(graduated more than 50 years ago)

On its Facebook page last September, the Basin Business Journal, a farm-news source in Central Washington, honored Gertrude Kornelis Kooy ex’47 as the Quincy Honorary Farmer of the Year. Gert moved to the Quincy area in 1961 with her husband, Ralph, from Nobleford, Alberta, to farm and start an irrigation equipment business. That business steadily grew as the Columbia Basin continued to open more ground to irrigation. It has employed many members of the Kooy family, including Gert and all 16 of her grandkids. To read the story, visit the Basin Business Journal’s Facebook page.

Cal DeWitt ’57 has authored “Earth Stewardship and Laudato Si’.” Appearing in The Quarterly Review of Biology, it is one of the five most-read papers published in the journal this past year. Cal is the co-founder of the Evangelical Environmental Network and director emeritus of the Au Sable Institute in Madison, Wisconsin. The article begins: “The Stewardship Tradition … was given remarkable new life on June 18, 2015, by Pope Francis in his Encyclical, Laudato Si’—On Care for Our Common Home.” Cal reports that the complete text is available for free download at doi.org/10.1086/688096.

Retired from a career in social work, Sydney Byma ’65 and his wife, Jennie, of Abbotsford, British Colombia, have been volunteering with World Renew’s Disaster Response Services. Since 2008, when they served in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, they have volunteered on 16 reconstruction projects, serving as site managers for 13 of them. Their fellow team members have ranged in age from 17 to 86 and have included novices as well as experts. Sid writes, “The fellowship is wonderful and spiritually enriching to our own lives as well as the lives of the clients in whose homes we are privileged to work. Volunteering with DRS is something we recommend to anyone.”

In November, Donald E. Greydanus ’66 was honored with the 2017 Mayo Clinic Distinguished Alumnus Award by the clinic’s board of trustees. The award is “to acknowledge and show appreciation for the exceptional contributions of Mayo alumni to the field of medicine.” Don has received several awards throughout his long career in pediatric medicine, including the Adele Dellenbaugh Hofmann Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Don is a professor and founding chair of the department of pediatric and adolescent medicine at Western Michigan University’s Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine in Kalamazoo, Mich.


For the second time, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has purchased an ArtPrize entry by Marlin Baker ’68. Built out of 41 different musical instruments, “Roll Over Beethoven” was chosen by the public as one of the top 25 entries in the 3D division of the 2017 competition. After the 19-day art event in Grand Rapids, which drew 1,400 entries, Ripley’s shipped the construction to its new museum in Gatlinburg, Tenn. Marlin’s 2012 ArtPrize entry, “Mr. Phil Harmonic,” is on view at the Ripley’s museum in San Antonio, Texas.


In November, Duane Kelderman ’73 was re-elected to the governing board of the In Trust Center for Theological Schools, an organization of more than 200 Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Christian seminaries, divinity schools, and theological colleges. Before retiring in 2011, Duane was a professor of preaching for 12 years and the vice president for administration for 10 years at Calvin Theological Seminary.

They fondly call themselves the VANDALS: The Van Dellen Alumni Literary Society. When the four dormand housemates reunited in fall 2014, they decided to form a book club to enhance both their friendship and their learning. Since they live at great distances from each other, the monthly book club meeting is held by telephone. In the past three years they’ve read 35-plus books together (mostly nonfiction) and had perfect attendance at their meetings. They’ve also reunited in person two more times, most recently in February in Naples, Fla. The VANDALS: Pete Lagerwey ’74, Tim Huizenga ’75, Dick Prince ’75, and Ed Bakker ’75.

Jim Huizenga ’74 is serving as a committee chair for a $5 million capital campaign launched in November by Children Inc., in Cincinnati. The funds raised will expand the educational opportunities and experiences that the nonprofit offers every day to 3,000 underserved children in the metro area. Jim is the former senior program officer at the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

The west Michigan-based law firm Miller Johnson has elected Craig Lubben ’78 as one of its two managing members. Craig is now responsible for the business functions of the firm, including chairing the management committee and overseeing long-term professional and operational interests. Based in Kalamazoo, Craig joined Miller Johnson in 1981 and focuses his practice on representing business entities, executives, medical professionals, and other individuals in commercial disputes. He also serves as chair of the Calvin College Board of Trustees.


On Nov. 8, the YWCA of West Central Michigan presented Valerie Vredevoogd Carrasco ’86 with a 2017 Tribute Award for leadership in her profession. Given annually, the YWCA Tribute Awards recognize women who are leaders in their area of social engagement. Valerie is a detective with the Grand Rapids Police Department and a key member of the Kent County Domestic Violence Community Coordinated Response Team. Those who nominated her for the award noted that, “Since 2004 she has investigated over 11,000 cases of domestic violence. Of those, more 4,000 have ended in the arrest of a suspect. She has an extremely heavy caseload, but it can be argued she spends most of her time with victims.”


After working and living in three national parks, then teaching high school AP biology and chemistry, Tamara Chase Coleman ’90 has accepted a full-time faculty position in the biology department at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City.

In November, Cheryl Wassenaar ’93 was honored among 109 St. Louis-area educators with an Emerson Excellence in Teaching award. The awards, sponsored by the Emerson company, pay tribute to area educators—from kindergarten teachers to college professors—for their achievements and dedication to the field of education. Cheryl is an associate professor of art at Washington University and was nominated for the award by the school’s administration. Her artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally and has received corporate commissions.

Last spring Paul J. Oh ’94 graduated summa cum laude from the master’s program in education at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. He will soon complete a second master’s in educational leadership and management from the same university. At the same time, “Amos,” as he was known at Calvin, is working toward a PhD in philosophy at the University of Waterloo in Ontario and a PhD in education through the University of Turku in Finland. His research focuses on the moral justification for and civic legitimacy of homeschooling.

Commissioned as appointee missionaries with The Evangelical Alliance Mission last February, Risa Jung Hobson ’97 and her family are heading to Portugal this year to help develop a retreat center for pastors and missionaries and their families. At the center, Risa, Josh, and their two daughters will use their ministry, counseling, and culinary skills to care for the emotional and spiritual well-being of ministry workers serving throughout Europe and North Africa. You can learn more about their ministry by following them on Facebook (facebook/familia.hobson.1) or at their blog, familiahobson.blogspot.com.

A pilot for Air Canada, Kurtis Kooy ’97 was recently promoted to captain on Boeing’s newest aircraft, the 737 MAX. Kurt’s home base is Toronto, where he flies out of Canada’s biggest and busiest airport, Lester B. Pearson International, to destinations throughout Air Canada’s route network. He writes, “Flying has been a dream come true!”

John Van Stee ’97 has been elected a partner in the Chicago office of the tax and accounting firm CohnReznick. He specializes in providing services to a¦ordable housing and assisted living developers and management companies, a¦ordable housing syndicators, and nonprofits.

Since graduating from Calvin, Alida Fernhout ’97 has completed a bachelor’s in nursing and a master’s in public health. Nursing and humanitarian work have taken her to Kenya, Tanzania, and South Sudan. She currently splits her time between work in the inner city of Vancouver, British Columbia, and at a nursing station in the western Arctic.

Steven Erffmeyer ’94 has been elected shareholder at Arthur, Chapman, Kettering, Smetak & Pikala, P.A. of Minneapolis, Minn. Steve concentrates his practice in the areas of construction law, automobile law, commercial transportation, general liability defense litigation, and insurance coverage.


On March 2, the Michigan Science Teachers Association presented Brian DeJong ’01 with its 2018 College Science Teacher of the Year award. An associate professor of engineering at Central Michigan University, Brian is known for his innovative, hands-on learning strategies, such as having students build Lego robots for a king-of-the-hill competition. Those nominating him also noted his passion for teaching and his excellence as a role model. In addition to his teaching and research, Brian coordinates the mechanical engineering program at CMU.

A philosophy professor at the King’s College, Neal DeRoo ’03 has been awarded a prestigious Canada Research Chair grant. The $500,000 grant, awarded over five years, will support Neal’s appointment as chair in phenomenology and philosophy of religion. His current research project, he says, “is meant to help form a hub of people thinking about issues related to religion (especially Christianity) and its application in every part of our lives.”

Last fall, City Owl Press released Tides, a new book by Emily Wenstrom ’07. The book is the third in Emily’s Chronicles of the Third Realm Wars series, books that “merge Greek mythology with Judeo-Christian tradition as characters struggle with meaning and faith in a chaotic world and in their own lives.” The first book in the series, Mud, won the Florida Writers’ Association 2016 Book of the Year award. Learn more about Emily, writing as E.J., at her website: ejwenstrom.com.

Last fall these four couples gathered to reminisce and reconnect. As Calvin students, the men lived together in a house on Vassar Drive. They are, from left: Grant Buma ’07 and Carolyn Bolt Buma ’07, Jon Berends ’07 and Aimee Berends, Kevin Martin ’08 and Sarah Martin, Mark Wierenga ’07 and Jenna Van Klompenberg Wierenga ’07. The Bumas traveled from Chicago, the Berends from Kitchener, Ontario, and the Martins from next door in Grand Rapids to Wyoming, Mich., where they reunited at the Wierengas.

Layne Thomasma Derks ’06, a physician’s assistant; Elizabeth Klompien Stob ’05, an adult nurse practitioner; Muriel Arrowsmith ’11, a family nurse practitioner; and their colleagues at Enhanced Primary Care were recently awarded the first Advanced Practice Provider Team-Based Care Award at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids. The award is given to a team that has shown exceptional ability to provide a team-based care experience for its patients by working and communicating e¦ectively with each other and other clinics.

Nathaniel Kaleefey ’04 has been named a partner at Verspoor Waalkes PC, which is a small law firm in Grand Rapids, Michigan, providing legal solutions in the areas of business, estate, and family law.


Second-year medical student Ryan Machiele ’10 has been selected as the Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine’s 2017 Student Doctor of the Year. He was chosen for the honor by fellow Campbell medical students and faculty members for his “outstanding leadership, community service, and dedication to the osteopathic profession.” Ryan serves as his class president and is an active member of the Christian Medical and Dental Association, the Wilderness Medicine Club, and the Surgery Club. He has also volunteered in many outreach events, including providing health care services to the local community and to rural patients in the Amazon region of Ecuador.

Last October Zach Zwart, Lance Van Tine, and Nate DeVries, classmates (pictured left to right) in the Class of 2017, launched their new business, PEACE of Mind. Short for Professional, Experienced Assistants Caring for the Elderly, the service employs registered nurses to transport patients in the Grand Rapids area to their medical appointments, to accompany patients through the appointments, and to provide patients and their family members with clear communication about the doctors’ recommendations and instructions. To learn more about the service, visit peaceincllc.com or the Peace of Mind Facebook page.