Join us for #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is a day dedicated to generosity and giving. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. 

Every gift is an act of kindness. Hope’s greatest need remains funding for student scholarship. 2020 has been difficult for everyone and our students are no exception. Student need is high and donations to student scholarships are down. Your gift, any amount, when added to the collective support of a generous Hope community, will make an immediate impact on students.

You can also sign up to designate Hope College as your charitable organization of choice through Amazon Smile. It’s simple – sign in, choose Hope College through Amazon Smile, shop and make your impact.

Participate in the tradition of supporting Hope students on #GivingTuesday. Visit to learn more.

One Big Virtual Weekend Recap

The Alumni and Family Engagement team with President Scogin.

One BIG Virtual Weekend was a great opportunity for Hope alumni and families to interact and engage with the college in a new way. If you weren’t able to join us or just want to check out what you missed, feel free to view these videos at

Building Resiliency Amid Uncertainty with Dr. Daryl Van Tongeren
Hope in the [Real] World: 10 Under 10 Panel
10 Under 10 Virtual Awards Soirée
Yoga with Heather Winia ’91
Family Open House and Q&A with President Matt Scogin ’02

If you were able to join us for trivia and want to enjoy that epic playlist from home, check out this link on the Hope Alumni Association Spotify account.

Whether you logged in for one of our virtual events, enjoyed some celebration swag as part of the 10th or 25th classes of 1995 or 2010, sent a care package to a Hope student or took part in the online scavenger hunt, we appreciate you and your engagement with the college. We look forward to continued creative connections until we can host you on campus again in the future.

– The Alumni and Family Engagement Team

The Hope College Connection LIVE!

Thank you to all of the alumni from around the world that were able to join us for The Hope College Connection LIVE series of events, hosted by Alumni & Family Engagement and The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career. Our goal was to expand this program to include topics that would be engaging and meaningful to varied focus groups. In the end, they were all great events!

We’re thankful to offer these resources for you to view anytime.

The Hope College Connection Live | Industry Focus: The Arts
The Hope College Connection Live | Onboarding & Negotiation
The Hope College Connection Live | Industry Focus: International Relations & Diplomacy

The Hope College Connection is an innovative online community for calling and career that brings together students, alumni and families for mentoring and experiential learning. You can tap into the power of the Hope network with smart-matching algorithms to identify new connections as you navigate your career and explore the online alumni directory. If you haven’t done so already, check it out today! And thanks for taking the time to be a valuable resource to students on campus.

Questions? Concerns? Have a great idea for a future virtual or in-person event? Reach out anytime to

10 Under 10 Awards Soirée

Thanks to the alumni, families and friends that were able to join us live to celebrate the 10 Under 10 Awards Soirée as part of One Big Virtual Weekend.

10 Under 10 Awards Soirée | Friday, October 16, 2020

Criteria for Award

  • Emerging leader making significant contributions by living out their calling.
  • Engaged in the local or global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement.
  • Serves as an outstanding young role model for current and future students and alumni by showcasing the attributes of a graduate anchored in Hope:
    • Using their education to think about important issues with wisdom and clarity
    • Communicating effectively to bridge boundaries that divide human communities
    • Acting as an agent of hope who lives faithfully into their vocation
    • Making a difference
  • A member of the Hope College Alumni Association within 10 years of graduation.
    Note: All Hope graduates and those who have earned 45 credits or more are automatically members of the Alumni Association.
  • Questions? Email

If you know someone who should be on this list for 2021, nominate them today at

Building Resiliency Amid Uncertainty

Thank you for joining us for “Building Resiliency Amid Uncertainty” on Thursday, October 15 at 3 p.m. If you missed the live presentation, here’s the recording.

This masterclass with Hope psychology professor, Dr. Daryl Van Tongeren, dives into ways to help you flourish in the midst of suffering, change and challenge.

Striving for Excellence: The Story of Ernest Haight

black and white portrait from Hope College in 1951
Portrait of Ernest Haight taken at Hope College in 1951.

Ernest Haight ‘51 (August 5, 1924 – June 1, 2018) was born in the midst of the Great Depression. Having joined the Army in 1945, he served with the post-World War II troops in Tokyo, Japan and always aimed for excellence. His expectation for himself, as well as others, was this: Do the best that you can with what you have been given. And that he did.  

Born to Bill, a welder, and Marge, a bank teller, Ernie utilized his GI Bill from the military to attend Hope College in 1947. While at Hope, he not only earned a degree in mathematics, but he also met his future wife, Kathleen Hagstron ‘51 Haight. They married in Dimnent Chapel. He then went on to earn his master’s degree in advanced mathematics from the University of Nebraska. 


Already, being the only member in his family to earn any degree, let alone an advanced one, showed Ernie’s will to excel in life.

He went on to spend the entirety of his adulthood working in the aerospace industry — a stressful job, one that wasn’t always enjoyable, but Ernie persisted. He ended up being part of a seven-man team to design the heat shields for the Project Mercury and Project Gemini space capsules.

Ernie believed that a good worker should be able to not only design a product but also — and more importantly — get that product to actually work in the real world. And work they did. Those shields sustained the lives of each astronaut during their missions. They helped the projects succeed. 

Ernie always regarded his education — both from Hope College and from the University of Nebraska — to be the foundation for all that he was able to achieve in his professional life. His final gift, which represents his total salary from nearly three years of his working life, has established the Ernest Haight ‘51 Summer Research in Engineering Fund. It also provided the resources necessary for the Engineering Lab Renovation Fund. 

His heart for Hope College has been beautifully reflected through this generous gift. 

At age 93, Ernest Haight was asked to look back on his life, to which he responded, “For a kid who grew up during the Great Depression, with a welder for a father and a bank teller for a mother, I far exceeded all expectations — even my own. I did the best that I could with what I had.” 

May we all strive to do the best that we can with what we have been given!

Join us for The Hope College Connection Live! Virtual Events

The Office of Alumni & Family Engagement and The Boerigter Center for Calling & Career will launch this year’s Hope College Connection LIVE program with three exciting events in October. This program, once known as “Living & Working In,” was a series of live events in various cities that focused on networking between alumni and students. We are excited to be expanding the newly rebranded “Hope College Connection LIVE” program to include various events with different topics of focus. This program is designed to create a variety of unique interactive opportunities for professional connections for alumni with current students and each other. We know our alumni have experiences and expertise that can benefit the Hope community and we invite you to take part to both share and learn! This year, all events will be hosted virtually, which means we are hoping to include alumni from all over the world who may not have been able to attend in the past.

Join us virtually each Tuesday in October:

October 13 | 11-11:50 am | Onboarding & Negotiation
So you’ve been offered the job – now what? What questions do you ask from the start? What should you look out for? How can you set yourself up for success within your new role? Join us as alumni HR professionals provide guidance and advice regarding the process of accepting and starting a new job. If you might also have some advice to share with fellow alumni or current students regarding this topic, we’d love to have you there! Register today.

October 20 | 7-8:30 pm | Industry Focus: International Relations & Diplomacy
One of the goals of Hope College is to “grow world Christians in the soil of Hope”. Many of our alumni have made a career of working to create a better world by reaching past borders. Whether you are currently working within this exciting industry, looking to break into it, or simply want to learn more, we invite you to take part in this event! Alumni panelists will share their experiences working in our global community, particularly during these unique times. Register today!

October 27 | 4-5:30 pm | Industry Focus: The Arts
Creating art for the enjoyment and improvement of the world is never easy – and we know a global pandemic hasn’t made it any easier. During this time we are so happy to be able to have a Hope College Connection: Live! event devoted to building up a network of current Hope College students and Hope alumni in the different arts fields. Register today!

With alumni and students attending from all across the spectrum of the arts, from studio art and theatre to dance and music, this event is an opportunity for connections to be created as Hope students to ask questions and alumni share their experiences and advice.

It is our goal to continue to offer opportunities for students and alumni to engage with the campus community in meaningful ways. Please give consideration to the personal role that you can have in making these events successful. 

Questions? Email us anytime or

10 Under 10 Award Recipients 2020

Four years ago, when the idea to convert the Young Alumni Awards, which honored two recent Hope graduates, into the 10 Under 10 Awards, increasing the number of yearly recipients considerably, one of the concerns brought forth was the rate at which we would deplete the nomination pool. Despite the risk, we decided to have faith that we’d be able to find enough recipients every year based on our knowledge of the quality graduates that Hope produces. Now, three years into the program, I look back on our initial concerns and laugh. While we are constantly working to encourage nominations, finding phenomenal candidates for this award has certainly not been a problem! In fact, I continue to be absolutely amazed and even a little overwhelmed at the accomplishments, attributes and aspirations of our youngest alumni.

Our nominations come from spouses, parents, best friends, former teammates, staff members, faculty members and even community members. The people of Hope are masters at elevating each other, shining the spotlight on each other. It is a privilege to read the nominations, a thrill to sit in on the selection committee meetings, and an honor to get to know the recipients each year and we work to tell their story and connect them to current students and fellow alumni.

The selection process is extensive. Representatives from all over campus – student life, admissions, each academic division, and the alumni board come together to read each nomination and thoughtfully select ten recipients, with the full Alumni Board approving the slate at their semi-annual meeting. It is an invigorating experience for everyone involved – what a joy it is to see all the places recent grads have taken their skills, their passions and their hope! Each recipient uniquely fulfills the criteria of the award:

  • Emerging leader making a significant contribution by living out their calling
  • Engaged in the local or global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement
  • Serves as an outstanding young role model for current and future students and alumni by showcasing the attributes of a graduate anchored in Hope

The 2020 10 Under 10 Award recipients will be honored this year via a virtual ceremony taking place on Friday, October 16 at 7 pm as part of One Big Virtual Weekend: Homecoming & Family Weekend. We look forward to an evening of memories and inspiration and invite the entire Hope community to attend. While this year will be different, the celebration will be as heartfelt as the recipients are deserving.

While we may have worried four years ago that ten might be too many, after three cycles of recipients, I can confidently say that ten will never be enough. While we delight in honoring these ten individuals, we recognize that there are many more young alumni who also shine bright. Our desire is that this award does not overshadow any other alum, but instead places a spotlight on what all our Hope graduates are doing with their education and unique gifts.

Congratulations to this year’s Hope College 10 Under 10 Award recipients!

From Mentor and Student to Grad-School Peers

At Hope, Ellen Tanis ’90 Awad and Nancy Benda ’17 were mentor and student. Three years later, they have each completed graduate studies at the University of Georgia as friends and peers.
Both pursued advanced degrees in student affairs at the Mary Frances Early College of Education of the University of Georgia at Athens. Awad earned her Doctor of Education degree in student affairs leadership while continuing in her role as associate dean of student life at Hope, where she has been on the staff since 1995. Benda earned her Master of Education degree in student affairs administration while holding a graduate assistantship in UGA’s Career Center.

They had started their studies at different times, but their journeys concluded simultaneously with the college of education’s celebration on April 29 for graduates of all of its programs (which because of the COVID-19 pandemic was held via Zoom). In addition, Awad and Benda were each chosen by their respective cohorts’ classmates to be the featured student speakers for the Ed.D. and M.Ed. programs during the event. “I just think that speaks so highly of a Hope education,” Awad said. Awad also received the Diane L. Cooper Award, which recognizes an outstanding student in the student affairs leadership program for commitment to learning as demonstrated by academic performance, scholarly practice and leadership in student affairs, and strong relationships with faculty, students and colleagues.

Awad is continuing in her leadership role in student life at Hope, while Benda hopes to move west and continue to work in higher education serving students. Benda’s career arc comes as no surprise to Awad, who worked closely with her while Benda was at Hope.

Ellen Tanis ’90 Awad and Nancy Benda ’17

“Nancy was an involved student. She was a star tennis player, but also a SAC leader, Nykerk play coach, and an orientation director,” she said. “I got to know her best when she was the orientation director for August 2016. Nancy was impressive in the role and such a joy to work with. She brought a contagious enthusiasm to work and left things better than she found them. I am so grateful to know her and cannot wait to see what a difference she makes through her career path.”

Benda, in turn, credits Awad and her Hope experience for inspiring her path.
“Ellen is a mentor and friend of mine, and it has been amazing to look up to her as she worked toward her doctorate,” she said. “It is special that we are both Hope alumni graduating from the same department at the University of Georgia at the same time. I continue to be inspired by Ellen and the entire Hope community.

“As an active student at Hope, I experienced so much growth and development through my involvement outside the classroom and it inspired me to commit my career to helping other students have similar opportunities to lead and grow,” Benda said. “College is such a pivotal time where you get to learn about yourself and who you want to be. At Hope, my relationships with other students, faculty, and student life administrators were invaluable in shaping my career goals. As I start my career in higher education, I look forward to helping students figure out who they are and what their next steps might be.”