posted April 29, 2012

Hope Honors Four Alumni with Awards

Tom Renner '67, Jacquelyn Nyboer '67 Van Wieren, Glenn Van Wieren '64 and Everett Nienhouse '58 received awards from the Hope College Alumni Association during Alumni Weekend.

The Hope College Alumni Association will honor four alumni during the annual Alumni Banquet on Saturday, April 28. The association will present Distinguished Alumni Awards to Dr. Everett Nienhouse, a member of the Class of 1958 from Ellsworth, Mich., and Carlsbad, Calif.; Dr. Glenn Van Wieren, a member of the Class of 1964 from Holland; and Jacquelyn Van Wieren, a member of the Class of 1967 from Holland.  The association will present a Meritorious Service Award to Tom Renner, a member of the Class of 1967 from South Haven.

The annual Distinguished Alumni Awards are presented by the Alumni Association Board of Directors in recognition of the awardees’ contributions across decades or even across a career to society and service to Hope. The award, inaugurated in 1970 and presented during the college’s Alumni Banquet, is the highest honor that alumni can receive from the college’s Alumni Association.

The Meritorious Service Award recognizes a person’s contributions to Hope and its alumni through notable personal service and long-time involvement with the college.  The award is presented to both alumni and friends of the college.

Dr. Nienhouse is being honored for his impact as an educator, including his decades on the chemistry faculty of Ferris State University, from which he retired in 1994, and his continued service as a volunteer.

The Van Wierens are being honored for their impact as educators and in service in West Michigan, including together at Hope as Glenn served on the college’s kinesiology faculty and coached for more than four decades.

Renner is being honored for his long-time service coordinating the public, community and media-relations programs at Hope.  He is associate vice president for public and community relations at the college, where he has been a member of the staff since 1967.

Nienhouse majored in chemistry and minored in mathematics at Hope, where his activities also included the Blue Key Society, Fraternal Society, German Club, Symphonette, orchestra, track, and participating in the first Vienna Summer School in 1956.

After Hope he completed a Master of Science degree in organic chemistry at Northwestern University and a doctorate in organic chemistry and biochemistry at the State University of New York at Buffalo.  He subsequently joined Ferris State, where he remained for 28 years, additionally holding visiting professorships around the country as well as at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

Across his career he taught nearly 4,000 students and his professional accomplishments included more than 100 scholarly publications, abstracts, and regional and national presentations related to his discipline.  The youngest faculty member to be promoted to full professor in Ferris State’s history, he received multiple other honors including being named Distinguished Professor of the Year by his Ferris State colleagues in 1975 and Professor of the Year by Ferris State students in 1980; the Michigan Association of Governing Boards of State College and University Award for excellence in teaching, research and scholarly activities in 1984; and elevation to Distinguished Merit Professor in 1992.

A dedicated volunteer throughout his life, he has become especially active in service in retirement.  Among other activities, he and his wife, Erika, who is a Hope classmate, have been long-time volunteers with the Rehoboth Christian School in New Mexico.  In 2009 they led an expansion of the school’s Navajo Code Talkers Museum, and through the years they have also written and spoken about the Code Talkers’ role in the Pacific Theatre during World War II.  In addition, he is an enrichment lecturer in the communities in which he lives and for a variety of organizations; a cruise speaker for the Holland American Lines and Netherlands Waterways Cruises; and prepares full-hour choral programs and special worship services for churches in Michigan, Colorado, New Mexico and Southern California.

Nienhouse has been active in the life of the college since graduation, including presenting chemistry lectures as a guest speaker and serving on the planning committee for his graduating class’s 45-year reunion in 2003.  In addition, he and Erika, who also participated in the first Vienna program, spearheaded an effort to enlist the support of alumni of the Vienna program in funding construction of the Martha Miller Center’s Fried/Hemenway Auditorium, which is named in honor of the original and current leaders of the program.

He and Erika, who had both lost their spouses to cancer, became reacquainted during their 40-year reunion in May 1998 and married in October 1999.  He has two sons, Eric and Jonathan, from his marriage to his first wife, Elaine; and four grandchildren.

Both Glenn and Jackie Van Wieren enrolled at Hope with strong family connections to the college.  Glenn’s mother Wilma (Rottschafer) Van Wieren was a member of the Class of 1935 and his grandfather William Rottschafer was a member of the Class of 1905.  Jackie’s father, Dr. Andrew Nyboer, who received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the college in 1989, was a member of the Class of 1939.

Glenn majored in biology and minored in mathematics and physical education, and was a member of the basketball, baseball and cross country teams, as well as of the Arcadian fraternity.  Jackie majored in speech and minored in physical education, and participated in cheerleading, the field hockey club, sacred dance and Young Life, and was a member of the Delta Phi sorority.

Glenn began coaching at Hope in 1966, earned a master’s at Western Michigan University, was away while he completed his doctorate at Brigham Young University, and returned as a member of the faculty in 1973, retiring in 2010.  As the men’s basketball coach for 33 seasons, he guided the Flying Dutchmen to 660 victories, leading to a record 17 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships and appearances in 21 NCAA Division III post-season tournaments.  During his time at the college he also coached baseball and soccer.  He completed his career as the fifth-winningest coach in NCAA Division III history.

Jackie taught at both Holland High School and Hudsonville High School, and also taught through Holland Community Education.  She was part of the first Young Life Training at Hope while starting high school Young Life in Western Michigan.  Glenn and Jackie began the Young Life ministry in Holland, forming its first Young Life Committee and serving as club leaders.  Jackie and Glenn have been members of Third Reformed and Fellowship Reformed churches, where they have been involved in service projects, choir, consistory, food pantry and Kids Hope, and Sunday school teachers.  They are presently members of Christ Memorial Church.  Their commitment to the Reformed Church has led them down many paths of involvement in music, education, leadership, service and Reformed Church summer camps.

Glenn received multiple honors across his career, including induction into the Hall of Fame of the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan in 2003, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 and the “Hope for Humanity Award” from the college’s Alumni H-Club in 2010.  In December 2005, the college named the main basketball gymnasium in the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse the “DeVette-Van Wieren Gymnasium” in honor of Glenn and Jackie as well as of former long-time men’s basketball coach Russ DeVette and his wife Doris.

Glenn and Jackie have four daughters, Gretel, Heidi, Kuria and Rebekah, and seven grandchildren.  Gretel, Heidi and Kuria all attended Hope.

Renner developed and directs the college’s overall program in public and community relations.  He was the first editor of “News from Hope College,” which is the magazine published five times per year for alumni and friends of the college, helped establish the college website and serves as college photographer at many events.  Since joining the staff he has also served as sports information director for the college, and for several years he was league publicist for the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

He shares the award with his family for their unique devotion to their father’s “work.”  His wife, Carole, is a Hope alumna, Class of 1967.  They have four children, Deb, Susie, Daniel and ReBecca, all of whom attended Hope, and nine grandchildren.  In 2007, the college named the media section of the DeVos Fieldhouse in honor of Tom and Carole.

Through the years he has been honored by multiple professional associations, including receiving awards for publications from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the College Sports Information Directors Association of America (CoSIDA), and recognition for service from CoSIDA and the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan.  In the summer of 1996, he was chosen to be a volunteer in media relations, in men’s basketball and women’s gymnastics, with the Centennial Olympic Games held in Atlanta, Ga.  In 2006 he received recognition as a Paul Harris Fellow from the Holland Rotary Club for service and humanitarian efforts in Holland and for Hope College.

Tom and Carole live in South Haven, where both have been involved in the community, with Tom serving as assistant fire chief for many years and also on the city council. In addition to his work with the college, his involvement in the Holland Community included serving on the Tulip Time Board of Directors for several years.  In addition, he and Carole are members of Christ Memorial Reformed Church.