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
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.
Referrals from alumni and families make a difference. Once a prospective student is referred, one in five of them apply. Over the past four years, nearly 300 students are at Hope because they first connected through a referral from someone like you.
With more than 3,500 colleges and universities in the United States alone, what makes Hope such a unique option? Well, let’s start with three words: mind, body and spirit. These are the anchors of the Hope experience. Before you reach out to the prospective Hope students in your life, brush up on why there’s never been a better time to consider Hope College.
WHO SHOULD I REFER?
Students from around the world that are currently sophomores and juniors in high school and have demonstrated leadership, service and academic performance are great candidates for a referral. We seek students who will bring a wide range of perspectives and gifts to enrich our campus community. Though admission is selective, we’ll give each completed application careful consideration and review for factors that signal future academic and social success.
WHAT SHOULD I SAY?
Feel free to share your own Hope experiences in addition to these ideas:
Nykerk is something that is hard to explain- and I’ve had a lot of practice trying. It’s typically brought up in a conversation by someone asking me about why all of my friends are dressed up in navy sweaters and white turtlenecks. I usually laugh and launch into an explanation of the 84-year-old Hope College tradition that impacted me so much; I wanted to come back and coach.
Being a song girl was something I wore with pride. I loved walking to our practice room and seeing girls that became my close friends over the four week season and the morale boys who did everything in their power to make us feel appreciated. There is nothing like working for weeks on something and then finally hitting the chord perfectly or putting up the correct prop at the exact time. We knew we were doing something right when we made our coaches tear up.
These feelings were nothing in comparison to putting on the ‘nun-fit’ as we call it and standing with my Even Year Sisters for the last time. Getting up on the bleachers was an incredibly bittersweet moment- I mean, this is what we worked for, but this was also our last time as song girls. At the end of the song, it is a tradition for all the song girls to put our hands up and stay that way until everyone stops clapping.
Our Sophomore year was no different, but as our hand went up, the tears came down. I looked to my left and noticed that a girl who has become one of my best friends purely because we met sitting next to each other at practice freshman year, was overcome by the same emotions. We loved Nykerk, and we will always keep it in a special place in our hearts.
Song isn’t the only event; there is also play and oration. I have so much appreciation for each of these segments of the competition as well. Nykerk is much more than a song; it is an event that teaches the women of Hope College to stand tall and be proud of the work we are putting into our school. When all three of our events combine in a way that every participant left their heart and soul on the stage, we know we have accomplished our goal of working together to do something magnificent.
We end each practice with a song I’ll leave you with that I believe captures why we do what we do every year in this tradition:
“We love you Nykerk, oh yes we do. We love you Nykerk, and we’ll be true. When you’re not with us, we’re blue (so blue!). Oh, Nykerk, we love you!”
You can help support student activities like Nykerk and keep the tradition strong. Make your gift today and show your love for Nykerk.
Hope College began hosting educational tours for alumni and friends in the 1960s. The integration of learning with Hope faculty and the opportunity to connect with friends from the Hope community have always set these programs apart.
In addition to responding to the interests of alumni and friends, there are other strategic reasons to grow this program. Hope’s strategic plan calls for programs to expand faculty and staff cross-cultural perspectives, increase access to off-campus study for students and build a stronger network of lifelong relationships among alumni and friends of the college.
If you are a Hope graduate, parent, Hope Academy of Senior Professionals (HASP) member or friend of the college and have a desire to travel, learn, expand your worldview and connect with the Hope community — then this Global Travel Program is for you!
Every single traveler on our last program said that they would travel with Hope College again and that they would recommend the program to a friend.
We custom-design our programs relying on the expertise of our faculty, alumni hosts and staff. Just like Hope College students studying abroad, you will gain new insights about the places to which you travel and return home with greater knowledge and understanding of our world.
Pat Van Wylen recently joined the Alumni and Family Engagement team as the global travel coordinator. Previously, Pat worked in St. Olaf’s College’s International and Off-Campus Studies Office, organizing and co-leading a variety of international study abroad programs for St. Olaf College students and alumni. More recently she co-led alumni and family travel programs. In addition to having a passion for learning through travel, she also promotes health and wellness and has taught Health Dynamics at Hope.
100% of travelers on our last program said that the experience met or exceeded their expectations.
GLOBAL SCHOLARS FUND
Participants in this program will also be supporting today’s Hope students as they step beyond borders and connect with the global community. Proceeds from the Global Travel Program, as well as gifts from individual donors, support the Global Scholars Fund for student off-campus study grants.
Every fall, the Hope College community welcomes a new class of students to campus. These students will experience the power of a Hope education.
They will thrive in small classes, where one-on-one collaboration with professors is the norm. They will experience a uniquely vibrant Christian character, with many opportunities to explore their faith. They will participate in one or more of the 1,800+ internship opportunities and 300+ study-abroad opportunities in more than 60 countries. They will mature as leaders, guided by staff who care about their personal, professional and spiritual development. And, they will begin their career or enroll in graduate school soon after graduation, ready to lead and shape their communities.
Together, our faculty and staff support the mission of Hope College — to educate students for lives of leadership and service in a global society through academic and co-curricular programs of recognized excellence in the liberal arts and in the context of the historic Christian faith. Donors bring this mission to life for countless accomplished students, making a Hope education accessible for many who might otherwise deem it impossible. Ninety percent of Hope students receive financial aid based on need or merit, and about 750 students benefit specifically from donor-endowed scholarships.
“Hope is a place that opens doors, offers a multitude of opportunities and connects students to people who sincerely want to help,” said Meghan Lau ’15 at Hope’s annual Scholarship Luncheon.”
“Each story of every scholarship, every donor and every recipient is unique.”
Your gift to Hope makes a significant and positive impact on the students of today and tomorrow. Visit hope.edu/give for more details on supporting student scholarships.
Ask Alexis-Simone Rivers who influenced her most during college, and she’s quick to recognize two people: her mother, and her scholarship donor, Mrs. Libby Hillegonds.
As a shy freshman, Alexis-Simone had mapped out her future around the certainty of a nursing career. During her first year at Hope, which was a period of discernment, she realized that nursing was not, in fact, her calling. Suddenly having to rethink her vocation, Alexis-Simone was disheartened. But, knowing she was supported by the William Hillegonds Scholarship — and encouraged by her mother — Alexis-Simone found heart, persevered and even chose to study abroad the spring of her sophomore year.
“Being in Argentina was my most challenging semester,” she says. Challenging, and life-changing. Alexis-Simone returned to campus with a new sense of purpose and identity. She switched her major to business and marketing, and leapt into leadership positions. She served as the Advising and Transition Orientation director, a program coordinator and mentor for the GROW Peer Mentoring Program, a core member of the Student Activities Committee, and the president of two student organizations.
When Alexis-Simone received her diploma in May 2016, she was a different person.
“I’ve learned not to lose sight of my goals and ambitions,” she says, “and to remember I am a child of God.”
Your gift to Hope makes a significant and positive impact on the students of today and tomorrow. Visit hope.edu/give for more details on supporting student scholarships.
A unique reunion on Hope’s campus highlighted faculty-student rapport that time and distance could not shake or undo. On the 50th anniversary of his arrival at Hope College, Dr. Sheldon Wettack, a member of the Hope chemistry faculty from 1967 to 1982 who served as dean of the natural sciences for the last eight of those years, was celebrated by his former Hope research students in July.
During his 15 years at Hope, Wettack mentored 21 Hope students — self-named the Wettack Research Warriors — in his physical chemistry laboratory in both Lubbers Hall and the Peale Science Center. Upon invitation from organizers Dr. Ken Janda ’73 and Dr. Charlie Bibart ’69, thirteen of those former students returned for the reunion on campus, a few for the first time in decades. What they found is a college that has grown in size and stature yet with a still-strong reputation in and mission for the natural sciences.
Not coincidentally, the Wettack reunion coincided with the first annual Schaap Chemistry Symposium, with Dr. Sylvia Ceyer ’74 as the keynote speaker. Ceyer is the John C. Sheehan Professor of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an elected member to the renowned American Academy of the Arts and Sciences. And she was a research student in Wettack’s p-chem lab. “There is no doubt in my mind that the encouragement and guidance of Sheldon, along with the warmth of his wife Marilyn throughout my student years, were crucial ingredients to my scientific future,” praises Ceyer.
Sheldon and Marilyn were “left speechless at the idea (of the reunion). We were both flabbergasted,” he says. But for Janda and Bibart, the notion of celebrating a person who affected the career trajectories of many Hope students made perfect sense. And to do so while that person is still an active scientist and professor on campus made the event even more meaningful. “Very few faculty get to hear from their former students after 50 years about what you meant to them half a century ago,” says Wettack. “The reunion was very special in that regard.”
Though Wettack left Hope in 1982 to become art and sciences dean at the University of Richmond, then president of Wabash College, and finally vice president/dean of the faculty at Harvey Mudd College in California, he returned to the college in 2004 to teach part-time. He was invited back to “help out around the chemistry department, and I thought it was be a good way to go into retirement.” Then he laughs, fully aware that he has never abided by the full definition of that r-word. He even became the announcer for Hope’s swim meets.
For Bibart, who spent his career in the pharmaceutical industry and is now retired, the reunion was a terrific way to reconnect with his former mentor and other Hope alums, some of whom he hadn’t seen in over four decades or had never met since the returnees spanned a decade of Hope years. With great affinity and technical jargon, they reminisced about all manner of memories and methodology, including the acquisition of a gas phase photon-counting fluorescence spectrometer that needed construction in Lubbers Hall. Though Wettack was its chief constructor, he allowed his research students to work right alongside him and learn the nuances of laboratory assembly.
“Almost anyone you talk to who worked with Sheldon was impacted significantly,” says Bibart. “The recurring theme is this: As we look back, we see how much we were impacted by Hope, Hope science, and Hope science with Sheldon Wettack.”
Janda, who has remained in contact with Wettack throughout their careers, concurs. Wettack opened doors for him and others, providing opportunities that steered him, and them, toward meaningful, reputable science career experiences whether in higher education or industry or public service.
“Sheldon seemed to pick me from out of the crowd to nurture me and mentor me. He was kind and forgiving, never perturbed with a mistake,” says Janda who is the dean for the physical sciences at University of California-Irvine. “He said we had to learn by doing, so mistakes were plentiful. But his patience was limitless.”
Working with those who have youthful exuberance and enthusiasm for chemistry seems to be a Wettack forte. Before finishing his doctorate at the University of Texas-Austin in the mid-70s, he taught high school science. After completing his degree there, he came right to Hope to instill in those slightly older the hard work and love of chemistry.
Janda, along with his wife, Patsy Meliere ’72, also paid homage in one more way to their former mentor. They contributed a significant gift to the Wettack Research Fellowship, a fund that supports Hope students in summer research experiences. “The strength of the sciences at Hope is what drew us here in the first place, and we want to see that continue,” says Patsy of their rationale for giving the gift to the fund’s endowment.
As their time together wound down, the Wettack reunion attendees presented Sheldon and Marilyn with a commemorative book filled with pictures and epistles detailing his former students’ life trajectories and Wettack’s effects on them. Each story — 17 in all — told a tale of determination, scientific passion, and a Hope education used well.
“Marilyn and I sat together and read those pages and lots of tears came to our eyes,” Wettack says. “We were blessed by this very special time with very special people.”
WETTACK’S RESEARCH WARRIORS
James Hardy ’68, Charles Bibart ’69, James Koert ’71, Mark Rockley ’71, Charles Kan ’72, Gordon Renkes ’72, Daniel Dethmers ’73, Ken Janda ’73, Robert Klapthor ’73, Sylvia Ceyer ’74, Bill McAndrew ’74, Mary Millard Mayo ’74, Doug Sluis ’74, Doug Worsnop ’74, James Garmirian ’76, Patricia Dwyer Hallquist ’76, Dave Bartels ’77, Elizabeth Hager ’77, Richard Wood ’77, Mary Koeppe Luidens ’75, Kathleen Stratton ’78