It may not be college basketball season, but here in the Division of Public Affairs and Marketing, we are celebrating a special kind of hoops-related victory. 

“The Rivalry” — the highly anticipated showdown on the court between Hope College and Calvin College (now Calvin University) — has been called one of the best in the country by ESPN. And last month, a special game-day program for the 200th Rivalry earned an especially fitting honor: Best in the Nation

In June, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) awarded Hope College first place for “Special Event Program – College Division” as part of its 2018-19 Publications & Design Contests. CoSIDA’s “College Division” includes all non-NCAA Division I schools, including NCAA Division III, NCAA Division II, NAIA and National Junior College Athletic Association.

It all started last year, when members of the Public Affairs and Marketing team pitched an idea: to create a unique piece commemorating the milestone match-up between the Hope and Calvin men’s basketball teams, taking place Feb. 2, 2019 at Hope’s DeVos Fieldhouse. The idea turned into a reality, resulting in a sharp 24-page piece that perfectly captured the high caliber of the competition. 

Kudos to the following members of the Hope College Public Affairs and Marketing team, whose collaboration yielded the award-winning program:

  • Eva Dean Folkert, director of communication services, served as the managing editor and writer. 
  • Alan Babbitt, sports information director, was a contributing writer and photographer.
  • Paul Willard, graphic designer, designed the program layout and provided illustrations.

Other contributors to the program were: Rebecca Robrahn, director of creative services, who oversaw the design process to completion; writer and photographer Tom Renner, retired associate vice president for public and community relations at Hope College; writer Jeff Febus, Calvin’s sports information coordinator; writers Dr. Chad Carlson, associate professor of kinesiology at Hope, and Dr. Brian Bolt, professor of kinesiology at Calvin; and freelance photographers Steven Herppich, Jon Lundstrom, Rob Kurtycz and Dan Vos.

I am so proud to work with such a creative, talented colleagues. Congratulations to everyone who helped earn this well-deserved victory!   Hope and Calvin have been playing each other in men’s basketball since 1920. After 201 games, the two teams are separated by just five wins and 98 points. Check out the 2019-20 Rivalry schedule!

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