Calvin Launches Major Fundraiser

October 1, 2007
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GRAND RAPIDS — Calvin College recently announced a $150 million fundraising campaign, the largest goal in its 131-year history.

“A strong Calvin is really a benefit to West Michigan,” college spokesman Phil DeHaan said. “The stronger we can be in terms of the graduates we provide, the better it will be for the West Michigan business community.”

Already $120 million has been raised, with the remaining $30 million to be garnered in a public campaign over the next two years, according to a statement from the college.

Dubbed “No Greater Task: Hearts and Minds Renewing God’s World,” the campaign is intended to support the $49.5 million Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex, already under construction, as well as:

  • $22 million for endowments for scholarships and financial aid. “Our tuition is consistently below that of nearly all peer institutions. However, for many Calvin students, tuition remains a challenge,” Calvin President Gaylen Byker said. “Building endowments for scholarships and financial aid will help the college provide need- and merit-based assistance for all students.”

  • $22 million to fund an endowment for faculty research and development, needed to attract and retain professors.

  • $20 million to establish an endowment for campus maintenance and renovation, to avoid spending tuition dollars on capital needs.

  • $25 million for a new, 120,000-square-foot Campus Commons, with 60,000 square feet for dining and the rest devoted to becoming the campus hub for students, faculty, staff and visitors.

  • $7 million for an overhaul of the Fine Arts Center, which opened in 1966 and has housed 18,000 events in 41 years. Plans include more space for practice, rehearsal, teaching and performance, plus improvements to seating, lighting, acoustics, walls and floors.

The Spoelhof Fieldhouse, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2009, will include an arena, an aquatic center, an indoor track and tennis center, and renovation of the Calvin Fieldhouse into a health and wellness center.

The campaign opened with several events last month, including a special chapel service, a root beer float picnic and a dinner at DeVos Place for 1,100. Special maroon banners have been placed on light poles around the campus. A campaign Web site has been launched at

The private, Christian Reformed College last week announced that it has a 2007-2008 enrollment of 4,224 students, an increase of 25 students from a year ago. The first-year class numbers 1,039 students, 12 students more than last year and up almost 140 from three years ago.

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