April 19, 2023 | Matt Kucinski

A man holding a sign saying
Scott Rush, professor of business at Calvin University, is the 2023 graduating classes' selection for Professor of the Year.

Professor Scott Rush is only in year six at Calvin University, but he’s already made quite the impression with his target audience: students.

The metric? Earning the student’s choice award, being named the 2023 Professor of the Year, an award granted by the Student Alumni Association on behalf of the senior class to honor a current Calvin faculty member who has made an impact on the lives of his or her students.

Surprised and grateful

The news came as a surprise to Rush, an associate professor of business, whose Business Law class was interrupted by a couple dozen students, colleagues, and family waving pom poms, holding balloons, and delivering donuts.

Rush’s response? Standing in the middle of his class full of students, he used just a few words.

“I appreciate it, I’m very flattered,” said Rush, pausing to hold back tears. “I just hope that in what I do I glorify God, that’s all that matters.”

Rush, who has a juris doctorate, comes to Calvin after serving for nearly three decades in industry, working at Perrigo Company as the vice president of Global Tax, Cardinal Health as director of federal taxes, and Ernst & Young in the tax areas.

Impressive experience and a love for students

Given his background and expertise combined with his deep love for his students, it’s no surprise that Rush won his students over.

“He really knows his stuff, especially business law,” said Rory Pruis, a junior accounting major, “but he really understands what we’re going through and also a lot about the material, so I think he’s a really good prof.”

“I think he always strives to bring the best out of people. He pushes people to think critically, to think outside the box, to analzye, to be a deep thinker, and he really hones into that,” said senior Nain Miranda Duarte, Calvin’s student body president.

“He values you as a human and he also brings his expertise from his life, his career, and also his faith, and he also teaches you,” said Michael MacGillivray, a junior majoring in financial planning. “And you know that everything you learn in his class is very true, effective, and going to be impactful.”

And his colleagues agree.

“This award is richly deserved. Scott is an exceptional teacher with years of real-world business experience that he brings into the classroom every day,” said Jim Ludema, dean of the School of Business. “He also is a great mentor and advisor to students. He cares about them deeply, helps them grow and develop personally and professionally, and engages them with a delightful sense of humor. Scott is also a person of deep faith who believes wholeheartedly in Calvin University’s mission of equipping Christ’s agents of renewal in the world which shines through in everything he does.”

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