Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Calvin College is a comprehensive liberal arts college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Founded in 1876, Calvin College is an educational institution of the Christian Reformed Church and stands in the Reformed tradition of historic Christianity. In 2003, student body of Calvin was around 4,300 students, with 54% coming from the state of Michigan, 38% from other U.S. states, and 8% from other countries. Calvin College is named after John Calvin, the 16th century reformer at the center of the Reformed movement.
The college and seminary were formed by the Christian Reformed Church for the purpose of training church ministers, with seven students enrolled in the first year. The initial six-year curriculum included four years in the Literary department and two years in the Theological department. In 1894 students who were not pre-theological students were admitted to an expanded curriculum, and thus the school became a type of preparatory school or academy. In 1900 the curriculum was further broadened and made more attractive to students interested in teaching or in preparing for preprofessional courses in the universities. By 1906 the Literary Department, which provided the four years of preparatory and two years of college work, became known officially as the John Calvin Junior College. The two-year college in time became a four-year college, and the preparatory department was discontinued. In 1917 the college established a campus on Franklin Street in Grand Rapids, where it remained until the 1960s. The first Bachelor of Arts degree from Calvin College was awarded in 1921.
Although the school grew slowly in its early years, by 1930 it had reached its pre-World War II size of 350-450 students. By 1950 the enrollment had climbed to 1,270. Over the years from 1962-1973, the college migrated to a larger campus built on the site of the Knollcrest farm in southeast Grand Rapids. During the latter decades of the 20th century, Calvin grew to over 4000 students, where the enrollment has remained since. The college contains 7 residence halls: Boer-Bennink Hall, Beets-Veenstra Hall, Bolt-Heyns-Timmer Hall, Kalsbeek-Huizenga Hall, Noordewier-Vander Werp Hall, Rooks-Van Dellen Hall, and Schultze-Eldersveld Hall.
The curriculum has expanded to include professional training in a variety of fields, but the college maintains a strong commitment to a liberal arts curriculum, which the college views as a means to develop students' understanding of God's world and their place in it.
The Calvin collegiate sports teams are known as the Knights. The name is attributed to references to the "Calvin-ites" when the nascent sports teams played with no official nickname, with the first reference to the "Calvin Knights" appearing in 1926-27. The traditional rivalry the school enjoys with nearby Hope College, rooted in their closely linked heritages as well as geography, continues to be one of the defining intercollegiate rivalries in western Michigan. Fellow Christian Reformed institution Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa also supplies a well-appreciated if more distant rivalry.
Calvin College and Theological Seminary time line
- 1876 August 4, organized located on Spring Street, Grand Rapids, MI
- 1892 Move to campus at Madison Ave. and Franklin St. (Fifth Ave.). Grand Rapids, Michigan
- 1894 September 8 literary course begun education preliminary to seminary instruction (comparable to present-day high school curriculum)
- 1900 Literary course extended to five years and opened to non pre-seminary students
- 1901 September 4 first women students admitted
- 1906 First public commencement at LaGrave Ave. Christian Reformed Church
- 1907 Student journal/newspaper Chimes begins; Alumni Association begins
- 1908 Junior college course begun - 6 year program included 4 years high school and 2 years college
- 1914 Three year college course begun; Franklin Campus purchased
- 1917 Move to Franklin Campus, Grand Rapids, MI
- 1919 First college president
- 1920 Four year college course begun
- 1921 First graduate with bachelor's degrees
- 1924 With opening of Grand Rapids Christian High School , last year for preparatory students, first dormitory opened
- 1925 Teacher training curriculum added
- 1926 First dean of women, Johanna Timmer
- 1928 March 8 Hekman Library dedicated
- 1930 October 29 Franklin seminary building dedicated
- 1946 Enrollment jumps from 503 to 1245 in one year
- 1950 College enters M.I.A.A.
- 1956 Knollcrest campus purchase approved by Synod of Christian Reformed Church
- 1960 Theological Seminary begins classes on Knollcrest Campus
- 1962 First college classes at held Knollcrest
- 1973 Move to Knollcrest complete
- 1991 Seminary and College have separate boards of trustees
- 2002 "Stepping East" expansion on east side of East Beltline
- 2005 Calvin hosts a unique archeological exhibit on Petra ()
- Peter DeVries (1910-1993), author/humorist (The Blood of the Lamb)
- Richard DeVos, businessman (Amway Corporation)
- Vern Ehlers, physicist, U.S. Congressman
- Wayne Huizenga, businessman (Blockbuster Video, Florida Panthers)
- Alvin Plantinga, philosopher, theologian, author
- Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. , philosopher, theologian, author
- Patricia Rozema, Film director, notably of Mansfield Park
- Paul Schrader, screenwriter/director
- Lewis B. Smedes (1921-2002), author, theologian
- Jay Van Andel, businessman (Amway Corporation)
- Nicholas Wolterstorff, philosopher, theologian, author
- George Marsden , historian
- Harry Stout , historian
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