Hope College will be holding its graduation exercises on Sunday, May 9, with more than 650 graduating seniors participating.

The college's 145th Commencement will be held at 3 p.m. at Holland Municipal Stadium.  Baccalaureate will be held earlier in the day, at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

The Commencement speaker will be Rob Pocock, a 1977 Hope graduate who is an adjunct assistant professor of communication at the college and associate vice president of communications at Priority Health.  The Baccalaureate sermon will be delivered by the Rev. Kate Davelaar, a 2000 Hope graduate who is a chaplain on the campus ministries staff at the college.

° Rob Pocock began teaching at Hope in 1989.  In communication he specializes in public speaking and public relations, and he also teaches a political science course in campaign management.

He has been with Priority Health, a nationally recognized health benefits company based in Michigan, since 1993.  Previously, Pocock was an executive coach with Nancy Skinner & Associates/Varnum Consulting, a leadership-development firm in Grand Rapids, and was vice president/account services at both Biggs/Gilmore Communications and Nordstrom/Cox Marketing.  Over the past three decades, Pocock has managed or consulted on several political campaigns.

Pocock was an associate director of admissions at Hope from 1977 to 1983.  He and his wife, Cindy served for three years as head residents for the college's Cosmopolitan Hall.  They have also both been active in the life of the college as volunteers for many years.

Pocock frequently speaks at conferences and workshops throughout the United States.  He has served on the boards of The Economic Club of Grand Rapids, The Grand Rapids Ad Club and Hospice of Holland.  He and Cindy are also active members of ChristMemorialChurch in Holland.

The Grand Rapids Chapter of the American Advertising Federation recognized him as "Ad Person of the Year" with its 1992 Silver Medal Award.  The college's Alumni Association presented him with a Meritorious Service Award in 1995, and the alumni association of the Cosmopolitan Fraternity, of which he was a member as a student, presented him with its "Pardeigma Menous" ("Example of Spirit") award in 1985.

Pocock is a cum laude graduate of Hope with a major in political science.  He was elected to both the political science (Pi Sigma Alpha) and forensics (Pi Kappa Delta) honorary societies.  He completed a master's degree in communication at Michigan State University in 1981.

He and Cindy, who is a 1975 Hope graduate, have two children, Andrew (Megan) Pocock of Granger, Ind., and Katherine (Jeffrey, a 2005 Hope graduate) Heydlauff of Traverse City.

° Kate Davelaar has been a member of the college's campus ministries staff since 2008.

She was raised in Holland, Mich., with strong ties to Hope and the Reformed Church in America.  Her father, Tom, is an adjunct assistant professor of kinesiology and an assistant men's basketball coach at Hope as well as a 1972 Hope graduate, and her mother, Kathryn, is a pastor in the Reformed Church in America.

She graduated from Hope magna cum laude with majors in psychology and religion.  As a student she was active in Young Life Leadership and participated in the Campus Ministries Spring Break Mission trips. During her junior year she led a trip to the Dominican Republic to work on the Young Life camp for a week, and then spent the summer there as well.

Desiring to spend a year living in another country after she graduated, Davelaar moved to the Dominican Republic to work for Young Life three weeks after graduation. She spent the next five years working in Santiago with high school students through the ministry of Young Life.

In 2005 she moved back to Holland to attend Western Theological Seminary and continue work on a Master of Divinity degree that she had started through distance learning. During her time at seminary she interned with Good Samaritan Ministries, HollandHospital's Chaplaincy office and the campus ministries office at Hope. She was also able to travel to Oman, Brazil and spend three months in East Africa.  While at Western, from which she graduated in 2008, she received honors including the Publishers' Award from Baker Book House and Interpretation Journal, the Bast Preaching Award and the Henry J. Pietenpol Senior Excellence Award.

She graduated from Western in 2008 and started working with Hope's campus ministries office as a chaplain in July of that same year.

In the event of rain, Commencement will be held at the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse.  Admission to Baccalaureate, and to Commencement if indoors, is by ticket only.