Commencement addresses often present the kind of advice a parent might offer to a graduate.
This year, it will be literally true, as Dr. Ronald Wolthuis of the Hope College education faculty speaks to a graduating class that will include his third and youngest son, Kevin. As with the graduates, the ceremony will also be both an ending and a beginning for Commencement speaker Wolthuis, who is retiring at the end of the school year.
Hope College's 137th Commencement ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 5, at 3 p.m. in Holland Municipal Stadium, with more than 600 seniors participating.
Baccalaureate will be held on Sunday, May 5, at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. The Baccalaureate sermon will be delivered by Dr. Leanne Van Dyk, who is professor of Reformed Theology at Western Theological Seminary.
Wolthuis, an associate professor of education, joined the Hope faculty in 1985. His professional focus has been in special education, and courses he has been teaching during the current school year include "The Exceptional Child," "Introduction to Emotionally Impaired," "Psychoeducational Strategies" and "Senior Seminar."
Prior to coming to Hope, he was on the faculty of Michigan State University for 14 years, most recently as an associate professor in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education, and as coordinator of the Severely Impaired/Autistic Teacher Training Program.
His previous career experiences included coordinating Field Test Center Research Programs for the Cybernetics Research Institute in Washington, D.C., and teaching emotionally impaired adolescents at Pine Rest Christian Hospital in Grand Rapids.
Wolthuis has been active at the state and national levels, including the Professional Advisory Boards of the Autism Society of Michigan and the Michigan Association for Children with Emotional Disturbance; Institutions for Higher Education Advisory Committee; and the Education Committee of the Autism Society of America.
He has also received honors including the Special Recognition Award and a Professional of the Year Award from the Autism Society of Michigan. The Hope student body elected him a recipient of the fall, 2000, "Honorary Professor/Staff Member" award, presented at Homecoming.
He has made numerous presentations at state and national conferences.
Wolthuis is a 1964 graduate of Calvin College. He completed his master's degree in special education and doctorate in educational leadership at Western Michigan University, in 1967 and 1970 respectively.
In addition to Kevin, he and his wife Sherrie have two other sons: Eric, a 1994 Hope graduate, and Brian, a 1997 graduate. Eric's wife Angela and Brian's wife Amy are also Hope graduates.
Van Dyk has been a member of the Western Theological Seminary faculty since 1998. She teaches courses including "Ministry of the Word in Proclamation and Sacrament," "Learning Web: Taking Responsibility as a Leader," "Thinking Theologically," "The Doctrines of the Holy Spirit, Salvation and Eschatology," "Barth's Doctrine of Reconciliation" and "Doctrine of the Atonement."
Prior to joining the Western Theological Seminary faculty, she was on the faculty of the San Francisco Theological Seminary. She has also served as a member of the Core Doctoral Faculty at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif.; as a member-in-residence at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, N.J.; as a member of the Wabash Center's Consultation on Theological Education; and on the Catechism Committee of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Van Dyk is the author of "The Desire of Divine Love: The Atonement Theology of John McLeod Campbell," and serves on the editorial boards of "Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought," "the Banner" and the "Scottish Journal of Theology."
She is a 1977 graduate of Calvin College. She completed her master of arts at Western Michigan University in 1981, her master of divinity at Calvin Theological Seminary in 1987 and her doctorate at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1992.
In the event of rain, Commencement will be held at Zeeland High School, located at Riley and 96th Avenue in Zeeland. Admission to Baccalaureate, and to Commencement if indoors, is by ticket only.