Good neighbor policy
like to thank Calvin for being such a good neighbor—in the "next-door"
sense. Although I never lived on Calvin's campus, I've lived almost half
my life within a mile or two of it. As a child, I trekked through the
nature preserve (before it was a nature preserve), picked trilliums for
my mom (before I knew that was illegal) and biked through the campus on
candy-mission trips to Breton Village. As a teenager I practiced driving
in the empty summer parking lots and cooled off at the pool. When my husband
and I had to decide several years ago where to buy a home, we kept coming
back to the Calvin area—and now we're here. With two small children,
we're not able to take advantage of the cultural and educational opportunities
as often as we'd like, but every summer Sunday evening you'll find us
circling the perimeter of Calvin with the double stroller. We delight
in the beauty of the campus through the seasons, and look forward to many
years of nature hikes, plays, concerts, lectures--and stroller rides.
Thank you for opening the campus, not only to your alumni (which I am)
but also to your next-door neighbors.
Now, how about adding
a picnic area?
Lori Walburg Vanden
Grand Rapids, Mich.
to Prof Nyhoff
I just found my summer Spark and re-read the article on Larry
Nyhoff (“10 Commandments of Teaching”).
I loved reading about him. He had a positive impact on me also. I am one
of the many students he influenced.
I attribute my current
successes at AT&T as a systems engineer to being taught to think logically
and clearly through the math and computer science departments at Calvin.
And Larry Nyhoff had the patience to encourage a scared freshman in beginning
It was a great article—definitely
a keeper. What an awesome tribute to an awesome professor.
Cindy Smith ‘78
Red Bank, N.J.
of Prof Otten
I was saddened to see mention of the passing of Arthur Otten (“In
Memoriam,” Summer 2002). He was one of my favorite professors and
the reason I ended up minoring in French. He almost talked me into majoring
in French for graduate school, but I stayed with math. He had a reputation
as being tough, but he always had a “Bonjour, monsieur,” and
was actually quite easy to talk with. I remember one class period he let
us listen to a few minutes of the World Series. And then there was the
trip to Chicago to see some French art and a Moliere play in French at
St. Cecelia's. The Gregorian chants at a Catholic church definitely sounds
like something he would do. I wonder what controversy that would have
stirred in the 60's?
Ronald L. Dirkse
students in 1919 pose with a Harley Davidson motorcycle (click photo
to enlarge image).
I wanted to tell
you how much I enjoyed reading the article "Women
Rule! 100 Years of Women at Calvin" in my husband's copy of Spark
(Summer, 2002). His mother (my mother-in-law), was one of the two centenarians
featured and I would like to ensure that my grandsons—two of Frieda
Monsma's great grandsons—are aware that, besides being the sweet
old lady they try to beat at Rummy Cube, she had, as a young woman, an
adventuresome spirit (she's standing behind the girl in the Harley Davidson
sidecar). People like my mother-in-law and Trena Haan (I can speak only
of the two I know personally) are stalwarts; we are fortunate to have
them with us.
note: Frieda VanWesep Monsma ’19 died on August 16, 2002. She was
101 and had been featured as Calvin’s second oldest living alum.
Thanks for reunion, Spark
On July 17, 2002 I attended the 45th reunion
of my class of 1957. Thank you alumni office staff and the Reunion Planning
Team for organizing this event. It was a delightful afternoon and evening.
I also want to express
my appreciation for the Calvin Spark. I like this periodical.
It has many articles of interest and is very informative of the activities
of Calvin alumni. I wish you God's blessings on the continuation of your
work that helps to keep the Calvin spark bright and alive.
John W. Asma '57
Christian school policy
Good for Bob Reed (“Resignation renews debate over
Calvin’s Christian school policy,” Summer 2002) for sticking
with his principles! His children and family will long admire this stand.
I wish him and his family well.
It is time for Christian
school organizations to recognize the fact that the Christian community
is not the same as it was in the Michigan settlements of the early 1800s.
It is not a uniform body of belief. Even for the staunchly conservative
Christian Reformed Church in which I grew up, there were families whose
children went to a public school and there were public school teachers.
The principle of “sphere sovereignty” made the choice of schooling
a family matter, not a church dictum.
What about mathematics/computer
professor Larry Nyhoff, featured in the same issue—should we be
celebrating his achievements when his schooling included the University
of Michigan, a public (non-Christian?) university? Where do you stop?
Does this policy insist on Christian day care, Christian colleges, and
post-graduate study at Christian universities for children, all the responsibility
of their parents?
Where a Christian
school faculty employee’s children attend school is an important
matter. That employee’s choice is a more public one than a person
employed in a building supplies company. It sounds, though, that Bob Reed
and his family had thought that out and answered.
Calvin College and
other Christian school organizations need to re-examine their policies
regarding employees and their children’s school attendance. While
it should be a matter of discussion and not treated lightly, the schooling
of the children of Christian school employees is not a bona fide
occupational requirement and is not the jurisdiction of employers.
Don Vander Klok '73
Twenty-six years ago I moved in to Calvin with Lisa Kuyers Zylstra ‘80.
We went potluck and did not know each other. We roomed together our whole
time at Calvin. Last week, our first-born daughters moved in together
as freshmen. Our daughters are Sheri VandenAkker and Katie Zylstra. They
are in 123 Beets.
Deb Baker VandenAkker
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Your initial column in the Spark (“Reach!”
Fall 2002) about the toothbrush brought back memories of another connection
between Calvin College and dental advertising. Somewhere around 1964,
back in the days of the divided campus, the Chimes ran a cartoon that
parodied a toothpaste advertisement of the day. It started “Knollcrest
has been shown to be an effective decay-preventing edifice ....”
Shortly after that cartoon appeared, one or two upperclassmen were “sentenced”
to live in the dorms at Knollcrest because of some misbehavior. Chimes
thought the combination of events was so amusing, or perhaps appalling,
that they ran the cartoon again with an "I told you so" editorial.
Bob Bush ‘67
Grand Rapids, Mich.