posted September 27, 2005

Martha Miller Center Dedication Scheduled

 Homecoming Weekend has taken on added meaning at Hope College this year as a celebration of the college's newest academic building.

The dedication and related activities for the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication will take place on Friday-Saturday, Oct. 14-15.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

The building, located on Columbia Avenue at 10th Street, houses the departments of communication and modern and classical languages, and the offices of international education and multicultural life, as well as the college's new leadership program. It opened in August for the start of the school year, with classes phasing into the building through mid-September as finishing work and the installation of computer and editing equipment was completed.

The dedication ceremony will be held on Friday, Oct. 14, at 12:30 p.m., with tours of the building following immediately afterward. Participants in the ceremony will include Dr. James Bultman, president of Hope College; Dr. James Boelkins, provost of Hope; a representative of the Miller family; and a representative of Design Plus, the architectural firm that designed the building. In addition, the "La Estudiantina" performing group of Queretaro, Mexico, will present a musical selection during the dedication.

Related activities in the building will begin Friday morning.

The events will begin at 9 a.m. with a keynote address in the Maas Center auditorium by Floyd Brady, a 1968 Hope graduate from Chicago, Ill., who is the president and

chief executive officer of the Dr. H.B. Brady Foundation and will present "The Wind Beneath Your Wings--Buckle Up." There will be a second keynote address at 1:30 p.m., by Scott Carpenter, a 1987 Hope graduate from Alexandria, Va., who is deputy assistant secretary for Near Eastern Affairs MEPI (Middle East Partnership Initiatives) with the U.S. State Department and will present "There and Back Again: Globalization and the Strange Career of a Hope Grad."

Conversations and panel discussions with alumni of programs in the building are scheduled throughout the day: communication at 10 a.m. in Fried-Hemenway Auditorium; international education at 10 a.m. in room 158 in the building; multicultural life at 11 a.m. in Fried-Hemenway Auditorium, and the department of modern and classical languages at 2:30 p.m. in Fried-Hemenway Auditorium. At 11 a.m., Dr. Betsy Bach, a 1974 Hope graduate who is a member of the communication studies faculty the University of Montana, will discuss graduate school and global communication, in the multicultural life/international education lounge.

In addition, food stations will be set up in the building from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for those attending the day's events.

"La Estudiantina" of Queretaro will present a concert on Friday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre.

Activities will continue throughout the day Saturday, Oct. 15.

There will be a dedication ceremony on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. of the 84-seat Fried-Hemenway Auditorium, named for Dr. Paul Fried, professor emeritus of history, and Dr. Stephen Hemenway, professor of English, the former and current leader respectively of the college's popular Vienna Summer School. Fried and Hemenway are the only two men to have led the college's Vienna Summer School. The program, which is one of the college's best-known and most popular international programs, was established in 1956 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2006 with a special alumni trip coordinated by the college's Alumni Office. Fried, who taught at Hope from 1953 until retiring in 1984, is widely recognized as the architect of the college's program in international education. Hemenway, who joined the faculty in 1972, has led the program since 1976.

On Saturday at 11 a.m., the departments of communication and modern and classical languages and the offices of international education and multicultural life will all hold alumni receptions and offer tours. Communication and multicultural life will meet on the first floor of the rotunda, and alumni who studied abroad as students and majors and minors in modern and classical languages will meet on the rotunda's second floor. There will be a reception for international student alumni at 4:30 p.m. on the first floor of the rotunda.

The 49,000-square-foot Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located across from Phelps Hall on property that formerly housed Lincoln Elementary School. The college broke ground for the building, constructed for a total project cost of $12 million, on April 29, 2004.

The departmental and program mix is viewed as highly complementary, with the goal being that their proximity to one another will lead to interaction and collaboration and an overall focus on global awareness and cultural understanding that will enhance Hope's work in preparing students for life after graduation. The collective virtue in the design also follows individual necessity: all four programs were in need of homes that matched both the way they have grown and contemporary instructional standards.

The building is named after the late Martha Miller, a member of the college's Class of 1924 who died on May 16, 1999, at age 96, in honor of an estate gift that she made that was announced in June of 1999.

Miller, who was born in Danforth, Ill., moved to Holland with her family at age four and grew up in the city. She attended the University of Wisconsin in addition to Hope. All three of her children also attended the college, as did several of her grandchildren.

She lived in Zeeland for most of her life, and was active in organizations including the Zeeland Girl Scouts and the Zeeland Literary Club, as well as Second Reformed Church in Zeeland. Her interest in the Zeeland Library prompted a family donation that led to the construction of the Howard Miller Library and Community Center in 1995.

She was an officer of the Howard Miller Clock Company. The company was founded by her husband, Howard Miller, who preceded her in death in 1995.

The Martha Miller Center project was a part of the college's $105 million "Legacies: A Vision of Hope" comprehensive campaign. Launched in October of 2000, the campaign concluded on June 30, 2005, having raised more than $140 million. The campaign had four major components, which in addition to the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication and making general campus improvements were: constructing a new science center and renovating the Peale Science Center; constructing the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse; and increasing the endowment. The new science center opened in August of 2003, the renovation of the Peale Science Center was completed in August of 2004, and the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse is scheduled for completion later during the fall semester.