Bringing the East Coast to Hope

Jim and Barbara Neevel shared their love for Hope, the reasons why they give and their generational connections to the college in a recent visit. Here’s their story:

After twenty years in ministry, the congregation of New Hackensack Reformed Church in Wappingers Falls, New York, wanted to find a way to honor Jim Neevel’s service. They established an endowed scholarship for students from the state of New York in order to continue to expand the reach of Hope College on the east coast.

Barbara came to Hope not knowing what she wanted to study. Through careful consideration, she was guided to the education department and became a teacher. She remembers that every part of her education at Hope was part of her character building.

Jim ’56 and Barbara Jeffrey ’56 Neevel

Hope College made me who I am. Hope College gave me a purpose.

– Barbara Jeffrey ’56 Neevel

Barbara and Jim met on the first day of classes at a reception for students. She remembers that everyone knew Jim, because of his parents’ and his grandparents’ experiences on campus.

Jim grew up in Westminster County where his father was a pastor. He was a sociology and psychology major at Hope. He says, “When I came to Hope, my eyes and ears were opened to a lot of things. It was through the college experience that I was able to solidify what I wanted to do. The professors were wonderful, there was a warmth there, you knew everyone on campus – students and professors.”

I knew I wanted to be a pastor . . . Hope gave me a deeper purpose and fulfilled what I thought I wanted to do.

– Jim Neevel ’56

James and Barbara Neevel Scholarship Fund
A scholarship established by New Hackensack Reformed Church in Wappingers Falls, New York, in appreciation of James and Barbara Neevel’s 20 years of ministry. Because the Neevels want Hope College to be well-known on the eastern side of the U.S., as it was when they were college students, the scholarship provides assistance to worthy students from the east coast, with financial need.

Jim says they contribute to their scholarship fund in order to “provide an opportunity for every student that would like to attend Hope College to support them in that way. It makes a difference!”

If you’d like to learn more about endowed scholarships, visit

The Neevel Family:
Andrew Neevel ’16
Jeffrey Brown ’07
Kathryn Neevel ’82 Brown
Kenneth Neevel ’84
Susan Thompson ’87
Jeffrey Neevel ’87
Marcia Veldman ’56 Thompson
Norman Thompson ’53
Barbara Jeffrey ’56 Neevel
James Neevel ’56
Pearl Paalman ’24 Veldman
Harold Veldman ’21
Adrian Zwemer ’26
Mary Crouch ’27 Zwemer
Cornelia Nettinga ’27 Neevel
Alvin Neevel ’26
Siebe Nettinga 1900
Henry Veldman 1892
James Zwemer 1870

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *