posted April 13, 1999

Hope College to Present Four Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Hope College Alumni Association will present four graduates with Distinguished Alumni Awards during the college's Alumni Day on Saturday, May 8.

          Being honored this year are Robert N. DeYoung of
  Holland, the Rev. George C. Douma of Grand Rapids, the Rev.
  Frederick "Fritz" Kruithof of Kalamazoo and Jennifer (Jenni)
  Liggett of Kalamazoo.
          The annual Distinguished Alumni Awards are
  presented by the Alumni Association Board of Directors in
  recognition of the awardees' contributions to society and
  service to Hope.  The award, presented during the college's
  Alumni Banquet, is the highest honor that alumni can receive
  from the college's Alumni Association.
          DeYoung, a 1956 graduate who is vice president for
  college advancement at Hope, has been a member of the
  college's staff since 1965.  He first served as associate
  director of admissions, became dean of men in 1966, was
  appointed dean of students in 1968 and was promoted to vice
  president for student affairs in 1972.
          He was referred to as "the Students' Dean," and
  many of the organizations that he started are still
  operational, such as the Council of Physicians, the student
  Appropriations Committee and the Social Activities
  Committee.  He also helped the college's student government
  organization move from a Student Council to a Student
  Congress concept.
          He has been involved with fund raising at the
  college since 1974, when he was appointed vice president for
  development and college relations.
          In 1989, DeYoung received the Benjamin Franklin
  Award for fund raising management from the West Michigan
  Chapter of the National Society of Fund-Raising Executives
  (NSFRE).  Under his leadership, Hope has been recognized
  nationally for outstanding fund raising management,
  including twice in a row receiving the CASE/USX (Council for
  Advancement and Support of Education and USX Foundation)
  award for the best total development program among all U.S.
  undergraduate colleges with more than 10,000 alumni.
          He has been active in church, community and
  professional organizations.  His numerous local activities
  include having served in the past as president of the
  Holland Area Chamber of Commerce and of the Holland Country
  Club, and in 1996 he received the chamber's Distinguished
  Service Award.
          Prior to joining the Hope staff, he taught,
  coached football and was a counselor at Whitehall High
  School, and was on the admissions staffs at both Michigan
  State University and Grand Valley State University.
          The college's Alumni H-Club presented him with its
  sixth annual "Hope for Humanity" award in 1995.
          DeYoung and his wife, Marcia, who is a 1955 Hope
  graduate, have three children, all of whom are Hope alumni:
  Todd DeYoung, a 1980 graduate; Jane Slette, a 1981 graduate;
  and Katie Arthurs, a 1988 graduate.
          Douma, a 1936 Hope graduate, served in ministry at
  the local, regional or national level for nearly 60 years,
  beginning in 1939 and continuing well into retirement.
          He held a variety of parish assignments, including
  Allendale; Third Reformed and Calvary Reformed in Grand
  Rapids; the Presbyterian Church in Fairplain; the
  Presbyterian Church near Ball State University in Muncie,
  Ind.; and The First Presbyterian Church of Grand Haven, as
  interim pastor.
          For a time, Douma was expansion minister for the
  Synod of Chicago of the Reformed Church in America (RCA),
  with responsibility for Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois
  and Wisconsin.  He was also the secretary for publications
  for the RCA, and subsequently became involved with The
  Society for Reformed Publications.
          In the 1940s, he played a leadership role in
  establishing Camp Geneva north of Holland for the RCA.  He
  was elected first president of the camp's board, serving
  until appointed Youth Minister for the Synod of Michigan.
  Last year, he was invited to speak during the Camp's 50th
  anniversary celebration.
          He was the first administrator at Porter Hills, a
  retirement home in Grand Rapids.  Today, he and his wife
  Florence reside there themselves.
          Douma was also assistant to the executor of
  presbytery in promoting stewardship and evangelism for the
  Lake Michigan Presbytery.
          In retirement he continued to serve Presbyterian
  churches in Florida, including Moorings in Naples, and
  Covenant and Cypress Lake in Fort Myers.  Last year, he
  concluded six years of service as winter minister at
  Palmetto Palms Church in Fort Myers.
          He and Florence, who is also a 1936 Hope graduate,
  have two children, Carol Catoe, who graduated from Hope in
  1963, and David Bruce Douma.
          Kruithof, a 1961 graduate, is serving a one-year
  term as president of the General Synod of the Reformed
  Church in America, a position to which he was elected in
  June of 1998.
          He was previously vice president.  He is also a
  past vice president of the Synod of Michigan, and past
  president of the classes of Philadelphia, Lake Erie and
  Southwest Michigan.
          Kruithof is in his ninth year as minister of
  preaching and congregational care at Second Reformed Church
  in Kalamazoo.  He previously served with Hope Reformed in
  South Haven, Remembrance Reformed in Grand Rapids, Church of
  the Master in Warren and Talmage Memorial Reformed in
  Philadelphia, Pa.
          He has been a member of the board of the
  Roxborough, Pa., YMCA, and the Reformed Church Home in
  Irvington, N.J.; president of ministerial fellowships in
  Philadelphia, Warren, Grand Rapids, South Haven and
  Kalamazoo; chair of Church Planning and Development for the
  Synod of Michigan; pastoral advisor of South Haven Hospice;
  a board member of Kalamazoo Hospice; a member of both the
  General Program Council and the General Synod Council of the
  RCA; a member of the RCA's Evangelism and Development Team;
  and chair of the Kalamazoo CROP Walk.
          Kruithof has been a member of the college's Board
  of Trustees since 1991, and is currently serving as vice
  chair.  He has served on reunion committees, and has been
  class representative, for the Class of '61.
          His father, Bastian, was a member of Hope's
  religion faculty from 1957 to 1972.
          Kruithof and his wife, Sharon, have three
  children:  Kirk Kruithof; Brad Kruithof, who is a 1992 Hope
  graduate; and Ryan Kruithof.
          Liggett, a 1980 graduate, was president of the
  college's Alumni Association from July of 1996 through June
  of 1998.  She joined the Alumni Association Board of
  Directors as the Southwest Michigan Region representative in
  1992, and was appointed vice president in 1994.  She is
  completing her final year on the board, as immediate past
  president.
          She has served as a class representative for the
  Class of '80, and has been a member of the committees that
  have planned the class's three reunions.  She was president
  of the Southwest Michigan Chapter of the Women's League for
  Hope College.
          She plays an active role in planning Hope-related
  events in the Kalamazoo area.
          She is classis coordinator and stated clerk for
  the Southwest Michigan Classis of the Reformed Church in
  America (RCA), a position that she has held since 1991.  She
  previously held positions in accounting with Leap
  Technologies and the Borgess Medical Center, for two years
  and nine years respectively.
          She is a member and former deacon at Second
  Reformed Church in Kalamazoo.  Her community activities have
  included serving as a board member and allocations chair
  with the Greater Kalamazoo United Way; a volunteer with
  Vineyard Outreach Ministry; a board member with Big Brothers
  and Big Sisters; a board member with MRC (McKercher
  Rehabilitation Center); and a volunteer with the USTA Boys
  National Tournament.  She is also a member of the Downtown
  Kalamazoo Kiwanis Club.