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Hope College October 2013 : Page 6

Campus Scene Faculty Profile The Promise of W isdom from the past informed vision for the future during the inauguration of Dr. John C. Knapp as the college’s 12th president on Friday, Oct. 4. Throughout his inaugural address, “The Promise of Hope,” President Knapp shared excerpts from the inaugurations of previous Hope presidents, with the thoughts of earlier eras often remaining remarkably relevant in the 21st century. He also found in the Hope of today strong realization of the dreams that led to Hope’s founding. “I am confident our forebears would be proud of the Hope College of 2013,” he said. “Dr. Van Raalte rightly foresaw that this college would be an ‘anchor of hope’ for Dutch settlers and their descendants, but surely he would be pleased to see how it has grown in size and influence, with graduates living as agents of hope throughout the world. We have been blessed with strengths that make it possible to plan for an even brighter and more promising future.” Hope At the same time, President Knapp said, Hope must be diligent in building on its success. “We know all too well that this is a time of change and challenge when many independent liberal arts colleges are struggling to remain viable,” he said. “Hope College is in a far better position than most of these, but we too must respond to the nation’s shifting demographics, public pressure to contain costs and demonstrate greater value, and an atmosphere of continued economic uncertainty. In short, this is no time to be content with the status quo.” President Knapp was led into the chapel by an honor procession of Hope faculty and faculty representatives dressed in their academic robes from more than 50 U.S. universities and colleges or learned and professional societies. Hope international students carrying flags from their home countries led the group. The institutions represented hailed from 13 states and four foreign nations, including India, Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom, with founding dates ranging from 1636 to 1987. Addressing the 1,000 invited guests in historic Dimnent Memorial Chapel where presidents from the last 82 years have been inaugurated, President Knapp said among the imperatives for the future of Hope’s success is letting the rest of the world know about Hope’s outstanding academic and research reputation and graduate success. “Hope College must be better known nationally and internationally as a destination well worth the trip,” he said. He noted that 94 percent of the members of last year’s graduating class had jobs or were in graduate school pursuing advanced degrees. The college also has a national reputation for its collaborative student-faculty scholarship and research. President Knapp called for the college to extend its collaborative-learning model even further, and to place still more emphasis on interdisciplinary and inter-professional learning. He also emphasized the need for even greater international engagement—building on a long tradition. Hope enrolled its first international students in the 1870s, less than a decade after the college was founded. “Dr. Isaac Wyckoff declared in his 1866 inaugural charge to Hope College’s first president, Philip Phelps, ‘This is a shrinking world, and we must learn to be at home in it.’ How much more true this is in 2013,” President Knapp said. “We must design and carry out a strategy that once again sets Hope College apart as a leader in global education.” Praising the college’s 40 consecutive years of balanced fiscal budgets, President Knapp said the administration will work at keeping Hope College as affordable as possible for students. President Knapp also reflected on challenges to Hope College’s Christ-centered educational tradition and its liberal arts curriculum in a world where critics mistakenly feel the value of education is measured solely on earnings from a degree. “All the smaller liberal arts colleges are under fire today. It is the Christian college that Two former Hope presidents, whose service covered five different decades, were part of the inaugural ceremony. Dr. Gordon J. Van wylen (1972 to 1987) and Dr. James E. Bultman ’63 (1999-June 30) flanked president Knapp as they presented the Litany of Dedication. 6 News News From From Hope Hope College College

The Promise of Hope

Wisdom from the past informed vision for the future during the inauguration of Dr. John C. Knapp as the college’s 12th president on Friday, Oct. 4.<br /> <br /> Throughout his inaugural address, “The Promise of Hope,” President Knapp shared excerpts from the inaugurations of previous Hope presidents, with the thoughts of earlier eras often remaining remarkably relevant in the 21st century. He also found in the Hope of today strong realization of the dreams that led to Hope’s founding.<br /> <br /> “I am confident our forebears would be proud of the Hope College of 2013,” he said. “Dr. Van Raalte rightly foresaw that this college would be an ‘anchor of hope’ for Dutch settlers and their descendants, but surely he would be pleased to see how it has g rown in size and influence, with graduates living as agents of hope throughout the world. We have been blessed with strengths that make it possible to plan for an even brighter and more promising future.”<br /> <br /> At the same time, President Knapp said, Hope must be diligent in building on its success.<br /> <br /> “We know all too well that this is a time of change and challenge when many independent liberal arts colleges are struggling to remain viable,” he said. “Hope College is in a far better position than most of these, but we too must respond to the nation’s shifting demographics, public pressure to contain costs and demonstrate greater value, and an atmosphere of continued economic uncertainty. In short, this is no time to be content with the status quo.”<br /> <br /> President Knapp was led into the chapel by an honor procession of Hope faculty and faculty representatives dressed in their academic robes from more than 50 U.S. universities and colleges or learned and professional societies. Hope international students carrying flags from their home countries led the group.<br /> <br /> The institutions represented hailed from 13 states and four foreign nations, including India, Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom, with founding dates ranging from 1636 to 1987.<br /> <br /> Addressing the 1,000 invited guests in historic Dimnent Memorial Chapel where presidents from the last 82 years have been inaugurated, President Knapp said among t he imperatives for the future of Hope’s success is letting the rest of the world know about Hope’s outstanding academic and research reputation and graduate success.<br /> <br /> “Hope College must be better known nationally and internationally as a destination well worth the trip,” he said.<br /> <br /> He noted that 94 percent of the members of last year’s graduating class had jobs or were in graduate school pursuing advanced degrees. The college also has a national reputation for its collaborative student-faculty scholarship and research.<br /> <br /> President Knapp called for the college to extend its collaborative-learning model even further, and to place still more emphasis on interdisciplinary and inter-professional learning. He also emphasized the need for even greater international engagement—building on a long tradition. Hope enrolled its first international students in the 1870s, less than a decade after the college was founded.<br /> <br /> “Dr. Isaac Wyckoff declared in his 1866 inaugural charge to Hope College’s first president, Philip Phelps, ‘This is a shrinking world, and we must learn to be at home in it.’ How much more true this is in 2013,” President Knapp said. “We must design and carry out a strategy that once again sets Hope College apart as a le ader in global education.”<br /> <br /> Praising the college’s 40 consecutive years of balanced fiscal budgets, President Knapp said the administration will work at keeping Hope College as affordable as possible for students.<br /> <br /> President Knapp also reflected on challenges to Hope College’s Christ-centered educational tradition and its liberal arts curriculum in a world where critics mistakenly feel the value of education is measured solely on earnings from a degree.<br /> <br /> “All the smaller liberal arts colleges are under fire today. It is the Christian college that is facing the greatest onslaught,” said President Knapp, reading excerpts from the 1931 inaugural speech of President Wynand Wichers of the Class of 1909.<br /> <br /> “These words might well have appeared in this morning’s newspaper. The relevancy of faith-based, liberal arts colleges like Hope are being seen today as quaint relics of a past age,” President Knapp said.<br /> <br /> “They have lost sight of the worth of an education that builds character, develops faith, broadens perspective and gives meaning to life and work,” he said. “Perhaps much of our society has forgotten that higher education is a public good, preparing adults for responsible citizenship in a democratic society, and not simply a private benefit for the degreed individual.”<br /> <br /> “With higher education and the world itself changing at an ever-accelerating rate, Hope College’s time-honored, holistic student experience has never been more relevant,” President Knapp said. “ Our mission calls us to prepare students for leadership and service in a g lobal society, to give them the knowledge, and the perspectives of a superb liberal arts education and to do so in the context of the historic Christian faith. This is not only a commitment to our students; it’s an expectation we create with everyone we serve— families, employers, graduate institutions, the church and society itself.”<br /> <br /> Former Presidents Dr. Gordon J. Van Wylen, ninth president from 1972 to 1987, and Dr. James E. Bultman ’63, 11th president from 1999 until retiring at the end of June, performed the installation. The 93-year-old Dr. Van Wylen had also been the featured speaker during the college’s morning Chapel service earlier in the day.<br /> <br /> Student Congress President Ashley Fraley said from her chips-and-salsa back-porch discussions with President Knapp, “he is intentional, caring and brings a flair to our campus,” noting that he also engages students in thinking deeply about their own role in the Hope experience.<br /> <br /> “He poses questions to allow us to reflect on the type of community we are supposed to be fostering based on the Hope College mission statement and his own desire to insure we are living into it,” said Fraley, a senior from Wellston, Mich. “And what I have come to realize from my own experience and the reflections within Student Congress is that these questions help us grow exponentially.”<br /> <br /> She praised President Knapp for connecting with students from day one.<br /> <br /> “How many college students can say that their president tweets with them, or after first being hired invites all the students to send him an e-mail about absolutely anything?” Fraley said.<br /> <br /> Inauguration-related activity earlier in the day included a luncheon that featured greetings from Dr. Andrew Westmoreland, president of Samford University, where President Knapp served prior to coming to Hope; Dr. Richard A. Detweiler, president of the Great Lakes Colleges Association; and Dr. Beck A. Taylor, who is president of Whitworth University. As former colleagues of President Knapp at Samford, Presidents Westmoreland and Taylor each celebrated his thoughtful scholarship, vibrant faith and skill as a leader, finding strong congruence between Hope and its new president.<br /> <br /> “He will be a magnificent president for Hope College,” President Westmoreland said. He expressed similarly high regard for the entire Knapp family, including President Knapp’s wife Kelly and their five children, Amanda, Tracy, Charlie, Mary and Ronnie.<br /> <br /> “This is a day for applauding the new and splendid relationship between the Knapp family and Hope College,” he said. “These are special people, and Hope is clearly a special place. I’m glad God led you to each other.”<br /> <br /> Editor’s Note: President Knapp’s entire inaugural address is available online, as is a gallery of images from the inauguration. hope.edu/pr/nfhc

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