunteered as a computer programmer with the International Coordinating team of Operation Mobilization, an international mission organization. He would like to spread the word that there is a great need for computer scientists, accountants and business people in missions.

Glenn Jabaay ex'87 is a clinical pharmacist employed at the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy in Park Ridge, Ill., where he serves as a program analyst for their pharmacist competency assessment examinations. His wife, Denise, is a social worker in child development for Suburban Access, Inc., in Homewood, Ill.

Mark Veurink ex'84 and Lori Otto Veurink '86 went to Punta Gorda, Belize with IDEA Ministries in March to help build a bunkhouse and help with day-to-day activities at the Acres of Love orphanage.

Gwendolyn Kuik Ballast '87 is adjusting to being at home with their newly adopted daughter, Samantha, after teaching for 12 years.

Franklin Brasz '88 was the music director for Showboat and Ragtime and is currently preparing for the Lion King, which is scheduled to open soon in Toronto.

Leslie VanderGriend Ruiter '85 is the head of the intellectual property and technology group at Stokes Laurence P.S. in Seattle, Wash. She is especially involved in trademark and domain name issues and software development matters. She has started playing bass guitar with the worship team at her church, First Seattle Christian Reformed Church, but still occasionally plays oboe and piano there as well.

Paul Larsen '89 has been named assistant professor of biochemistry at the University of California, Riverside. His wife, Lynn VanPoolen Larsen '90 has finished the coursework for her special education for the University of Maryland and will conduct her research in California with plans to graduate in 2001. Their twins, Hannah and Zachary, will start preschool this fall. "We feel so blessed that this wonderful job for Paul has come at the perfect time and that there is an opportunity for Lynn to complete her degree as well. Both are answers to prayer," they wrote.

Heather Reitsma Springer '96 graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1999, where she was honored with the John Murray award for graduating first in her class. She recently passed the Kansas Bar and began her practice as a health care attorney at Foulston & Seifkin, L.L. P., in Wichita, Kan.

Natasha Bajema '98 is beginning her master's degree in international policy studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, Calif.

Mary Fletcher '99 is working in product development at Youth Specialties in El Cajon, Calif., a ministry organization for youth workers and pastors serving thousands worldwide. She handles project management, working closely with freelance designers, editors and authors on new products including books, videos and CD-ROMS with Zondervan Publishing House. Working backstage at the National Youth Workers Convention in San Diego last October and meeting Jars of Clay, Sixpence None the Richer, Steven Curtis Chapman and La Rue was the highlight of her job, so far.

Heather Saxton ex'94 is a student at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy, where she is majoring in international affairs. She followed her lifelong dream of living in Italy by moving there in 1996.

Todd Kelley '95 and Debi Berghuis-Kelley '95 live in Denver, Colo. Todd is a product manager for an internet start-up, ROI, where he focuses on bringing applications to market which address the need for mid-tier retailers and catalogers to manage their inbound customer service e-mail. He previously worked for Experian in Englewood, Colo., as a marketing analyst performing competitive intelligence and marketing research. He and Debi are expecting their first child in October.

Delia Recker Brands '90 is featured on a billboard in Bellingham, Wash., with her daughter, Tarryn, promoting the healthy benefits of breastfeeding. The billboard was sponsored by local businesses and produced by the Whatcom County Lactation Task Force, who promote this choice in the community.

Amy DeJong Postmus '92 received her master of music, vocal performance, from DePaul University in Chicago, Ill. She recently performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago as a chorus member and the DuPage Opera Theater as a soloist and assistant music director.

Todd Yonkman '92 was ordained to Christian ministry in the United Church of Christ last fall and is now pastor of St. Michael's United Church of Christ in West Chicago.

Paul Nagelkirk '94 and Anne Black Nagelkirk '94 live in Budd Lake, N.J. Paul works at the VA Hospital in Newark and Ann is working on a master's degree in English literature at East Stroudsburg University.

Andrea Ganden '96 is working in Calgary, Alberta, at the Rockyview General Hospital in psychogeriatrics as a recreation therapist.

Carey Haven Stricklin '99 is teaching third grade at the new Independence Elementary in her hometown, Clarkston, Mich. Her husband, Brad, is an engineer working for General Motors in the safety area.

Brian Bezanson '96 passed the Uniform CPA Examination and is currently working for AGI, Inc., a packaging company located in Melrose Park, Ill.

Steve Carlson '99 has moved to Lafayette, Calif., just outside of San Francisco, where he is a software engineer for NBC Internet.

Sara Beth Black '97 served as a young adult volunteer with the Presbyterian Church (USA) in England with the Kaleidoscope Project for the 1999 year, working on staff in a church-related center for drug dependents and their families. This year Sara is spending six months at the Center for Student Missions in Los Angeles, Calif., to oversee high school and college groups coming to do inner-city church-related projects. Later this summer, she will begin a master's program in journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

David Vander Laan '93 received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. He has accepted a position as assistant professor of philosophy at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif., and will begin teaching there in August.


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