Alumni Profile: Mark Van Genderen ’90
Approximately 30,000 men and women claim Hope as their alma mater.
graduates are educated to think about life’s most important
issues with clarity,
wisdom, and a deep understanding of the foundational commitments
of the historic
Christian faith. They are prepared to communicate effectively,
that divide human communities. They are agents of hope who live
faithfully into their
vocations. Hope graduates make a difference in the world.
In coming to Hope College, Mark Van
Genderen knew what he wanted from the
“I was looking for a college that was
small enough to have a real sense of community
but large enough to be able to provide
the full college atmosphere I was looking
Mark made the most of the opportunities
that he found at Hope, outside of the classroom
as well as in it. He became involved
in many unique activities, from the Pull,
Hope’s 112-year old tug-of-war tradition, to
being in a fraternity to studying abroad in
Over the course of his four years at
Hope, Mark was continually drawn to the
field of business, interested in how people
“Ultimately any corporation, no matter
how large or small, works only when motivated
people strive to reach common goals
together, and I wanted to be a part of that.”
Through his time at the college, he gained
not only relevant, career-oriented information
but also experience and perspective in how to apply it.
“The personal interaction with other students and professors in
and out of class
helped teach me to frame discussions and arguments, build consensus,
and creatively solve differences of opinion — things I use
every day in my position.”
His position now, as vice president and managing director of Latin
America for Harley Davidson, requires a lot of time and energy, but his Hope
equipped him with a sense of confidence and a feeling of self-efficacy.
“Hope was probably more rigorous than I anticipated, but
the ability to think critically and the learning framework I acquired
at Hope helped prepare me for
graduate school. Those things have been the cornerstone of how
I approach my
As important as his career has been, it is not just at work where
Mark has seen the
positive benefits of his time at Hope.
“My character, values and moral compass were really initially developed
and have helped to guide me as an employee, father and husband.”
He notes that he is grateful for his time at Hope and how it shaped
him to be the person he is today.
“I couldn’t be prouder of my affiliation with Hope College.
My decision to attend
Hope was one of the best decisions of my life.”
This profile was written by Charlie A. Walter, a Hope College
senior from Grand Rapids, Mich., for the 2010-11 Hope College
People - Learn about the experiences of some of the
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