Celebrating Liberal Arts and Place

During the week of April 16-23, Calvin hosted the first Embrace Our Place Festival, a week-long celebration to commemorate the college’s connection to and partnership with our community, city and region.  Embrace Our Place included a variety of events both on and off-campus and began with an urban bike tour and opening reception downtown at the Calvin-owned Center Art Gallery. Delicious food from many local restaurants was served, local businesses showcased their wares and then an opening program was held at the Ladies Literary Club (a building recently acquired by Calvin, right around the corner from the Art Gallery) which featured a presentation by a City Commissioner on the important relationship between the college and the city.  

Other events during the week included an Engaged Scholars Showcase highlighting faculty and student research across many disciplines on issues of local importance and featuring brief research presentations from faculty in all academic divisions of the college. 

On Friday and Saturday, April 20 & 21, the 10th anniversary of the Calvin Environmental Assessment Program (CEAP) was celebrated at the Bunker Interpretive Center and findings were displayed from campus environmental research conducted since 1997. 

Check the links in the box on the right for two booklets developed to showcase the many ways our academic mission of teaching, learning, research and scholarship is fulfilled within our place.

On Monday, April 23 the Embrace Our Place Festival concluded with a Community Partnerships Celebration which recognized the collaborative work accomplished between many Grand Rapids community organizations and Calvin faculty and students.  

For a complete schedule of activities for the Embrace Our Place Festival, see the link on the right.

Embrace Our Place grew out of a larger research project funded by the Teagle Foundation which has made it possible for Calvin to explore ways to strengthen liberal arts education by focusing on our place.  A growing body of literature affirms the need for place-based educational initiatives.  Through interviews with faculty, upper level students, alumni, and community leaders this research is examining the college-community connections and how a focus on the particulars of our place can strengthen liberal arts education.