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Four to Receive College's
Distinguished Alumni Awards

Posted April 16, 2001

HOLLAND -- The Hope College Alumni Association will present four graduates with Distinguished Alumni Awards during the college's Alumni Day on Saturday, May 5.

Being honored this year are Lori Cook, a 1985 graduate from Comstock Park; Dr. Linda Dykstra, a 1966 graduate from Durham, N.C.; the Hon. Pete Hoekstra, a 1975 graduate from Holland; and Dr. Roger Kempers, a 1949 graduate from Naples, Fla.

The annual Distinguished Alumni Awards are presented by the Alumni Association Board of Directors in recognition of the awardees' contributions to society and service to Hope. The award, presented during the college's Alumni Banquet, is the highest honor that alumni can receive from the college's Alumni Association.

Lori Cook has been well known to West Michigan audiences as children's television personality "Maranda" for more than a decade.

For 13 years, she portrayed the character as Fox 17 Kids coordinator and host with WXMI in Grand Rapids. In January of this year, she and the character "Maranda" moved to WOOD TV 8 as "children and family services manager."

She is also the "Newspapers in Education" coordinator for "The Grand Rapids Press," for which she has been a columnist for 10 years. In addition, she is author of a book, "Maranda's Guide to Family Fun."

Cook makes some 250 appearances annually at schools, churches, festivals and community events celebrating kids. She also participates in charity events on behalf of organizations ranging from DeVos Children's Hospital, to Girl Scouts, to Project Rehab, to the American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association.

She is a member of boards including the John Ball Zoological Society, The Very Special Arts Board and the Old Kent River Bank Run Race Committee. She is a "Kids Kingdom" coordinator at Blythfield Hills Baptist Church.

She has mentored Hope interns, and for the past three years has presented lectures to public relations classes at the college. During the college's 1996 Critical Issues Symposium, "The Role of the Media in American Culture," she led a focus session on children's programming.

She has received several awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Women in Broadcasting, a 1998 Fox Kids Monument Award, a "Volunteer of the Year" award from Very Special Arts of Michigan, and Distinguished Service Awards from the Kent and Lakeland district libraries.

She and her husband Ron have two daughters, Samantha and Alexandra.

Linda Dykstra is dean of the graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is the William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor in the departments of psychology and pharmacology. Since 1999, she has also been interim provost for graduate studies and research. The university offers 60 doctoral programs, 12 professional doctoral programs, and 101 master's programs and other professional degrees.

She has been at the university since arriving as a postdoctoral fellow in 1972, the same year that she completed her Ph.D. in psychopharmacology at the University of Chicago, from which she also holds a master's in English.

For more than 25 years, Dykstra has studied the behavioral pharmacology of analgesics. She investigates drugs that effectively relieve pain but have a low likelihood of being abused. She currently studies alterations in immune function linked to acute and chronic use of drugs derived from opium.

Her many awards include the National Institutes of Health's prestigious MERIT Award, which gives researchers up to 10 years to focus on innovative research, and a Research Scientist Award from the National Institutes of Health.

Her current board memberships include the Research Triangle Institute, North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Triangle Universities Center for Advanced Studies and the National Institute on Statistic Sciences. She is a past member of the National Advisory Council of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and is past president of the American Psychological Association's psychopharmacology and substance abuse division.

Dykstra is the author of more than 100 scholarly articles, and wrote the book "Psychopharmacology: A Biochemical and Behavioral Approach."

She and her husband, William Hylander, have two children, Grayson and Rebecca.

Pete Hoekstra is the U.S. Representative for Michigan's 2nd Congressional District.

He was first elected in 1992, a newcomer to politics who conducted a "grass roots" campaign for the Republican primary that included biking 270 miles to meet the district's voters face-to-face. Currently in his fifth term, he has held a variety of committee assignments through the years, including the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the House Committee on the Budget.

Hoekstra has received several awards and endorsements for his work. Among others in 2000 alone, he was named "Public Official of the Year" by Habitat for Humanity of Michigan, received the "Faith, Family and Freedom Award" from the Family Research Council, and received the "American Freedom Award" from the American Association of Christian Schools.

He frequently speaks to Hope students both on- campus and in Washington, D.C., and participates in election-year political activities including student- sponsored debates.

Hoekstra was born in the Netherlands in 1953 and immigrated to Holland in 1957. After graduating from Hope, he completed an M.B.A. in marketing at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Prior to his election, he was employed with Herman Miller Inc. in Zeeland. He had been with the company since 1977, concluding his service as vice president of product management. He is one of the few members of Congress to have been an executive with a "Fortune 500" company.

He is a member of Christ Memorial Church in Holland. He and his wife Diane have three children, Erin, Allison and Bryan.

Roger Kempers is retired from a long-time career as a scientist, educator and clinician.

After Hope, he graduated from Wayne State University of Medicine with an MD, and from the University of Minnesota with a master's in obstetrics and gynecology.

He was with the Mayo Clinic from 1961 until 1995, serving as a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, vice chair of the department, head of the division of reproductive medicine, and as director of education for the department of obstetrics/gynecology. From 1996 to 2000, he was medical director of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Birmingham, Ala.

He was editor-in-chief of the journal "Fertility and Sterility" from 1975 to 1997; co-editor or on the editorial boards of six other journals in obstetrics or reproductive medicine; and an examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology for 13 years. He is past president of three medical societies, and is president-elect of the International Federation of Fertility Societies.

He is an honorary member of the obstetrical or fertility medical societies of five countries, and has been listed in "Who's Who in America" since 1986. The Wayne State University College of Medicine presented him with a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1992.

He is past director of the Rotary Club of Rochester, Minn., United Way of Rochester and the Children's Home Society of Minnesota. He was a ruling elder at First Presbyterian Church in Rochester.

He has been active in Hope alumni activities, and in 1997 served on the task force that conducted long-range planning for the new science building. His parents and parents-in-law all attended Hope.

He and his wife, Marcia, who is a 1950 Hope graduate, have three children, Mary; Thomas, a 1978 Hope graduate; and Steven.

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