posted February 12, 2007

Annual Lecture to Focus on "the Power of Peace"

A respected Holland physician and businessman, and advocate for the children of Western Michigan and Central America, has been chosen to deliver the 2006 - 07 A.J. Muste lecture at Hope College.

Dr. Thomas Arendshorst will speak on "The Weakness of War, the Power of Peace" on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 102 in VanderWerf Hall.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

This will be the 22nd annual occasion of the A.J. Muste Memorial Peace Lecture, begun in 1985 on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Muste. He was an immigrant from the Netherlands and was a 1905 graduate of Hope College.

"We seek far and wide for our Muste Lecturer," said Dr. Donald Cronkite, who is a professor of biology at Hope and chairperson of the Muste Committee. "But this year we chose a witness of peace from our own community. We have had speakers from the Netherlands, South Africa, and many places in the United States from coast to coast, but sometimes we like to hear from local wisdom also."

Thomas Arendshorst practiced medicine as an eye surgeon at a local eye clinic, where he was president of the corporation for 14 years and a physician at Holland Hospital. He has been very active in local efforts for disadvantaged young people, serving on the boards of The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holland and the Community Action House. In both cases he served significant terms as board president. During his time with Boys and Girls Club, Arendshorst developed an activity that brought city children to wilderness areas.

Arendshorst also has provided leadership and expertise to a series of international mission trips to Honduras, Kenya, and Zambia beginning in Honduras 16 years ago. These clinics provide short-term medical care and support for local practitioners.

In 2004 Arendshorst left his medical practice to study for and receive a master's degree in International peacemaking at the John Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He is trying to tie his international studies to his experience in community development to see the causes of war even in the way we lead our ordinary lives.

Arendshorst's lecture is arranged by the Muste Memorial Committee of Hope College and other offices of the college.

VanderWerf Hall is located on the south side of 10th Street between Central and College avenues.