It could’ve been the Oscars or the Emmys.
There were bright lights, a curtained stage, emcees and presenters, recipients with awards, dressed-up students on a red carpet, cameras flashing.
Instead, the action was in the Van Noord Arena as the inaugural Calvin C Club “Awards Knight” took place in May, just before final exams began. The evening was a partnership between Calvin’s athletic department and C Club, the new alumni athletes organization that began last fall.
The purpose of the event was to celebrate the achievements of Calvin student athletes, teams and coaches. It couldn’t have come in a timelier year, as the Knights broke an MIAA record with 12 league championships, took home the MIAA Commissioner’s Cup, and for the 18th straight year finished in the top 25 among all Division III schools in national tournament performance.
Based on the popular ESPY Awards for professional sports, the entertaining evening—emceed by Calvin’s athletic directors Jim Timmer Jr. and Nancy Meyer—featured 12 awards for categories such as Breakthrough Team of the Year, Male/Female Newcomer of the Year, Play of the Year, Exceptional Performance in an Individual Event, and Game of the Year.
Alumni athletes presented the awards, a male and female sports grad per presentation.
The evening ended with the presentation of the Beré and Tiemersma awards for senior scholar athletes of the year. Dan Kerr (Petoskey, Mich., cross country and track) took home the Beré; the Tiemersma featured a rare tie: Lizzie Kamp (Orland Park, Ill., volleyball) and Carissa Verkaik (Holland, Mich., basketball and track).
This excitement was followed by the appearance of the MIAA Commissioner’s Cup, presented to President Michael Le Roy by the athletic directors, based on the cumulative performance of Calvin’s sports for the year.
Student athletes came out in large numbers and cheered for teams and individuals. The year’s trophies were on display, and a red carpet and Calvin backdrop gave students and guests the chance to take many pictures as a great year for the Knights drew to a close.
Senior athletes were welcomed into C Club, and those who registered were given a free one-year membership and a C Club sports blanket.
“There was a lot of energy in the arena,” noted C Club president Carl Gronsman ’63. “It sure looked like the students were enjoying the support and encouragement from alumni and the college.”
“I’m very proud of what C Club achieved in its first year,” said alumni director Mike Van Denend ’78. “There was no template for what this would look like at Calvin, and the C Club leaders dove right in. The awards event was a great finish to the year, and we’re grateful to athletic directors Jim Timmer and Nancy Meyer for their hard work and support.”
C Club is already at work on developing a robust 2013–14 schedule, including a couple of Calvin sports update luncheons, hosting alumni athletes at various athletic events and a reprise of the Awards Knight next May.