A new residence hall, an improved theatre and a state-of-the-art "clab" will greet Hope College's students when they begin arriving on Friday, Aug. 22.

A new residence hall, an improved theatre and a state-of-the-art "clab" will greet Hope College's students when they begin arriving on Friday, Aug. 22.

The college's new Cook Residence Hall, completed
during the summer, will house 180 students during the coming
school year. The hall is located on 10th Street between
College and Columbia avenues, and connected to the Haworth
Conference and Learning Center, which opened in January.

The renovated DeWitt Center main theatre debuted
with Hope Summer Repertory Theatre's production of "Annie"
in June. The theatre was "dark" during the 1996-97 school
year while the auditorium was remodeled and the backstage
facilities expanded by 6,000 square feet.

The "clab" is a new computer classroom/laboratory
installed in room B24 of Van Zoeren Hall. The room features
work stations with sunken monitors that will accommodate 24
students in computer science at a time.

Other projects during the summer included
replacement of the wooden floor of Snow Auditorium in Nykerk
Hall of Music, rebuilding of the engineering computer lab on
the main floor of Van Zoeren Hall, and renovation of Cook
Auditorium in the De Pree Art Center. Much of the carpet
was replaced in Durfee, Lichty, Phelps and Scott halls;
projects in the cottages ranged from replacing carpeting or
vinyl flooring in some cases, to remodeling bathrooms and
kitchens in others.

In addition, the school year will pilot the first
new courses offered in conjunction with the college's
revised general education program, which was approved in the
spring of 1996. The revised program will be mandatory for
new students enrolling beginning in the fall of 1998.

The college's new academic year will open formally
on Sunday, Aug. 24, at 2 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel
with an opening convocation. Dr. Marc Baer, professor of
history, will present the address "Our Search for Veritas."
The public is invited to the convocation, and admission is

Residence halls for Hope's new students will open
on Friday, Aug. 22, at 10 a.m. Orientation events will
begin that evening and will continue through Monday, Aug.

Returning students are not to arrive on campus
before noon on Sunday, Aug. 24. Classes will begin on
Tuesday, Aug. 26, at 8 a.m.

Baer is a specialist in British history with a
secondary emphasis in European history. His research
interests include British social, cultural and political
history from the 18th century to the present, and modern
British urban history. During the 1996-97 school year he
spearheaded the effort to coordinate the Jan. 10-11 "Hope
Veritas Forum" that considered faith and truth from a
variety of perspectives.

He is the author of the book "Theatre and Disorder
in Late Georgian London," published in 1992 by Oxford
University Press. He is also the author of several
articles, including "Sir Francis Burdett," in the
forthcoming "New Dictionary of National Biography," to be
published by Oxford University Press, and "The Memory of the
Middle Ages: From History of Culture to Cultural History,"
published in "Studies in Medievalism" in 1992. He has also
written more than 60 book reviews, and has made numerous
presentations at professional conferences on history or
British studies.

Baer's awards and honors include three fellowships
through the Summer Seminar program of the National Endowment
for the Humanities (NEH). He has also held research grants
from agencies including the NEH, the American Philosophical
Society and the Michigan Council for the Humanities, in
addition to local sources such as the Padnos Educational
Fund and the Holland Community Foundation.

This fall, he will begin a three-year term as
treasurer of the North American Conference on British
Studies. He is also on the editorial board of the World
Wide Web-based project, "Monuments and Dust: The Culture of
Victorian London," and an associate fellow with the
Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the
University of Virginia.

He recently began a three-year term as director of
Hope's Pew Society Program, is Hope's representative to the
Midwest Faculty Seminar program, and has also served on a
variety of Hope committees and boards.

Baer is a member of Christ Memorial Church, where
he is currently an elder. He is chair of the Board of
Directors of Vision Ministries (a radio ministry featuring
the Rev. Ben Patterson, who is the Hinga-Boersma Dean of the
Chapel at Hope), and has been active with the local schools.

He has been a member of the Hope faculty since
1983. He joined the faculty as an assistant professor of
history, and was promoted to associate professor in 1986 and
full professor in 1992.

Prior to coming to Hope, Baer taught at Frostburg
State University, where he was named "Teacher of the Year"
in 1983, and Case Western Reserve University.

He holds his bachelor's degree from Iowa State
University, and his master's and doctorate from the
University of Iowa.