Calvin College graduates the Class of 2017

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan—Calvin College has announced its spring 2017 graduates. More than 900 students participated in the spring Commencement ceremony at the end of May. The 2017 graduating class represents more than 60 majors within the arts and humanities, social and natural sciences, and professional programs.

Established in 1876, Calvin operated first as a prep school and then as a junior college before conferring its first four-year degrees in 1921.

Today, Calvin is one of the largest Christian colleges in North America and is internationally recognized as a center for faith-anchored liberal arts teaching and scholarship where students are challenged to think deeply, act justly and live wholeheartedly. The college’s 2016–2017 enrollment of 3,918 students represented nearly every U.S. state, many Canadian provinces and 55 other countries around the globe.

Calvin’s high-quality education is consistently praised in prestigious rankings guides, including, in 2016, receiving a #1 ranking in the Regional Colleges Midwest category in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges Guidebook. The college was also included in places like Princeton Review’s The Best 381 Colleges, the Fiske Guide to Colleges and America’s Top Colleges published by Forbes, to name a few.

Calvin graduates have high placement rates to graduate schools, medical schools and law schools. In a survey of 2016 grads, 99 percent of respondents reported having either secured a job or begun graduate school within nine months of graduation.

And this year’s class appears to be headed in the same direction, with students heading around the corner and across the globe to pursue career opportunities—everything from doing software engineering analysis in San Francisco, California, to teaching English in Hong Kong, China, to being a healthcare nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. And students are attending top graduate schools—everything from studying immigration law at the University of Michigan to pursuing a Masters of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary to heading to studying veterinary science at The University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

During 2016–2017, students studied on the beautiful 400-acre campus (located just a few miles from vibrant downtown Grand Rapids) and also on six different continents and in more than 30 different countries, exploring everything from justice studies in Honduras to engineering in Germany to the arts in Indonesia. The most recent Open Doors Report, which is published by the Institute of International Education, yet again ranks Calvin College in the top five among all baccalaureate institutions for the total number of students who participate in a study abroad experience.

Some of the highlights from 2016–2017 include the college adding a master of accounting to its graduate-level offerings, the women’s volleyball team winning an NCAA III national championship, and longtime philosophy professor and alumnus Alvin Plantinga, being awarded the Templeton Prize, joining an esteemed group of 46 prize recipients including Mother Teresa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama.

For photos and more information on Commencement, visit