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Hugh De Pree, Alumnus and Former Trustees Chair Dies

Posted July 9, 2002

Hugh De Pree of Holland, Mich., and Naples, Fla., former chairman of the Hope College Board of Trustees, died on Monday, July 8. He was 87.

A 1938 Hope graduate, he was chairman of the college's Board of Trustees from 1966 to 1978. He was a member of the board from 1963 until 1981, when he became an honorary trustee.

The college's De Pree Art Center and Gallery, a former Sligh Furniture Factory building, was dedicated and named in his honor in October of 1982.

At the time of the dedication, then-chairman Victor W. Eimicke noted that Hope was recognizing De Pree not only for his service and accomplishments, but also for his personal character and lifestyle. "Your courage, integrity, compassion, self-discipline, your ability to speak the truth with love, your faith and your commitment to Christ--all of these were abundantly clear in your associations at Hope College," Eimicke said.

Hope presented De Pree with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree (LL.D.) in 1978. He was the keynote speaker during the college's fall convocation in 1977.

Campus development flourished and the college was put on a sound financial base during De Pree's 12 years as chairman. Major campus buildings completed or started during his tenure included the DeWitt Student and Cultural Center, the Peale Science Center and the Dow Health and Physical Education Center. Current programs established during the same period included the department of theatre, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, the academic departments of dance and computer science.

Mr. De Pree was retired as president and chief executive officer of Herman Miller Inc. of Zeeland.

A memorial service will be held at Hope College on Sunday, August 11.


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