Alumni of Color Town Hall

We are living in tragic and turbulent times. In the midst of a pandemic of both COVID-19 and racism, we want to make space for important dialogue that can help us to direct actions. You have an important voice as a member of the Hope College community and are invited to join an Alumni of Color Town Hall hosted by Hope College Alumni Board Representative, Toni Gordon ’09 and Hope College President, Matt Scogin ’02.

The purpose of the event is to share stories, learn about diversity, equity and inclusion at Hope and advocate for continuous change. We plan to have an open platform for you to share your experiences and ideas as well as a chance for dialogue with leaders on campus.

Alumni of Color Town Hall
Monday, June 22
7:00 – 8:30 PM ET

The meeting will be hosted virtually using Zoom. A meeting link will be emailed prior to the event to those that RSVP. Please feel free to share this RSVP link with alumni you know that may be interested in joining us. If you have questions about this event, please contact

We look forward to hearing from you and having this important conversation.

#KeepingHope Food Pantry

As a freshman at Hope, I was told about how beautiful the summers are in Holland. I would hear everywhere about how nice the beach is and how incredible the skies look. In January, I made the decision to stay on campus and not go back home to Honduras during the summer. I found a job, and I asked my best friend to be my roommate over the summer. Then everything changed. Instead of moving into my summer housing on May 1, I moved on May 22; and my best friend was stuck in Midland, unable to move back to campus. Although the fact that my best friend and I are not able to room together anymore is not great, I am actually very happy with my new housemates. They are all Spanish speakers, and two of them are from Honduras. My days are incredible — full of laughter, good food and good music.

But as you can imagine, most of my housemates’ plans were also canceled or changed. Going to the grocery store is still not easy because the shuttle runs only once a week, and sometimes we just can’t make it.

A few weeks ago, we got an email about a possible food pantry, and a few days ago we got an email saying the Food Pantry was ready for us to go. It warms my heart to see how many people from Holland are willing to help us and give us so many things! More than fifty students (domestic and international) are staying on campus and are benefiting from this community-wide initiative. With everything that’s happening around the world, it is so important for us, as international students, to know that there are people out there looking after us and supporting us in every way possible. I remember looking at the pictures uploaded to social media of people who gave to the Food Pantry. I remember looking at families and little children smiling and giving food and kitchen supplies away. It is important for us to know that the next generations are being taught to be kind and to think about others’ situations as well.

At the Food Pantry, we are able to find not only food, but also kitchen supplies, personal hygiene products and even books! I just thought to myself how caring and thoughtful people are to even think about bringing books to the Food Pantry.

I cannot put into words how grateful I am with everything Hope College is doing for me, as an international student who is not able to go home during this pandemic. Ever since the start of quarantine, Hope has been there to provide housing and food to all of the students who cannot go back home right away. We were given special treats at Phelps for Easter and the RDs have been so nice and treating us with sweets. The international students were also given summer housing for free! Currently, I wake up every day in a beautiful cottage with friends who now seem more like sisters to me, feeling grateful for the day I chose Hope as my new home.

Editor’s Note: Isabel and several other students still remain on campus. The staff at the Center for Global Engagement organized a #KeepingHope food pantry that they may access at anytime. If you are interested in ways that you can support students at Hope please visit

My First Tulip Time

When you think about Holland, the first thing that comes to people’s minds are tulips! To be completely honest, when I decided to come to Hope a year ago I didn’t know about Tulip Time. It wasn’t until I came in August that I saw all the beautiful flowers around campus, and I was told that in May there is a festival called Tulip Time!

I have always been a person who loves to appreciate simple things in life, like the feeling of the wind when you roll down the windows of your car, or the feeling of the grass on your bare feet. When I was told there was a whole festival of flowers, I was blown away. All year round I would go on walks with my friends, and I would point out how much I like to see the trees without leaves, because back in Honduras that was a bit unusual, and they would say something like: “Just wait until May!” or “Tulip Time is amazing!” Then, March came along and we all know the rest – quarantine.

Tulip Time is a celebration of Dutch heritage, and it is very important for the people of Holland. People from all the 50 states and approximately 30 countries around the world come along to see the parade. This amounts to about 1 million people waiting for this celebration to come along. It’s crazy to think that, because this is my first year in Holland, and all I see are empty streets. Downtown should be filled with people, the smell of food should be filling the entire place, and the sound of the music should wake up the entire town, but as you can imagine, that is not happening. I should be sad about Tulip Time being canceled, but the thing is I still want to live believing everything is extraordinary rather than thinking life is just ordinary and that we are all stuck in places where we don’t want to be stuck. So, for the sake of the people who are not able to appreciate the tulips in Holland this year, I have walked around Holland the last few days to take pictures and videos of how beautiful everything looks.

Right now I am a bit tired of walking around, so I sat on a picnic table in front of the De Pree Art Center and I have a beautiful view of the flagpole area. It’s crazy to think about how fast time can go by. A few months ago I was sitting somewhere around here during Orientation Week. I remember how frightened I was about starting college, and I thought about how this place could never be a home for me. Now, Holland has a very special place in my heart, and I truly can’t think of a better place to go to college. Thinking about this makes me reflect on the times we are living right now, and it all comes down to this – it will get better. As I said before, I would rather live in a world believing everything is extraordinary, including these unusual and scary times. If we think about it, families are now spending more time together, our environment is taking a break from all the pollution we all create, and so many other good things are happening too. As for someone like me, who’s spending this quarantine basically on their own, it is not that bad. I get time to reflect, to do some of my favorite hobbies or to just go outside and appreciate the beauty of blooming flowers. I think that right now, after walking around Holland in search of tulips for you all to see, I can conclude that my favorite colors of tulips are yellow. Curious thing is, after doing a little research on tulips, yellow tulips are the representation of cheerful thoughts and hope. Think about it, all these tulips are still standing tall, strong and beautiful. We could all be tulips, standing through it all with a hopeful mind. We have Hope.

Editor’s Note: Isabel and several other students still remain on campus. The staff at the Center for Global Engagement organized a #KeepingHope food pantry that they may access at anytime. If you are interested in ways that you can support students at Hope please visit

Quarantined at Hope

A year ago I was in Honduras receiving my last high school class, and I said my last goodbyes to my high school teachers and friends. Everything that was going to happen in the next few months seemed so unknown yet so exciting. Going to college was already a huge step on its own, but moving countries just added so much more excitement and nervousness to it. Everything changed for me, all the way to my name! Well, not really, Isabel is my middle name. I went from incredibly warm and tropical weather to extremely cold winters. The difference between those huge changes and the changes I’m facing now is that coming to Hope College was a gradual change, a change we were all facing together and we had a fixed path to follow. The changes due to COVID-19 were abrupt, and no one knows for sure what’s going to happen and how to deal with it.

I’ll be sharing some insights into life on campus during a global pandemic.

How I’m Keeping Myself Entertained – Part 1

As the coronavirus kept spreading at a fast pace, we were all forced to stay at home and practice social distancing. Most Hope students were able to do this in their homes with their family. For me, this turned out to be a big challenge because on campus I had little to no human interaction most of the time. What was I to do with all the free time I had in between or after class?

One of the first things I did was to rearrange my dorm room. I might as well make it as comfortable and personalized as possible if I was going to spend the entire day in it. This, of course, took hours if not days to complete because it was my tiny weak self trying to move the heavy Dykstra beds around. I got so many cuts and bruises because of this, but it was absolutely worth it. I might even say it looks like a little apartment now.

How I’m Keeping Myself Entertained – Part 2

With time, I had to do grocery shopping. Hope College provided Meijer Shuttles Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but here was the tricky part: I had class during the time the Meijer shuttle was available, so I had to excuse myself with my professors several times.

In one of my Meijer trips I decided to walk around the crafts aisle. I thought I could find something to entertain myself with. After much wandering around empty aisles because of course other people thought the same thing I did, I found a few little canvases. I used to paint when I was back home, so what better time to start painting again! I bought a few of those canvases, paints, and brushes and headed back home. Painting took a great portion of my day, sometimes I even forgot to grab food at Phelps and ended up having cereal as my lunch.

It was definitely a great purchase.

Keeping Contact With My Family

As a latina, I was raised in a family-centered environment. Family is always the most important thing no matter what. This means that even during the normal school year I would call/video call my parents every day at least once a day. Now, in quarantine believe it or not this became very hard because we simply didn’t have anything to talk about anymore. Every day is the same day all over again, I call my parents to ask about their day and they tell me it was exactly the same as the day before. I tell them that my day was exactly the same as the day before and at the end I insist for them to watch Money Heist on Netflix. So, when the calls started to become very monotonous neither my parents or I had the motivation to do them. Nevertheless, we still try and now we are trying new things. I even had lunch with them yesterday!

I apologize for the quality of this picture, but I thought it was a good representation of our calls. We are trying to do fun and creative things every day. We’ve done video calls with my best friend for her to finally meet my parents and we’ve taught a little bit of Spanish to another friend via phone call! We try to have as much fun as possible and what better way than giving something to do to my friends!

More Than Staff – A Family Now

During these circumstances, all a student who is staying on-campus wants is a family who’s close to them. Hope College’s staff who have remained on-campus during this quarantine period have been such a blessing to everyone.

People at Phelps, Campus Safety, Residential Life Coordinators, even President Scogin have greeted me with smiles and love! During Easter, I got a little treat package from Dykstra’s RD wishing me a happy Easter. Every now and then when I go to Phelps I bump into President Scogin, who is always wearing a smile and is always so kind and welcoming. People at Phelps are always trying to make everyone feel at home, especially when it comes to dessert there is always a little extra you can take! Everyone I see around campus is willing to have a little conversation, just to make sure I’m doing okay.

As an International Student, I am close to the Center of Global Engagement staff. They keep on doing an excellent job of making sure we are happy and doing well, ever since day one. We get updates on what the staff is currently up to, we get recipes from all around the world, and we also get to know what other International Students are up to. It is a fantastic way to stay connected to the people who are in the same situation as I am.

We even got costumed-made masks this past week from lovely people who were willing to help us. I can definitely say I’ve been taken care of as a daughter of Hope’s staff.

Remote Learning

I can’t be more thankful for today’s technology. If this would’ve happened at least 30 years ago, school would’ve been completely canceled and I can’t really imagine the outcomes of that. Remote learning was both a blessing and a hardship. Every time I woke up early for my 9 am, I felt no motivation because it was only going to be me in my dorm room, still wearing pj’s, with a cup of coffee in my hand trying to not get distracted by whatever was happening in my phone. I missed the warmth of having my friends with me during class, or being able to raise my hand if I had questions or something to add to the lecture and it definitely took a toll on me. Thankfully, some of my professor, like my Psychology professor, tried to maintain contact via zoom every now and then just to check in and answer any questions we might have.

After a while of not feeling motivated to do class or any assignments, I thought that maybe if I started going places around campus I could get some motivation to do things. This helped in so many ways! Changing the environment to go to class helped me finish this semester strong. I even found new places I never saw during the school year. I spent most of my time in Campus Ministries because this place feels like a little home, plus the chairs outside are perfect to see the sunset! As I’m writing this, I can see the whole Pine Grove from Campus Ministries’ second floor.

Truly, I feel blessed to have all the technology we have today, especially during these uncertain times. I feel that remote learning was hard for everyone involved because as humans we need social interaction all the time. Nevertheless, professors were so kind to everyone and always available if needed.

Editor’s Note: Isabel and several other students still remain on campus. The staff at the Center for Global Engagement organized a #KeepingHope food pantry that they may access at anytime. If you are interested in ways that you can support students at Hope please visit

Thank You Front-Line Alumni!

Are you a Hope graduate currently working on the front-lines during the COVID-19 pandemic? Or do you know someone who deserves a thank you? We’d love to give a shoutout on social media and in the upcoming edition of News from Hope College. Please fill out this simple form. Questions? Contact us at anytime.

Keeping Hope Alumni Town Hall

This is a time when we can come together as a community to show the world the power of resilience and hope.

We are living through an extraordinary period of human history. Here at Hope, we just completed the most disrupted semester of higher education since World War II. Our faculty, staff and students, guided by our mission, have used this crisis as an opportunity to model our name and show the world what #KeepingHope looks like.

As we reflect on the semester and make plans for the future, you are invited to join a special virtual town hall for alumni. These events, held via Zoom Webinar, will provide an opportunity to share updates from Hope and hear from you as we continue to work together to live out the mission of Hope College.

Please RSVP and submit your questions in advance for either:

Tuesday, May 26 at 8-9 PM ET 


Thursday, May 28 at 12-1 PM ET

If you have questions about these events, contact We look forward to connecting with you soon.

We are praying for you and your loved ones as you make your way through this challenging time.

Spera in Deo.

Matt Scogin ’02
President, Hope College

Need a Smile Today? Upbeat Tap Dancers Might Just Do the Trick

With their dance performances across the country postponed until further notice, The Lady Hoofers Tap Ensemble, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has launched #HoofersAtHome, a weekly series of short dance films designed to keep their roster of professional dancers rehearsing remotely while offering audiences some much-needed levity during the pandemic.

Katie Budris ’04

The brainchild of Managing Director Katie Budris, a 2004 Hope College graduate, and longtime ensemble dancer and videographer Meg Sarachan, #HoofersAtHome films have been shared around the world, and many of the ensemble’s Facebook fans are now asking where they too can get their own tap boards.

“Without a set schedule while I’m stuck at home, I find it’s easy to just sit on the couch all day and wait for time to pass,” said Budris. “Being able to continue tap dancing is keeping me active and helping me feel a bit more like myself at a time when the world doesn’t make much sense. Working on the #HoofersAtHome videos each week gives me a reason to pull out my tap boards, put on some makeup, and smile for the camera. It allows me to perform.”

Fox29 in Philadelphia reported on the group’s online outreach. Cats, kids and everyday home life show up in the videos as do the ever-present smiles of the performers.

Budris puts on a happy face while previously hoofing on stage

“As we’ve been sharing the #HoofersAtHome videos over the past seven weeks, it’s been a delight to see the positive responses,” Budris adds. “Our hope is that these videos will bring a little joy into people’s lives and give them something to look forward to each week as they anticipate our next release. Seeing comments such as “I really needed this today” or “This is the highlight of my week” make all our efforts worthwhile.”

Click below to watch some hoofing from home.

#HoofersAtHome Playlist

Put on a Happy Face (March 20, 2020) 

Good as Hell (March 27, 2020) 

Don’t Worry, Be Happy (April 3, 2020) 

Hoofers (& Friends) (April 10, 2020) 

Singin’ in the Rain (April 18, 2020) 

Don’t You Worry About a Thing (April 24, 2020)

Hoofers at Home: Prom Edition (May 1, 2020)

Lunch & Learn Recap: Career Support for Alumni

You don’t need us to tell you that the job market isn’t what it was a month or two ago. Much has changed. However, the commitment of the Hope College Alumni Association to walk alongside you remains the same. This includes steps on your journey that navigate career shifts and professional growth. In continued partnership with the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career, we recently hosted two Lunch & Learn webinars to assist in staying up-to-date and consistently hirable. If you missed the live webinars, check out the recordings below and connect with us at with questions or additional requests for support.

The Job Market & Networking

The first Lunch & Learn included an update on the job market, as well as reports gathered from HR professionals and employers in Hope’s network. It also provided an overview of what you can do to stay relevant in an evolving workforce.

Résumés, Cover Letters, and Virtual Platforms

The second Lunch & Learn focused on sprucing up your résumé. Our content experts used examples and research to help you prepare for when new opportunities come knocking.

  • Construct a résumé so your skills and experiences jump off the page
  • Tips to transform your cover letter into a powerful story of success 
  • Virtual platforms like LinkedIn and The Hope College Connection

The Hope College Connection

The Hope College Connection is a new online resource to connect Hope alumni, families, friends and current students for networking and experiential learning opportunities. If you haven’t activated your account yet, it is a great step you can take toward building your professional network while giving back to current students. Over 2,000 alumni have already joined and the platform now includes additional ways alumni can support students with needs arising from the current pandemic. You can also read more about one student’s experience finding mentors that matter.  

Spread Hope, Not Germs

The Hope College swimming & diving, track & field, hockey and women’s basketball teams have all experienced an unexpected and sudden end to their seasons due to cancellations amid measures to contain Coronavirus. Practices and competitions for our spring sports have also been canceled for the remainder of the school year. Our hearts go out to these student-athletes, especially the seniors, who put so much effort into preparing for athletic contests that will now not be taking place.

To lift the spirits of the student-athletes and to celebrate their awesome seasons, we are asking for your help! With all of the cancellations, many of us have some extra time – please consider using some of it to record a video wishing our teams well and congratulating them for their accomplishments on the track, in the pool, on the field, on the ice and on the court. We will be creating a compilation of all the videos to be shown to the coaches and teams and then displayed on social media. We’ll even ask the teams to vote for their favorite video – the creator(s) of the winning entry will receive a Hope College swag bag including Hope branded hand sanitizer!

Be heartfelt, be creative, be funny – show your Hope pride! For some inspiration, take a look at the video President Scogin’s family created for the women’s basketball team!

To share your video, upload it to our Google Drive folder by Friday, March 20 and we’ll use it to put together our compilation.

Alumni and Family Engagement Event Updates Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Last updated on June 22. First published on March 13.

As President Scogin shared in March, “in 154 years of Hope’s history, we have not seen anything like this.” On March 11, in response to Governor Whitmer’s recommendation and to support efforts to contain the virus, Hope College made the decision to begin remote classes. On March 20, this decision was extended through the remainder of the semester. All college-sponsored on-campus events through the end of the semester were canceled or were re-scheduled. If you are interested in learning more about these decisions, please visit

You may also be wondering what this means for the opportunities we have planned for alumni and families, both on-campus and in communities around the world. Below is an overview of where things currently stand. As you might expect, things are rapidly evolving, so please check back for future updates. We are committed to keeping you informed and will update this post as the situation unfolds.

March 17 Update on COVID-19 from President Scogin

Presidential Welcome Tour

We have been having a great time introducing President Scogin to alumni and families at Welcome Tour events since November. We look forward to these continuing. However, all events as part of this series have been postponed. We will send new invitations once they have been rescheduled later in 2020 and in 2021.

Golf Outing

The 2020 Annual Bob DeYoung Hope Classic Golf Outing has been canceled. You can still support the Bob and Marcia DeYoung Endowed Scholarship with a gift. Mark your calendar and make plans to join us at the Ravines on Monday, June 14, 2021.

Global Travel Program

Two trips within our growing Global Travel Program have been impacted. The trip to Croatia and the Adriatic Coast has been canceled. The trip scheduled for December of 2020 to Vietnam is being rescheduled for 2021. Guests registered for these programs are being contacted. Future programs will be evaluated each for safety and feasibility. We will continually monitor the situation as it relates to international travel and will make decisions with the safety and health of our lifelong learners as a top priority.

Hope Academy of Senior Professionals (HASP)

HASP is a peer-led institution for learning in retirement with 900 alumni, families and friends making up its membership. Based on Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and an abundance of caution, HASP suspended all in-person programs beginning March 11 and continuing until further notice. Visit for online lifelong learning opportunities. Updates to HASP members will be provided through email and at

Alumni Weekend

Reunions are special events in the life of the college and most certainly in your life. Unfortunately, Alumni Weekend, scheduled for April 24-25, 2020, has been canceled. Reunion events for the classes of 1990, 1985, 1980, 1975, 1970, 1965 and The Fifty Year Circle will be combined with the events at Alumni Weekend 2021 which is scheduled for April 30 – May 1. The Distinguished Alumni Awards for 2020 and 2021 will be presented at the Annual Alumni Banquet on Saturday, May 1, 2021. The Alumni Association Board of Directors meeting took place virtually on April 24, 2020.


Commencement is a special moment when graduating seniors become alumni and continue a lifelong connection to their alma mater. Hope College is planning to welcome back the Class of 2020 for an on-campus, in-person commencement and a one year reunion celebration in May of 2021. Details can be found at

The Alumni and Family Engagement team stands by to answer questions and provide additional information. Please contact us at or and we will be in touch as soon as we can.

We agree with President Scogin that this “is certainly not what any of us envisioned for the semester, but it is a time when we can come together as a community to show the world the power of resilience and hope. Spera in Deo.”