Hope College President James E. Bultman will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award from Western Michigan University on Friday, Oct. 12.
Bultman completed his master's and doctorate in education at the university, in 1966 and 1971 respectively. He has been president of Hope College since 1999, and had previously served as president of Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, for 14 years.
The award was established by the Western Michigan University Alumni Association in 1963. Bultman will be one of three Western alumni receiving one of the awards during a dinner on Friday, Oct. 12, in conjunction with the university's homecoming weekend celebration.
Becoming Hope's president marked a second return to the college for Bultman. A 1963 Hope graduate, he was a member of the college's faculty, administration and coaching staff from 1968 to 1985. He joined the education faculty in 1968, chaired the department of education from 1976 to 1982, and was dean of the social sciences from 1982 until leaving for Northwestern's presidency in 1985. He was head baseball coach at Hope from 1971 to 1985, and an assistant football coach from 1970 to 1984.
Before joining Hope's faculty, he taught and coached in the public schools in Portage, and was the assistant principal of Portage Northern High School.
Bultman has been an active leader in higher education circles. He served as chair of the board of directors of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities; was a member of the Council of Presidents of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA); and was chair of the Iowa College Foundation, the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the Commission on Campus Concerns for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
His present memberships include the Michigan Colleges Foundation (MCF), Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA), Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA), and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Michigan (AICUM). He is a member of the Holland Area Chamber of Commerce and the Holland Rotary Club, and serves on the Board of Directors at The Bank of Holland.
He holds honorary degrees from Keiwa College in Shibata City, Japan, and from Hope. He received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Hope in 1995.
Bultman and his wife Martie are active members of the Reformed Church in America. They have two married children -- Matthew Bultman and Heather Bultman Bluemel.