When I toured Hope College, I was given the opportunity to meet a few professors, students, and incredible exposure to what still stands as the most beautiful campus I’ve ever seen in my life. The latter of which is something that still astounds me as even during Michigan’s heavy snowfall, I can drink a hot chocolate from inside my warm room and watch each white flake gently blanket the ground. Hope College is serene!
But there is so much more to Hope College and the town it has become synonymous with than what meets the eye, something that I think all prospectives should consider when reflecting about what Hope College has to offer.
This post will be dedicated to the three highlights of my week at Hope College that you probably won’t know about until enrolled at Hope.
The first is Hope College’s relationship with local and international artists. On Friday, Eames Demitrios came to Hope College to present his latest progress for his “The World of Kcymaerxthaere” series. “The World of Kcymaerxthaere” is a series of plaques placed around the world serving as landmarks and even as portals in the alternate universe. The plaques are hidden in places like outside the Depree Art Center, off the coasts of Indonesia, and even 8000 feet underwater. It’s one of those events that make Hope College unique, not only are you guaranteed a personalized experience with great artists from around the world, but also a chance to meet them in person.
Check out his website.
This bring me to the second highlight of my week, the Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series. Every year, Hope College hosts a series called the Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series which invites prominent writers from around the United States to present their works and share their experiences in writing. It’s wonderful because as a college student, it is difficult to find time to read books to your own pleasure, and if you do free up that time, it will likely be send going out to explore the wonders of eighth street. The Visiting Writers Series is the perfect answer as it not only creates a social environment for you to meet students and authors, but also to listen to their work as well as commentary about how they created their work.
This year, we were treated to the wonderful works of EJ Levy and Joe Wilkins. EJ Levy presented her work called, “3 Christs of Moose Lake Minnesota”, about three men who were admitted to the local psychiatric ward because they claimed their were Jesus Christ incarnate. While inspired from true events, A wonderful work of prose serves as a visceral examination into our modern culture’s complex relationship with religion, science, and our personal lives. Joe Wilkins presented both prose and poetry that served as a time machine, transporting us to his childhood and serving as a vehicle allowing us to be present through fictional character’s experiences with life and loss.
The final highlight that may have been mentioned during your tour, but probably not experiences is the Holland Farmers Market. Every Saturday (and Wednesday during the summer), local farmers come to Holland’s famed market plaza at the end of 8th Street to present their produce. Freshly grown and purely organic, bakers, farmers, and other companies of the food industry come to sell freshly harvested syrup, baked goods (sometimes made on the spot), or fruits and vegetables taken fresh from the farm and brought do the square for prices competitive to Meijer. A bushel of organic apples will cost 5 dollars while at Meijer’s it will be 6. It’s perfect for the food junkies out there like me. You also get to meet the people producing the food that you eat at Phelps Dining Hall, often these farmers work in partnership with Hope’s dining services such as Nathan Vannette, owner of Growing Green Family Farms, who provides Hope with fresh vegetables (pictured).