At the Breakneck Pace of Life

Well it has been a LONG time since I’ve posted…but I promise I can explain. In the past two months I have…

  1. Raced a triathlon
  2. SURVIVED FINALS (finishing my Junior year at Hope)
  3. Participated in the Formula SAE competition at the Michigan International Speedway
  4. Started work at Jacobs Engineering – Technology Group in Tullahoma, Tennessee

So let’s back waaaaaaaay up.

One of the clubs I have loved being a part of at Hope is the triathlon club. Every year, we pick a triathlon that happens some time in that narrow window between Spring Break and finals. This year, we went to Kentucky for a race. We took about 20 people and it was TONS of fun! There is a picture of our group below.

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After that I was mostly home free for the semester…finals week was tough, but I finished and was named to the Dean’s list for my grades!

Immediately after finals were over, I checked all of my residents out of their housing and then packed up and headed to the Michigan International Speedway for the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (FSAE) competition. This is a huge event, with over 130 schools attending. Our team was incredibly honored simply to be there competing alongside schools like Purdue, Auburn, Ohio State, and even foreign teams like University of Stuttgart. Our team did very well, especially for how small our school is. A team picture is below.

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And then most recently, I began working as an intern with Jacobs Engineering. Jacobs is a huge engineering firm that tackles projects ranging from national security to medicine to oil and gas. I am working in the Aerospace and Defense sector, in the Technology group. I am getting to do projects with Boeing, NASA, and Honda…suffice it to say this is a huge learning experience.

Very soon I am actually getting to go on a company trip to one of the project sites at the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico…I’ll post again after that to give an update on how that was. I am very nervous and very excited!

Until next time…Go Dutch!

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.

Summer in South Dakota

Hello again. This month I write to everyone from the gorgeous plains of South Dakota. Instead of taking the month of May off, this year I ventured to the Rosebud Native American reservation. I am about half way done with my trip and I do not want it to end!

Throughout this month I have been teaching and observing a high school chemistry course. So far this has been an amazing experience because my mentor teacher is very engaging and provides an exceptional model for me to follow. My favorite part of being in the school is getting to know the students!  One of my students plays basketball and travels all over the country to play with different teams. Another one of my students researches over the summer at University of South Dakota. There are so many more great stories that I have heard by being on the Native American reservation.

The main purpose of this trip is to learn about the Lakota culture. We have been fortunate enough to listen to Leland Little Dog’s stories about the Lakota people. Last night he told us the creation story. This story differs from the Christian creation story, but he told us something very important about these differences in culture. Leland told us that there may be different ways that everyone explains how we got here, but it does not make any story less legitimate. There are multiple ways to get from point A to B. The presence of multiple paths does not make any one path less legitimate, but instead establishes that there are different perspectives that occurred simultaneously. Just some Native American wisdom for the day…

I hope your summer is going as well as mine is so far. And to end on a lighter note, South Dakota is gorgeous and I have spent so much time hiking and exploring the outdoors! This scenery cannot be described so here are some pictures to show the beauty.

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Sweet Summertime

Freedom, relaxation, and priorities. Three simple words to describe how I imagine this summer will be.

Pulling into the driveway and looking atIMG_2349 my new, adorable yellow rental house with a big white porch, my heart leaped with excitement. As I unpacked all of my things into my new room in Holland,  I began to realize that this was the first time that I would be completely on my own. Completely ‘free’. No more parents asking when I would be home, no more RA’s or residence halls, and no more roommates. Now, my best friends are my housemates, and I’m all alone in my room brainstorming how to cook all of the delicious meals my father did as I was growing up. Freedom is as much exhilarating as it is daunting.

Relaxation seems to be an easy thing to attain in Holland. The waves crashing into the beach, the strolls through downtown, and the tulips that seem to greet me wherever I go. Though I will be working, I can already tell that living here without having to worry about classes or coursework will be relaxing.

Finally, priorities. I should start thinking about how to plan the way my future roommate and I want to decorate our room in the Delphi Cottage for the fall semester. I have to start applying to internships for when I spend spring semester in Washington, D.C next school year. All the meanwhile working two jobs in Holland. It’s important to remember that while summer is fun and so many of my friends are living in houses all around me, I can’t forget about responsibilities that I need to focus on.

A carefree summer isn’t exactly what I have planned, but these three things sound pretty great to me. Check back in about four months from now. We’ll see how it actually went.

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

Can I Please get a T-Shirt ?

Hope College Intramurals; the one place an amateur can feel like a world class professional athlete. I always prefer playing Co-Ed Soccer not because of the girls, but because it makes most of the guys be more gentleman-like. Lets be honest, no dude enjoys looking like a jerk in front of girls. This season, I was lucky enough to play with the Knickerbockers, and the lovely ladies of the Alpha Gamma Phi sorority even though I’m not in the Frat, and I definitely am not in the sorority. Regardless of it just being IM soccer, to me it would always feel like the UEFA Champions League Final because of the atmosphere on Hope’s Soccer Stadium. Soccer Ball

This year, after coming back from a semester abroad in Italy, I had a couple of teams to choose to play with, but choosing the “OG Alphabockers” as we called ourselves (I didn’t pick the team name) came out of me wanting to play with my friends, and win a championship T- Shirt. The season went in a completely different direction, as we finished the season with 2 wins and 9 losses. What makes it more fun is the fact that the two wins came when the other teams didn’t show up!

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Regardless, I found myself less on the need to win a T-Shirt before leaving Hope and found myself enjoying every minute of every game that I could play. I met a lot of different people and made a lot of pretty great friends, and in the risk of sounding like every kids sports movie, thats what matters the most. I’ll try and get my Championship T-Shirt next year, but in the meantime, I’ll relish the fun I had with the OG Alphabockers. This post is dedicated to them, for being such great teammates.

Cook Hall, Best Hall

“The quiet, anti-social dorm? You want to live there?”

These reactions were all too familiar just a year ago this time after room draw. And rest assured, Cook Hall is no longer considered a quiet dorm after this past year.

With our best friends living on the third floor, this residence hall became family. The pranks that were pulled (girls versus boys, of course), to singing into our hairbrushes while blasting music (and getting warned from noise complaints), created memories that were made in this hall are some that will always be cherished.

Tears were shed from the difficult times: that exam my roommate didn’t do too well on, or when my grandfather passed away. And then ear-to-ear smiles shown during the happy times: from the summer jobs that we landed, to my suite-mates acceptance into the London May Term.

As happy as it is that the boys are going to move into the Emersonian’s cottage, the Fraternal Society’s cottage, and other off campus houses, and the girls move into the Delta Phi and Sibylline cottages, there’s a bittersweet aspect to moving on knowing that we’ll never live in the same place together again.

In order to remember the little things that happened in the semester, we created a memory jar. Every time something funny or memorable happened, we would write it down and put it in the memory jar. On the day that we all move out, we’re going to read each one and look back on the memories.

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The Memory Jar

We laughed until we cried, and cried until we laughed. This place and these people. Cheers to the best year yet- junior year, we’re comin’ for ya!