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In recent years, the school has ramped up efforts to increase racial diversity by recruiting more students of color, and there are more student organizations and resources on campus geared toward supporting them once they’re enrolled.
A decade ago or so, the school started hosting Rangeela, an annual international student cultural showcase.
When he was enrolled in the ‘80s, somewhere around three-quarters of the students were affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church. Where there used to be “a slight bit of tribalism,” now classrooms are full of students from different backgrounds with varied beliefs and “some of the faith assumptions have to be talked about,” he said.“A college in transition” is how Jonathan Eigege, a 24-year-old Nigerian student who graduated from Calvin and served as student-body president his senior year, described the institution. C., Eigege said he appreciated that, at 4,000 students, the school was small enough that people with different mindsets and ideologies were forced to interact.
But there are limitations, thanks to the school’s continued affiliation with the Christian Reformed Church, that breed tension and fuel misperceptions.
Jane Zwart, a professor of English who studied at Calvin in the late ‘90s, put it this way in an email:the same thing as the world belonging to those of us who believe in God, to those of us who are Christians.
He arrived a bit early, weighing five pounds and six ounces.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—It would be easy enough to drive past Calvin College without giving Betsy De Vos’s alma mater a second thought.
The Christian Reformed Church is a Protestant tradition that has its roots in the Netherlands and has been deeply influenced by the theologian Abraham Kuyper, a believer in intellectualism—specifically the idea that groups with different beliefs can operate in the same space according to their convictions while respecting and understanding others.
“Fundamentalism is really anti-intellectual and Calvin is the exact opposite,” said Alan Wolfe, the author of a 2000 As Wolfe noted, Christian colleges are no monolith.
Where evangelical colleges like Calvin, Pepperdine University, and Baylor University are “part of a determined effort by evangelical-Christian institutions to create a life of the mind,” fundamentalist schools like Bob Jones University have often taught that the bible should be taken literally and resisted intellectual debate.
As Wolfe noted, quoting the historian Mark Noll, fundamentalists had "a weakness for treating the verses of the Bible as pieces in a jigsaw puzzle that needed only to be sorted and then fit together to possess a finished picture of divine truth." Professors and students at Calvin said they feel that distinction is often blurred when people talk about religious colleges, as is the fact that students at Calvin have long grappled with social and political issues that some fundamentalist Bible colleges have studiously avoided.* * *Buried in the dusty stacks of Calvin’s library are clues about the topics that gripped the campus when De Vos—then called Betsy Prince—enrolled at the school in 1975.
She gave birth to Jamin James Pastore following 13 hours of labor. https://t.co/z7c Fuqu96P pic.twitter.com/eh Gm VGf Jw8 — Natalie Pasquarella (@Natalie4NY) September 29, 2017 Natalie posted a photo on Twitter (ironically) and wrote: ‘A beautiful blessing decided to make his entrance early! As a true professional though, Natalie calmly finished the new cast and then she went to the hospital.