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News & Stories: 2007-08

Calvin Commencement is May 17
April 29, 2008

Calvin commencement at the Van Andel Arena

Commencement 2007 at the
Van Andel Arena

For the second year-in-a-row graduates of Calvin College will have their Commencement ceremony in downtown Grand Rapids.

The 2008 Calvin Commencement ceremony, slated for Saturday, May 17 at 2 pm, will be held in VanAndel Arena, on Fulton Street in downtown GR. Commencement 2008 marks the 88th such conferring of four-year degrees in Calvin's 132-year history.

About 850 graduates are expected to participate in the 2008 ceremony.

Construction on Calvin's Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex, which will include a new arena, a new aquatics center and a new indoor track and tennis center, means the Calvin Fieldhouse (which is being renovated into a health and recreation center) was not available for Commencement. But in 2009 the college will hold Commencement in the brand-new, 5,000-seat, air-conditioned Van Noord Arena.

One advantage of the VanAndel Arena is that the college can accomodate about 8,000 guests, significantly more than it hosted in the past in Calvin Fieldhouse and the Fine Arts Center auditorium.

Numerous Events Highlight Weekend

In addition to the ceremony at VanAndel Arena a number of events that weekend will take place on campus.

For example the annual department of nursing pinning ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 15 in the Fine Arts Center. The Commencement worship service will happen on Friday, May 16 at 5 pm in the Calvin Chapel, the celebration cookout will also be that day on the Commons Lawn, there will be a bachelor of arts exhibition and reception in the Spoelhof College Center Art Gallery, a reception for international students and their parents and much more.

Yancey to Speak, Distinguished Alums Honored

The speaker for 2008 will be author Philip Yancey, a former editor of Campus Life magazine who now is a prolific freelance writer, an editor-at-large for Christianity Today magazine and author of 16 books, including The Bible Jesus Read, Reaching for the Invisible God, Soul Survivor, and Rumors of Another World.

In addition 1959 graduate Fritz Rottman and 1966 graduates David and Janice Entingh Dykgraaf will receive the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Calvin Alumni Association.

Rottman had a long career as a professor of biochemistry at Michigan State and then Case Western Reserve. He also spent much of his career unraveling the genetic code which opened the door to further understanding the genetic blueprint of all living systems. He also spoke frequently about scientific progress and the intersection of faith and science. Now retired and living near Grand Rapids, Rottman remains connected to research through his affiliation as a trustee for the Van Andel Research Institute, an independent, world-class medical research facility.

The life work of the Dykgraafs can be summarized in a word: Ushimashima. It's a name that was given to Dave by the Tiv people of Nigeria and means "one whose heart is like our heart." The name is especially meaningful to the couple which has spent more than 40 years as missionaries, striving to communicate the good news of God's love for all people in all places.

~by Phil de Haan, communications & marketing

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