August 28, 2023 | Matt Kucinski

Two female and one male college student talk on a walkway on Calvin University's campus.
First-year students Lily Dyk, Ashley Mendez, and Aedan Vermeulen Vandevelde talking during move-in day at Calvin University.

Classes are underway and the incoming class of 1,150 students for the 2023-2024 academic year is ready to experience year one at Calvin University. Seven students who moved onto campus last week share about their paths to Calvin and what they are most looking forward to during their first year.

How did Calvin first come on your radar?

Duncan Billings (Traverse City, Mich.): I was looking for a school in Michigan and I’m also playing lacrosse. I was doing research of schools and I liked Calvin’s message, so I came for a visit and I really liked it and the people.

Wyatt Steensma (Mattawan, Mich.): Honestly when I heard they were making a football team I was like 'I played football in high school, I did pretty well, and I think I might have a shot here.' So, I emailed the coach and thankfully by the grace of God he put me on the roster and now I’m here and I’m having a good time so far.

Caleb Rosendal (Dyer, Ind.): I have two brothers that are here and both of them said it’s a great school and so I looked into it, and I also saw they were setting up a volleyball program and I wanted to join.

Aedan Vermeulen Vandevelde (Rochester Hills, Mich.): Through a college fair is how I heard about the school.

What was the tipping point for you in choosing Calvin?

Caleb: Location. It’s not too far from my home and then I also have family in the area, so nice and close.

Katie Phippen (Macomb, Ill.): Swim team. I’m a big swimmer and they just have the best program I could find.

Lily Dyk (Kalamazoo, Mich.): It has a lot of good scholarship opportunities, and it has a film program that I’m part of.

Aedan: I like the pre-law program they have and the different study abroad programs they have for Spanish, that’s what drew me to come here.

Ashley (Grand Rapids, Mich.): I like how if you’re undecided they can help you shadow some jobs and all of the resources they have if you are undecided.

What’s something you are most excited about?

Duncan: I am excited for the Polar Plunge [Cold Knight Plunge] tradition, and mainly to meet new people.

Wyatt: I am looking forward to getting to know people here, teachers, how classes work, but most importantly the Hope/Calvin football game next fall.

Katie: The whole experience, because I was homeschooled throughout high school, so just being able to hang out with people and stuff, having that opportunity.

Lily: Meeting new people, learning more about my interests, and they have really good study abroad options, so I’m excited to do some of those too.

Recent stories