John Cox Named to DuMez
Endowed Professorship in English
Cox of the Hope College faculty holds the college's
DuMez Endowed Professorship in English.
The chair was established through a major gift from Mabelle
(DuMez) Frei of Hendersonville, N.C., and is designed to provide
financial support for a member of the English faculty who has a
distinguished record of achievement as both a teacher and a scholar.
During his tenure, Cox has been awarded
three prestigious fellowship by the National Endowment for the
Humanities (NEH). His first book, "Shakespeare
and the Dramaturgy of Power," published by Princeton University
Press in 1989, was supported by another yearlong fellowship from
NEH. In 1993, Cox was awarded a summer grant from NEH to work on
his third book, "The Devil and the Sacred in Early English
Drama," published by Cambridge University Press in 2000. In
2004 Cox received the award for his book project, called "Shakespeare
Thinking." The book interprets Shakespeare's writing in light
of important philosophical questions, including questions about
God, goodness and evil, politics, art, and how humans know what
Cox is the author of "Shakespeare and the Dramaturgy of
in 1989 by Princeton University Press. He has also published many
scholarly articles and reviews, and was co-editor of "A New
History of Early English Drama."
Cox joined the Hope faculty as an assistant professor, and was
promoted to associate professor in 1982 and professor in 1989.
Prior to teaching at Hope he held positions at Westmont College
in Santa Barbara, Calif., and the University of Victoria in Victoria,
British Columbia, Canada.
He is a 1967 Hope graduate, and holds his master's and doctorate
from the University of Chicago.
Frei's connections to Hope and Holland, Mich., run deep. She
was born at 100 E. 13th St., just south of the main campus, and
raised in Holland. Her father and his brother founded the former
DuMez' store downtown. She attended Hope, graduating in 1926.
"Living so close to the campus, all my early years were spent
around Hope College," she said. "And I've been interested
in Hope ever since."
"I wanted to do something special for the college," she
I had set up scholarship programs in memory of my husband and
in memory of my parents, and I thought this was the next step."
She noted that she learned to appreciate education from her parents,
who valued it greatly although their opportunity for formal schooling
had been limited. She majored in English at the college.
She is retired from a career that included working as a teacher
of both French and English, with the YWCA, at Middle Collegiate
Church in New York City and in social services in Michigan.
Her previous support of the college includes the establishment
of two endowed scholarships at Hope: "The Walter H. and
Mabelle DuMez Frei Scholarship Fund," and "The Gerrit
and Alice DuMez Memorial Scholarship."
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.
more about establishing an endowed professorship