Customize your virtual meeting with Hope College campus scenery

It’s a new year. Time to level-up your virtual meetings with a new Hope College campus background.

Download your Hope College campus background here.

Not seeing your favorite spot on campus in our folder? Send us an email and we may be able to help you out.

Election 2020: Upcoming events, resources and opportunities on campus

On Monday, you received an email from Dr. Sonja Trent-Brown, Dr. Richard Frost, Dr. Gerald Griffin and Dr. Trygve Johnson about campuswide efforts to “Keep HOPE” through this election season. Today, we launched an Election 2020 webpage (, where we will be sharing upcoming events, resources and opportunities to engage and support the campus community.

You can help with this initiative!

If your department or division would like to add content to, please email me with your information. Currently, we are featuring *only* official Hope-sponsored events, resources and opportunities on the webpage; we are not using the site to promote external programs or share links to outside events. 

If your event is not on the Hope calendar, please be sure to add it! And if a physical location on campus is needed for your event, make sure that you have reserved the space through EMS and that you are following all the guidelines for on-campus gatherings. Need help with any of this? Please email Julie Huisingh in Public Affairs and Marketing for assistance.      

THANK YOU for all you’re doing to foster belonging, understanding and grace at Hope College!

Are you HOPE READY?!

Can you believe the start of the school year is nearly here?
So many of us have been working countless hours to be HOPE READY for the start of the school year. What does HOPE READY mean? It means that on top of our current (and extended) responsibilities, we’re embracing (from an appropriate distance, of course) the guidelines for a safe re-engagement with the campus community. We’re washing hands, wearing face coverings, keeping physically distant, cleaning our work and study areas and holding one another accountable.
How can you share the HOPE READY spirit with others?

By the way, if you’ve been near campus (which looks stunning, by the way), you’ll notice some beautiful new lightpole banners installed by our fantastic Physical Plant team. #KeepingHope will continue for the foreseeable future. It’s on all of us to keep the culture and enthusiasm of Hope College going no matter the format.

We can’t wait to see you again. Thank you for #KeepingHope all of these weeks and months. You are truly what makes this place exceptional.

We Have Hope signs

Hey all you fellow hunker downers!

We’re launching a fun new project for Hope employees to share some of the HOPE we have for our community, our students, our neighbors and so many others.
So we made a simple little sign. (Maybe you saw a sneak peak of it during yesterday’s Class of 2020 Celebration?) A printable version is available below!

Here’s what we hope you’ll do…

  • Print your sign at home.
  • Take a photo of you holding the sign or it displayed in your home’s front window or on the front door. (We miss seeing your faces!)
  • Send the photo to so that we might share it further!
  • Or, post the photo on your own social media account using #KeepingHope and tagging @hopecollege. (This only works if your posts or account are public!)

No printer at home? No problem! Complete this form and a sign will be mailed to you at home in a few days.

Thanks for all you’re doing #keepinghope!

Color your world with Hope

A niche hobby? A worldwide trend? A piece of nostalgia? A therapeutic outlet? Whatever the reason, your needs are covered. Public Affairs and Marketing has created a series of Hope-specific coloring pages for you and your families, friends, neighbors and coworkers to enjoy!

Download and print one, two or all nine of them. Show us your skills and creativity! Share your work on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, tag @hopecollege, use the hashtag #KeepingHope. Who knows? Maybe you’ll see a competition or two pop up.

(Coloring inside the lines is 100% optional)

Some completed examples for inspiration:

Examples contributed by Hillary Cash and Karsten Cash

New! Virtual Hope-themed Zoom backgrounds

Now that many of us are working from home, Zoom meetings and Google Hangouts are becoming part of our daily routines. It’s been fun to see how people are using technology like these and others to stay connected. Certainly, it’s not the same experience as being together in-person, but the changes we are experiencing are pushing all of us to think and work more creatively, and that’s a good thing!  

For example, now you can “attend” meetings from some of Hope’s most iconic campus locations — the Dimnent Chapel Rose Window, DeVos Fieldhouse, the Martha Miller Center, the Jack H. Miller Center, and of course, the Pine Grove (below) — with our new virtual Hope College Zoom backgrounds. If you haven’t heard of custom Zoom backgrounds yet, read this article from cnet.

Pine Grove Zoom Background

Download Hope College backgrounds

Hope College Zoom backgrounds are available for download here.

Add a Hope background to Zoom on a mobile device

  1. On your phone or tablet, open the Zoom app.
  2. Click to start a new meeting or join a meeting.
  3. Click anyone on your screen to see a menu on the bottom of your screen. In the lower right corner, click “More …” for more options.
  4. Click on “Meeting Settings” and select “Virtual Background.”
  5. Click the ➕ plus symbol to upload a new image. Select the image from your photo library, then close.

Add a Hope background to Zoom on a desktop computer

Note: Zoom backgrounds tend to work better using a mobile device than on your desktop. We suggest giving both methods a try to see which one works best for you.

  1. Open up the Zoom desktop app.
  2. Click the ⚙️ Settings gear.
  3. Click the “Virtual Backgrounds” section. If you don’t have that, you may need to enable “Virtual Background” in your Zoom Profile Settings.
  4. Click the ➕ plus symbol and choose one of the Hope backgrounds that you downloaded.
  5. Click the ➕ plus symbol and select “Add Image”, and choose one of the Hope backgrounds that you downloaded.

When using a background on a desktop, starting with a green or dark background may prevent a certain amount of ghosting. Whether or not you do this, it’s ideal that the color of your clothing be different from what is in the background, otherwise it may confuse the camera and prevent it from distinguishing between foreground and background. For more tips and instructions, check out the Zoom website.

Once you’re successfully using a Hope background, take a screenshot of yourself and tweet it to us @HopeCollege. Happy Zooming!

Monday Encouragement: Virtual Postcards of Hope

The Steering Committee has been getting lots of messages of appreciation from you, and it means the world to us. But here’s the thing: We couldn’t do any of our work without you… so, thank you! Our efforts would be fruitless if we weren’t part of such a caring, student-centered community. 

YOU are keeping HOPE alive! You are stepping up to help with the heavy lift, each in your own way, and you are making a difference. For that, we say, We are so grateful! — and we ask you to pass along that spirit of gratitude. 

Here’s our request: Every day this week, take a few minutes to send a virtual “Postcard of Hope” to at least one coworker. (“Virtual postcard” is just a fancy term for “email message.”) Choose someone who may need extra encouragement. Maybe someone from outside of your department or division. Maybe even someone you don’t know well… or at all. (Need some help? Take a look at the Hope directory and pick a coworker!)  

Tell ’em they’re appreciated. Tell ’em they’re missed. Tell ’em they’re doing a great job. Tell ’em you’re thinking of them and their loved ones. Help us spread a message of HOPE among all our colleagues.

Keep up the amazing work, everyone. And, don’t forget to post #KeepingHope messages from your social media accounts! 

Thank you for reminding us — everyday! — why we love Hope College.

Jennifer Fellinger
Kristyn Bochniak
Lindsey Engelsman
Jeff Pestun
Cady Short-Thompson

Steering Committee, COVID-19 Response Team
Hope College

We LOVE our Hope College community!

We LOVE the Hope College community — It is true.
So we made these valentines just for you.

Print this PDF and cut them out,
or share on social media if that’s what you’re about.

Tag your posts #ILoveHope, wooden shoe?
Happy Valentine’s Day to the Orange and Blue!

Go Hope Card I hope you'll be mine card I'm your #1 fan card #1 fan card Orange you glad you're mine card

Website Audit Checklist

It’s been a few years since we launched Hope’s new website, and some of the corners are starting to collect dust. It’s time to freshen things up a bit! So, we’re asking every department, office and program at Hope to take a close look at their websites and make sure everything is shipshape.

We’ve put together a Web Content Audit Checklist (PDF) to guide you in examining and assessing your current web content. Please take a look at the document and plan to set aside some time this semester to review your website.

Without getting too terribly formal about it, here are three different approaches you can take:

1. I can do it!

You’ve got the checklist, and you’ve got the OU Campus know-how. Off you go! Let us know if you have any questions along the way. Otherwise, just tell us when you’re done, and we’ll scratch your website off our list.

2. I need a little help.

You’re ready to get started, but there are a few things on the list that you know you’ll need help with. Perfect! Get a hold of Josh Bishop ( or x7066) and let him know how he can help. He can answer your questions via email, or chat on the phone or set up a meeting. In the meantime, feel free to get started with the rest of it on your own.

3. I don’t know where to start.

That’s okay! Just let Josh know, and he’ll add you to our list of sites to audit on our own. We’ll run through the checklist for you, recommend some changes, and reach out to you if we have any questions.

Here’s that link to the Web Content Audit Checklist one more time.

As always, if you need any help with this project, don’t hesitate to let Josh know! He’ll be on hand to help with whatever you need.

Day of Giving Social Media Checklist

Six Weeks Out

  1. Do a quick checkup on your department’s social media accounts. Are they up to date? When is the last time you shared information? Are you following the Hope brand guidelines? Now is a good time to update your profiles to be ready for Day of Giving.
  2. Look for people you should be following on social media such as distinguished alumni, other Hope departments and offices, faculty and staff, etc. 
  3. Will you want to include videos in your outreach this year? What about making a Thank You video? Consider recording a video (using a smartphone) of your faculty and staff asking alumni and friends to give, or reach out to Elizabeth Council if you have another idea. Examples: and

One Month Out

  1. Select who will manage your department/organization’s social media on Day of Giving. 
  2. Identify key influencers within your department who are already active on social media. Ask them to play an active role on social media that day. Example:
  3. Begin promoting early by sharing the college’s “Save the Date” message

Week Before

  1. Make sure you have access to all the materials available for Day of Giving. PAM will provide sample photographs, graphics, social media updates, etc. Be sure your materials are readily available on Day of Giving. Example:
  2. Familiarize yourself with the Giving dashboard – so that you understand how the giving process works.
  3. If you still have not made your video(s), now’s the time. Recording on your smartphone is a great option.

Day Before

  1. Begin sharing information about Day of Giving such as the goal and a link to the giving page. You can use graphics provided in the resources folder or share the college’s tweets and posts.
  2. Send a reminder to faculty and staff who will be helping to promote social media. Remind them of the official hashtag: #give2hope and website

Day Of

  1. Begin early by sharing the college’s kick-off message and video.
  2. Check in the resources folder for any last-minute updates to content/photos.
  3. Continue encouraging others to give throughout the day by sharing photos, videos or graphics about and in support of your department. These can be prepared in advance or taken on the day of. 
  4. Retweet/share your faculty and alumni’s posts and tweets. Example:
  5. Watch for competitive “challenges” such as matching funds and giveaways. Share these on social media and encourage others to get in on the fun. 
  6. The last few hours of the event will be exciting. Be sure to share updates and the final numbers when they are in! 
  7. Don’t forget to share a big THANK YOU message to your donors!

General Tips and Reminders for Marketing Day of Giving