Pictured left to right: Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra, Board of Trustees Chair Mary Bauman, President John Knapp, Richard Haworth, Dean Jim Gentile, Provost Richard Ray and Professor Roger Veldman.

The opening of the new Haworth Engineering Center at Hope College was marked by a dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting on Friday, Sept. 6.


Participants in the ceremony included Mary Bauman, chairperson of the college’s Board of Trustees; John C. Knapp, president of Hope College; Richard G. Haworth, chairman emeritus of Haworth Inc.; Roger Veldman, professor of engineering and chairperson of the department; and Kurt Dykstra, mayor of Holland.

At a luncheon preceding the dedication guests heard from Dr. David Cole, a former member of the Hope College Board of Trustees who is Chairman Emeritus at the Center for Automotice Research, and Dr. David Munson, Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder brought greetings through a recorded message.

Faculty and students during the open house that followed a ribbon cutting showed research and other work being done in the facility.

The 9,000-square-foot addition to the northwest corner of VanderWerf Hall is named in honor of a lead gift from Haworth Inc and the Haworth family.  Supported by many donors through the college’s “A Greater Hope” comprehensive campaign, the project has been completed for a total cost of $3.75 million, including an endowment for ongoing maintenance.

The Haworth Engineering Center spans three levels, and integrates existing space as well as the new construction.

The ground floor provides space for research and equipment, helping expand the opportunities the department provides for students through collaborative faculty-student research and make the most of existing resources.

The middle floor of the addition consists entirely of a multi-purpose laboratory developed especially for all types of engineering-student design projects as well as projects sponsored by industry on which students in the department work collaboratively.  The construction project also included the renovation of laboratories in VanderWerf Hall for use in engineering classes, including creation of a new, larger laboratory for introductory engineering.

The top floor features a new computer-aided design (CAD) laboratory that at 40 seats is double the size of its predecessor.  The upper floor also includes a study room, waiting area and faculty offices.

The college’s engineering program grew out of the department of physics, which began offering courses in engineering in 1979, although engineering instruction at Hope goes back at least three decades more, with the department of mathematics offering “Mechanical Drawing”/”Engineering Drawing” for several years beginning in the 1940s.  Engineering became a stand-alone department in 2006, and now has seven full-time and three part-time faculty.  Accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, the college’s Bachelor of Science in Engineering can include emphasis in biochemical, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental or mechanical engineering.

VanderWerf Hall opened as “Physics Mathematics Hall” in 1964 and was extensively renovated in 1989 and 2011.  Renamed for Hope’s eighth president, Dr. Calvin A. VanderWerf, in 1981, the building houses the departments of computer science, engineering, mathematics and physics.

Architectural design for the Haworth Engineering Center was by FTC&H of Grand Rapids.  Construction manager was G.O. Construction, a joint venture of GDK Construction Co. of Holland and Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. of Grand Rapids.  Construction began in September 2012.

See Photos of New Haworth Engineering Center