After 27 years of writing and editing Spark, Lynn Bolt Rosendale ’85 is retiring from her dream job. Before coming to Calvin she worked as a sports reporter for The Grand Rapids Press and used to consider that her dream job. She loved covering sports except for the evening and weekend hours.
After earning a master’s in journalism from the University of Illinois and a short stint in Colorado, she returned to Michigan. She stopped in then Alumni Director Mike Van Denend’s office to see if he needed freelance help. Van Denend gave Rosendale her first job at Calvin, a news story about CAMP, the Calvin Alumni Meat and Potatoes program. The initiative matched Calvin students with alumni for dinners in their home.
After a few years of freelancing, she started writing feature stories for Spark. In 1993 an alumni communications position was created, and Van Denend hired Rosendale full time. He recalls what a great hire she was for Calvin: “She could have left Calvin a number of times and taken a job in corporate communications. She could have left, but she didn’t because she loved Calvin and caught its mission. Lynn’s journalistic instincts were perfect for Spark.”
Rosendale’s tenure at Spark allowed her to meet impressive alumni and tell fascinating stories. “What’s been amazing to me is the talent and where we have alumni redeeming their square inch,” she said. “They are everywhere and they do amazing and inspiring work. A lot of times I felt very humbled by the work that they do. The small part I can do is to tell their story and try to inspire other alumni through it.”
Her reporting has taken her around the country. She visited with an organic rancher in Idaho, went behind the scenes with the stage director for the Barnum & Bailey Circus, interviewed the president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, and spent a day with the cast of the Blue Man Group.
“Our alumni are amazing; we have alumni who use their businesses to give back, who work with the poorest of the poor, the people who don’t have voices,” Rosendale said.
As a journalist, Rosendale was always learning. She approached subjects with humility to learn what she’d be reporting on and also share complex topics in a way that alumni readers could understand.
In retirement she is looking forward to continued learning, spending time with family, and traveling and taking biking trips with her husband. Her parents had a philosophy of investing in people and experiences, and she wants to embrace that philosophy even more in retirement.
We’re grateful for the time Rosendale took investing in the lives of alumni, getting to know them, telling their stories, and inspiring us all.