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Coordinates: 42°47′13″N 86°6′8″W / 42.78694°N 86.10222°W / 42.78694; -86.10222

Hope College
Motto Latin: Spera in Deo
Motto in English Hope in God
Established 1866
Type Private coeducational liberal arts college
Endowment $122.5 million[1]
President James Bultman
Staff 250
Undergraduates 3,200
Postgraduates 0
Location Holland, MI, USA
Campus Suburban, 91 acres (0.4 km²)
Athletics 18 varsity teams
Colors Orange and blue             
Nickname Flying Dutchmen
Flying Dutch

Hope College is a medium-sized (3,200 undergraduates), private, residential liberal arts college located in downtown Holland, Michigan, a few miles from Lake Michigan. It was opened in 1851 as the Pioneer School by Dutch immigrants four years after the community was first settled. (The first freshman college class matriculated in 1862, and Hope received its state charter in 1866.) It has been historically associated with the Reformed Church in America (a Calvinist denomination), and it retains a Christian atmosphere. The school's campus—now 91 acres (368,000 m²), adjacent to the downtown commercial district—has been shared with Western Theological Seminary since 1884. Since 1999, Hope has been led by president and alumnus James E. Bultman.



The college offers 90 majors leading to a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. It has a student population of about 3,200 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1.

In 2009, U.S. News & World Report included Hope College in a list of 33 institutions noted for outstanding undergraduate research programs. As of 2008, it was the only small liberal arts college in the country to receive national accreditation in all four areas of the fine arts: art, music, dance, and theater. It is in the top 5% of private, 4-year liberal arts schools whose graduates go on to earn a PhD.[2]

Hope College faculty rank fourth nationally among all liberal arts institutions for numbers of faculty research publications and 14th overall for highest impact of those publications as measured by the Science Citation Index. Since 1990, more than 300 undergraduate students have co-authored research publications with faculty.

The college offers off-campus study programs in several US cities, including Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, and overseas programs for the summer, semester, or an entire academic year. Among its international programs, a long-standing summer semester in Vienna is fairly popular among students.

Hope College is a member of the Great Lakes Colleges Association.


Hope College competes in the MIAA conference, and is a Division III member of the NCAA. It fields 18 men's and women's varsity teams. In 2005, Hope began use of a new 3,400-seat field house, and it shares the 5,000-seat Holland Municipal Stadium with the city of Holland. In 2006, the women's basketball team won the National Championship in its division, the second in school history. The 2008 men's basketball team was third in the nation.

Hope has won the MIAA All-Sports/Commissioner's Cup Championship more than any other member school. Winners of the All-Sports championship 24 times since 1980, Hope has won the honor a league-leading 31 times, including the championship in the 2008-09 school year[3]. In 2008-09 Hope athletes and/or teams qualified for 12 NCAA championships.

The school's athletic teams are called the Flying Dutchmen (men) and the Flying Dutch (women). The school colors are blue and orange (possibly chosen because the Dutch royal family is the House of Orange-Nassau). The college has 27 competitive intramural sports teams.

The head football coach at Hope is Dean Kreps

National Championships:

  • 1990 - Women's Basketball (NCAA Division III)
  • 2006 - 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)

Club Team National Runners-up:

  • 2003 - Men's Ice Hockey (ACHA Division III)
  • 2010 - Men's Ice Hockey (ACHA Division III)

The men's basketball team also takes part in a storied rivalry, the Calvin-Hope rivalry.

Campus life

Housing is provided by 11 residence halls, 15 apartment buildings, and 72 houses (called "cottages") that the college owns near the campus. A small percentage of students - mostly juniors, seniors, and Holland residents - live off-campus. The majority of Hope students come from the greater Great Lakes region- in 2008 approximately 90% of the student body comes from the states of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.[4]. Approximately 92.5% of the student body is white, students from minority backgrounds account for about 6.5% of the student body. Approximately 2% of the student body is international.[5]

Traditions at Hope include "The Pull" and Nykerk cup, events which pit freshman and sophomore classes against each other. In "The Pull," freshmen and sophomore men engage in an elaborately prepared three-hour tug-of-war across the nearby Black River, with women students acting as moralers. This event was started in 1897.[6] The Nykerk Cup is a competition between freshman and sophomore women (with men as moralers) in music, drama, and oration, held annually since 1936. Since both traditions strongly encourage separate duties based on gender, they have come under continuous criticism as sexist institutions. Nevertheless, both events are well attended and enjoy strong support from the campus community.

The Hope Sailing Club
The Hope Sailing club is one of the many clubs that Hope offers.

Student activities include Dance Marathon at Hope College, the Radio Station (WTHS-FM 89.9- see "WTHS"), newspaper (The Anchor), literary magazine (Opus), and yearbook (Milestone), plus a variety of clubs, musical and choral groups, spiritual, literary, social and athletic groups (including the Hope Sailing Team). About 10-12% of students belong to social fraternities and sororities, which are local with the exception of one fraternity and one sorority (Phi Sigma Kappa and Delta Sigma Theta respectively) to Hope rather than chapters of larger organizations. The college holds Sunday evening worship services ("The Gathering") and Monday/Wednesday/Friday chapel services on campus. Attendance at these events has been voluntary since 1970.

The Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series regularly brings in prominent authors for free public readings. Previous visiting writers include David Kirby, Marilynne Robinson, and Li-Young Lee, amongst many others. The Series was recently renamed in honor of poet and professor Jack Ridl, who founded the tradition in 1982. It is a student-run organization under the coordination of professor Carla Vissers, with a number of volunteers and student interns.


The Anchor, symbol of Hope College

Hope's motto is taken from Psalm 42:5: "Spera in Deo" ("Hope in God"). The college's emblem is an anchor. This is drawn from a speech made by Albertus van Raalte, the leader of the community, on the occasion of the founding of the Pioneer School in 1851: "This is my anchor of hope for this people in the future," (an allusion to Hebrews 6:19). The primary-level Pioneer School was later expanded to secondary, and soon after, college level education as Hope College. Van Vleck Hall, which originally housed the Pioneer School, is the oldest building on campus (1858) and now serves as a dormitory. It is the second oldest building in the city. The first freshman college class matriculated in 1862, and Hope received its state charter in 1866. The college admitted its first female students in 1878.

Notable alumni


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved March 8, 2010. 
  2. ^ CollegesThatChangeLives profile, 2008
  3. ^ MIAA: Commissioner's Cup
  4. ^ Top States in Enrollment by Percent of Total Enrollment Hope College, retrieved on 2009-04-03
  5. ^ Classification of Students by Racial / Ethnic Groups Hope College, retrieved on 2009-04-03
  6. ^ The Pull Hope College, retrieved on 2009-04-03

External links

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