125th Donor Thank You

Today’s the day many on Hope’s campus hit the refresh button for hope.edu/give2hope with a strong sense of gratitude. Each new commitment to support Hope students represents a unique donor story, while simultaneously launching new Hope stories for students receiving scholarships.

We are excited to introduce you to the 125th Scholarship Day of Giving donor. CJ Ditzenberger’s Hope story began when her daughter, Grace, was looking for a small Christian liberal arts college with a strong exercise science and volleyball program. Grace is now a sophomore that makes the trip each semester from her home in Centennial, Colorado to study on a pre-med track at Hope College. CJ visits as a Hope parent a few times each year and was motivated to be part of a community of donors on this special day.

“Hope College has provided Grace with amazing research opportunities and great professors. It’s been everything we imagined it would be.” -CJ Ditzenberger

Thank you CJ and all who have contributed to the success of this day so far. We are now at 181 gifts (10:57 AM EDT) toward out goal of 1,000 before midnight. We can do it! To encourage us, a group of generous donors has offered a $10,000 challenge that will be unlocked when we reach 250 gifts. Help us reach our goal by making a gift and spreading the word!


Scholarship Day of Giving Details

Scholarship Day of Giving will kick-off at midnight Monday for a 24 hour challenge of 1,000 gifts. Here’s how you can be involved:

  1. Make a gift at hope.edu/give2hope.
  2. Share #give2hope throughout the day on your social media channels.
  3. Change your Facebook cover photo to the Scholarship Day of Giving image. You’ll want to download the image or save it to your desktop. Go to Facebook. Edit your cover photo. Update your cover photo.

4. Change your profile photo to the Give Hope image. You’ll want to download the image or save it to your desktop. Go to your social media channels and update your profile photo. Facebook will allow you to make this a temporary change and you will automatically transition back to your previous profile photo after Scholarship Day of Giving.

5. Create and post a “Why I love Hope” video using Facebook Live. Get creative! We’d love to hear why you love Hope.

6. Watch the progress throughout the day at hope.edu/give2hope.

Thanks in advance for your support! Go Hope!

Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Hope College Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes the accomplishments of alumni who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in their chosen profession, have made a positive impact on their community and are involved with the College.

Wendell Wierenga
Wendell Wierenga ’70

Dr. Wendell Wierenga is a senior pharmaceutical/biotech executive and has devoted more than 40 years to science. After graduating from Hope he went on to complete his Ph.D. in Chemistry at Stanford University. He has extensive leadership experience and currently serves on the boards of six publicly traded companies as well as the Stanford Research Institute (SRI). He has over thirty years of experience in matters relating to pharmaceutical drug discovery and development in a wide range of therapeutic areas.

Michael Magan
Michael Magan ’88

Michael Magan is a seasoned political veteran with more than 20 years experience in international affairs. Prior to moving to London he served in several senior foreign policy positions in the George W. Bush administration including Special Assistant to the President. He also served as a congressional staff member and held senior positions in the United States Chamber of Commerce. His company, Magan Dahlgren Ltd., offers advice on developing and implementing international strategic plans and expanding in major emerging markets.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented at the Annual Alumni Banquet on Saturday, April 29 at 6pm in Phelps Dining Hall.

Scholarship Day of Giving 2017

Join us for the third annual Scholarship Day of Giving on April 18, 2017. The goal is 1,000 gifts to the Hope Fund in 24 hours. Gifts received online and on the phone will be added to our project at hope.edu/give2hope.

Online ambassadors will become part of our team for the day by helping to promote Hope College, the Hope Fund and student scholarships. We need your voice, your networks and your enthusiasm to help us make the day a success. Please consider helping our efforts this year and sign up to be an ambassador.

Follow our progress throughout the day on April 18 at hope.edu/give2hope and use #give2hope on your social media platforms.

Thank you for your thoughtful consideration and active support of our students.

Lessons from a Cyber Spy and a Global Language Learner

On Thursday, March 2, we honored two impressive young graduates with the Hope College Young Alumni Award.

Sarah Sanderson Doyle ’03 is a Rotary International World Peace Fellow studying and researching peace and conflict resolution at International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan. A two-time recipient of highly competitive Fulbright Fellowships, Sarah is a teacher, writer, presenter, language learner and travel enthusiast.

Josiah Dykstra ’02 works within the Research Directorate of the National Security Agency on innovation, infrastructure and analytics for USCYBERCOM. He recently received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States on young professionals in this field.

I had the chance to listen to both of them connect with faculty and students earlier in the week and was struck by an interesting paradox between their two stories.

Sarah’s global experiences have created life lessons through learning where languages become a means to deeper human connection, empathy and potentially global peace. Her lessons included using language to shape your own voice, learn to listen and to speak up for those whose voices aren’t being heard.

Sarah shared from her travels that she has a problem with directions and finding her way around. This is made worse by the fact that in Tokyo she experiences complex labyrinths and tiny alleys that not even Google Maps has penetrated yet. To cope, she started looking up. Tall landmarks like cell phone towers, colorful buildings and the rare tree became a way to retrace her steps and start over again, this time with the confidence of knowing where she is going. She shared that this situation is very similar to the role that Hope College has played in her life.

“Spending four years at such an incredible institution gave me significant landmarks that have directed me in the past and continue to guide me in the future. Whenever I have felt lost, overwhelmed, stressed and afraid I retraced my steps to the framework and foundation that Hope College has laid in my life.”

-Sarah Sanderson Doyle ’03

On the other hand, Josiah’s work deals with languages unseen and unheard, creating networks of a different kind. In this world, peace is maintained through attacks, counter-attacks and threats of retaliation.

During a presentation on “American Self Defense in Cyberspace” with Professor Joel Toppen, Josiah shared some of his expertise with students and community members. Later, as he accepted the award, he sang (yes, the spy sings) a verse from a favorite hymn:

Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Does his successive journeys run,
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.

He shared that the sixth and final verse starts “let every creature rise and bring / peculiar honors to our King…” and that he has some peculiar talents of his own to share.

For example, he loves exploring. The unknown, the occasional challenge, those are exciting to him. Josiah also loves to travel and cook. He almost never makes the same thing twice. He liked school because it was an opportunity to learn and think about how the world works. He wrote a book on science in cyber security to help others be better explorers. He became an intelligence officer because that job is about figuring out who’s doing what and why.

“Hope College helped me be a better explorer. I’m glad I took political science, sociology and photography in addition to network design. The more I’ve studied cyber security, the more I value its intersection with economics, psychology and art. I can’t thank Hope enough for helping me develop as an explorer, not only in computer science, but as a laboratory for debating complex, interconnected ideas and questions. Questions like, ‘what kind of a world are we making and what kind of a world should we be making?'”

-Josiah Dykstra ’02

Neither Sarah’s or Josiah’s journey is inherently better or worse than the other. As I recently listened to them share their experiences, I thought that perhaps they are more like two sides of the same coin. It was clear that in both cases, the critical thinking skills, new perspectives and confidence gained at Hope College have empowered them to deal with complexity in a way that has proven invaluable.

View photos of the Young Alumni Award events.

Learn about the Young Alumni Award or make a nomination.

There’s never been a better time to consider attending Hope College. Here’s why.


Alumni & Student Networking Events

Join us at the following events specifically designed for current Hope students to meet alumni and receive advice, tips and tools for successfully finding a job after graduation. Find an event near you!

Living & Working In: West Michigan on Tuesday, March 14 at Founders Brewing Company at 6 pm.

Lansing Alumni-Student Networking Event on Tuesday, March 28 at Lansing Brewing Company at 5:30 pm.

Washington, D.C. Networking Event on Thursday, March 30 at Marriott Crystal Gateway at 5:30 pm.

Living & Working In: Chicago on Wednesday, April 5 at Rock Bottom Brewery and Restaurant at 6 pm CST.

Living & Working In: Detroit on Tuesday, April 11 at Hopcat at 6 pm.

For more details, including registration information, please visit hope.edu/alumni/events. Did you miss a deadline for an event? Email us at alumni@hope.edu. We are looking forward to connecting with you soon!

Staring down the February Blues like….

By Michaela Stock ’20

View from my dorm room in Gilmore Hall.

As you Michiganders may have noticed, it was fifty degrees in February two weekends ago. Seeing the sun alone was a Michigan miracle in itself. However, to be sprawled out on Hope College’s Pine Grove with The Beach Boys blaring in the middle of winter was the best, most unexpected surprise during this midterm season. My name is Michaela Stock, and I am a freshman here at Hope studying Art History, Management, and Music. Although the warmth and fun didn’t do much to assist my studies (did I mention it’s midterm season?), it was a joy to see campus come alive with outdoor action again. During this time of year, when winter is swampy and classes intensify, it can be tough to keep one’s head up as a full-time student. Hope kids have a reputation for being overcommitted, and although I swore I wouldn’t be like the rest, I’m currently nodding off to sleep with the blink of my curser as I write this post.

Writing in Manistee National Forest over Mid-Winter Break.

All of that to say, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else while the February blues are in full swing. As I emerge into March and look back on the semester, I cannot believe the incredible things that have swarmed through the hours and days of the past two months. As you may remember, I work for Hope College’s Concert Series. A mere two days ago, we finished up our show season for the semester. HCCS hosted Hiss Golden Messenger, a classic rock influenced folk band, The Japanese House, an ambient alternative group, and a double headlining show with Christian artists John Mark McMillan and Josh Garrels, just to name a few. A highlight for the team and artists was selling out a few shows. Seeing the Hope and Holland community come together under the strobing stage lights and art of music never, ever gets old.

Getting ready for the Folk Ensemble Performance!

Continuing on with news in music, the Hope College Folk Ensembles had a showcase this past Sunday. We did a tribute to Bob Dylan. Dylan’s poetic lyrics and rambling melodies were a blast to work with, and I had a great time finding ways to twist my voice into his songs and create something new out of his music with the rest of the ensembles. One of the best parts about being a music student is the amount of “jam sessions” that occur after class hours. Despite days that drag in the sterile, white-walled practice rooms, we still find ourselves slumped on the glossy, black piano benches belting out our favorite songs with one another. I’m finding that long hours are the name of the game when your creative outlet is also your area of study, and I’m grateful to be in an environment that allows me to study my passions. The tears on my fingers from steel guitar strings and cramps in my shoulders from slinging my instrument over my back for hours at a time are all very worth it.

Staring down the February Blues like . . .

Despite the copious amount of time I spend making music and running shows, I’m still working in Hope College’s Alumni Office. It has been a little slower around here this semester. The office has recently been rearranged, though. This event may sound minuscule, but it’s actually quite exciting. The student desk has been moved to the center of the lobby area, and our seating arrangement is much more inviting and cozy now. I have loved seeing everyone’s reaction to the new look as well as the office environment change ever so slightly because of it. As people, we often look for the big, life-changing events to catch us off guard and transform our lives. However, it’s the little things that accumulate daily and morph us into who we are. It is a personal mission of mine to be as observant as possible and not let the little things go unnoticed, because it is the small stuff that shapes us. Alright, I’ll hop off my soap box now.

All in all, second semester is off to a great start. Although my brain is fuzzy with the mist of Lake Michigan that coats campus and the information overload caused by midterms, my heart is so full. Hope College is unique as it has a support system built into its atmosphere. The February blues may put up a fight, but they won’t win here. As the year closes in quickly, I’m cannot wait to make the most of my last little bit on campus until summer sweeps me out of Holland until August.

Introducing the Orange & Blue Fund

Soccer player Mallory Beswick, having just completed her freshman year at Hope, sat amongst a crowd of older Hope student-athletes and experienced community leaders at the 2015 Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit and felt a simultaneous wave of gratitude and nerves. There she was, all of a 19-year-old and a mostly substitute player, being asked by pastoral giant and author Bill Hybels to consider why she loves to do what she does, why she believes like she believes. It seemed daunting to consider but her resulting epiphany spoke volumes, not only about herself but also about the ways the Hope College athletic department seeks to provide its student-athletes with transformative experiences and competitive excellence.

In reflecting on Hybels’s call to dig deep, Beswisk put her pen to paper and wrote:

“I am Mallory Beswick — a strong, passionate, genuine, loving child of God. I am His hands and feet on Earth. Yes, I’m here to play soccer, a game I’ve loved since I was three and a game that has tied my family together. But, I am here for reasons larger than myself. I’m here for others I know that wish so badly they could have this opportunity. I’m here because I’m making memories that will last forever with some of the most humble, passionate, hardworking, servants of God I know. And ultimately, above all else, I am here to glorify God by using the gifts He has blessed me with.”

Looking back now on those words and that experience, Beswick’s sentiments have not changed but she does see with greater clarity the profound opportunity she was given by her Coach Leigh Sears and the entire Hope athletic department to attend the summit. The lessons she learned were brought back to impact her team, yes, but they also enlightened her calling to become a physician’s assistant one day, too. Beswisk sincerely hopes that leadership training can be afforded to other Hope student-athletes for years to come.

“I was honored as a freshman to get to go on a leadership retreat,” she says. “It was a blessing to be surrounded by other Hope athletes from different sports and different levels of experience. We shared stories and were honest with each other about our teams and our faith. The fact the Hope athletes were given the chance to dig deeper with each other, regardless of gender or sport, was amazing.”

By making a gift to the Orange and Blue Fund, you ensure that more Hope student-athletes, eager to be difference makers, Lord lovers, and committed athletes like Mallory Beswick, have future opportunities to reflect and lead, play and compete for transformational experiences. Your gift supports leadership training, culture development, service opportunities and more.

Make your gift today at crowdfunding.hope.edu/athletics.

The Beginning: A Semester in Washington, D.C.

2017 has been a whirlwind of events thus far.

Inauguration Day 2017

Within the first week of January, I moved to Washington, D.C. for the spring semester. Before I knew it, I was launched into a new type of world, so it seemed. D.C. natives refer to the District as the “bubble” because it is remarkably easy to be wrapped up in the happenings of the District, while unusually difficult to see outside of it. D.C. has brought about challenges and discoveries. Inauguration Day revealed the tipping point of how both sides of the aisle perceived the new administration, and it was full of celebrations as well as protests. And when I had the opportunity to attend the Michigan Inaugural Gala through my internship later that night, I saw Democrats and Republicans dancing and laughing together, as one. While there are numerous things to discuss, there is one positive ideal that has stood out to me so far. People are intensely passionate about doing good here.

People are intensely passionate about doing good here.

Often times, Congress, organizations, and D.C. in general manage to obtain a skewed reputation from the public viewpoint. Whether it involves politics or not, there are controversial topics and far-reaching decisions discussed each day in the district. However, I am able to see that each of these organizations, representatives, senators, companies, etc. truly attempt to make this nation a better place. Though they may have contrasting ideas on how to go about change in this country, the partisan lines are easier to look past once realizing that these people simply care about others and the country they live in.

Every Wednesday, our class meets with different organizations or companies and we are able to catch a glimpse of what each one does. For example, we have met with organizations, such as World Vision, as well as think tanks, such as the Heritage Foundation. Each of these organizations want to do good for those around them, and it is refreshing as well as motivating.

As I continue to learn and explore the city, I am captivated by it more and more. Walking past the neoclassical architecture, the White House, and more has yet to get old. I am challenged to my core in copious ways that I had not imagined, but am growing immensely because of it.

Cheers to new adventures full of learning!

On the steps of the Library of Congress, with the Capitol building and the Washington Monument in the background.

Elly Jordan ’04: The Path Ahead for Refugees and Immigrants

Join us this afternoon for an important lecture at 3:00 p.m. in the Maas Auditorium on “The Path Ahead for Refugees and Immigrants.” Lecturer Elly Douglass Jordan is a 2004 graduate of Hope College. She received her law degree from Michigan State Law school, where she currently is an instructor at the Immigration Law Clinic.

Dr. David Ryden, Chair, Political Science Department, says “This timely talk will help us better grasp the complexities of our immigration policies as well as the implications of recent actions taken by the administration. Please do not miss this opportunity, and be sure to bring a couple friends.”

Need clarity on the immigration issue? This presentation will provide a basic overview of refugee, asylum, and immigration law and the refugee process in light of the recent executive order. There will be time for questions after the presentation.

Elly Jordan is an Adjunct Professor of Refugee & Asylum Law and a Supervising Attorney in the Immigration Law Clinic at MSU College of Law. Elly’s work includes a special focus on unaccompanied immigrant children, from legal screenings to representation before Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.