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Hope College Appoints New Trustees

Posted August 25, 1999

HOLLAND -- There have been three appointments and five reappointments to the Hope College Board of Trustees.

Newly chosen to serve four-year terms are Thomas H. Claus of East Grand Rapids; Ralph E. Jackson Jr. of Houston, Texas; and Donald E. Miller of Bellevue, Wash.

Those re-elected to four-year terms are:  J. Kermit Campbell of Traverse City, who was also re-elected to a second four-year term as chair; Gary DeWitt of Holland; Beverly Kelly of Midland; the Rev. Frederick Kruithof of Kalamazoo; and Tom Thomas of Kalamazoo.

Members who retired from the board are:  Dr. John H. Jacobson, who as president was an ex-officio member of the board; Dr. Donald Mulder of Pacific Palisades, Calif.; Yoshie Ogawa of Washington, D.C.; and John C. Schrier of Muskegon.  Schrier, a member of the board since 1975, has been named an Honorary Trustee.

Thomas Claus, who is a 1975 Hope graduate, is executive vice president with Transnational Motors Inc., dba Mazda Great Lakes.  He joined Mazda Great Lakes in 1977 and was promoted to executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer in 1996.  He is responsible for finance, warehouse operations, personnel and information services. He is a member of Central Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, where he serves as a deacon.  He is also involved with Heartside Ministries, Christian Counseling Center, Holland Home and Western Theological Seminary.

Claus' parents, Howard and Lucille Claus of Grand Rapids, are Hope alumni, as is a brother, H. David Claus of Grand Rapids.  He volunteered with the college's "Build Hope" and "Hope in the Future" campaigns, and is a member of Hope's Second Century Club.

In addition to his degree from Hope, he holds an MBA from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.

He and his wife, Nancy, have two daughters, Vanessa and Victoria.

Ralph Jackson, who is a 1964 Hope graduate, is executive vice president, operations with Cooper Industries Inc., a worldwide manufacturer of electrical products, tools and hardware headquartered in Houston.  He joined McGraw-Edison Company as president of McGraw's Air Comfort Division in 1976, before its acquisition by Cooper Industries in 1985. He has held his current position since 1992, and is responsible for Cooper's Bussmann, Crouse Hines, Cooper Lighting, Cooper Power Systems and Menvier Divisions.

He is a member of Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Houston.  Volunteer or service organizations with which he has been involved include the YMCA, Junior Achievement and the Boy Scouts.  Currently he serves on the Executive Committee of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

He was a class representative during the 1991-92 and 1992-93 academic years.  In February and March, he visited campus through the new "Alumni Executive-in-Residence" program, speaking with students concerning his professional experiences and insights.

In addition to his degree from Hope, he holds an MBA from Michigan State University.

He and his wife, Peggy, a former member of the Hope bookstore staff, have three children:  Kristine, who is a member of the college's Class of '93, Steven and Susan.

Donald Miller, who is a 1953 Hope graduate, is CEO and chairman of the board of Ederer Inc. in Seattle, Wash. Ederer Inc. makes specialized heavy cranes, working with clients around the world.

He became Ederer Inc.'s president in 1974, and purchased the company in 1984.  He has worked in the same general field since graduating from the college 46 years ago.

He is chair of Washington Employers Inc., which has 800 member companies; chair of the Board of Directors of the State Export Assistance Center, appointed by the governor; president of the Washington-China Relations Council and on the Executive Committee of the Washington Council of International Trade; and past president of the National Crane Manufacturers' Association of America.

Miller and his wife Maxine, who is also a 1953 Hope graduate, helped coordinate an alumni regional event and the college Symphonette's visit to their area in the spring semester of 1998, and in October of 1998 visited campus through the premiere edition of the "Alumni Executive-in-Residence" program.

He and Maxine are members of Bellevue Methodist Church.  They have five children:  Chris, Jeff, Sue, Trina and Janna.




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