Diving into Hope

 

Erica Slenk, a sophomore on Hope College’s swimming and diving team, is studying early childhood education with a minor in Spanish. Coming to Hope College, Erica’s love for swimming and diving grew even more passionate. She loves the atmosphere of the team. Erica competes in the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke, and 50 and 100 meter freestyle swim. 

Erica says Hope College’s swimming and diving team is like a family. The team always go to meals together and sit at chapel together. They all get along so well. Hope College Swimming and Diving Coach, John Patnott, has been voted the NCAA Division III national Coach-of-the-Year by the College Swimming Coaches Association three times. 

“I can tell that Coach Panott truly cares about us outside of the pool. He’s helped me through so much and I can talk to him about everything. He’s a really great mentor and he’s been coaching for so long that he just knows what he’s doing, and he gets it.”

When Erica visited Hope College as a high schooler, she noticed the community. Just walking around campus, she could just tell that the community was so strong. Complete strangers were smiling and talking to her. Chapel and the Gathering were huge. I love going somewhere to continue to grow my faith and challenge me.

Through Hope College, Erica has met so many people from so many different places around the world. Each with different backgrounds and different beliefs which have helped her grow in her beliefs and as a person. She knows that she has become further educated about who others are and what others believe and their reasoning behind their belief.

“Hope does such a great job of being so inclusive to everyone here. Even the community is so great, and I feel very supported. I have just had so many opportunities to get to know people and step outside of my comfort zone.”

Erica is drawn to early childhood development because she has always had a passion for working with kids, and would love to work with younger children. Through Hope College, she has had a lot of opportunities to be in classrooms and field placements. Erica is also involved in Love your Melon, Bible Studies through Campus Ministries, and Nykerk song for the past two years.

Your Orange and Blue Fund gifts support Erica and student-athletes just like her. Gifts to the Orange and Blue Fund go directly to support student-athlete scholarships and make it possible for many deserving student-athletes to attend Hope College and compete in athletics. You make an immediate and life shaping impact for students when you join the community of Orange and Blue Fund donors. Your gifts create passion and bolster commitment to help student-athletes grow spiritually, academically, and athletically.

Investing in Erica and all Hope student-athletes provides them with an unsurpassed educational and athletic experience at Hope College. Your faithful giving makes a difference. Give now at crowdfunding.hope.edu/athletics.

Meet the Provost

As provost, I think about academic affairs at Hope College every single day. I focus on our students’ education and experience. I spend most of my days meeting with faculty, staff, and students asking questions and listening for what’s going well and what can be improved.

Here’s what I know so far. We have 235 full-time faculty who are well-educated, well-equipped scholarly teachers. I appreciate that at Hope College, full-time faculty teach the vast majority of our courses. Unlike our competitors, we don’t have many part-time instructors—and when we do, they’re practitioners in their field who add to the quality of our education here. And at Hope, we have zero graduate teaching assistants—unlike large land grant research institutions. In short, the vast majority of our professors hold the top degree—PhDs in their fields–and they hold leadership roles in their professional associations and are national experts and authors in their fields. I appreciate the fact that our faculty’s full-time careers are to teach well, conduct research, mentor students, and work closely with students in countless ways. And the faculty are caring and very student-centered—they love to work with students. Students are the highlight of our collective work.

So, I think we get it right—after 21 years of academic leadership experience and having seen various models, I believe it’s best to have a hybrid model of teaching really well and doing research. Some schools teach a lot but don’t do much research or stay on top of their fields. Other institutions do research and teach a little—to varying degrees of success, quality and engagement. We do both and we do them well.

I’ve also spent a good amount of time meeting with and listening to our students, individually and in groups. Our students’ stories and lived experiences are impressive here. I appreciate all that they’re able to juggle here at Hope. Many are double majors–bringing together interesting combinations of study like Engineering and Dance, Computer Science and Classics, Communication and Religion, Neuroscience and Art, the list goes on. I’ve learned to listen for the “and”—they study this AND that. Students can do that here at Hope; students cannot do so everywhere.

And then I like to ask students what else they do with their time here. Many engage in interdisciplinary projects. Hundreds of students conduct collaborative undergraduate research with our faculty members. Many are involved in the National Science Foundation-funded research projects. Students present and publish their research with our faculty—in many institutions, this is unheard of at the undergraduate level. I know many places will use the student labor and intellectual contributions but not give them credit. Hope College shares the research opportunity and the authorship with our students. To give you a sense of our undergraduate research prowess at Hope College, the Council for Undergraduate research awarded us along with two other institutions in the nation for our high level and high quality of undergraduate research. And our students earn major international awards and recognitions for their excellence through prestigious awards like Lilly, Goldwater, Mellon, Fulbright, and more. Having served as a founding graduate program director elsewhere, I’ve concluded that our undergraduate education is a whole lot like graduate education elsewhere in the depth, quality, and research experiences that our students have alongside our talented faculty. We’re providing rich, robust, and rigorous academic experiences for our students.

In addition, our students tell me that they are athletes, musicians, dancers or artists. And most students are leaders and community servants who care about things that are bigger than themselves. Our student body is full of smart and ambitious, but other-centered individuals. It is the well-rounded and the holistic approach to their education and their lives that I love the most.

And let me tell you about a Hope College student I know particularly well, my son. This year, our oldest child started college at Hope College. He chose Hope for the superb science programs, to have the opportunity to play Division III lacrosse, to engage in a wide array of study abroad and undergraduate research opportunities, and because of the vibrant chapel program. I can tell you that wearing my two hats of provost and mom in one place have thrilled me. Hearing our son talk about how much he loves his classes, the faculty, the Phelps Scholars program, lacrosse, residential experience, and his new friends makes my heart sing. After a 21 year career in higher education, where I have truly loved academics and have seen its power daily in everyone else’s children, I now have the opportunity to watch my child (whom I love deeply) love what I love. And it’s ridiculously good!

So, I’m delighted to lead at Hope College.

A place that celebrates a well-rounded education, holistic student experience, and a relational endeavor that weds academics and faith in a safe and idyllic playground on the shores of Lake Michigan where gorgeous sunrises and sunsets fascinate us each day! This is all distinctly Hope College and I’m genuinely pleased to travel this academic, relational, and spiritual path with your child and student. Know that I’m as invested in your child’s education as my own son’s four years here.

Grace and peace to all of you, friends!
Cady Short-Thompson, PhD
Provost, Hope College

Heather is Shaped by Hope College Women’s Basketball

Visiting Hope College for the first time, Heather fell in love with the professor-to-student ratio, basketball environment, and the Hope community. She knew from the beginning that great relationships were going to be built with fans, teammates, and coaches. 

Heather has been playing basketball since 4th grade and always knew she wanted to play college basketball. Her dad understood the seriousness of her goal and said to her, “I’m gonna help you, we’re gonna get you there.” She worked hard towards that goal, and fulfilled her calling by coming to Hope College and playing women’s varsity basketball.

Now fully immersed in Hope College as a senior, Heather is completing a Business Marketing and Communication double major, and loves all things Hope. She has been a part of Hope women’s varsity basketball for four years, is on the Hopey Award Committee, and is an intern for Holland Hope Sustainable Institute. She also contributes to the community through volunteer service acts through the SEED Program (Sport Evangelism to Equip Disciples) including going on mission trip to Costa Rica with a team of student athletes and coaches.

“Hope College has changed me into a young, confident individual.”

Heather used to stay silent instead of speaking up when she felt the need to. After attending a liberal arts college for four years, she knows that it really makes a difference, and that Hope College is an incredible place to be. Friends, faculty and staff are here to help you no matter what. The relationships she’s created will last her lifetime. 

“Hope College has absolutely transformed me. I am ready to tackle whatever problems come in my future.”

The Hope College’s women’s basketball team were the first faces Heather met freshman year, and are now her closest friends. She is a part of an athletic community and knows that there are fourteen other girls who constantly have her back, and five coaches that she could ask for help with anything. The athletic culture has taught her how to work together with a team, as they all pursue a common goal. Team comradery is at a constant high on the women’s basketball team, and they keep each other accountable. Heather succeeded as an individual, but she only focuses on the success of her team.

In Heather’s third year, the team went into the first round of nationals where they faced the giant, undefeated Thomas More College. She recalls that even the announcers presumed that Hope College would be obliterated by the opposing team. But Hope’s coaches, bench, and fans believed in them, and they beat the top team when everyone else thought that they were done for. Heather recalls the excitement and pure joy in the locker room afterwards, which included people full of excitement and proud of their team. Hope College women’s basketball was the big time underdog that everyone thought would have their butt’s kicked, yet at Thomas More College’s home court, with every single odd against them, and they worked together to win.

Heather believes that she could not be attending Hope or fulfilling her dream of playing college basketball without the help of scholarships. They provide her and many other students with the opportunity to work toward a goal, go to a new place, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, that they may not have been able to get to without help.

“All over the world, you find someone from Hope, you’re always anchored in the Hope College world.”

Your Orange and Blue Fund gifts support Heather and student-athletes just like her. Gifts to the Orange and Blue Fund go directly to support student-athlete scholarships and make it possible for many deserving student-athletes to attend Hope College and compete in athletics. You make an immediate and life-shaping impact for students when you join the community of Orange and Blue Fund donors. Your gifts create passion and bolster commitment to help student athletes grow spiritually, academically, and athletically.

Investing in Heather and all Hope student-athletes provides them with an unsurpassed educational and athletic experience at Hope College. Your faithful giving makes a difference. Give now at crowdfunding.hope.edu/athletics.

Chapel Choir Will Cross Oceans

Gabby Barber, a junior at Hope College, is a music and political science major and on Chapel Choir’s leadership board. She has been a soprano singer in Chapel Choir for three years. When Gabby came to Hope College she knew that music would be a concrete part of her future, because it was a huge part of her past. She sang in high school choir, took voice lessons, participated in musicals, and knew she never wanted to stop singing.

Chapel Choir is a medium size ensemble made up of men and women who come from diverse backgrounds and majors, but they all have a parallel passion for singing and performing. As a group they have the very unique experience of traveling and singing, while becoming a tight knit group. Chapel choir performs at baccalaureate, opening convocation, vespers and many other Hope College events.

“Usually if there’s a choir singing, it’s us.”

Gabby’s favorite part of being a part of Chapel Choir is the amazing experience of putting herself out in the world through Chapel Choir tours. The choir performs for audiences of different geographical locations, social-economical and racial backgrounds, and the choir hopes that their music affects their audience in a positive way. Gabby’s years in Chapel Choir have brought a new understanding that you never know how the music is going to encourage a listener.

Gabby has been told that Chapel Choir’s 2018 Tour to South Africa will be a life-changing experience and she believes that statement.

“The way we get to interact with people though our music is so much bigger than just traveling and singing to people. We just need a little help to get there. The people that donate to Chapel Choir can know that they will change lives. 

Your Chapel Choir Fund gifts support Gabby and student choir members just like her. Gifts to the Chapel Choir Fund go directly to support sending chapel choir students to South Africa. You make an immediate and life-shaping impact for students when you join the community of Chapel Choir Fund donors. Your gifts create passion and bolster commitment to help students grow spiritually and musically.

Investing in Gabby and all Chapel Choir members provides them with an unsurpassed educational experience at Hope College. Your faithful giving makes a difference.

Lydia Berkey Doesn’t Shoot for the Stars, She Builds Her Own Ladder to Them

Lydia Berkey’s first three years at Hope College have been stuffed to the brim with her involvement on campus. She brings her leadership abilities and inspirational spirit to every project she undertakes. Now in her junior year, Lydia is the Vice President of Student Congress, and has previously been involved in the Student Activities Committee for two years. She works in the Bultman Student Center at the Student Life and Center for Diversity and Inclusion Office as a Student Manager, is a general member of Black Student Union and a member of the Gospel Choir.

Lydia grew up in Fenton, Michigan, with many Hope College alumni family members. During her visit to Hope College, she focused solely on Hope’s Social Work program. She instantly fell in love with it due to it’s esteemed program and it’s friendly, welcoming faculty members. Lydia has continued pursuing her passion of social work and has thrived at Hope College since day one.

Lydia’s post-graduate plans are to receive her Masters in Social Work. Her dream is to become a Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist with a focus on children.

“I have a passion for advocating for those whose voices aren’t heard.”

Your Hope Fund gifts support Lydia and students just like her. Gifts to the Hope Fund go directly to support student scholarships and make it possible for many deserving students to attend Hope College. You make an immediate and life-shaping impact for students when you join the community of Hope Fund donors. Your gifts create passion and bolster commitment to help students grow spiritually and academically.

Investing in Lydia and all Hope students provides them with an unsurpassed educational experience at Hope College. Your faithful giving makes a difference.

Recent Grad Researches Grit and Presents at International Congress

Positive psychology is the scientific study of what enables individuals and communities to thrive. At a recent international conference, one of our Hope College alumni community members contributed to this field of study with some academic thriving of his own.

Robby Henry ’17 recently presented original research he completed at Hope as part of the 5th World Congress of the International Positive Psychology Association. The conference, held this year in Montreal, Canada, is comprised of the leading researchers and practitioners in positive psychology. They meet annually to share research and best practices. This year, over 1,300 delegates from more than 60 countries attended. Among those presenting the latest research, Robby shared “Reflecting on Grit: The Physiological Markers of Self-consciousness and a Gritty Personality.”

During the event he broadcasted his eagerness to participate, tweeting his excitement to Hope College and the Hope Psychology Club. Robby also gave a shout-out to Hope College alumni who are contributing to the field.

Originally from LaSalle, Illinois, Robby graduated from Hope College with the class of 2017, receiving his BA in Biology and Psychology and minoring in Neuroscience. During his time at Hope he was a Resident Assistant and a volunteer at the Holland Free Health Clinic. Currently, he is a PhD student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Utah focusing  on developmental psychopathology, lifespan transitions, and psychophysiology.

The Pull & the Tooley Family

The Pull, a unique tug-of-war contest, is one of America’s oldest standing college traditions: on Saturday, Hope College will experience the Pull for the 120th time. Each year, freshman and sophomore teams face each other from each bank of Black River, attempting to claim the rope for themselves.

Each team is comprised of 18 Pullers and 18 Moralers, who direct and support the Pullers for three rigorous hours. Even Year teams stick together while those of Odd Year form their own unity. Every year, the coaches pass down traditions to the current teams, and seniors coach the sophomore team while the junior coach is responsible for the freshmen. After having participated in the Pull as a team member, students have the opportunity to be selected as the next coach by the current ones.

Hope College Pull Rope-Run classes of 2019 and 2020

This year, Allison Tooley ’18 is a coach for the ’20 Pull team after having been a ’18 Moraler for two years. By working with her fellow coaches to prepare the sophomores for this year’s competition, she has become familiar with the traditions and strategies unique to the Even Year teams. Allison has been practicing intensively for the past three weeks and promoting Hope’s significant tradition by dressing in the traditional colors of red and white for the first five weeks of the semester.

Allison learned about the Pull already in her childhood, as her parents participated in the event when they were students at Hope College. Her father, Eric Tooley, was a Puller on the ’87 Pull Team and her mother, Anne Hathaway Tooley, participated as a Morale Girl on the ’88 Pull Team. For both Eric and Anne, the Pull was one of the first events that shaped their experience at Hope College, where a shared purpose and commitment to hard work instantly brought their respective teams together. As the Tooley Family exemplifies, the Pull connects students in marvelous ways and creates meaningful, lifelong friendships.

Hope College – The 2015 Pull event held on both sides of The Black River.

In addition to the Pull, the Tooley Family also upholds the tradition of the college’s Greek Life: Both Allison and her sister, Katelyn, are Sigmas, while Anne is a Delphi and Eric a Frater. In 2015, Katelyn graduated with a dual major in Business and Political Science, and Allison is a senior majoring in Business.

This weekend, the Tooley Family will be cheering for the ’20 Pull Team at the Rope Run on Friday and at the Pull on Saturday. To them, the Pull is an incredibly meaningful tradition, and so much more than a game of tug-of-war.

Ian Leads Hope Football to Best Season Yet

Ian played football and graduated from Lansing Catholic High School. As he began searching for colleges, he was attracted to Hope College’s football program. After attending a tour and meeting the coaches, Ian knew Hope College was the place for him. However, as distinguished as Hope’s athletics are, they were not the deciding factor for Ian. His decision to attend Hope College as a student-athlete was deeply influenced by the people themselves.

“The people at Hope are the people I want to surround myself with.”

Ian started the first Hope football game of the season, as a freshmen. Subsequent to his first game freshman year, Ian has continued to start every Hope football game as a defensive linemen. He has proven his relentless talent repeatedly on the field. Ian’s first college career quarterback sack occurred in the first conference game of his freshman season. Now as a junior, he has steadily progressed in strength and explosiveness. His currently statistics stand at 9.5 tackles for loss, and 5.5 quarterback sacks.

“The guys on the football team are guys I want to physically defend.”

Ian’s fascination in exploring how the Earth works drew him to declare a geology major and environmental science minor. He has participated in 10 weeks of research under Dr. Hanson, and is an avid participator in the Geology Club. Ian’s athletic goals include becoming an All-American player and Conference Champion. His career objectives include working in environmental consulting or working directly with an oil company.

Your Orange and Blue Fund gifts support Ian and student-athletes just like him. Gifts to the Orange and Blue Fund go directly to support student-athlete scholarships and make it possible for many deserving student-athletes to attend Hope College and compete in athletics. You make an immediate and life-shaping impact for students when you join the community of Orange and Blue Fund donors. Your gifts create passion and bolster commitment to help student athletes grow spiritually, academically, and athletically.

Investing in Ian and all Hope student-athletes provides them with an unsurpassed educational and athletic experience at Hope College. Your faithful giving makes a difference.

Homecoming Donut Run 5K | Benefiting Dance Marathon

Hey you. Yes, you. Let’s chat! I want to tell you about something amazing.

My name is Erin Murphy and I am a senior here at Hope College studying Communication and Business. I currently serve as the Marketing Director for Dance Marathon. I’ve been a part of Dance Marathon since my freshman year and have loved every moment of it.

For those of you who may not be incredibly familiar with the program, Dance Marathon is a nationwide network of college students who partner with and fundraise for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Throughout the year, students across the country plan events, partner with restaurants for percentage nights, and personally fundraise to add to their yearlong fundraising total that is shared at the main event: The Marathon itself. Hope’s Dance Marathon culminates in a 24-hour party where students across campus stay awake and on their feet in solidarity with kids who are fighting a variety of horrible illnesses. As a campus, we come together as one generation fighting for the next.

For us here at Hope, our total proceeds go to Helen Devos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. As we enter our 19th year of the program, we have already raised over $2 million for the hospital. We’ve gotten to create some amazing events, meet some beautiful Miracle Kids who have overcome so much, and create an incredible community of Hope students who are passionate about serving the hospital.

Now, are you ready to hear that amazing thing I promised to tell you?

On Saturday, October 14, Hope College Dance Marathon is partnering with the office of Alumni and Family Engagement for the first ever Homecoming Donut Run 5K Benefiting Dance Marathon!!!

Hope students and alumni are likely familiar with a local donut shop located within walking distance from campus. Late night “donut runs” have become a common part of the Hope experience. Essentially, the shop owner allows Hope students to walk in and buy freshly made donuts at all hours of the night. Seriously, sometimes the place is packed at 1 a.m. with donut-munching students. This unique tradition inspired us. So this year, we’re putting a fresh spin on it – making it a real life donut run!

What does this mean? The 5K will still have the awesome long sleeve t-shirt, chip timing, and take you through our beautiful city of Holland. However, it will also feature delicious donuts holes along the route and full donuts at the finish line. We’ll also have some Miracle Kiddos at the starting line, ready to cheer you on and countdown the race! Woohoo, how exciting!

Additionally, all proceeds from this year’s 5K will go towards our year-long fundraising total. This year, we’re setting our goal high at $310,000. I know, it’s a big number, but the joy and wellness of the kids is definitely worth the challenge.

And here comes the most amazing part of all:

You have the opportunity to go on a Donut Run for the kids. You can be a part of this incredible event and support children in the hospital. You can make a difference in the lives of kids who deserve the world. By going for a run through the beautiful city of Holland, you not only get a t-shirt and some delicious donuts, you get to proudly know that you are supporting child life services at HDVCH. Now that’s pretty amazing.

Registration is now live and you can sign up here. The event will start and end at Ray and Sue Smith Stadium on Hope’s campus and the race begins at 9 a.m. The price is $20 for Hope students and Miracle Families and $30 for alumni, faculty, staff, and Holland community members.

We are so excited about this partnership with the Alumni and Family Engagement office and can’t wait for Homecoming weekend to be here! We would love to see you there, supporting kiddos who deserve the world. So bring your friends, family, professors, students, anyone- and we’ll see you on Saturday, October 14!

Register today!

Ashley’s on Pointe for Success

Ashley, a freshman at Hope College, is from Lapeer, Michigan. Throughout high school, Ashley began noticing a multitude of her fellow dancers dealing with eating disorders, psychological disorders, and personality disorders. These girls’ constant negativity toward themselves was flooding through her dance department and cascading down into the next generation of dancers. Ashley heard a younger dancer say as she looked in the mirror, “I’m so fat,” and another say, “I look like a whale.” Both girls were eleven years old. This contagious disease of self loathing was progressing into the younger dancers, and Ashley couldn’t just sit around and watch it happen. She approached her student counselor and said,

“I want to do something for young people. I care about them, and they need help.”

Ashley brought her enthusiasm to Hope College, where she fell in love with both the Dance and Science Departments.
“The [Hope College] Dance Department was so friendly and personable, I fell in love with it.”

Ashley plans on double majoring in Dance and Psychology and minoring in Neuroscience. Her short term goals include joining Hope College’s H2 Dance Co. and participating in research in the neurological sciences. Ashley’s long term goals focus on creating a career through Dance Therapy and dancing in her favorite city — Paris! Hope College created a platform for Ashley’s ambition to thrive and to combine her two passions — dance and science. Ashley will be an unstoppable force at Hope College.

Ashley is only able to attend Hope College because of her scholarships. She would like those donors who provided her scholarships to know how much she appreciates them by saying,

“Thank you so much for contributing to my education, enabling me to attend Hope College! Because of your generosity, attending Hope has become more attainable!”

Your Hope Fund gifts support Ashley and students just like her. Gifts to the Hope Fund go directly to support student scholarships and make it possible for many deserving students to attend Hope College. You make an immediate and life-shaping impact for students when you join the community of Hope Fund donors. Your gifts create passion and bolster commitment to help students grow spiritually and academically.

Investing in Ashley and all Hope students provides them with an unsurpassed educational experience at Hope College. Your faithful giving makes a difference.