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Student Profile: Dan DeVries ’12

There never really was any doubt in Daniel DeVries’ mind. “Hope’s always been my first choice,” he says. “The day you walk on to campus, you meet down-to-earth, friendly people who are open to talking. That’s why I came.”

As a freshman, Dan lived in Scott Hall, where the majority of students are part of the Phelps Scholars Program. Although not a member of the program himself, Dan appreciated its focus on bringing students together to explore the topic of diversity.

“The Phelps Scholars Program helps to bridge gaps between people. I remember walking down into the basement of Scott and seeing all these different people hanging out together. It really was one body.”

It was his positive experience as a freshman that led him to become a residential assistant in Scott Hall the next year. “I just wanted to help give people the same experience that I got,” he says.

Dan has made an intentional push to make his and other’s time at Hope as unique and eye-opening as possible. This past year he has traveled with the Phelps Scholars Program on trips to Chicago, to the Holocaust Museum in Detroit and to Hispanic Festival in Grand Rapids. The trips not only helped him connect with others, but also allowed him to travel outside of West Michigan.

While being an RA requires a substantial time and energy commitment, it also requires strong leadership skills, something Dan has been honing in other ways at Hope as well. His freshman year, under the guidance of Paul Boersma of the Campus Ministries staff, Dan started a Bible study in Scott Hall. What began with just a few students meeting had grown, by year two, to roughly 25 people, with Dan meeting every other week with four students who helped in guiding the Bible studies.

Dan has found that Hope has provided him with many opportunities to explore and grow in his faith. He is majoring in religion while also participating in the Studies in Ministry minor program and minoring in communication. In addition to being an RA and leading Bible studies, he also served in Hope’s spring break mission trips. He went to both Pompano Beach, Fla., as a freshman—“One of the best weeks ever,” he recalls—and to Stinking Creek, Ky., his sophomore year.

His experiences both within the classroom and beyond are all serving him well as he looks past graduation. The next step for Dan? “Seminary, most likely,” he says with a smile.

This profile was written by Charlie A. Walter, a Hope College senior from Grand Rapids, Mich., for the 2010-11 Hope College Catalog.

Hope People - Learn about the experiences of some of the people connected with Hope College.