Commencement honors nearly 900 grads

Class encouraged to live gratefully


Fall 2011

Nearly 900 students participated in Calvin’s 91st Commencement ceremony, held in May in Van Noord Arena. The college awarded its first bachelor’s degrees in 1921 to a senior class of just eight men. 

Jennifer Holberg, professor of English at Calvin, delivered the Commencement address, “One Thing Needful.” Holberg has taught at Calvin since 1998, and she is the director of the college’s honors program. 

In her address Holberg said, “Gratitude must lie at the center of our lives. … If we are confident of God’s tender providence for us, what else can we do but respond in thanks by making life less difficult for each other?” 

She encouraged the graduating class: “The world, as we know, is only too desperate for our hearts, our hands and our minds. Look around, Class of 2011, and see what needs to be done and do it. Do it with all your might.” 

Mary Vermeer Andringa ’72 and Robert Rooy ’70 received 2011 Distinguished Alumni Awards from the Calvin Alumni Association. Both Vermeer Andringa and Rooy graduated from Pella Christian High School in Pella, Iowa. 

Vermeer Andringa of Pella, Iowa, currently serves as CEO of Vermeer Manufacturing Co. In 2009, she became the first woman to be elected vice-chair of the board of directors of the National Association of Manufacturers. And, in 2010, she was one of 18 national business executives and labor leaders named to President Obama’s export advisory council.

Rooy of Frederick, Md., is an accomplished filmmaker and the owner of Rooy Media LLC. He began his career in Hollywood, serving as an assistant director on numerous motion pictures and television miniseries productions and programs. He has also spent time as a documentary filmmaker, and his PBS series To Our Credit on microfinancing has won national acclaim. Rooy is currently partnering with an autistic young man from Iowa on a film about living with autism.