Pictured above:
Front row: Rick Spykman, Rhonda Spykman, Lisa Lensing, Sue Toering, Susan Matthew, Linda Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, Jim Valk, Shawna Reidy, Gabriella de la Vega, Michelle Machiele, Paul Machiele. Back row: Dale Brink, Janet Brink, Dale Lesing, Mark Schott, Debra Schott, Shelley Evenhouse, Trayce Brooks, Abbey Waterman, Tom Reidy, Ross Leisman, Joe Matthews. Not pictured: Clarence Matthew

Begun in October 2004, the Calvin Parent Council was formed to allow the college to hear from current parents about the Calvin experience and to enlist them as admissions ambassadors for the institution.

Council members serve for a minimum of two years and can continue as long as they have a student attending Calvin. The first council co-chairs were John and Marilyn Wiesehan of St. Louis, Missouri; the current co-chairs are Rick and Rhonda Spykman of West Lafayette, Indiana.

Typically, 20 to 25 parents serve on the council and attempts are made to construct a group of diverse individuals to bring a full response and perspective to the college each parent council meeting.

In a single meeting of the council, members will hear from a variety of Calvin professors and administrators, both to give feedback to the college on procedures, programs and policies, and also to update council members on the depth and breadth of Calvin’s academic and support service offerings.

The February 2017 council session included conversations with Broene Counseling Center director Irene Kraegel; executive associate to the president for diversity and inclusion Michelle Loyd-Paige; and faculty and students from Calvin’s nursing department—followed by a strategy session with the college’s admissions team.

“Parent council meetings have been enjoyable and very educational to us,” said Rick Spykman. “Meetings with President Le Roy, department heads and program leaders have led us to a deep appreciation for Calvin’s excellent leadership team and faculty, all of whom share a commitment to excellent higher education that is centered in Christ.”

Calvin parents interested in serving on the council can write via parents@calvin.edu