Six Faculty Will Retire
At End of School Year
Posted April 21, 1999
HOLLAND -- A total of six members of the Hope
College faculty are retiring at the conclusion of the 1998-
99 academic year.
Retiring are Sylvia Boyd, associate professor of
business administration; Dr. Jeanne M. Jacobson, who is the
A.C. Van Raalte Senior Research Fellow and adjunct professor
of education; Nancy A. Nicodemus, professor of English; Dr.
Robert A. Ritsema, professor of music; Marcia L. Smit,
assistant professor of nursing; and Dr. John M. Wilson,
professor of art history.
"The numerous retirements taking place this year
will have a profound effect on Hope College," said Dr. Jacob
E. Nyenhuis, provost and professor of classics at Hope.
"Each and all of this year's retirees have been vital
members of our community, serving as important influences on
our students and contributing to and shaping their
departments and the college itself as well."
Nicodemus will retire as professor emerita, and
Ritsema and Wilson will each retire as professor emeritus.
Jacobson is retiring as adjunct professor emerita. Boyd and
Smit are taking early retirement.
Boyd was a part-time instructor at Hope during the
1983-84 school year, and became a full-time member of the
faculty as an assistant professor in 1985. She played a
leadership role in co-directing the institutional ethics
program that the department of economics and business
administration established in 1992 with support from the
Lilly Endowment Inc. of Indianapolis, Ind.
She is a certified public accountant and certified
management accountant. Her area of study is international
accounting, which she spent a sabbatical leave
investigating. She co-authored a paper on international
accounting standards in Russia, working with Hope student
She was an accounting instructor in the MBA
Program and Undergraduate Accounting Program at Grand Valley
State University during 1983-84, and a part-time instructor
at Kishwaukee College in Malta, Ill., in 1982.
Boyd holds a master's of business administration
from Grand Valley State University, and a bachelor's of
science in accountancy from Northern Illinois University.
She has also studied at Kishwaukee College and Purdue
Jacobson has been at Hope since 1987, when her
husband Dr. John H. Jacobson assumed the college's
presidency. She assumed her teaching responsibilities and
her work with the A.C. Van Raalte Institute--the latter of
which will continue--in 1996.
She has co-authored the biography "Albertus C. Van
Raalte: Dutch Leader and American Patriot" and "A Dream
Fulfilled: The Van Raalte Sculpture in Centennial Park."
Her publications also include the text "Content Area
Reading: Integration with the Language Arts."
Jacobson was previously a member of the faculty at
Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo for eight-and-a-
half years, for two of which she served as interim chair of
the Department of Education and Professional Development.
Prior to coming to Michigan, she was general
studies principal of the Hebrew Academy of the Capital
District in Albany, N.Y., and taught graduate courses at
SUNY-Albany and the College of St. Rose. She earlier held
positions with school systems in New York and Florida.
She holds a B.A. in English literature from
Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pa., an M.S. in reading
education from State University College at Brockport, N.Y.,
and a Ph.D. in educational psychology and statistics from
State University of New York at Albany.
Nicodemus joined the Hope faculty in 1966. Her
primary teaching fields are writing and Twentieth Century
Before coming to Hope, Nicodemus taught three
years at Western Michigan University. Her other teaching
experiences include the fourth grade in a six-room country
school, honors courses at Holland High School, members of
the Holland community in Adult Great Books Courses and
college faculty through GLCA summer workshops. In January
of 1997, she was named a recipient of the college's
"Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching."
She has been writing and publishing poetry for the
past dozen years. Her publications include poems in "The
Black Fly Review," "Onionhead Literary Quarterly," "The
Christian Science Monitor" and four anthologies. In 1995,
she received a fellowship for a month-long residency at the
Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, a working retreat for
writers, visual artists and composers.
Nicodemus earned her bachelor's degree at Western
Michigan University and her master's degree at the
University of Wyoming, and completed all coursework toward
the doctorate at the University of Minnesota.
Ritsema, a 1957 Hope graduate, joined the
college's faculty in 1967 and is the long-time conductor of
the college's orchestra and Symphonette. As a Hope student,
he was a charter member of the Symphonette, established in
the fall of 1953.
In addition to his teaching and conducting at the
college, Ritsema has conducted the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony
Orchestra for 20 years. The KJSO is celebrating its 60th
anniversary this year, and is the second-oldest youth
orchestra in the country.
He has been active with music organizations at the
local, state and national levels, and is past-president of
the National School Orchestra Association and of the
Michigan unit of the American String Teachers Association,
the latter of which named him the state's 1994 "String
Teacher of the Year."
Hope's Alumni Association presented him with a
Meritorious Service Award on Monday, March 15, during the
11th annual Musical Showcase--an event he helped establish.
Before teaching at Hope, he was a cello professor
at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He also taught in
the Portage, Mich., public schools for five years, directing
the orchestras and coaching ninth grade basketball.
He holds a master's and doctorate in music from
the University of Michigan.
Smit joined the Hope faculty in 1993. She came to
the college after an extensive career as a nursing
professional in the Holland area.
She was employed with Hospice of Holland from 1991
until 1993. From 1985 to 1991, she was with the Ottawa
County Health Department. She was with Internal Medicine
Associates in Holland from 1975 to 1985.
Her professional experience has also included
coordinating Holland High School's cooperative training
program for high school seniors in health occupations;
serving as a staff nurse in the medical-surgical, emergency
and obstetrics departments at Holland Community Hospital;
and serving as a nurse in the offices of Dr. Donald DeWitt
and Dr. Carl S. Cook.
She earned her master's of science in nursing at
Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich., and
her bachelor's of science in nursing at Grand Valley State
University in Allendale, Mich. She also holds a diploma
from the Evanston (Ill.) Hospital School of Nursing.
Wilson joined the Hope faculty in 1971. He played
a central role in the development of the college's gallery
program, including overseeing the completion of the gallery
in the De Pree Art Center, which was completed in the summer
of 1982. He has also helped guide the college's art history
program to its current status as a full major. He
participated in the creation, in 1979, of two
interdisciplinary courses, "The Golden Age of Greece"
(IDS133/134) and "Two Souls of Germany" (IDS123/124), and
continued to teach in both courses until 1997.
He has curated, installed or administered numerous
exhibitions at the college. His publications include
catalogs for exhibitions at Hope that he has curated,
including "Dutch Art and Modern Life: 1882-1982," prepared
for the show that marked the gallery's debut.
Prior to coming to Hope, he held teaching
positions with the Toledo Museum of Art and University of
Toledo, and the University of Minnesota.
Wilson has also served as a visiting lecturer at
Grand Valley State University, and has delivered guest
lectures at institutions including Aquinas College, the
Muskegon Museum of Art and the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
He holds his B.A. from St. Olaf College in
Northfield, Minn.; his M.A. from the University of
Minnesota; and his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.