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!