(graduated more than 50 years ago)

In April, WestBow Press released The Letter: The Memoirs of Thomas M. Woodham, a novel by Alan A. Arkema ’51. The story addresses the struggles of faith and belonging when teenage sweethearts, pregnant and facing the opposition of parents, are forced apart then meet again years later. Retired after a career serving churches in the United States and Australia, Alan says his book draws heavily from his experience as a minister. It’s available in the Calvin Campus Store and online.

In August, alums from both coasts met in Rockford, Mich., to see friends and take home some new Calvin University swag. On the left, Paul VandenBout ’61 and Rachel Eggebeen VandenBout ’61 came from Susan, Va., and on the right, Sandra Peters Spee ’74 and Mark Spee ’76 came from Turnwater, Wash. The VandenBouts were visiting Roger Brummel ’61 and Connie Northouse Brummel ’60, while the Spees were visiting Bob Leunk ’76 and Thea Nyhoff Leunk ’76.


Marcia Ann Lagerwey ’72 was the guest curator for With Child: Otto Dix/Carmen Winant, an exhibition at the Worcester Museum of Art in Worcester, Mass., from Sept. 21 through Dec. 15. The exhibition focused on images of pregnancy and birth in the work of German artist Otto Dix and contemporary artmaker Carmen Winant. Marcia’s husband, Loren Hoekzema ’65, recently retired from college teaching and assisted Marcia by offering a class at the museum on three images of pregnant nudes by Dix. Marcia and Loren have spent the past three summers traveling throughout Germany in preparation for the show.

On July 10, the day that Calvin College officially became Calvin University, these sibling alums and their spouses celebrated on the deck of the cruise ship Westerdam in Haines, Alaska. They were also celebrating 201 combined years of marriage and family friendship. From left, they are: Keith Bode ’74, Patti Wiersma Bode ’79, Greg Bode ’76, Mark Houseman ’81, Karen Bode Houseman ’81, Barry Unema ’82, Colleen Bode Unema ’83, Calvin mom Jayne Kramer Bode, Randy Bode ’72, and Jan Stouwie Bode ’72.

Alan Pauw ’79 has been named to the U.S. News Best Lawyers in America list for 2020 in the area of employee benefits law. Alan practices in the Louisville, Ky., office of the McBrayer firm. The distinction is given based on peer review.


Schwarzbier, brewed by DeHop’s Brewing Company and Café, was named the best dark lager in the U.S. at the 2019 World Beer Awards in London. Mark DeHaan ’85 and Cathy DeVries DeHaan ’86 opened DeHop’s in 2018 in Walker, Mich., six miles west of Grand Rapids, and offer 16 beers on tap that rotate with the seasons.

A team representing Calvin University teed off in the annual Hamilton (Ontario) District High School golf outing in September. They report that the tee they sponsored for Calvinturned out to be “a bottleneck, so people spent more time there,” generating interest in Calvin. Members of the team, from left, are: David van Dokkumburg, Sharon van Dokkumburg, Wil van Dokkumburg ’87, Susan vanderHeiden, Tim Fisher ’87, Rick Stroobosscher ’87, and Mike Fisher ’90.

Valparaiso University began the academic year with a new vice president for student affairs, Julie DeGraw ’88. Julie moved to Indiana from Bluffton, Ohio, where she was the vice president for student life and dean of students at Bluffton University. She got her start in student affairs at her alma mater, working in residence life, leadership development, and Calvin’s Broene Counseling Center from 1990–1997.

During their senior year at Calvin, Jack Van Noord, Bill Cornell, Rick Veen, Kenric Van Wyk, Robert McRuer, and Gary Van Prooyen lived together in Chi 35. They, joined by commuter friend John Bekker, had such a great Calvin experience that at their graduation in 1988 they made a pact to reunite every year thereafter. They’ve lived up to that promise. Without missing a single year, they’ve vacationed together in locations from Vancouver to the Bahamas. Their 2019 gathering in Milwaukee marked their 32nd consecutive reunion. The spouses and children of the original “Chi 35 seven” are now friends, too, referring to themselves as “Chi-Lites.”


After serving Walker, Mich., as mayor for five years, Mark Huizenga ’90 won the November 2018 election for Michigan’s 74th district seat in the state’s House of Representatives. Mark is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and chairs the Subcommittee on General Government. The 74th district encompasses much of western Kent County.

Musician, lead singer of the group Majestic Praise, and music producer Debra Perry ’91 will join director Nate Glasper and the Calvin Gospel Choir on a January Interim tour of South Korea.

Jon Van Gorp ’91, partner in the law firm Mayer Brown, has been named chair of Bottom Line’s Chicago Regional Advisory Board. Bottom Line is a nonprofit that helps first-generation college students from low-income backgroundsget into college, graduate, and transition to a career. Jon has a long involvement with the organization, previously serving as chair of its fundraising and visibility committee in Chicago.

From a list of some 4,000 Indiana applicants, Marie Stressman Haraburda ’93 was selected as one of 35 career coaches to serve on the Skillful Governor’s Coaching Corps 2019. The corps will assist Gov. Eric Holcomb in developing resources to better connect employers in the state with the workforce. Marie is a certified as a global career development facilitator.

Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira ’94 has a new book out for early-grade readers: Gritty and Graceful: 15 Inspiring Women of the Bible. From Eve to Mary, Caryn tells the stories of women that God empowered to change the world. Caryn’s 2017 book Grit and Grace: Heroic Women of the Bible tells those stories and five more for pre-teen readers. This is her 11th book, some of them for adults! Both Gritty and Graceful and Grit and Grace are available through the Calvin Campus Store and online.

Casey Kuperus ’97 has taken the role of executive director of David’s House Ministries in Wyoming, Mich. David’s House serves 43 residents in five adult foster care homes. The ministry also provides community living support services, like help with grocery shopping and medical appointments, for individuals living with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injury, or mental illness in the Grand Rapids area. Working closely with Casey as the director for advancement at David’s House is Greg Vander Goot ’94. Before coming to the ministry, Greg spent three years as a senior development representative at Kuyper College.

The French government has made Megan Bush Diercks ’98 a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques. It’s the highest non-military honor a non-French citizen can receive. Megan was recognized for her “eminent service to French education and contribution to the prestige of French culture.” In addition to teaching French at Colorado School of Mines, Megan is the editor of the National Bulletin, the publication of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF), the president of her local AATF chapter, assistant to the National French Contest director, and the local National French Contest administrator.


What started as a small-scale art show by Gwen Kwasteniet Vogelzang ’01 and her 12-year-old son, Rylan, has bloomed into a book. Rylan, who lives with autism and Tourette’s syndrome, originally drew 15 pictures about what it feels like to live in his brain and paired each drawing with insightful explanations. If I Squeeze Your Head I’m Sorry is the art show in book form. “Our hope is that readers will be reminded to take time to ask people around them what it’s like to see, hear, and feel the world through their unique lens,” Gwen writes on her website. The book is available through the Calvin Campus Store and online.

In August, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) selected Terence Schoone-Jongen ’01 as the new director of the Office of Representation Appeals. At the NLRB for nine years now, Terence has become a leading expert in the area of employee representation case law. In his new role he serves as chief legal adviser and consultant to the entire NLRB on all questions of law, procedure, and policy regarding issues of employee representation in labor disputes and advises the board’s regional offices on representation matters delegated to them.

Like one of every three women, Rebecca DeYoung Dekker ’02 had a traumatic child birthing experience. At the time she was an award-winning nurse-researcher at the University of Kentucky and decided to use her skills to understand what went wrong, why it went wrong, and how it could be changed. As a result, she founded Evidence Based Birth to give families and communities accurate information so they can make better choices about childbirth. In Babies Are Not Pizzas: They’re Born, Not Delivered, Rebecca tells her story and the research it fostered. The book is available at the Calvin Campus Store and online.

In September, the city manager of Grand Rapids appointed Jono Klooster ’02 acting director of economic development services for the city. Jono is tasked with leading efforts to improve Grand Rapids’ business environment, including initiatives to encourage sustainable development. For more than eight years he’s been part of the city’s economic development team. One of his recent accomplishments was managing the acquisition of more than 15 acres of riverfront property for the Grand River restoration project and the acquisition of tax-foreclosed properties for affordable housing.

The Detroit Chamber of Commerce has chosen Rob Nederhood ’02 as one of 70 participants in Leadership Detroit, a regional leadership program. Rob is a partner and business lawyer in the Detroit office of Foley & Lardner.

In July, Missouri Baptist University named Ben Lion ’03 its new vice president of student development. To accept the post, Ben and his family moved to the St. Louis-area school from Orlando, Fla., where he had been the dean of students at Valencia College’s west campus. Ben has also worked in student development at Azusa Pacific University, Belmont University, and Florida State College at Jacksonville.

The Tri-City Times has named Maria Mulder Brown ’03 its new editor. Since her Calvin graduation Maria has been a staff writer and assistant editor at the weekly newspaper, which publishes from Imlay City and serves Michigan’s southern thumb region.

In June, filmmaker Chad Terpstra ’04 released his first full-length documentary, Father the Flame. Chosen for the Chicago International Film Festival in 2018, the film charts the art of pipe making from roots in Native American culture to modern artisanal pipes, like those made by the world-renowned pipe maker from Michigan, Lee Erck. In telling the story of pipe making through Erck, the documentary also pays homage to a simpler, slower pace of life. Chad’s wife, Stellita Bouma Terpstra ’02, was one of the film’s producers. Father the Flame is available on iTunes, Amazon, and other digital platforms.

For the 15th consecutive year, these friends who met at Phi Chi during the 2002–2003 school year reunited for a long weekend of fellowship and fun. From left, Phil Vreeman ’05, Sara Nieuwkoop ’03, Le Thanh Dung, Stacy Zook Callen ’03, Becky Haagsma Swanson ’03, Tessa and Paul Swanson, Tim Lautenbach ’04, Lindsey Van Essendelft Lautenbach ’04, Josh Lautenbach, Ryan Hickerson ex’03, and Bobby and Heather Hickerson.

After earning her PhD in English education from Western Michigan University in August 2018, Sara Erffmeyer Hoeve ’05 has accepted a position as an assistant professor in English education at Purdue University.

Having completed a fellowship in cardiac surgery at the University of Michigan, Reilly Hobbs ’06 is continuing his training in pediatric heart surgery at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, part of the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor.

Solid Coffee Roasters has expanded its business to a second cafe in Bellflower, Calif. Its original cafe is in nearby Artesia. Co-owner Mark Tigchelaar ’06 describes the business as “buying direct-trade beans from around the world for small batch roasting-to-order.”

Pa Thao ’08 was one of three community leaders presented with a Chippewa Valley Vanguard Award last February in Eau Claire, Wis. An advocate for underserved communities in the Chippewa Valley, she was executive director of the Hmong Mutual Assistance Association for seven years. She’s now the executive director of the Black and Brown Womyn Power Coalition.


Mike Drury ’11 began the school year as the official principal of Chicago Christian High School in Palos Heights, Ill. Last year he served as the school’s interim principal while a search was conducted. Before becoming principal, Mike taught history at CCHS.

Jacob Schepers ’12 was awarded an MFA in poetry and a PhD in English by the University of Notre Dame in May and August, respectively. He now holds a postdoctoral fellowship at Notre Dame as a 5+1 Teaching Scholar and serves as an associate faculty member at Indiana University South Bend.

Last June, Olivia Happel ’13 defended her doctoral thesis “That Which Is Not Yet Known: An Analysis of Michael Maier’s Alchemical Work through Arcana Arcanissima.” Olivia earned her degree in mythological studies from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, Calif.

Nathan Groenewold ’14, in collaboration with Resonate Global Mission and faith-based nonprofits in Detroit, has founded Cohort Detroit, an immersive year of learning and Christian leadership development. Cohort Detroit places young adults in a partner nonprofit in the city and assigns them a mentor. It also provides “guided learning intensives” during which participants examine power, privilege, and socioeconomic systems from a Christian perspective. Interested young adults can contact resonateglobalmission.org/cohort/detroit

Three young engineers employed at Prein & Newhof, a west Michigan engineering firm, have recently earned their Professional Engineer licenses in the state of Michigan. Mark DeHaan, Julie Swierenga Feria, and Jeremy Kamp graduated from Calvin’s engineering program in 2015 with a civil/environmental engineering concentration and joined the firm that same year. Mark has provided construction observation for public utility and paving projects at P&N, while Julie has worked on sanitary sewer modeling, water reliability studies, and geographic information system (GIS) projects. Jeremy has assisted with both design and construction observation for P&N water and wastewater system improvement projects.