Jacob E. Nyenhuis Joins Van Raalte
Institute as a Senior
Posted August 21, 2001
HOLLAND -- Dr. Jacob E. Nyenhuis is joining the
A.C. Van Raalte Institute at Hope College as a senior
Nyenhuis retired from Hope in May after 26 years
at the college, the last 17 as provost and professor of
classics. Through his new appointment, which begins
September 1, he will focus on writing about Hope and
"We're delighted to have him come into the
institute because of his gifts and expertise," said Dr.
Elton J. Bruins, who is director of the institute and the
Evert J. and Hattie E. Blekkink Professor Emeritus of
Religion at Hope. "We anticipate that he will become
involved in writing a new history of Hope College and pursue
his interest in local history."
Nyenhuis led the effort to have the statue of the
Rev. A.C. Van Raalte, founder of Holland and Hope, cast and
installed in Centennial Park in conjunction with the city's
1997 sesquicentennial. He also co-authored a book about the
His first project with the institute will be a
history of 14th Street Christian Reformed Church. The
church is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2002.
The anticipated Hope history will likely pick up
where the last in-depth treatment of the college's history
left off. "A Century of Hope," written by former Hope
president Wynand Wichers, was published in 1968 and
chronicled the college through its 1966 centennial
Nyenhuis joined the Hope faculty in 1975 as dean
for humanities, was appointed dean for arts and humanities
in 1978, and was appointed provost in 1984.
He delivered the college's Baccalaureate sermon on
Sunday, May 6. He received an honorary degree from Hope
during the Commencement exercises later the same day.
Nyenhuis is internationally recognized as an
expert on the Greek myth of Daedalus, and served as a
consultant to the successful 1988 recreation of the
legendary inventor's 74-mile flight across the Aegean Sea.
His book "Myth and the Creative Process: Michael Ayrton and
the Myth of Daedalus, the Maze Maker" will be published in
2002 by Wayne State University Press.
He co-authored the textbook "Latin Via Ovid" and
editions of "Plautus: Amphitruo" and "Petronius: Cena
Nyenhuis is past chair of the Michigan Council for
the Humanities, and past president of the National
Federation of State Humanities Councils. He is also past
chair of the Deans' Council of the Great Lakes Colleges
Prior to joining the Hope faculty, he taught at
Wayne State University from 1962 to 1975. He has also held
several visiting professorships.
Nyenhuis holds his bachelor's degree from Calvin
College, and his master's and doctorate from Stanford
Established in 1994, the A.C. Van Raalte Institute
supports research and writings on the history and heritage
of Holland, Mich., in particular and of the Dutch in the
United States in general. The institute is housed in the
office complex at 100 E. 8th St.
In addition to Nyenhuis, the institute's research
fellows are: Dr. Jeanne M. Jacobson, adjunct professor
emerita of education; Dr. James C. Kennedy, assistant
professor of history; and Dr. Robert P. Swierenga, adjunct
professor of history.
The institute is fully supported through gifts to
the college's endowment by Peter Huizenga of Oak Brook,
Ill., and his mother, the late Elizabeth Huizenga. Peter
Huizenga is a 1960 Hope graduate and a member of the
college's Board of Trustees. Including Peter, four of
Elizabeth Huizenga's children graduated from Hope -- as did
some of her grandchildren.