/ Chemistry Department

After Graduation

Our students have their pick of top graduate schools throughout the country or the opportunity to be placed in the field within six months of graduating.

Our grads have become agricultural chemists, chemical engineers, environmental scientists, metallurgists, technical writers and wine chemists — and those are just a few examples. Having a degree in chemistry sets you up with a wide variety of skill sets, and having a degree from Hope gives you access to more opportunities than you can imagine.

Learn what you can do with a chemistry major 

Notable Alumni

A. Paul Schaap

One of our alumni, Dr. A. Paul Schaap (’67), went on to earn his Ph.D. from Harvard University and joined the faculty of Wayne State University as an assistant professor. With his wife Carol, he created the A. Paul and Carol Schaap Foundation. As a Hope College trustee, he and his wife gave a leadership gift on behalf of creating a new science center and recently gave a research endowment to the chemistry department as a whole, as well as endowed funds for a few chemistry chairs.

James W. and Jeanette Hoffman Neckers

Two chemistry alums, Dr. James W. and Jeanette Hoffman Neckers (’23), created a fund to support annual lectureships in chemistry. Through additional gifts from the pair, the fund was expanded to include student summer research stipends and student scholarships.

Richard Smalley

Dr. Richard Smalley attended Hope College for two years before graduating from the University of Michigan in 1965. He’s always considered Hope his true home, where he “became grounded.” In 1996, Smalley won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for finding and developing the third allotropic form of carbon: buckyballs.

Cal VanderWerf

Dr. Calvin VanderWerf was the eighth president of Hope, from 1963–1970, and worked in higher education as a chemist before arriving in Holland. VanderWerf is often credited for transforming Hope into an institution that provided an exceptional education for students, placing particular emphasis on the physical sciences.

What Graduates Are Saying

“I appreciate how important my education and research experience in chemistry at Hope have been to my career, first in academics and now in business.”
– Dr. A. Paul Schaap ’67, Professor of Chemistry, Wayne State University and Founder, President, and CEO of Lumigen Inc.

“I look back at my time at Hope and I know that it is the chemistry department that has prepared me to be successful in graduate school; the people there have helped to cultivate my passion for chemistry, teaching and life, and have been constant encouragement for me to reach my dreams.”
– Dr. Julie Pollock ’06, assistant professor of chemistry, University of Richmond