Holland, Michigan College ( Hope College)

Holland, Michigan College ( Hope College)


The city of Holland is located in the Lower Peninsula’s western section in the American state of Michigan. It is located on Lake Macatawa, which is supplied by the Macatawa River (previously known locally as the Black River), close to the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. The economy of Holland, a bustling metropolis, is varied and includes manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, and higher education. Many well-known businesses, including as Johnson Controls, Haworth, and Herman Miller, are based there. The city also welcomes thousands of tourists every year for its Tulip Time Festival, which honors the region’s colorful tulip fields and Dutch ancestry.
The city is divided into two counties: Allegan County (with 9.08 sq mi, or 23.52 km2) and Ottawa County (with 8.13 sq mi, or 21.06 km2)
The biggest city in Allegan and Ottawa counties is Holland. Whereas the Allegan County half is coextensive with Allegan County and belongs to the Holland Micropolitan Statistical Area, the Ottawa County portion is part of the Grand Rapids-Kentwood Metropolitan Statistical Area. Both regions are included in the Grand Rapids, Kentwood, and Muskegon Combined Statistical Area as of 2013. Holland is located in a region where a sizable portion of the population is of Dutch American descent and was founded by Dutch Americans. Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, two of the Reformed Church’s North American institutions, are located there.
Our diverse town, which is tucked away along the breathtaking Lake Michigan shoreline, is well-known for its fall orchards, summer festivals, winter holidays, and springtime tulips. Above all, though, Holland is renowned for its people’s kindness.
This town has colleges. This is the location of the main campuses of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary as well as some of the neighboring universities’ satellite campuses, including Grand Valley, GRCC, and Davenport.
The Hope Neighborhood lies at the heart of Holland, a college town. It’s the gathering spot for a diverse group of people from all walks of life, including families, academics, students, and coffee enthusiasts. Among the best liberal arts colleges is Hope College.

Holland, Michigan College ( Hope College)

Hope College

Academic brilliance and a strong Christian faith come together at Hope College, a four-year liberal arts institution located in the heart of Holland, Michigan. The campus is friendly and supportive.Located in Holland, Michigan, Hope College is a private liberal arts college run by Christians. Four years after the community was first inhabited, in 1851, Dutch settlers opened it as the Pioneer School. Hope’s state charter was granted in 1866, and its first freshman class began classes in 1862. Hope College is still predominantly Christian and is connected to the Reformed Church in America. Located next to the central business center, the 120-acre (0.19-square-mile) facility has been shared with Western Theological Seminary since 1884. Near the eastern beaches of Lake Michigan, the Hope College campus is regarded by many as very beautiful. It is situated 2.5 hours away from two large cities, Detroit and Chicago.

Holland, Michigan College ( Hope College)


Hope’s motto, “Spera in Deo” (meaning “Hope in God”), is derived from Psalm 42:6. The anchor serves as the college’s insignia. This passage is taken from a speech given in 1851 by the community’s leader, Albertus van Raalte, at the Pioneer School’s founding: “This is my anchor of hope for this people in the future,” which alludes to Hebrews 6:19. Later, as Hope College, the elementary Pioneer School was expanded to include secondary and collegiate education. The oldest structure on campus, Van Vleck Hall (1858), was once home to the Pioneer School and is now used as a dorm. It is the second-oldest structure in the city. In 1866, Hope was granted a state charter, and its first cohort of students graduated in 1862. The college admitted its first female students in 1878.
Hope College celebrated its 150th year of instruction in 2015. Hope celebrated this by hosting a number of activities throughout 2015. On May 3, 2015, the 150th commencement marked the start of the festivities. The year saw the groundbreaking ceremonies for the Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center as well as the grand openings of the Kruizenga Art Museum and the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts. Additionally, the institution supported the Presidential Colloquium lecture series, which included David Brooks’ talk on Christian education in the twenty-first century.
The Michigan Historical Commission built a marker in 2019 identifying the college as a Michigan Historic Site.The text on the inscription says:
The Pioneer School was founded in 1851, four years after Dutch settlers founded Holland, to help with some of the colony’s educational needs. The General Synod of the Reformed Church in America provided guidance and financial support to this institution, which was Hope College’s forerunner. The institution changed its name to the Holland Academy, which admitted its first college students in 1862. The college was granted charter as Hope College on May 14, 1866, and its first class of eight graduates took honors on July 17, 1866. The motto, seal, and name of the college are taken from a quote by Rev. Albertus C. Van Raalte, this serves as my ray of hope for these people going forward. A robust college of arts and sciences was established in the decades that followed, and it is still in service to the community and the church.

Holland, Michigan College ( Hope College)

Heads of State

The college has been led by the following individuals:
1866–1878: Philip Phelps Jr.
Scott, Charles (1878–1893)
Gerrit J. Kollen, class of 1868 at Hope College, 1893–1911
Ame Vennema, class of 1879 at Hope College, 1911–1918
Edward D. Dimnent, class of 1896 at Hope College, 1918–1931
Wichers Wynand (1931–1945)
Irwin J. Lubbers, class of 1917 at Hope College (1945–1963)
Calvin A. VanderWerf, Hope College Class of 1937, 1963–1970
Van Wylen, Gordon (1972–1987)
Jacobson, John H. (1987–1999)
James E. Bultman, Hope College Class of 1963 (1999–2013)
Knapp, John C. (2013–2017)
Dennis N. Voskuil (Interim, 2017–2019)
Matthew A. Scogin (class of 2002, Hope College; active 2019

Hope Forward

The college is working to implement Hope Forward, a strategy that replaces upfront tuition payments with gifts that fully support each student’s tuition after graduation. The community, generosity, and access are the cornerstones of the Hope Forward approach. The college needs to generate more than $1 billion in order to pay for tuition in full and provide Hope Forward to every student. Malcolm Gladwell, a writer, became interested in Hope Forward in June 2023 and named an episode of his podcast Revisionist History, “A Good Circle,” in honor of the initiative.

Holland, Michigan College ( Hope College)


More than ninety majors are available at the college, all of which lead to degrees in nursing, engineering, science, arts, or bachelor’s degree in science. With an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio, it is home to over 3,200 students.
The college provides summer, semester, and academic year abroad programs in addition to off-campus study abroad options in a number of cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Students particularly enjoy its well-established summer semester program in Vienna, one of its foreign offerings.
Hope remains closely connected to the American Reformed Church.
Hope College is a part of the Great Lakes College Association in addition.
One of just 54 colleges and universities—including Yale, Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and Michigan—Hope College is ranked #27 by U.S. News & World Report and is acknowledged for offering exceptional student research opportunities. In 2024, Hope is ranked higher than Dartmouth, UCLA, Northwestern, and the University of Chicago, and it is tied with Rice University and Columbia.

Hope offers courses in the following five disciplines:

General Education: Students study a wide range of subjects based on a liberal arts education in General Education classes. Students take classes in math, science, art, history, language, and literature regardless of their specializations. Additionally, they take part in a Senior Seminar course and a First-Year Seminar course. These classes were designed to support students with their transitions into and out of college.
Arts and Humanities: Hope College offers a Fine and Performing Arts degree that is divided into four departments: Dance, Music, Theatre, and Art and Art History. The departments of English, History, Modern and Classical Languages, Philosophy, and Religion are all part of the Humanities division.
Natural and Applied Sciences: The programs offered by the Natural and Applied Sciences include Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Biology and Molecular Biology, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Nursing, Physics, and Computer Science.
Social Sciences: The departments of Communication, Economics and Business, Education, Kinesiology, Peace and Justice minor, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology/Social Work comprise a Social Science degree.
Pre-health programs: An extensive range of undergraduate pre-health programs are available . Occupational therapy, optometry, chiropractic care, dentistry, genetic counseling, medicine, pharmacy, physician assistant, physical therapy, podiatry, public health, speech language pathology, and veterinary medicine are among them. Pre-clinical psychology, athletic training, and nursing are additional pre-health careers.

According to 2022 alumni, Hope’s most popular majors were:

Psychology of Business
Exercise for Engineering Nurses Biology Science Communication
Social Services
Science of Politics


Hope College has professional certification from the following organizations in addition to the Higher Learning Commission’s accreditation:

American Chemical Society Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Commission on Athletic Training Education; and Council for Social Work Education
The National Association of Art and Design Schools
The National Association of Dance Schools
National Theater Education Association National Association of Schools of Music.

University life

Holland, Michigan College ( Hope College)


Eleven residence halls, twenty-four apartment complexes, and more than seventy residences (referred to as “cottages”) that the college owns close to the campus offer on-campus living. Only a small portion of students live off campus; these are mostly Holland, Michigan natives and juniors and seniors. For three years, all full-time students who do not qualify for commuter status must reside on campus.


The majority of Hope’s students are from the larger Great Lakes area. Ninety percent of the students in 2023 were from the following states: Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. White students make up about 79% of the student body, while students from minority origins make up roughly 16%. About 3% of the student body is foreign-born.

Organizations for students

In addition to a wide range of academic, musical, spiritual, literary, social, and athletic clubs, the college offers eighty student-led clubs and organizations, including Dance Marathon and Relay for Life, an FM radio station (WTHS), newspaper (The Anchor), literary magazine (Opus), and yearbook (Milestone). With the exception of Phi Sigma Kappa, one fraternity, between 10 and 12 percent of students are involved in Hope-specific social fraternities and sororities that are local chapters rather than bigger organizations. Omicron Kappa Epsilon, the sixth-oldest fraternity still in existence, is likewise located in Hope. The college hosts chapel services on campus on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in addition to Sunday evening worship sessions (“The Gathering”). Since 1970, attendance at these events has been optional, but students frequently pack Dimnent Memorial Chapel to capacity or above.

Holland, Michigan College ( Hope College)

The Pull

Hope College holds an annual tug-of-war known as “The Pull” between the freshmen and sophomore classes. Every year on the final Saturday in September, it is hosted in Holland across the Black River (it was held on a Friday until 1993). Pull was established in 1898. There are 19 students on the rope representing each team as “pullers,” an additional 19 serving as mentors and “moralers,” and one pull “anchor” per team. Seniors coach the sophomores, while juniors coach the freshmen. The rivalry between the even and odd year classes is a result of this structure. The colors of an odd year are maroon and gold, whereas those of an even year are red and white.


A Window Into Cultures

Every year, kids from all around the world present a variety of skits, dances, songs, and other snippets of language and culture at IMAGES: A Reflection of Cultures, an international showcase.

Holland, Michigan College ( Hope College)

The Nykerk Cup Match

Freshmen and sophomore women compete in a variety of events, including song, play, and oration, for the Nykerk Cup. Similar to the Pull, juniors coach freshmen, and seniors coach sophomores. Both groups participate in the “Odd Year” and “Even Year” tournaments. In late autumn, around Family Weekend, the Nykerk Cup is held. The custom was started by John Nykerk in 1935. As “moralers” in the competition, men assist the competitors by erecting sets and organizing scene changes.

Fantasia in Winter

The college has one formal dance every February. Students are welcome to come in big groups or on dates, and the college provides transportation to the event location in Grand Rapids.

Marathon of Dance

Every year, Hope College students organize the Dance Marathon as a way to raise money for Grand Rapids’ Helen Devos Children’s Hospital. The spring semester is when this event happens. Students offer their services as event moralers or dancers. For a full day, dancers perform standing up, with moralers taking turns providing support. Hospitalized children frequently pay visits to express gratitude.

Holland, Michigan College ( Hope College)

Yuletide Vespers

Hope College holds a musical Christmas service in Dimnent Chapel every December. Since 1941, the event has been organized yearly, attracting more than 200 students, faculty members, and staff. The Chapel Choir, College Chorus, Orchestra, and minor ensembles all perform music for it. Every year, the church is packed with people for all four of the performances. Throughout the Christmas season, PBS stations usually record and broadcast the event.

Events on campus

Hope frequently welcomes renowned writers, orators, scientists, and world leaders to give talks on a broad range of subjects.Prominent writers are sponsored by the Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series to give free public readings. The series bears the name of Jack Ridl, emeritus professor of poetry and education at Hope College, who established it in 1982.


Hope College has been included in the Michigan Business and Professional Association’s list of the “101 best and brightest companies to work for in West Michigan” for eighteen years running.

Renovations on campus

With the dedication of the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts in October 2015, the college celebrated the conclusion of the “Greater Hope” campaign. The Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center’s construction began in September 2015, and the Kruizenga Art Museum—designed by C Concept Design—was dedicated to its opening.Both the Kruizenga Art Museum and the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts are open and in use by faculty and students as of October 2015. For the 2017–2018 school year, the Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center opened.


Hope College is an NCAA Division III member and a competitor in the MIAA conference. There are twenty varsity teams for both men and women. The institution built the Jim Heeringa sporting Center (2021), DeVos Fieldhouse (2005), Boeve Baseball Stadium (2008), Wolters Softball Stadium (2008), Van Andel Soccer Stadium (2009), and Heeringa-Vande Poel Tennis Stadium (2012) as new outdoor sporting facilities in recent years. The institution christened Holland Municipal Stadium the Ray and Sue Smith in honor of a longstanding coach and his spouse after purchasing it from the City of Holland. The women’s basketball team earned its second national championship in school history in 2006.
More than any other member school, Hope has won the MIAA All-Sports/Commissioner’s Cup Championship. Hope leads the league with 34 victories in this category. Hope teams and/or individuals qualified for nine NCAA titles in 2012–2013.
The Flying Dutchmen (for men) and the Flying Dutch (for women) are the names of the school’s sports teams. The House of Orange-Nassau, the Dutch royal family, may have influenced the choice of orange and blue as the school colors. The college runs a well-liked intramural sports program and also offers club rugby and ice hockey.

Holland, Michigan College ( Hope College)

National Championships:

1990: Women’s Basketball (NCAA Division III)
2006: Women’s Basketball (NCAA Division III)
2014: Women’s Volleyball (NCAA Division III)
2022: Women’s Basketball (NCAA Division III)

National Runners-up:

1994: Women’s Swimming and Diving (NCAA Division III)
1995: Men’s Swimming and Diving (NCAA Division III)
1996: Men’s Basketball (NCAA Division III)
1998: Men’s Basketball (NCAA Division III)
2010: Women’s Basketball (NCAA Division III)

Club Team National Championships:

2022: Men’s Ice Hockey (ACHA Division III)
2021: Men’s Ice Hockey (ACHA Division III)
2018: Men’s Ice Hockey (ACHA Division III)

Club Team National Runners-up:

2003: Men’s Ice Hockey (ACHA Division III)
2010: Men’s Ice Hockey (ACHA Division III)
2011: Men’s Ice Hockey (ACHA Division III)
The men’s and women’s basketball teams also take part in a notable rivalry, the Calvin–Hope rivalry.





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