Sitting in the Fine Arts Center auditorium as a kid, I remember my grandpa Joe Daverman ’33 explaining to me why the ceiling lights were all hanging at different levels. His architecture firm was involved in designing the building, and to save some money they decided not to finish the ceiling and install pendant lights instead.
I loved hearing the story of how a cost-savings measure became a beloved design feature of the auditorium. My grandpa was a Calvin alum and so are my parents, aunts and uncles, cousins and all my siblings. Now, a fourth generation of my family is making Calvin part of their story, too.
I came to Calvin thinking I would be an architect, but along the way I saw a poster on campus advertising a lecture, “What Can You Do With an English Major?” I attended, and after hearing professor James Vanden Bosch describe all the possibilities, I was sold.
I graduated in 1993 with an English major and art and German minors.
During my summers at Calvin I volunteered for former Calvin professor Paul Henry and his re-election campaigns to the United States Congress. This led to an internship in his office the spring semester of my senior year. While interning I was offered a job; I started working in politics the Monday after I graduated. Even though I didn’t major in political science, my liberal arts education had prepared me well. I worked for Paul and then continued working for his successor, another former Calvin professor, Vern Ehlers.
During this time, I met with alumni director Mike Van Denend ’78 about the idea of starting an alumni improv team. Jeanne Leep ’91 and I had been on the team as students, and we both missed improv after graduating. This was the beginning of River City Improv, the Calvin alumni improv team, which has traveled all over Calvin Nation, performing for alumni groups.
In 2006, Mike invited me to serve on the alumni board, making the connection to my alma mater even stronger. I eventually applied for and was offered the position of director of the Annual Fund in 2011. In that role, I was inspired by all of the great things happening at Calvin and wanted to get alumni excited about them, too. And with Mike’s retirement this past June, I transitioned into my new position as Calvin’s director of alumni and community relations.
I’m honored to be serving in this role and want to be a resource to help you stay connected to “A Good Spot of This Earth.” I look forward to connecting with alumni and hearing the stories of how you are living out Calvin College’s mission to think deeply, act justly and live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world.
By Rick Treur ’93, director of alumni and community relations. Find him on Twitter: @ricktreur or Instagram: ricktreur.