Feature: Summer Bridge Directors!

Welcome back to the Orientation blog! Today, our friends Ayanna and Madai are going to talk about their experience as the current Directors of the Summer Bridge Program and their advice to new students.


Hello! My name is Madai Huerta and I am a Summer Bridge Director. I will be a Junior this upcoming fall and I am a Studio Art Major on a Pre-med track. My freshman year was full of many life changing memories and Summer Bridge was for sure on the list. When you first meet me, I am a shy introvert that has social anxiety. But when I joined the Bridge Program in 2019, it challenged me to grow in my confidence. Slowly but surely I started to notice a difference in me that I hadn’t noticed before. I felt the support I got from my new friends and the connections I had made. This pushed me to do the uncomfortable and aim for the things I thought would be impossible. I am still on the journey of growing into the person I want to be and the Summer Bridge Program was a great start. 

Advice: For my shy peeps, push yourself to do the uncomfortable. It is okay to be nervous and shy about starting a new chapter in your life. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to grow into your identity while you spend the next 4 years of your life on Hope’s campus. Oh, and don’t forget to smile 🙂


Hey ya’ll 🙂 My name is Ayanna and I’m one of the Summer Bridge student directors for this year!

You may be asking, what is Summer Bridge? Well, Summer Bridge, aka SB or Bridge, is a two-week program for highly motivated freshmen invited by SB program staff. During the two weeks, you have the opportunity to earn two college credits, connect with Hope faculty and fellow SB students, and get to know the campus and Holland community!

Thankfully, I was a part of Bridge in 2019 and the program eased my anxious feelings about starting college. Being a first-generation college student, I was intimidated about the idea of college and its expectations. Making friends was another point of concern. But at SB, our beach trips, movie nights, and late-night karaoke sessions formed friendships that didn’t seem forced. In terms of college expectations, successfully completing a science and English course during Bridge along with the encouragement from my SB directors and peers was a reassuring push that, I know, resulted in a better freshman year.


I would say “Don’t be nervous!” but that phrase didn’t help me as a freshman 😉 SO just know and take comfort in the fact that everything will work out. You’ve gotten this far and you’ve earned your place at Hope so just own it. Sometimes it won’t be easy, but you’ve got this! Please please please reach out for help if you need it 🙂

Summer Bridge FAQ:

  1. How long is the program?
    • This is a two week long Program which starts on August 15th and ends on August 27th. 
  2. When is the application due?
    • The application is due July 15th. Turn in your application ASAP! 
  3. Who can participate?
    • Summer Bridge is an invite-only program. Click the link we provided in the invitation to apply.
  4. When would we move into our fall housing?
    • You would move into your fall housing before Orientation!

Thank you for joining us today! You can email summerbridge@hope.edu or call or text 616-928-1895 with questions. See you soon!

Feature: Step2Success Coordinators!

Welcome back to the Orientation blog! Today, we are have the pleasure of featuring the amazing Step2Success Coordinators, Isabella and Jacob.


Hello incoming freshmen! I’ve been asked to give you some advice. I am no expert, but I hope that these words will be a form of encouragement and guidance for you.

Go one day at a time.

Coming to college is a big transition and it is a time of excitement, nervousness, and a whole lot of other emotions. This may be your first time away from home for this long and you may be feeling scared about the future. You may be nervous about coming to a new environment and how you will fit. You could also be feeling extremely excited for independence and creating a small world for yourself away from home. Wherever you may fall on the spectrum, taking it one day at a time is key. 

Sometimes college can be glamorized as a place where you find everything. You find your people, you find your groove, you have the best classes. I am here to tell you something you might’ve heard already: it takes time. All of the plans you have right now may look different in the next few months, and that’s okay. Also, everything could turn out exactly how you want it right away, and that’s okay too. I would encourage you to give yourself grace as you set goals and work through this journey. Remember that this is a new space you are navigating. Remember that there are people here like myself (still figuring things out) that would love to help you! Remember that you have made it this far and that in itself, is a victory. Remember that you’re still growing and learning. Every day will come with its highs and lows but you will make it. One day at a time!

Remember that you have made it this far and that in itself, is a victory.

Jacob’s advice:

Come as you are!

I remember the first time I came to Hope College. It was in June, two months after I had made my decision to attend Hope. I spent about two days there, learning about some of the programs they had. There were programs like Phelps Scholars, Summer Bridge, and Step2Success, the latter being the one I’m a part of now as a rising junior. When I met my admissions representative, I told her that I just wanted to be myself and not try to label myself with any group immediately (such as race, ethnicity, social class, etc.). It wasn’t based on shame or guilt, it was more of trying to discover myself more and seeing what meaning those labels had towards me.

 I think the advice that I would offer towards the incoming freshmen is to not immediately label yourself, but to rather approach college as a way of discovering who you are. College is a time to dive in and do all the things that interest you. It’s also the time to research the topics that make you curious and help you see things from a different perspective. This should be a part of each individual’s journey. The more you commit to learning, the more understanding you become. 

Approach college as a way of discovering who you are.

Thank you Isabella and Jacob for your wonderful words! Make sure to follow Step2Success on Instagram @hopestep2success for more updates.

Isabella Musherure is a rising Junior from Cottage Grove, Minnesota. Her favorite Hope tradition is SAC’s Coffeehouse and late night conversations with friends. Jacob Beyen is a rising Junior from Germantown, Maryland. His favorite thing to do around Holland is to go to Crust54 for pizza!

FAQ Friday Re-Cap 6/25

Welcome back to the Orientation Blog! Today we have a re-cap of the FAQ Friday Livestream on June 25th.

What is the process for doing laundry on campus?

Everyone develops their own system for how often they do laundry. It is an important part of self care and cleanliness, though, so we want to encourage you to practice doing laundry at home at least once before you move in. It will save you a lot of googling! Every residence hall has a laundry room with plenty of washers and dryers. You will download an app that connects to the machines, load money into your account, and away you go! It is $1.50 for a wash cycle and $1.50 for a dryer cycle. Don’t bring quarters!

Do I need to have a car on campus?

We answered this question in a previous FAQ Friday! Check it out here. Shuttles to Meijer as well as some local churches run weekly. 

What are some commonly forgotten items?

  • Towels! Don’t forget that you’ll need a towel, shower shoes, and any other bathroom supplies for the shared bathrooms in most residence halls. 
  • School supplies: gathering these items can sometimes get lost in the hubbub of the weekend, but they are important because school starts on August 31st. The bookstore sells lots of these items but it can get pricey so we recommend purchasing them before you arrive to save money.
  • Some emergency cash: it’s nice to have a $20 bill tucked away when you need some cash on the fly!
  • Drawers/organizational system for underneath your bed or in your closet!

Do people decorate their rooms?

Yes! Bring wall hangings, art, pictures, lights, and anything that makes it feel like home. If you are planning on decorating the walls, make sure to bring blue painters tape and Command strips. 

How do I know who is bringing what?

In the next few weeks you will be getting a housing and roommate assignment. It’s important to reach out to them via email or phone to discuss splitting up some of the bigger items such as a mini fridge or TV.

What kinds of kitchen supplies should I bring?

Microwaves and appliances like toasters are not permitted, but each residence hall has a full kitchen for students to use. We recommend bringing a plate and bowl, some utensils, and a reusable water bottle. Also, dish soap is a multipurpose item that works great for washing dishes and as a stain remover! Snacks for on-the-go are great for fueling up on the way to class.

What should I leave at home?

Candles, microwaves, toasters, and maybe that 10th throw pillow that will probably just live on your floor.

What’s one thing you wish you brought?

A clip-on side table. There are small “tables” that clamp onto the frame of your bed that are great for storing all of your bedside belongings. Along with that, an extra long charging cable for your phone is a great investment! Extension cords and power strips are also great for charging technology and general ease.

What technology do people usually bring?

Most people bring a phone and a laptop. Students use all brands of technology and there isn’t one certain kind that is specific to Hope. Common software are Google (for Docs, Sheets, etc.) or Microsoft (for Word, Excel, etc.). There are computer labs in all residence halls as well as most academic buildings for use if something breaks! In case of emergency, CIT and the library are both great resources for checking out laptops if yours needs to be fixed.

Can I tour the residence hall I was assigned to?

Click here to see an online tour of all of the residence halls!

Thanks for joining us today! Follow us on Instagram @hopeorientation to catch our next livestream and stay updated throughout the summer. See you soon!

What We Wish We Knew

Welcome back to the Orientation Blog! Today, we are talking about what we wish we knew before coming to college. We hope these reflections can serve you as you navigate this transition to Hope! Here’s what we wish we knew:

Grace Purdue:

I wish I knew that a meaningful life takes time to build. I moved into college with the mentality that everything would perfectly fall into place the minute I arrived. Instant deep friendships, instant academic success, and instant community were all things I fully expected. Days, weeks, even a few months passed and I found myself with an empty heart. My high expectations kept me from focusing on building up connections; pushing me instead to be constantly disappointed with who I was with and where I was. 

It wasn’t until a Wednesday in my FYS that I found a turning point. My professor brought in a student who had taken the same FYS in past years, and she talked candidly about how she felt her freshman year. She told a story that matched up exactly with how I felt. “Good things are coming. You have potential. Finding a life that is meaningful to you takes time,” she said. That night, I looked around at my community, at my classmates, and at my beautiful, albeit confusing, life, and was able to appreciate right where I was at. So, before college, I wish I knew to be patient with my dreams. Hope College is here to welcome you and help you prosper, but establishing it as your home might take time, and that’s okay. It will be worth the wait!

I wish I knew to be patient with my dreams.

Grace Gadwood:

As we move through life, there are so many things we go through and then reflect on how they changed who we are and our beliefs. For me, moving to college was one of those major moments in life. I grew up going to a K-12 school, with a very small class, and my entire family was involved in the school system in some way. Within my first few months at Hope, I slowly realized some things that I was beginning to reflect on. Coming from my small school and town I grew up in my whole life, I wish I would have been more prepared for the difference in the amount of people and different ways I would connect with them. My small bubble I had grown up in had nothing on the completely wonderfully, well-rounded individuals I would encounter upon arriving and getting settled at Hope. In conjunction with this, I wish I would have known how to create and maintain relationships with people better than I thought I knew. With a small environment came being friends with who was around and not having a huge choice in who to have relationships with or how to keep those healthy. I became quickly overwhelmed at Hope while trying to make friends and figure out how to manage who I wanted to be in those relationships. However, 3 years later, I am here to tell you that the point of having that reflection time in our lives is to see how far we have come. Being able to see how much my eyes and heart have been opened since my time at Hope College is the most remarkable thing. One day, you will be able to look back on what you wish you would have known, too, and see that not knowing helped you to grow and prosper in a way that would not have happened if you knew. 

I am here to tell you that the point of having that reflection time in our lives is to see how far we have come.

Thanks for joining us today! Follow us on Instagram @hopeorientation and keep checking your email for more important updates!

FAQ Friday Re-Cap 6/18

Welcome back to the Orientation blog! This FAQ Friday was all about registration and classes. Make sure to fill out the Registration form by June 23! Information can be found in the Tuesday Tidings emails.

What is on the registration form?

The registration form will ask you a bunch of questions about your interests and what you might be thinking about majoring in. The Registrar’s office will then take that information and curate a schedule for you! It takes the pressure off of figuring out your first semester of classes. 

When do you register for your first semester classes?

It’s all done through the Registration form. The form is due June 23rd!

What if I don’t know what I want to major in or I have multiple interests?

No worries! Indicate as many interests as you can, but otherwise there is an option for undecided. The schedule that the Registrar creates will have a variety classes in it so that you can try a bunch of different things!

How does registration work after the first semester?

Your first academic advisor will be the professor of your First Year Seminar (FYS). They will meet with you before registration for the following semester to talk about how the current semester is going and what classes you want to take in the future, and even help you declare a major! After you declare a major, you will be assigned an advisor within the department of your major. 

What is FYS?

FYS stands for First Year Seminar and is a topic based class that focuses on how to be a student at Hope College. Other schools sometimes have a “College 101” type course, but FYS is a little bit more specific and caters to your interests. You are able to rank your ten favorite FYS topics on the registration form. More information about FYS can be found here!

How do I order textbooks for the fall?

The bookstore will email you this summer when the ordering process for fall textbooks will begin! They have a great online resource that compares prices of other textbook websites so that you know you are getting the best deal. There are other resources for textbooks that exist, but we think the safest option is to order from the bookstore because they have all of the information about what author and edition each class needs! Textbooks will be ready to be picked up during Orientation weekend before classes begin on August 31st.

How do I build relationships with my professors?

Go to office hours! Most professors have office hours: a time when their students can stop in to ask questions and chat. All faculty and staff at Hope are so interested in getting to know students so we highly recommend getting to know them too!


Is it possible to do research as a student at Hope?

Yes! There are so many possibilities for undergraduate research at Hope. If you find something you are interested in during your first year or a professor you enjoy, talk to them about research opportunities!

Thanks for joining us for this FAQ Friday Re-Cap. Feel free to reach out to us via email (orientation@hope.edu) and follow us on Instagram (@hopeorientation)! See you soon!

Why Orientation Matters To Us

Today on the Orientation blog, we are getting to know our New Student Orientation Directors. Here is a little bit about why they are so excited to work for Orientation:

Grace Purdue: What is my why? Why does Orientation matter to me?

Imagine your hometown as one side of a canyon. On the other side of the canyon is Hope College. When I arrived in August of 2018, there seemingly was nothing that could stop me from jumping and flying to the other side of the canyon. I was so excited about this new experience of college. My daydream of instant friends and flourishing success was about to be realized. I really believed that I knew everything there was to know about college. For months, I had done my research, gathering information about what to pack, who to know, and how to fit in. I could see the other side of the valley and it was within my reach.

After that first day of moving into my little dorm room, meeting new people, and exploring campus, I fell into my Twin XL bed to go to sleep. That is when it hit me. I was away from home and everything I had known as constant and easy. I was about to embark on an adventure, a long and scary one. It felt like I was in the middle of the canyon with no ladder to get out.

The next day, my Orientation experience felt distinctly different. I no longer felt on top of the world. As the second day of Orientation progressed, the feelings of caution and curiosity intensified. I remember looking around at the opening session of Orientation, hearing the speaker say, “the people sitting next to you are in the same spot. Don’t forget that you’re all in the same boat.” Those words gave me the courage to see that I could take a risk, believe in myself, and go freely into this new experience. From that moment forward, I have remembered Orientation as a pivot in my mindset; a time and place where the hard transition from old to new was smoothed over. Holding the hands of my fellow classmates lifted me out of the canyon and onto the other side.

I have remembered Orientation as a pivot in my mindset; a time and place where the hard transition from old to new was smoothed over.

This brings me to my why. Why do I want to work for Orientation? Because moving away from home, moving on from high school, and moving towards the future sometimes feels like an impossible jump, but Orientation was the bridge that got me over the great crevasse. 

Grace Gadwood: Sitting down to reflect upon why Orientation matters to me brings so many emotions and feelings to the surface. It takes me back to when I was an incoming student going through Orientation weekend and feeling nervous but so excited for what was to come. I can very vividly remember the nerves and the way my stomach seemed to be lurching out of my body as we got ready to pull up to Dykstra Hall and unload all of my belongings. Everything I had dreamt of and thought about since I made my decision to attend Hope was coming to the ultimate climax as I stepped my first foot on campus as an actual student. 

I was so unsure of how I was going to feel when I plunged head first into Hope College on move-in day. That is most likely where the majority of my nerves and anxieties came that day. Was I going to be emotional? Was I going to be more homesick than I could have ever thought? Was I going to immediately thrive? But, once I got out of the car, I was immediately greeted with bright orange shirts and bright white smiles, and that is the moment the nerves subsided. The smiling faces and welcoming arms (quite literally) of the Orientation Assistants, offering their names and to move my things to my room for me, helped encourage me that I belonged here. I, along with my family, immediately felt welcomed. Our concerns and worries, while valid, were not going to stick around for a while. The encouragement that I felt that day by all of those people helping me every step of the way is a feeling I will never forget. It is honestly a feeling I still feel to this day when I look around Hope College and the people supporting my journey. 

The encouragement that I felt that day by all of those people helping me every step of the way is a feeling I will never forget.

All of this being said, my “why” of Orientation is to create and foster that exact feeling in you all. To be that welcoming face and open arms to the incoming students of Hope College. I want those potentially overwhelming feelings of nervousness, anxiety, and fear to seem so much smaller from the second you step out of your car on move-in day. I want you to feel welcome and present and, most importantly, home. 

Welcome to the Blog! +FAQ Friday Re-Cap 6/11

Allow us to be among the first of many to welcome you to Hope College and to the Orientation blog! We are excited that you have made the transformational decision to join the Hope community. Our lives have changed because of the academic programs, spiritual and leadership growth opportunities, and meaningful relationships that Hope offers, and we know that you will flourish here too! This is a big and exciting transition and we are eager to support and equip you for the start of a great Hope experience. 

We also want to extend a welcome to the families of our new students as you all begin this journey together! Orientation will provide you with information and experiences so you are ready to have a student at Hope.

How to stay connected with us:

The majority of our communication will be through three online platforms: this blog, @hopeorientation, and the Orientation website. Schedules, instructions for how to RSVP for Orientation, and move-in details will be available on these platforms in the coming months. Finally, students should be sure to regularly check their Hope student email as that is a landing spot for important information.

On this blog, you will find stories and advice from current students and staff about their college experience to help you become familiar with the Hope community and culture. In particular, keep a look-out each Wednesday for installments of our “Anchored in Hope” blog series with these stories.

FAQ Friday Re-Cap 6/11

How is the food on campus?

There are two options for a large dining hall experience: Phelps Dining Hall and Cook Dining Hall. Both serve a variety of options for all tastes and diet accommodations. Menus and hours are also provided on their website to make deciding what to eat easy! Every meal plan also comes with dining dollars which can be used at the Kletz Market and Cup and Chaucer for an on-the-go dining experience. We highly recommend checking out the Dining Services website for more information!

Update on Covid-19 Safeguards?

Currently, students are allowed to be on campus without a mask if they are fully vaccinated (“fully vaccinated” is defined as at least two weeks have passed after receiving the final dose of an FDA-approved or authorized Covid-19 vaccine). As always, the pandemic is a dynamic situation that continues to require flexibility with plans and safeguards.

What is living in a dorm like?

There are multiple dorms that offer a variety of living styles, with the majority of them being in the format of two roommates to a room with a community bathroom. Each dorm also has a full kitchen, lounge area, and laundry access. For more information, check out the Residential Life website!

What’s the change in academic rigor from high school to college?

The biggest transition between high school and college is balancing what to spend time on. In high school, you likely spent most of your time in class and less time on outside homework. In college, this balance will be flipped. Learning is more independent! You will have the chance to take your education into your own hands. Balancing the academic and social part of your life will be essential, but we are here for you every step of the way!

How do you get involved on campus?

One part of our scheduled Orientation programming is the Activities Fair! This is a time when all of the clubs and student organizations on campus get together for students to learn about how to get involved. It is a great time to explore the many options for building friendships on campus.

What other activities are available near campus?

Most students stay on campus over the weekends, exploring the many options for adventures near campus. First, Hope sits a block away from downtown Holland, with tons of shops and restaurants to experience. Within driving distance are many great beaches to enjoy during the warmer months but also during the winter for beautiful sunsets. Other options include lots of outdoor focused activities like hiking or rock climbing. Finally, Grand Rapids is just a 35 minute drive and offers even more fun opportunities. Also, SAC (Student Activities Committee) plans regular events for students to get involved with on the weekends.

What if I don’t have a car on campus?

No worries! Asking around for rides is normal and a great way to make friends. One resource that is provided is a Meijer shuttle that operates one evening a week, for any student needing a ride for groceries etc.

What are our favorite study spots on campus?

The Bultman Student Center is a popular choice for a more social study atmosphere. The library offers great options for single study rooms but also lots of group study areas. Finally, the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career supplies a lot of study space for students! Off campus, there are lots of coffee shops that all have different atmospheres and study areas.

What are some of the traditions on campus?

Hope College is known for it’s traditions, so here are some links to the ones we discussed:

The Pull

Nykerk Cup Competition

Dance Marathon

That’s all we’ve got for you this week!  If there is anything we can do to be more helpful or accommodating to your individual needs, please let us know. We can be reached by email at orientation@hope.edu. We, along with the entire Orientation 2021 team, look forward to sharing our stories with you over the upcoming months!

FAQ Friday Re-Cap 8/7

It’s our FINAL FAQ Friday!! We are so excited to welcome you to campus this upcoming week, and you can read below to find more information about textbooks, laundry, and more!


If we have a completely online class, how will we access work and lessons? You can access your class lectures and lessons on your Hope Moodle account using your Hope email credentials!

How early should we get to class? 5-10 minutes early! Or right on time! Whatever feels most comfortable for you.


When is the latest I can buy textbooks? Is when I arrive on campus too late? You can buy textbooks whenever! Ordering your textbooks earlier makes life easy because the Hope bookstore will still have things in stock, but you can still buy textbooks after arriving on campus.

Some textbooks I need to buy are out of stock and not available. What should I do? You do not need to buy textbooks directly from Hope’s bookstore. You can find your textbooks on Amazon, AbeBooks, ThriftBooks, or any other third-party seller. You can also join Hope College Garage Sale on Facebook; some students will sell their old textbooks there!

Campus Life

Do I need a membership to work out at the Dow? Nope, you just scan your ID card at the front desk whenever you want to workout or go inside. However, the Dow is currently closed and will not reopen until we get the go-ahead from the governor. 

Is the gym open? Unfortunately, no.

How do we sign up for Greek life? Greek rush takes place in the spring semester, so look out for more information about that later in the semester!

Will I need to wear a mask once I’m sitting at my desk at class? Yes, you will need to wear your mask at all times while in class, in academic buildings, and on congested sidewalks.

How are college visits working? Admissions is offering virtual tours, but overnight visits will not be happening due to the pandemic. For more information, you can contact admissions@hope.edu or visit their website here

Can friends or family from home visit us on campus? Yes, they can visit campus or visit Holland, but they should not be inside your living space to prevent any COVID exposures. This is also to be mindful of the health of your living cohort. If you do end up having visitors in your living space, it is incredibly important that everyone is wearing a face covering and sanitizing after themselves.

Residential Life

What do we need to loft our beds? What do we have to bring from home or pick up there? Everything you need to loft your bed will be provided by your residence hall/cottage/apartment. Please keep in mind that in some residence halls with lower ceilings, such as Dykstra, you are not permitted to loft your bed (but you can bunk). 

How do you pay for laundry? All of the laundry machines on campus are bluetooth, and you can pay for your laundry through an app called PayRange. You load money onto your account, and when you want to use the machines, you connect to the app and pay for your load. 


Are we getting assistance carrying things while moving in? No, there will not be assistance provided during move-in, but OAs will be stationed at each residence hall to hold doors for you and help direct you around the building/campus. However, you can bring as many people as you would like to help you move in as long as everyone is wearing a face covering.

Are you ready for staggered move-in?

Staggered move-in is right around the corner, and we want to help make sure that you and your families feel empowered and confident to take hold of your Hope College experience as soon as you step on campus. Here are some things that will be important resources for you during your move-in experience.

1. As soon as you arrive on campus, students, please check-in at your designated Res Life tent.

There, you will receive your ID, a special edition Orientation t-shirt, your Orientation welcome bag, and a map of your residence hall with marked entrances and exits. We ask that only students come to the tent, if possible, to reduce possible points of physical contact. Below, we have included a map of our campus with the Res Life tents marked so you know where to go!

Move in map
Map of important locations on campus!

2. Once you check-in, head to your residence hall, apartment, or cottage…

…and unload your belongings into your room using the proper entrances and exits. You must wear a mask at all times! And, there is no limit on the amount of people that can help you move-in.

Our orientation staff will be there to hold doors for you, sanitize common areas, and answer all your questions! They can also help to give you directions to all our different tent stations around campus.

3. After you unload your car from the unloading zone, please move your car to one of the nearby parking lots.

If you need some directions, ask anyone in an orange Hope shirt! Campus Safety will be around to help direct you as well.

4. Have fun putting together your room!

Loft your bed! Put up some decorations! Set up your fridge, TV, etc. Make your room yours because it will be your home for the next year! Think about how to make the space functional for you and your roommate.

Pro Tip: Talk to your roommate before move-in about how you want to set up your living space.

5. And, before your move-in slot is over…

… come visit us at the Orientation Station! We will be located in the Pine Grove and available to help answer any and all questions you have! Here, we will also have a Family Table where you can interact with staff from our Family Engagement office (and family members, you can drop off your letters here!).

And one more checklist for you:

  1. Take pictures at our photo-op stations around campus! Orientation staff will be around those stations to help take as many family pictures as you would like. They will be in the Pine Grove, the Anchor, the Hope Arch, and outside of Dimnent Chapel. Here is a quick example!
  2. Check out our bookstore products! You can pick up your pre-ordered textbooks at the bookstore or some of the pods around campus, grab some Hope merch, and get any last-minute school supplies you may need. You can even get a Hope mask!
  3. Eat your first meal in the dining hall. Students, you will be able to eat in Phelps starting as soon as you move-in!
  4. However, if you want to eat a meal with your family, explore the restaurants downtown! Holland has so many great and local, Michigan-owned eateries within walking distance from campus. We encourage you to check out the coffee shops, pizza places, and even our new zero-waste market!
  5. And finally, say goodbye to your loved ones. We know this has not been an easy period for students and families alike. Take the time you need to say goodbye and encourage one another to keep positive attitudes through it all. Mindset Matters!

Our best advice for you all with the move-in process is to savor every moment, take lots of pictures (trust me, you will want them later) ask for help when you need it, and remember, this is time is meant to be yours. Make the best of it and truly make it your own.

We can’t wait to FINALLY meet you! We honestly cannot wait!

Faculty Interview: Dr. Kevin Kambo

Dr. Kevin Kambo

One of the best parts of your student experience at Hope College will be the faculty-student relationships you create with your professors. Both Cam and Adriana have interviewed one professor who has guided and shaped their time at Hope. Hear from Cam’s professor, Dr. Kevin Kambo, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, about what makes Hope College and Hope’s mission special.

What makes Hope unique to you?

I suppose it would be too easy to say the brutal winter?  … Academically, Hope is more eclectic than any other institution I have been at.  This presents unique opportunities and challenges.  On the one hand, faculty have remarkable freedom to teach what they want, hence my GenEd course on the virtue of mercy and my philosophy courses on Platonism (fall) and Tragedy (spring); on the other hand, it’s difficult to know what background people have—a criminally high number of students haven’t even read Narnia. (Also scandalous: President Scogin is not a fan of Lord of the Rings.)  That said, the freedom really is impressive: a couple of my courses were suggested by students interested in the topics, which is a fun sort of collaboration.

Why is a liberal arts education important?

This could be a whole lecture.  Put briefly, it has little to do with ‘critical thinking’.  As I like to point out, Satan (the Accuser) in the Book of Job, the sophists of ancient Athens and Iago in Othello are all critical thinkers—and all portraits of illiberal, i.e., enslaved, souls.  To channel Lin-Manuel Miranda’s George Washington, critical thinking is easy; wisdom is harder.

A useful image is the Platonic distinction between apprenticeship and discipleship.  Liberal education is not amassing a bunch of facts and skills in your utility belt like Batman; it’s about learning how to orient your soul, how to submit it to what makes you free.  As such, it is a spiritual discipline that never ends and cannot be captured in a certification.  Done right, it turns us into disciples, i.e., followers, of truth, goodness and beauty in a world filled with so many temptations to falsehood, evil and ugliness.  Such devotion is learning how to seek the intellectual pearl of great price and, as Mad-Eye Moody knows, it requires constant vigilance.  You do not ‘acquire’ it; you are initiated into it and exercise it in order to persevere in it.

What is your favorite way to connect with students? 

Dear me, this sounds like something right out of a lonely-hearts column.  Like any red-blooded professor, I connect over preferring the Odyssey to the Iliad, candle-lit readings of Plato’s Phaedrus and walks on the beach contemplating Augustine’s Trinitarian theology.

“Knights of the Broken Table” Book Club

More seriously, I simply like getting to know my students, what they are interested in, what’s going on in their souls.  Back in pre-Covid days, I tried to have a pretty intentional open-door policy and liked it when students dropped in just to say hello.  I also often have office hours at LJ’s as a way to make things a little less stiff.  And I participate in a couple of book clubs with students; these are less formal than class and easily more fun—in part because reading is apparently optional.  Finally, I was talked into becoming the faculty advisor of the Spike Ball Club.  Spica in Deo.

What are you most looking forward to in the 2020-2021 school year?

From outer-space: the sheer madness of everything.  Covid, the protests, and the election make for a potent cocktail of potential chaos.  But, I’m a Platonist, and for us there is something heroic about bringing order to the cosmos, and this will be a year for us at Hope to prove ourselves, as persons and as a community.

At ground-level: being in class again, in the flesh.  The Great Covid Divorce we’ve endured since mid-March has been awful; I’m excited for us to be together again, even with all the attendant awkwardness.