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Endowed chairs are established by donors who wish to assist the college on a permanent basis through the support of a faculty member. The gift is placed in the college's endowment fund with investment income used to support the work of the honored professor.

College Advancement staff members stand ready to assist you with any questions you may have regarding methods of giving as well as opportunities for funding.

Please feel free to contact us at advancement@hope.edu or the following address or telephone number:

Hope College
Office of College Advancement
141 East 12th Street
DeWitt Center
Holland, MI 49423

616-395-7775
616-395-7899 (fax)

 

Barry Bandstra Named to the Evert J. and Hattie E. Blekkink Professorship


Dr. Barry Bandstra of the religion faculty holds the Evert J. and Hattie E. Blekkink Professorship.

“Barry Bandstra was an obvious choice for the Blekkink endowed professorship,” said Dr. James N. Boelkins ’66, provost at Hope. “He models the quality of the Blekkink chair that was exemplified by the previous holders—Elton Bruins, Dennis Voskuil and Allen Verhey. He is an accomplished scholar and teacher, a demonstrated servant-leader, a strong supporter of the college’s mission, and a humble and caring colleague. He is a person with vision who couples that vision with the energy and hard work that it takes to implement that vision. It was a joy to support Professor Bandstra’s nomination and selection for the Blekkink professorship.”

First held in 1981, the Evert J. and Hattie E. Blekkink Professorship was created from a bequest of the late Victor and Ruth Blekkink in honor of their parents, and is open to faculty members in the departments of education and religion. The chair provides financial support for a tenured member of the faculty who is selected on the basis of a distinguished record as an outstanding teacher, for recognized scholarly contributions, and for significant contributions to the overall mission and life of the college.

Dr. Bandstra has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1983. In addition to teaching, his current responsibilities include chairing the department of religion and serving as director of academic computing at the college.

His primary scholarly interests are the Old Testament, biblical Hebrew linguistics and the use of computing technology as an instructional tool.

He has taught 16 different courses at the college, ranging from the beginning-level “Introduction to Biblical Literature” course, to “Archaeology and the World of the Bible,” to a seminar for religion majors on the Dead Sea Scrolls, to the interdisciplinary “Encounter with Cultures” course. During the 1980s and 1990s, he led multiple Hope May Term courses in the Middle East.

Dr. Bandstra has spent more than two decades designing materials for both the personal computer and the Web. In 1989, he received one of only 12 Apple Computer Courseware Development Grants awarded to the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges; in 2000, britannica.com gave his multimedia textbook Reading the Old Testament a four-star “Superior” rating; in 2002, he received a grant from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion to develop “Reading Hebrew: A Biblical Hebrew Internet Course,” which he has made available for free.

His publications include the textbook Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, now in its third edition; three articles in the Encyclopedia of the Ancient World; and several articles in edited books and scholarly journals. He has also presented numerous papers and invited addresses.

Dr. Bandstra recently completed a four-year term on the college’s Board of Trustees. He has served on numerous Hope faculty committees, and is a past chair of the college’s Administrative Affairs Board. His active involvement in the life of the college has included making multiple presentations during the annual “Arts and Humanities Fair” for high school students, serving as a featured speaker during the annual “Winter Happening,” and speaking to groups such as the Hope Academy of Senior Professionals (HASP). In 1988, he led an alumni tour to Israel and Jordan.

He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1972, and completed a B.Div. at Calvin Theological Seminary in 1975, an M.A. and M.Phil. at Yale University in 1978, and a Ph.D. at Yale University in 1982. He and his wife, Debra, have three grown sons, Adam, Jonathan and Daniel.

Endowed chairs are established by donors who wish to assist the college on a permanent basis through the support of a faculty member. The gift is placed in the college's endowment fund with investment income used to support the work of the honored professor. In addition to recognizing faculty members for excellence, endowed chairs provide funding for summer research projects as well as some salary support.

Learn more about establishing an endowed professorship