Annie Valkema began in June 2006. She represents the college in numerous states, including California, Oregon, Washington, upstate New York and New England, as well as the lakeshore north and south of Holland.


  • Certificate in Fund Raising Management, 2008, Indiana University–Purdue University at Indianapolis
  • B.A. writing, minor in communications, Houghton College, 1988

professional experience

Following a Big Ten career in student services and alumni clubs, Annie transitioned into development with experience in annual giving, major and special gifts, and planned giving for two private colleges and a Big Ten university, encouraging partnerships between alumni, friends, parents and the college that result in strategic and deferred gifts.

awards and recognition

  • University of Michigan Spirit Award recipient, 1998
  • Houghton College Alumni Board President, 2014–16; Board Member, 2008–2018
  • Christian Missionary Scholarship Foundation Board Member, 2013–2016

Why do you love hope?

For Annie, an unwavering commitment to superb academics while on campus and a strong commitment to care for alumni is what stands out about Hope College. Annie chose to return to her hometown after 20+ years in Ann Arbor and upstate New York because she wanted to be a part of something vibrant and relevant. Her position facilitating ways that alumni can impact current students brings her joy. Joy in the workplace is never overrated.

outside of hope

Annie was introduced to retired Hope professor Jack Ridl on her first day of work, which was also his last day. She has been writing and workshopping poetry with Jack and a group of like-minded poets monthly on the shores of Lake Michigan ever since.