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Calvin Announces Recipients of Bere’/Tiemersma Awards

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan—Calvin College has announced the 2009 recipients of its highest athletic honors:  the Beré Memorial Award and the Kay Tiemersma Athletic Award.

Jed Christiansen of Greenville, Pennsylvania, is this year’s Beré Memorial Award winner while Erica Deur is this year’s recipient of the Tiemersma Award.

The Beré Memorial Award has been presented annually by Calvin since 1951.  The Beré honors the top senior male student-athlete, based on athletic ability, scholastic rank, character and leadership, and is selected by the school’s varsity coaches, its athletics administrators and its faculty athletic representatives.  It is given in memory of Joe Beré, a Calvin student who was killed in a 1949 auto accident on his way to watch a Calvin basketball game. 

This is the 35th year that Calvin has given the Tiemersma award—presented annually to the top senior female student-athlete.  The award honors Kay Tiemersma, the first woman physical education teacher in the member schools of the Christian Schools International organization, and a pioneer in women’s sports.  Its presentation is based on athletic ability, scholastic standing, and character and leadership.  The winner is also selected by the school’s varsity coaches, its athletics administrators and its faculty athletic representatives.
Individual bios of this year’s winners appear below:

Jed Christiansen

Jed Christian hails from Greenville, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Greenville (PA) High School. At Calvin, Christiansen has been a four-time NCAA III cross country All-American and a two-time NCAA III track and field All-American. Christiansen is one of only 14 individuals in NCAA III men’s cross country history to reap All-America accolades four consecutive years. As a first-year runner in 2005, Christiansen placed 34th at the NCAA III Championships and later took fifth at the 2006 national meet, 33rd at the 2007 national meet and sixth at the 2008 national meet. Christiansen’s fifth place individual finish in 2006 helped the Calvin men’s cross country team capture the national championship. He was also part of a national runner-up team in 2005, a fourth place team in 2007 and a fifth place team in 2008.

Christiansen was a two-time regional champion in cross country and was named the Great Lakes Regional Cross Country Athlete of the Year in 2007 and 2008. In addition, Christiansen was a four-time first team All-MIAA selection in cross country and was named the MIAA’s Most Valuable Runner in 2008.

In track and field, Christiansen has the distinction of being Calvin’s first-ever indoor All-American – a feat he accomplished this past March at the NCAA III Indoor Track and Field Championships with a third place finish in the 5,000 meters. A four-time national qualifier for the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Christiansen also earned outdoor All-America accolades last spring with a fifth place finish in the 10,000 meter run.

In conference competition, Christiansen was a four-time All-MIAA selection in track and field and captured MIAA titles in the 5,000 meters three times and in the 1500 meters once. This spring, Christiansen pulled off the difficult double of winning both the 1500 meters and 5,000 meters on the same day.

Christiansen holds the Calvin record in the 5,000 meters (14:22.56). He will compete in both the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters at the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field championships later this week. He is seeded fourth in the 5,000 meters and eighth in the 10,000 meters.

Combined Christiansen was a member of eight MIAA Championship teams - four in men’s cross country and four in men’s track and field.

A physical education/health education major, Christiansen will return to Calvin next fall to student-teach. He also plans to run indoor track for Calvin next winter.

In the classroom, Christiansen has been a Calvin Dean’s List student and a two-time member of the MIAA Academic Honor Roll. This past fall, he was named to the United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches All-Academic team for maintaining a grade point average above a 3.50.

Christiansen has also been heavily involved in volunteer work while at Calvin. He has been involved as a tutor in the Grand Rapids Public School system and has also been involved in the West Michigan Special Olympics program. He has also assisted the elderly, volunteering at the Greenville Nursing Home and with the Holland/Raybrook Manor Retirement home.

Finally, he has been a member of Calvin’s Student-Athlete-Advisory-Council (SAAC) and has contributed to the group’s Habitat for Humanity building project this fall in Kentwood.

Jed Christiansen Audio Interview

Erica Deur


Erica Deur is from Holland and is a graduate of Holland Christian High School. A four-year standout on the Calvin women’s swimming and diving team, Deur is without question the most prolific diver in school history. During her career, Deur went a perfect eight-for-eight in earning All-America honors, doing so four times on the one-meter board and four times on the three-meter board.

Deur was a two-time national champion on the one-meter board at Calvin, winning titles at the 2007 NCAA III Championships and at the 2009 national meet. She also earned NCAA III runner-up finishes on the three-meter board in 2007 and 2009. In both years, she was named the NCAA III Diver of the Year. Deur was also a national runner-up on the one-meter board in 2006 and took fourth on the three-meter board in 2006, fourth on the one-meter board in 2008 and fifth on the three-meter board in 2008.

Her efforts helped the Calvin women’s swimming and diving team post four consecutive top-10 national finishes as the Knights finished sixth in 2006, fourth in 2007, eighth in 2008 and seventh in 2009.

In conference competition, Deur also went a perfect eight-for-eight, winning four league titles on the one-meter board and four league titles on the three-meter board. For her efforts, she was named the MIAA’s Most Valuable Diver four straight years. She is the only individual in MIAA women’s swimming and diving history to do so. In addition, she was named to the All-MIAA women’s swimming and diving team four straight years.

She was also a part of four consecutive MIAA Championship teams.

Deur holds MIAA records on both the one-meter (507.19 points) and three-meter (491.25 points). She also holds all four Calvin diving records, breaking all four this past winter. Her Calvin records include a score of 320.25 for six dives on the one-meter board, a score of 328.75 for six dives on the three-meter board, a score of 507.20 for 11 dives on the one-meter board and a score of 505.50 for 11 dives on the three-meter board.

A community recreation major at Calvin, Deur has been a Calvin Dean’s List student and a member of the 2008 MIAA Academic Honor Roll.

Deur has also been active in the community as a volunteer. While at Calvin, she has traveled overseas on missions trips with her church. She has also volunteered with Friendship Ministries through Woodlawn Christian Reformed Church, mentoring adults with special needs. This spring, she has interned with the Grand Rapids YMCA, working inside its Healthy U. Program, designing healthy eating and activity programs for school-age children.

Deur is set to graduate this Saturday and is engaged to be married to soon-to-be Calvin graduate Kyle Engbers in July. They will relocate to Boston, Massachusetts, later this summer where she hopes to coach and work with area YMCA programs.

Erica Deur Audio Interview

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1 comment on "Calvin Announces Recipients of Bere’/Tiemersma Awards"
  • Thanks for this and the many resources Calvin continues to share wth us as alumni and ineighbors. As a brother of 1953 grad and recipient of the Bere’ Memorial award…and a high school student who read Chimes when Joe Bere’ was in accident in 1851 (or so) I was impressed then, proud of Roger Postmus, grateful to Calvin for the award, process, use of this recognition in context of a great Tradition, focus on Service to God and Christian exemplary performance and behavior…Thanks for this Email resource…and Thank God for Calvin and our opportunity to Life Long Learn and Serve….Appreciatively…William R Postmus, ‘61

    Posted by Bill Postmus on 05/22 at 06:12 PM