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.

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!

Dear Graduation…

Graduation, please take your time. As much as we are trying to ignore the looming event, it’s still coming. ‘G’ Day, as students have nicknamed it, is coming too quickly.

The seniors in the Delta Phi sorority have become some of my very best friends. When I joined the sorority as a freshman, I never thought these girls would be my middle-of-the-night, no matter what, “I’m here for you,” type of friends.

PowderPuff 2015

And I’m not ready for these days to be over. The Saturday evenings that we spend getting ready for date nights and formals, the PowderPuff games in the spring that we look forward to all semester, and the Homecoming reunions that we love to get dressed up for are times I’ll always cherish.

Delta Phi Date Night 2015

However, the best part about these friendships is that they aren’t going anywhere. These girls who have been by my side these past two years are going to be there for me for a lifetime.

So while graduation might be right around the corner, and this chapter of their lives are closing, there’s so much more for them past this point. Graduation is just the starting point, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for these special, sweet seniors.



Scholarship Day of Giving 2016


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
    • 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.



Introducing Me

FononIt’s catchy and different, I guess to use “Introducing Me” as my topic, and I especially chose this as my introductory topic because it reminds me of my sisters.

Being teenagers, my sisters loved “High School Musical.” They learned every song, and watched it over and over again. Regardless of the fact that I tried to stay strong through it all, I eventually fell and watched the movies with them a couple of times, and even learned the songs… and yes, I also sang along a couple of times too.

Why do I talk about my sisters and “High School Musical” in a Hope College blog you ask? Well I’ll tell you why; I do this because family is a defining aspect of me, and it’s all that matters in the end. In the same way, Hope College has come to become my second family, or as they would like to say, it’s like a “home away from home.”

In the same way, Nykerk, Pre-Law Club and even the silly and funny things we do at the Phonathon have become my version of “High School Musical,” and the lovely people that I have met too are my Hope family. I’m really glad to be able to write and share on the things I enjoy here at Hope, and who knows? Maybe eventually, I’ll start to sing along too.


The total amount raised for Helen Devos’ Children’s Hospital: $256,323.13!

For the 17th year in a row, Hope College has put on an amazing event called Dance Marathon: standing and dancing on your feet for 24 hours to raise money for the Helen Devos Children’s Hospital. The miracle families that come hang out during the first couple of hours make the long and difficult 24 hours worth it. The teams that dance together truly love getting to know their miracle child. For Delta Phi, our miracle child is Greta. Over the past couple of years, we’ve loved getting to know her and being able to see her year after year.

Delphis posing with Greta and her family.

Not only do we get to see her at Dance Marathon, but we also see her at the fundraisers we host and other times throughout the year. The connection with Greta goes far beyond just the one time of the year. This event is about so much more than standing on your feet to raise money. Dance Marathon changes the lives of not only the miracle families, but everyone who participates in it as well. As I looked around the gym, I couldn’t help but be overcome with emotion. So many lives are going to be changed because of the servants hearts that are instilled in Hope College students. In a world that glorifies selfish worldly values and material possessions, I watched 976 college students dance with joy. I could not have been more thankful.

Dance Marathon is yet again another reminder of why I’m so blessed to attend Hope College and live in this community. The presence of the Lord and His good works are visible every day, and for that, I am beyond grateful.

Life in Postseason

Well…we did it. The swim team finished their season a few weeks ago, and we are all slowly decompressing and adjusting to a life where we aren’t in the pool for four hours every day. The championship meet went well…not the best we’ve done as a team, but in general we were very happy with how we did. This first picture is of me starting the consolation heat of the 200 breaststroke…it ended up being a great swim and an awesome way to finish the season! The second picture is of me in the middle of the race…getting tired but excited to be racing.



Now that the season is over, I have a lot more time than I used to. After taking a week or so to get back on top of my academics, I have been able to settle into a rhythm that has allowed me to work with the Formula SAE team a lot more. We just got approved to receive additional funding from the college to finish our 2016 car, which we will be competing with at the Michigan International Speedway in May. We took a photo the other day with our 2010 car…we are getting excited to have the new one done!

IMG_0997(I am second from the left, in the front row)

I’ve also loved watching campus “spring” back to life as the warmer weather has arrived. I’ve been going on runs in the afternoon, and it always amazes me to see the number of students that are out and about.

That’s all for now…I’ll post again after Spring Break and fill you in on some stuff related to College Chorus and the Triathlon Club!

Spring has Sprung

Hey Everyone! It’s a beautiful day here in Holland, Michigan. The weather forecast has been in the mid 50s and sunny for a few days now and there are people hammocking in the pine grove so I am declaring it spring! I have been waiting for this day since January, so at the first sight of a 50 degree day I pulled all my sundresses out from the deep dark corner of my under bed storage and have been wearing them ever since. This also means that I can study outside, which makes mid-term preparation much more bearable.

Also in this wonderful month of March, my sorority sisters and I participated in Dance Marathon. This is a fundraiser for Helen Devos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Alpha Gams raised money for a wonderful girl named Noelle! She is amazing and brought her family and one of her friends with her to celebrate on this special day. Last year Dance Marathon raised over $182,000. This year we wanted to raise $190,000, and we were able to surpass our goal and raise $256,323.13. I am so proud of everyone for supporting such an important cause. We are all extremely fortunate to be healthy and attending college, but it is easy to take that for granted. Important events like these help me be more grateful for simple things like good health. Dance Marathon also brings our campus together to make a difference in a community very close to our own. Standing and dancing for 24 hours was difficult, but it made me appreciate my life and all the phenomenal Hope students.

March has been an amazing month so far and with Spring Break on the way I know it is only going to get better from here!

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Winter Break Woes

AnneWinter break came as a much needed interval in this semester; however, I must voice how grateful I am to be back at Hope. As this break was a mere four days, my family decided to turn it into a skiing weekend. As I’ve only ever skied once before I welcomed this opportunity to relearn how not to fall down a slope… Let’s just say I’ve decided to stick with sledding from now on.

I now realize I was born to stay on solid ground, as I already have poor balance standing on concrete. Long story short, I took a 20 foot tumble down the largest hill and ended up losing both skis, my hat, and my desire to ever ski again! Not only did it hurt to raise my left eyebrow, as I slightly hit my head during the fall, but before I could get up to collect my scattered things I heard someone from the adjacent ski lift shout, “Yard sale!”

Although I had a less then fortunate experience over break, I’ve don’t want to give up skiing quite yet. One of my friends here on campus recently started the Ski and Snowboarding Club for students of all skill levels. I hope to attend one of their events in the near future.

Embarrassment aside, today it was nearly 60 degrees on campus! Now that’s what I like to call “Michigan beach weather.” I have to admit that I’d rather have the warm weather stick than be able to go snow skiing again… and maybe then I can check out the Water Skiing club we have here on campus!