Hope Graduate Makes National News with Innovative Drone Delivery

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt's drone prepares to land in the Pine Grove.
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt’s drone prepares to land in the Pine Grove.

Jeremy Latchaw ’00 has personified a liberal arts education since uniquely combining business administration, religion and the Army ROTC as a Hope College student.

He did it again earlier this week with an innovative connection between drone technology and frozen yogurt.

The mechanical merger of drone and dessert was not the product of a wild promotional brainstorm, but rather the natural extension of two of Jeremy’s current passions. He and his wife, Molly, relocated to Holland in 2013.  They operate two Orange Leaf frozen yogurt franchises in the area and donate 20 percent of their profits to charity. Jeremy is also president of Mishigami Group, a drone consultant and engineering firm that works with companies and government agencies to build unmanned aerial vehicle programs.

The drone that made the delivery to campus was piloted by another Hope College graduate and Mishigami’s principal, Matt Rybar.

“It made sense to put the two of them together,” Latchaw said. “It’s cool to do something like this, delivering to a place like Hope College.”

Jeremy Latchaw '00 and OrangeLeaf President Geoff Goodman celebrate a successful landing.
Jeremy Latchaw ’00 and Orange Leaf President Geoff Goodman celebrate a successful landing.

The project put him and the college in the spotlight this week as hundreds of local and national media outlets picked up the story. Here are a few highlights:

 

Following graduation from Hope in 2000, Jeremy was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, stationed initially in Texas.  During his active service he was deployed to Iraq, earning decorations including the Bronze Star, and he later served in Kuwait during 2007-08 while in the U.S. Army Reserve.  Promoted across his time in the military, he continues to serve in the U.S. Army Reserve as a major, and is an associate professor of military science in the Army ROTC program at Western Michigan University.

Jeremy Latchaw '00 after receiving a 2015 Hope College Young Alumni Award. Jeb Wierenga, a Hope ROTC student, presented the award.
Jeremy Latchaw ’00 after receiving a 2015 Hope College Young Alumni Award. Jeb Wierenga, a Hope ROTC student, presented the award.

His additional involvement in West Michigan has included serving as vice president of training for Cultivate Holland and as the ROTC Awards chair for the Michigan Sons of the American Revolution.  His continued engagement with Hope has ranged from hosting Hope-Calvin rivalry satellite parties; to serving on his reunion committee; to volunteering with the Center for Faithful Leadership and the Career Resource Network.

In April of 2015, Jeremy received the Hope College Young Alumni Award and spent time on campus to to present workshops designed for students as they consider their lives after graduation.

After an exciting and tasty week on campus, we can’t wait to see what unique connections Jeremy and some of Hope’s other 33,000 graduates think of next.

Alumni Survey Results

In February and March we asked for alumni feedback via a comprehensive survey. We had a great response with over 4,100 alumni participating across 48 states and 45 countries. For the researchers or armchair pollsters reading, this gives us a margin of error of less than 1.5%.

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Response by region. 13% of all Hope alumni participated in the study.

Response by Decade
Response by graduation year.
More importantly, the results of the study serve three primary functions. First, it provides those of us working at the college a chance to listen to those we serve. Second, it evokes discussion and gives alumni an additional opportunity to have an important voice. Third, it allows us to make decisions regarding the Alumni Association with objective information and alumni insight.

We are grateful for those that took the time to share their opinions and are fortunate to have a loyal alumni base. In fact, 76% rated their loyalty to Hope as a 7 or higher on a 10 point scale. Moving forward, we are planning to connect even more alumni to the mission of Hope through improved benefits and services based on what we heard.

Overall Loyalty
When asked to reflect on their loyalty to Hope College, 76% rated it as a 7 or higher.
Online and Career Connections
Alumni shared that relevant connections today should be made more around region and career and less around traditional class year. The benefits alumni are most interested in include an improved online alumni directory, discounted merchandise, regional connections, online lifelong learning and career networking. Plans for improvement and initial discussions are taking place in all of these areas and in April the Alumni Association Board of Directors prioritized a list of improvements to focus on.

Benefits Overview
Alumni rankings (four point scale) of the perceived value of benefits and services that are or could be offered by the Alumni Association.
Student Scholarships and Designated Giving
While there are many ways for alumni to make a difference, philanthropic support remains a crucial one. Currently, just under 20% of alumni support the college financially. Alumni shared that directly supporting students and the ability to designate gifts are the clearest ways to increase support. Based on this feedback, 100% of money raised through the Hope Fund will now directly support student scholarships. We are also working on priority designations and will be sharing new opportunities this year.

Giving Designation
Likelihood to give if alumni were able to designate their gift to a specific area.
Every alumni voice matters as we work together to fulfill Hope’s unique mission and vision each day. Thank you for your continued involvement and support of Hope students. If you have questions or concerns, contact us at alumni@hope.edu or 616.395.7250.

Summer Send Off: Then and Now

Rewind to July of 2014. 

As an incoming first-year student at Hope College, I was a ball of nerves and excitement. Being the type of person that needs planning and order, not knowing what was to come when I stepped onto campus in the fall was a rattling concept. Thankfully, Hope College does a picnic called a “Summer Send Off” in four different areas: Naperville, Mid-Michigan, Southeast Michigan, and Southwest Michigan. Since I am from the Lansing area, I went to the picnic held at Patriarche Park in East Lansing in the summer of 2014. About 10 of my high school friends were also coming to Hope, so we all arrived together. Even though I was with the people I felt most comfortable around, I couldn’t help but be nervous. I was moving away from an area that I had lived my entire life, to a town where I had visited only a couple of times. Coming to Hope was more or less a leap of faith for me, as I hadn’t even gone on an official campus visit. From the very beginning of the picnic, I knew that this was where I was supposed to be. The people from Hope College that hosted the picnic were friendly and I didn’t feel completely clueless anymore. I had no idea how to do this whole college thing, considering how I was a first-generation college student, with no real guidance in this adventure. But after the picnic, the countdown was set for August 24, move-in day, and I couldn’t have been more excited.

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Fast forward to now: July of 2016. 

Packing up the orange and blue Gatorades into the cooler and putting everything into the Hope van, I would soon be on my way to the first Send Off picnic of the summer. Ever since August of 2014 (Yes, two weeks after I stepped onto campus!) I have worked in the Alumni and Family Engagement Office, the very office that hosts the Summer Send Off picnics. I couldn’t help but look back on the time that I was so nervous about a simple picnic. Now, I am greeting the incoming students as they arrive, and making them feel at home before they even come to campus. Hope College has a way of doing that. As I stood under the pavilion, looking at all of the students that were listening to the Orientation Directors, I couldn’t help but look back on the time that I was sitting in their exact place. A feeling of peace and thankfulness washed over me. The leap of faith that I once took in 2014 brought me to a state of joy, contentment and peace in 2016.

If only these freshmen knew what they were in for.

Great Golf Outing, Better People

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6AM didn’t seem too bad with this kind of early morning view.

The morning of the Bob DeYoung Golf Outing was crisp and bright. As the golfers came to register at the Ravines Golf Club in Saugatuck, each one had a smile on their face (whether they were morning people or not!) And as President Knapp gave his morning remarks, I couldn’t help but stop and think about how lucky I was to be in this place. By this place, I mean Hope College. This place and these people have one word to describe them: genuine. The students, my co-workers in the Alumni Engagement Office, and all of the people surrounding me are truly genuine. The smiles, jokes about golf scores, and laughs carried on into the afternoon round, making me more and more thankful with each person I interacted with that day.

I sat out on Hole #17, giving away some of the prizes for the On-the-Green Challenge, and was continually amazed at how great the day was. Every person that came up to me was cheerful, even though they may have shot their golf ball into the trees to my left. I began to realize that even if something were to go wrong in the planning of the outing, the golf outing would have remained great- simply because of these people.

Too often we take the people around us for granted when trying to make things perfect. Having the perfect grades, the best job, or an amazing wardrobe don’t really matter. At this golf outing, I realized that life is about the people and the relationships that we have made. And boy, am I thankful for these Hope College relationships.

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“Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter, unless it is about loving God and loving the people He has made?” -Francis Chan

Mary Elizabeth Winther ’15 Receives Lilly Graduate Fellowship

Mary Elizabeth Winther valued her experience at Hope, so much so that the 2015 graduate ultimately dreams of mentoring students at an institution much like her alma mater.

As one of only 10 young scholars nationwide to receive an award through the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program for graduate studies beginning this fall, and newly enrolled in a three-year MFA program in costume design at Wayne State University, the French and theatre double major is on her way.Winther_Headshot

“My dream career path would involve working in a theatre department at a college similar to Hope,” Winther said. “I would love to be the resident designer or the costume shop manager at a small Christian school where I could build meaningful relationships with students while teaching and designing.”

The Lilly Graduate Fellows Program is a part of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts that supports outstanding students who want to explore the connections among Christianity, higher education, and the vocation of the teacher-scholar as they pursue graduate degrees in humanities and the arts. Mary Elizabeth is excited by the opportunity that her fellowship will provide to continue to reflect on her career choice and faith holistically.

“The Lilly Graduate Fellows Program appealed to me as a way to keep me grounded and focused during graduate school,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to having a community of people who are motivated in their studies by their love for Christ and desire to seek Him through whatever academic path they follow.”

She has felt well-prepared by her Hope experience for both her forthcoming graduate work and her participation as a Lilly Graduate Fellow.

WintherDSC02184“Hope absolutely prepared me well for graduate school,” she said. “I was able to costume-design three fully realized productions for the theatre department, work in the costume shop (which will be a part of my graduate school experience as well) and take classes in all areas of theatre.”

“Several of my courses, both in and outside of the theatre department, asked that I think critically about why I wanted to pursue theatre, and how my faith would inform my choices along my career path,” she said. “I think all of these factors helped me to affirm my desire to work as a designer, and prepared me for the demands of a rigorous graduate school program.”

Winther has spent the past year as a costume intern with Meadow Brook Theatre, a professional company that operates on the campus of Oakland University in Auburn Hills. In addition to her participation in theatre productions while a student at Hope, she spent the spring semester of her junior year studying abroad in Paris, France, and was also in co-curricular activities including serving as a resident assistant, and the “Milestone” yearbook and the Nykerk Cup competition. A summa cum laude graduate, she was inducted into the college’s chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa honorary society.

Winther and the other nine Lilly Graduate Fellows were selected by an eight-member selection committee who interviewed 16 finalists (selected from 56 applicants) in April in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Fellows will meet together for three days at an Inaugural Conference on August 1-4 in Indianapolis, Indiana, with their mentors, Gretchen J. Van Dyke of The University of Scranton and Douglas Henry of Baylor University. Following the Inaugural Conference, the Fellows will embark on a long-distance colloquium, engage in one-on-one mentoring relationships, and participate in the three additional conferences. All 10 are pursuing terminal graduate studies in humanities or the arts.

The Lilly Graduate Fellows Program is funded by a generous grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. The program will select a total of 10 cohorts of Graduate Fellows from the current 99 schools that make up the Lilly Fellows Program National Network of Church-Related Schools. Lilly Graduate Fellows participate in a three-year program in which they meet regularly with a mentor, attend four conferences, participate in a long-distance colloquium, and receive three annual stipends of $3,000 ($9,000 total) to use at their discretion. More information on the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program is available at lillyfellows.org.

Founded in 1991, the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts seeks to strengthen the quality and shape the character of church-related institutions of higher learning through three programmatic initiatives. In addition to the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program, it offers postdoctoral teaching fellowships for young scholars who wish to renew their sense of vocation within a Christian community of learning in order to prepare themselves for positions of teaching, scholarship, and leadership within church-related institutions. It also maintains a collaborative National Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities that sponsors a variety of activities and publications designed to explore the Christian character of the academic vocation and to strengthen the religious nature of church-related institutions. The National Network represents among its current membership of 99 schools a diversity of denominational traditions, institutional types, and geographical locations.

Share Your Hope Experience at Summer Send Offs

686-tmp460-sample2-2JUN2016 Each summer Hope alumni, students and parents meet members of the incoming class and their families at a series of welcome events. You are invited to help welcome the Class of 2020! Connect with Hope alumni, parents and students at a Summer Send Off event near your and share your Hope experience with students just beginning theirs.

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 1.15.48 PM copyJoin us for a complimentary dinner hosted by Alumni and Family Engagement. These events happen rain or shine and are complimentary for all. The RSVP deadline is one week prior to each event.

For more information and to RSVP please visit hope.edu/alumni/events or call 616.395.7250.

Alumni Weekend 2016

Sesquicentennial Logo_horiz_blueYou answered our call to come back home! From re-connecting with classmates, celebrating the sesquicentennial, exploring new buildings and remembering our past, we hope you left with new memories and an excitement about the college’s future.

Some highlights from the weekend included a full house at the Sesquicentennial Celebration premiere of02dfb084-0949-465c-bef7-2cbcab47eb29I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes (Psalm 21)” in the new Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts. We welcomed the Class of 1966 into the Fifty Year Circle. The Classes of 1971, 1976, 1981 and 1986 celebrated their reunions in style throughout Holland. Thomas Nowotny ’59 and Tim Laman ’83 aa7054262-3bc0-4052-9815-a829c5b68b9bccepted the Distinguished Alumni Award and shared the impact that Hope had on their lives. You packed Maas Auditorium to hear Dr. Jack Nyenhuis, Dr. Elton Bruins and Dr. Dennis Voskuil share the story of Hope. Finally, we shook off our umbrellas and capped off the weekend with an elegant meal in the newlycf85da99-5e49-4ff4-bf17-e94fc988e19f renovated Phelps Dining Hall. We’re glad you could be a part of it all. Thank you for helping us celebrate!

Check out our photos of Alumni Weekend.  There’s still time to commemorate your time on campus with a gift or referral of a hia2e61a49-ab6e-48bc-a64c-baf7e05b302dgh school student.

And it’s never too early to mark your calendars for Alumni Weekend 2017! We can’t wait to see you on April 28 and 29, 2017.

Become a Hope Fund Champion

On April 19, Scholarship Day of Giving raised awareness for the Hope Fund and over $140,000 for student scholarships. Since then we have received a number of questions about how to get involved with the effort to promote giving at Hope.

As someone closely connected to the college and already supporting the Hope Fund, we wanted to share a new initiative with you. As we near the end of the fiscal year on June 30, we would like to invite you to join us as a Hope Fund Champion.

We are looking for volunteers to connect with potential donors during the month of June. This connection can be by phone, email, social media, in person, or any other method that is convenient for you. This outreach will help engage more people in philanthropy at Hope, will increase our impact this year and will help us to finish strong.

Here’s how it works:

1. Complete this form by Friday, May 20.
2. You will be provided resources the week of May 23, which includes contact lists, talking points and action steps.
3. Use the month of June to make a connection and encourage participation.
4. Record your contacts and share updates with us.

We look forward to many meaningful connections that benefit our students in a direct and important way. Please consider sharing some of your time next month by joining us as a Hope Fund Champion. If you have questions, please contact me at 616.395.7366.

Thank you!

Sabina Otteman
Director of Hope Fund and Annual Giving

Full URL for form: http://goo.gl/forms/Ev6MMQ3eWU

Scholarship Day of Giving 2016

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Scholarship Day of Giving is back on April 19, and the planning team needs your help spreading the word. Most of the excitement and buzz will be shared via social media and email — that’s where you come in! Your assistance in 2015 helped bring in more than 600 gifts and $100,000+ to support Hope Fund scholarships.

Please consider sharing a tweet or two and a Facebook or Instagram post leading up to, and throughout, the big day. Included below are graphics you may wish to share in your posts and tweets. Here are the details:

Scholarship Day of Giving is Tuesday, April 19, 2016.

    • 24 hours of giving to the Hope Fund
    • GOAL: 750 gifts to the Hope Fund
    • Activity will be tracked LIVE at hope.edu/give2hope
    • Official hashtag: #give2hope
    • Giving challenges and incentives will be offered throughout the day

Questions you might have should be forwarded to Sabina Otteman, director of the Hope Fund and Annual Giving.

 

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Young Alumni Make Their Mark In Chicago

Hope College has over 33,000 alumni living in all fifty states and over 80 countries. After West Michigan and Metro Detroit, the largest population of Hope graduates is in Chicago. Each year roughly 1 in every 10 graduates move to the Windy City within six months of receiving their diploma at Commencement. This week I had the chance to connect with three of them. Each of them are living out what it means to be a Hope graduate in their own unique way.

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Sarah Warner ’10
finds meaning in her work by inspiring young minds with the wonders of the universe. Traveling by bike or rail from Wrigleyville to the museum campus, she works each day to support the mission of Adler Planetarium as Manager of Major and Individual Giving. By inspiring others to include Adler in their philanthropy, Sarah empowers young students to take in the wonder of the stars. Given Adler’s picturesque location on Lake Michigan, they sometimes get a great view of the Great Lake for the first time as well. Her planetary perspective on her career began a bit closer to home, but not too close. She previously worked at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and traveled to India, Germany and Argentina as a German and International Studies major at Hope. Her time with Professor Boyd Wilson remains a highlight.

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Sarah’s perspective on faith and learning, nourished in the soil of Hope, has shaped how she views her work. She sees science and faith not as competing aspects of life, but as an integrated whole. The same holistic approach to bringing God and science together at college continues to motivate her as she works with some of the country’s brightest astrophysicists and even a few astronauts.

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Back on earth and more specifically back in Holland, she enjoys visiting campus and seeing all the changes that have taken place since she graduated. To her it is further evidence that her alma mater is a dynamic place of learning and growth.

Wayne Titus ’13 was a freshman when Sarah was a senior on campus. Today, Wayne is an Account Manager in Industrial Solutions for the Dow Chemical Company. Wayne is confident in his new role in Chicago because he feels his classroom experiences at Hope taught him to evaluate different perspectives, especially those that vary from the dominate perspective. He uses this skill every day as he works with clients to find creative solutions to complex problems in the agriculture, plastics, automotive, pharmaceuticals and electronics industries.

Wayne

He also appreciates the cultural awareness he developed at the college. As part of a global company, he uses these skills within and outside of the organization. His work connects him to people using Dow products throughout the Midwest, Asia and South America.  He feels the impact of his work most when he is able to solve problems with customers. Learning to ask good questions and building strong relationships have been central to his success. He has passed on these connections by helping to recruit four Hope graduates to join Dow during his few short years after graduation.

Hope has influenced his life in other ways as well. He met his wife Emily playing on Hope’s worship band together. Music remains a part of their life and a part of their connection to Hope. They still play together each Sunday at their local church and on a recent visit back to campus, Wayne was able to join a jam session in Professor Brian Coyle’s new studio in the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts.

Just across the Chicago River, Jonathan Hatfield ’09 shares many connections with Wayne as a fellow management major and Baker Scholar. However, since Jon’s time at Hope didn’t overlap with Wayne’s, they have made most of these connections as alumni living in Chicago.

JonJon is a Banker Associate at JP Morgan. He appreciates how a liberal arts background has taught him how to attack, in his words, audacious problems. In fact, he finds the most meaning in his work when clients find solutions through his advice that they wouldn’t have discovered elsewhere. These moments with clients are made possible by his ability to understand problems from multiple perspectives. What might seem like just a finance issue, is likely also influenced by culture, relationships and context.

This holistic approach to answering questions was paired with life experiences in college that taught him how to to act in an executive environment. As a Baker Scholar and as a participant in the London May Term program, Jon gained confidence that is evident when you meet him today.

Professor Stacy Jackson has been influential, developing in Jon a strategic mindset and the need to differentiate. Jon has worked hard to give back through hosting students at his office and continuing to return to campus for panel discussions and most recently as a selector for the newest Baker Scholars cohort.

When you think of the impact a place like Hope College can have on the world, just imagine these three, multiplied by two thousand, in just one great American city.

If you live and work in Chicago, or are interested in doing so, make plans to join alumni and students at Rock Bottom Brewery on April 6 for the Hope College Alumni Association and Career Development Center’s annual networking event Living & Working In: Chicago.