Every time a nomination for a 10 Under 10 Award is made, the completed form is sent to my email inbox. Reading through the educational, professional, and humanitarian pursuits of Hope’s youngest alumni is most certainly one of the greatest highlights of my job (and I get to eat Phelps on the daily at a discounted rate, so that’s saying something!) It is impossible not to find joy in reading about all the ways Hope alum within ten years of graduation have already started living into their callings.
All nominees are considered by a selection committee made up of Alumni Board members, faculty, staff and current students. While the selection process is incredibly difficult for all involved, it is also so much fun to really dive deep into the accomplishments and attributes of each alum. The selection committee is able to read about the impact Hope has had on the development of who they have become and what they are doing in the world. I’m confident everyone leaves those meetings full of pride, amazement and inspiration.
And while each recipient always makes me fangirl a little bit, one of the greatest things about this award to me is the fact that it is not just celebrating these 10 individuals. It represents all of the impacts Hope has had on its graduates, and the impact that they in turn can have on the world. While we can only highlight a small percentage of our young alumni, the hope is that they will not overshadow our other recent graduates, but serve as an example of the amazing people who count Hope as their alma mater. We couldn’t be more proud of the many alumni who happen to not be on this list, but are living beautiful lives that reflect their unique abilities, attributes and passions.
The criteria for the 10 Under 10 Awards was crafted by the Alumni Board to seek out graduates who are exuding the best of Hope. Each of the recipients are:
Emerging leaders making significant contributions by living out their calling.
Engaged in the local or global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement.
Serving as an outstanding young role model for current and future students and alumni by showcasing the attributes of a graduate anchored in Hope.
Alumni, students, families and friends are invited to the 10 Under 10 Soirée during One Big Weekend on Friday, October 11 from 7-9 pm at City Flats Hotel as part of Hope on 8th Street. You’ll celebrate with these young alumni in a casual meet-and-greet setting with a short award presentation, appetizers and a cash bar. Registration is not required and you may come and go as you please. You won’t want to miss it!
Do you know someone who belongs on this list for 2020? We are accepting nominations! Simply fill out this short form and our nominee will be added to the list and considered for next year’s award.
We are pleased to announce the following Hope College 10 Under 10 Award Recipients for 2019:
I am writing to share with you my experience on one of the most amazing trips I have ever been on in my life – and I have been fortunate to visit over 45 countries during my career.
My wife, Gail, and I joined 26 other alumni and friends for a Tanzania Safari with the Hope College Alumni Association’s Global Travel Program. Going on safari has always been high on my “bucket list” and the idea of going with an award-winning wildlife photojournalist and other Hope alumni and friends was too good to miss. On all scores, the trip exceeded my lofty expectations – from wildlife viewing to cultural excursions to getting re-acquainted with a number of former classmates and fraternity brothers to meeting and making many new friends who share a common love for Hope College.
The trip was well organized by Pat Van Wylen, who did a fabulous job with logistics before and during our excursion. She was ably joined by ornithologist, professor emeritus, and founder of Birder’s World Magazine, Eldon Greij, as well as distinguished alumnus, Tim Laman ’83. I cannot hope to compare to the quality of Tim’s work. You can see for yourself on Instagram, where he now has over one million followers! Eldon and Tim were so gracious in imparting their vast knowledge and experience that it made the trip a phenomenal learning opportunity.
Tanzania is ranked as one of the best African countries for safaris. It is not hard to see why. With almost a third of Tanzania protected for wildlife, viewing opportunities were endless. We followed what is called the northern safari circuit, where we witnessed an amazing array of wildlife and enchanting landscapes. This program was designed to maximize animal viewing and it more than accomplished that goal from dawn to dusk each day. The trip also included a number of cultural experiences designed to provide insights into the history, people and culture of Tanzania.
We experienced a wide variety of ecosystems with unique habitats. We traveled from forest and woodlands with scattered lakes, ponds and wetlands, to wooded savannah where trees and grasslands are interspersed, and finally, to grasslands — both short and tall — culminating in the Serengeti. What an amazing place! But I am getting ahead of myself. One of the points that Eldon and Tim kept emphasizing was to stay in the present moment. Don’t anticipate what is to come next – you never know what is just around the bend of the road.
After flying into Schiphol airport in the Netherlands (how appropriate) from various parts of the US, we flew as a group into Kilimanjaro Airport near Arusha, Tanzania where we stayed at the African Tulip, a luxury boutique hotel.
Our first full day in Africa was spent at Arusha National Park with habitats varying from wetlands to ponds and forests. Eldon was in his happy place because we saw so many different varieties of birds, including flamingos, herons, stilts and plovers. We also saw baboons – including a rare albino – along with zebras, giraffes, buffalo and monkeys. The highlight was watching the huge black and white Colobus monkeys that are unique to this particular area.
The next day began at the Tengeru Cultural Tourism Center where we learned about the Meru people and examined coffee and banana cultivation within a facility that captures, recycles and produces its own biogas. Not only did we get to share a meal, but we followed the coffee harvesting, roasting and grinding process all the way through to enjoying a fresh cup with Mama Gladness and our new friends.
We then moved onto Tarangire National Park. Tarangire has biodiversity not found elsewhere in the northern circuit. We spent two days where the Baobab trees dotted the landscape and there was an abundance of excellent wildlife viewing. The waterbuck, impala and gazelle became commonplace along with large elephant groups. We spotted lions, watched a leopard stalking a warthog and a Goliath heron perched on a rock in the river.
We next moved on to spend two days exploring the enchanting Lake Manyara National Park. Ernest Hemingway once called this area the “loveliest place in Africa.” The park, with its phenomenal assortment of wildlife, is set up against the imposing huge western wall of the Great Rift Valley. The forest, lake and wetlands are home to a diversity of bird species so vast that it was hard to keep up on the ornithology lessons from Eldon. We spent our nights at The Retreat at Ngorongoro, a gorgeous new lodge at the top of the western wall. While there we visited the Iraqw to learn about their culture and history and to tour a nearby hill-side home. We witnessed a traditional marriage ceremony and some of our group had the opportunity to ‘renew’ vows.
Next, we were off to Ndutu Lake, within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. It lies on the southern edge of the Serengeti plains and is filled with Acacia trees. We spent the night at the Ndutu Safari Lodge. The area is famous for cheetah and grazing mammals, such as wildebeest, zebras and gazelles, all of whom are at home in the short grass plains of this region. And, sure enough, Ndutu did not disappoint. On the drive in, we encountered two male lions relaxing under some trees near the lodge.
The next day we were up before the sun to see if could observe cats on the move. And observe we did. We were not half a mile down the trail before encountering a pregnant lion out hunting. After an encounter with our two males again, we happened upon a group of two females and six kittens at a watering hole. While photographing these beautiful creatures, our guide spotted what he suspected was a cheetah chasing a wildebeest. We arrived just as the cat took down its prey. As we sat in the middle of the vast plain, we suddenly found ourselves in the midst of the Great Migration as thousands of zebras and wildebeest came thundering out of the trees on the surrounding hillside and began to fill up the surrounding area from horizon to horizon. It was an awe inspiring site to say the least.
We then spent two days exploring Serengeti National Park, the preeminent park in East Africa and home to more than 2 million large mammals, including the big cats — lions, leopards and cheetahs. We spent two nights at the elegant Serengeti Serena Lodge. Where else in the world are you going to suddenly encounter a female cheetah and her six kittens resting in the shade of an Acacia tree? Or a pregnant leopard sleeping on a branch of a tree? Or another out stalking prey in the tall grass?
On our way to the Ngorongoro Highlands, we visited Olduvai Gorge (although we were instructed that the correct name is Oldupai – after the plant that grows there). The site is famous for early hominid findings from the team of Louis and Mary Leakey. A fascinating and well done museum has just been opened on the site and we were treated to a lecture and overview of the history of the site by the museum director.
After a couple of hours touring the Gorge, we move from one UNESCO World Heritage Site to another. At the top of the highlands sits the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, a collapsed caldera that is the largest in Africa. We packed a picnic lunch and descended from the beautiful Ngorongoro SOPA Lodge, located on the crater rim, into the spacious crater floor, where an absolutely incredible experience with wildlife awaited us.
Over the course of the next few hours, we witnessed several hunts and attempted hunts between lions, buffalo and hyenas. At one point, we were positioned in between two very different encounters. On our right, two packs of hyenas were attacking a buffalo calf that had become separated from its mother and the herd. The buffalo tried for the longest time to fend off the attack, but was simply out numbered. On our left, we witnessed the sight of a young male lion that somehow found itself surrounded by an angry herd of buffalo that began hooking the helpless cat and throwing it into the air over and over again. It is amazing that the lion survived the repeated attacks and continued to fight back. After 15 minutes or so, the buffalo abandoned the cat. But we were not finished. One of our vehicles spotted another hunt underway with two lionesses stalking a small buffalo herd. A seeming stalemate ensued until four more from the pride arrived to join in the hunt. It didn’t take long after that for the buffalo to fall. We watched in astonishment.
Tim Laman summed up everyone’s sentiments for the day: “At times these scenes were not pleasant to watch, I will admit. Nature can be harsh. But it was real, and it was amazing to witness the cycle of life in a place that is still wild. We need places like that on earth, and it is good for us to visit them. As Tennyson wrote, on this day, we truly witnessed nature red in tooth and claw.”
We also visited a Maasai school in the area that Hope College groups have been financially supporting for the past few years. We also brought a number of gifts such as soccer balls, frisbees, jump ropes and other toys for the children to play with. It was fun to play with such an energetic group of students. We visited classrooms where we exchanged songs. In spite of our best efforts, we were totally outclassed by the students singing the Tanzania national anthem. They were beautiful.
But our adventure was not over. There is no pavement on the roads around the rim of the crater. Given that the rim is quite often in the clouds during this the rainy season, the volcanic soil turns into a deep, red, slippery mud. Our drive up the night before had been harrowing enough, but two more days of wet made the drive even more treacherous. We attempted to get permission to go out via the park, but we were denied. So . . . we forged on. This is where you really appreciate the skills and experience of our guides from Roy Safaris. Although one of our vehicles did indeed become stuck trying to avoid another vehicle mired in the mud, they were able to free both from the mess.
On our final morning before heading to the airport for our flights home, many of us visited the Plaster House. Plaster House is the home of the Rehabilitative Surgery Program of the Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre in Northern Tanzania. It was established in 2008 to provide a unique and loving home away from home for children receiving pre- and post-operative care and rehabilitation for a surgically correctable disability. It was truly a moving experience to see these children and their families recovering from surgeries to correct club feet, harelip and cleft palates that had hindered them from leading a normal life.
I leave you with this picture of our fearless leaders. Our amazing guides are decked out in Hope College track warm ups. From left to right are: Hussein, Tim Laman, Niko, Pat Van Wylen, God Bless, Eldon Greij and Moses.
I cannot recommend highly enough that you check out the opportunity to participate in a future program. New Zealand with Dave Van Wylen and Croatia with John Tammi are two destinations currently open for registration. It is a great way to re-engage with your alma mater.
I want to take a moment to introduce myself and my new role at Hope. I am both an alumnus and a parent of two third-generation Hope students. This April, after a 21-year career at a Fortune 250 company, I made the decision to accept a role at my alma mater focused specifically on parent engagement and philanthropy. I am grateful for the education and opportunities that Hope has provided for my family and delighted to join a team that is focused on transforming the lives of our students, our community, and our world.
One of my objectives is to engage alumni and families to expand the reach of the college via enhanced learning and vocational experiences through the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career. By establishing the Boerigter Center, Hope College is one of the few higher education institutions nationally to streamline the intersection of calling, academic advising, experiential learning, and internships/career connections. This forward-thinking was recently highlighted in a New York Times article titled, “One Way to Make College Meaningful.”
Strong and diverse networks are a key element that make these types of programs successful. Parents and alumni play an integral role in identifying and cultivating experiential learning opportunities for our students as well as expressing the value that Hope College brings to your family and community.
I look forward to connecting with you in the near future to personally hear your ideas and insights about Hope College. Together we can build the network and support the services needed to enhance students’ experiences, equipping them to impact our community and our world.
Daniel J. Osterbaan ’91
Director of Development for Parent Giving
Development and Alumni Engagement
My name is Yea Rang Song. I will be a junior this fall, and I am pursuing a degree in religion with an emphasis on biblical studies, German and classical studies. I plan to go to seminary after college and prepare to become a missionary like my parents; their lives as missionaries in South Africa and Zimbabwe have inspired me to help others.
Two years ago, on August 16, 2017, my plane landed at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I was exhausted from a long flight from South Korea but also excited for the “dream come true” college life. I remember getting into a white van with the Hope College logo on it and setting off for Holland, Michigan to begin a new adventure.
Growing up in South Korea, South Africa and Zimbabwe, I knew I wanted to attend college, but I wasn’t sure where. I began researching different colleges, but was interested in Hope because it was recommended to me by my cousin. Unlike other colleges and universities, Hope had the best acceptance letter! All the other places sent a short email or letter congratulating me, but Hope’s was different — it was very personal. They responded to every single detail that I had written in my application essay. That is when I decided that I wanted to be part of a community like Hope College.
When I got out of the van, I found myself surrounded by a beautiful green campus. It was quiet because I had arrived a week earlier than other incoming freshmen. This was so I could attend a time of orientation designed especially for international students. This week-long series of events and activities put on by the Fried Center for Global Engagement was set up to help us learn about Hope, Holland and Michigan. My favorite part was visiting the Sleeping Bear Dunes and Mackinac Island. Looking back at this experience, I am even more grateful for the warm welcome I received and for all of the staff members at the Fried Center for Global Engagement.
Freshman year was the year of adjusting to American life. Although I had grown up in various countries as a foreigner my entire life, living in America was different. All my professors made their very best effort to make me feel more comfortable and welcome. After class, they would take time to talk to me – it felt good that they went out of their way and were willing to get to know me. Of course, there were times when I didn’t understand why people were saying certain things or doing things in a certain way, but because of these experiences, I was able to learn.
Being part of the Phelps Scholars Program allowed me to experience a more diverse community. All the professors and the students tried their best to understand students from different cultures and values. This program is also where I met my group of close friends. Knowing that there will always be a community for me made my first year at Hope easier.
I got my first job working in Print and Mail Services during the second semester of my freshman year. I learned a lot, and it helped me improve my communication skills. Even at work I felt welcomed. At the beginning of each semester, my boss brought us a meal while going over the goals for the semester. She even provided all the student workers snack bags before finals. Through her actions, I could see how much the staff at Hope cares about their students, and once again there was proof that I had made the right choice in coming to Hope.
After freshman year, I went back home for the summer. Although it was hard to leave home again, returning to Hope for my sophomore year was easier because I knew I had a community at Hope waiting for me which had become my second family. It was also the year I began working in the Development and Alumni Engagement office and learning more about fundraising. I learned how many people give back to help support students like me. In this new job, I had the great opportunity of thanking people for their gifts by writing notes to them.
All of the “different” I had experienced in the past two years was a good different. Growing up as a missionary kid, serving was always a part of my life. It was not until I started working on Hope’s campus that I realized the true meaning of reciprocal service. Serving and being served was a new life experience for me. I am looking forward to traveling to Germany to study abroad this spring and learn even more about what it means to serve in a global society. Hope College has been a blessing to me.
You can help support students like Yea Rang when you make a gift to the area that you love at hope.edu/give.
This was a record-breaking year, thanks to your incredible efforts. With the new “Give To What You Love” campaign, the campus community rallied around Day of Giving with incredible enthusiasm. In 36 hours, $281,395 was raised to support Hope students from over 1,500 donors. (Prior to this year, our best Day of Giving was 2017, when we received $162,101 from 855 gifts.) We couldn’t have achieved this success without your passion and collaboration — and maybe a little competition, too. What if somebody missed Day of Giving and they still want to make a gift? How exciting! Go tohope.edu/give which features an online form for making gifts.
Thank you for coming together for Hope students. Your generosity inspires us — and it tells us that you believe in the transformative power of a Hope education. We are so grateful for your enthusiastic support.
by Mark DeWitt ’87, Senior Director of Principal Gifts on April 9, 2019
“Put me in Coach, I’m ready to play today.”
In this season, many Hope LAX, SB, BB, Golf, XTC&F and 10S athletes (you know who you are by your Twitter handles) echo John Fogerty’s refrain. Wanting to play, striving to win is their mission. And don’t we all want to participate in life in some way to affect outcomes?! Participation matters in sports, academics and co-curricular activities at Hope College. It also matters in giving to your alma mater. Numerous buildings and projects on campus are named for distinguished Hope graduates who provided a special or penultimate gift to capstone a distinctive career and lifetime of giving. The impact of such philanthropy is obvious, but Hope is built no less on gifts at a variety of levels by thousands of alumni, parents and friends. Many of the college’s major donors presented three-figure ($100+) annual gifts thirty years ago. By today’s standards, that equates to a good cup of coffee a couple times a week. While that may sound a tad hyperbolic, what is not is that their giving began and was sustained by establishing a habit. Just like that cup of coffee. Hope requires a broad spectrum of donors to remain competitive and to keep the Hope experience accessible and affordable. Tuition and fees alone do not support the kind of Hope experience we strive to provide. Your philanthropic participation begins a journey toward a lifetime of joyful giving, bolsters our reputation scrutinized by external reviewers such as Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report, and fortifies the value of your hard-earned degree. Your gift also leverages other gifts and grants. Many national foundations examine participation rates in advance of affirming a grant. Participation from many stakeholders is considered, including Board of Trustees (100% expected), Alumni Board, Administrative Council, Deans, faculty and alumni. It is easy to deflect. Many constituents suggest that we seek major funding from recognized philanthropists in our region with names that include De__ or Van_____. Some also suggest the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or Warren Buffett, even though their funding priorities are narrowly defined and their beneficiaries are often pre-selected. Younger alumni cite their debt loads following graduation. I’m keenly aware, since my debt was equivalent to a very handsome new car. I’m also reminded that my financial aid package in the form of scholarships and Hope grants was also equivalent to a few nice cars, and made possible by donors I didn’t know or meet. I’ve heard the chorus many times: “When I win the lottery or inherit a fortune, I’ll give a major gift to Hope.” Steady-and-regular wins the race if we participate together. Your gifts, combined with others, transform Hope and expand opportunities for students to learn, discern, serve and make a difference in communities and our world. The transformational education that Hope has provided for more than 150 years has been possible only because of generous support. Through those many decades, Hope has been a good steward of resources entrusted by parents, friends, corporations, organizations and alumni. Hope is worthy of your investment. Are you ready to participate?
Hope College’s Day of Giving is 14 days away. We need your voice, your networks and your enthusiasm to help promote Hope College. Please join our team on Thursday, April 11 and Friday, April 12 and become an online ambassador!
What’s an Ambassador?
An ambassador can be an alumni, parent, employee or friend that is willing to promote Day of Giving through their personal networks, especially social media using #Give2Hope. Ambassadors will receive a personal online link and be able to promote a specific category, program or department. The individual ambassador with the most gifts tied to their ambassador link will win a Hope College prize pack!
Words of the Week: Give to what you love!
This year, you can designate the area you would like to support. This option allows you to “pick your passion” and support the areas you feel most closely connected to. Help us spread the word: Give to what you love at Hope College!
Help us make the day a success. We will supply you with a toolkit full of easy to post pictures and graphics, sample posts and more. Did we mention the one-of-a-kind t-shirt? All you need to do is sign up and start promoting Hope College on your social media accounts.