The 140th academic year at Hope College will begin formally with an opening convocation on Sunday, Aug. 26, at 2 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

The convocation address will be delivered by Dr. Orlando L. Taylor, who is dean of the Graduate School and a graduate professor in the School of Communication at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Hope will be conferring an honorary degree, a doctor of letters (Litt.D.) upon Taylor during the convocation.

The convocation ceremony will be carried live on local cable, Channel 6, in Holland.

A private institution, Howard University is the only historically and predominantly black university recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a Level I Research University. The university ranks among the nation's largest producers of African American Ph.D. recipients.

Taylor played a leadership role in establishing the academic exchange relationship that Hope and Howard University have maintained since 1998. Through the relationship, several "ABD" (all but dissertation) doctoral candidates from the university have spent an internship year at Hope as "Preparing Future Faculty Teaching Fellows." Fellows have worked with Hope departments ranging from English to mathematics.

Taylor has been a member of Howard University's faculty since 1973. He chaired Howard's Department of Communication Arts and Sciences from 1975 to 1980, and served as Dean of its School of Communications from 1985 to 1993. He has served as the Graduate Dean since 1993.

He served as executive assistant to the president at Howard University in 1994, and as interim vice president for academic affairs during 1994-95. During 1996-97 he was also Dean in Residence at the Council of Graduate Schools in Washington, D.C.

Taylor is the author of numerous articles, chapters and books, including the books "Language Acquisition Across North America: Cross Cultural and Cross Linguistic Perspectives" and "Making the Connection: Language and Academic Achievement for African American Children," both published in 1999.

He is a member of numerous boards. He is currently chair of the Board of Directors of the Council of Graduate Schools; a member of the Advisory Council, Education and Research Directorate, of the National Science Foundation; a member of the Advisory Council, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communicative Disorders, of the National Institutes of Health; and a member of the Board of Directors of Project SEED. He is president of the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools, and past chair of the Governing Board of the U.S./South Africa Education Partnership Program in Atmospheric Science, Oceanic Science and Environmental Science.

Although open to the general public and campus community, the Opening Convocation is particularly geared toward new students and their families, and the college projects a large audience.

Hope is anticipating a large freshman class for the coming school year, according to Jon Huisken, who is dean for academic services and registrar. Huisken noted that the new class and the returning classes together could help Hope pass 3,000 students for the second consecutive year. Last fall's enrollment of 3,015 was a record for the college.

Residence halls for Hope's new students will open on Friday, Aug. 24, at 10 a.m. Orientation events will begin that evening and will continue through Monday, Aug. 27.

Returning students are not to arrive on campus before noon on Sunday, Aug. 26. Classes will begin on Tuesday, Aug. 28, at 8 a.m.