As Hope celebrates its sesquicentennial, it’s only appropriate that the total service of the six faculty retiring at the end of the year surpasses even the institutional milestone.
Each of this year’s retirees has devoted more than a quarter century—a full generation-plus—to
shaping Hope students’ lives, combining to 194 years at the college: Dr. Jim Allis, professor of philosophy (1986);
Dr. Marc Baer, professor of history and chairperson of the department (1983); Alfredo Gonzáles, associate
provost, dean for international and multicultural education, and adjunct associate professor of social work (1979); Dr. Anne Larsen ’70, professor of French, (1984), Gloria Slaughter, librarian and associate professor (1988) and Dr. Boyd Wilson, professor of religion (1982).
The April 2016 issue of News from Hope College includes brief biographical sketches
of each, but such
chronicles don’t even begin to tell the story of who someone is and of the experiences that led to spending a lifetime helping others become. Each summary below includes a link to full features by Eva Dean Folkert ’83, exploring six extraordinary journeys to and through Hope.
- Dr. Jim Allis
Dr. Jim Allis writes about questions of teaching, learning and knowing. His areas of interest also include ancient philosophy, Greece and Rome, Homer and Plato, political philosophy, philosophy of law, existentialism, the ethical questions that emerge with the rise of modern science, and the Korean martial art of Tae Kwon Do. His publications include the book A Guide to Resources in Ancient Philosophy, co-authored with Dr. Albert Bell of the Hope history faculty, as well as a variety of book reviews and scholarly articles.
He has led or co-led nine May or summer off-campus terms to Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado and Rome, and has led multiple backpacking trips for freshmen as part of their First-Year Seminar. He received the college’s Hope Outstanding Professor Educator (H.O.P.E.) Award from the graduating senior class in 1990, Janet L. Andersen Excellence in Teaching Award in 2000, and Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Award in 2003. He also co-delivered the Commencement address in 1995, and spoke through the Hope Mortar Board chapter’s “Last Lecture Series” this past October.
Recognition that he has received at Hope through the years for his scholarship has included faculty development and faculty/student collaborative learning grants, and a Knight Fellowship.
- Dr. Marc Baer
Dr. Marc Baer specializes in modern British history. He has received a variety of external grants in support of his research, work in which he involves students. His publications include many scholarly articles as well as the books “Mere Believers: How Eight Faithful Lives Changed the Course of History,” “The Rise and Fall of Radical Westminster, 1780-1890,” and “Theatre and Disorder in Late Georgian London.” He also served on the executive council of his primary scholarly organization, the North American Conference on British Studies.
He is the founding director of the college’s Pew Society Program (now called Klesis), which mentors students considering an academic career with an emphasis on Christian vocation, and spearheaded the biennial Veritas Forum, which considers Christian faith and the life of the mind from a variety of perspectives. He has also been active in the national faculty ministry of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
In December 2014, Baer was the moderator for the pilot episode of “Inventing America,” filmed at Hope by local PBS affiliate WGVU-TV, which tells the story of the Declaration of Independence through discussion with portrayers representing members of the Second Continental Congress.
He presented the college’s Opening Convocation address in 1997 and 2011, and led a Winter Happening seminar in 2013. Recognition from Hope has included the Vanderbush-Weller Development Fund Award in 2001, and the Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Award and the Mellon Scholars Mentoring Award in 2014.
- Alfredo Gonzales
Alfredo Gonzáles joined the staff in 1979 as director of the college’s TRiO Upward Bound program. He became director of minority student affairs in 1984, assistant dean of multicultural life in 1986 and assistant provost in 1990. He acquired administrative responsibility for international education when he was named associate provost in 2001, and was appointed associate provost and dean in 2006.
In addition to his work at Hope, he has enhanced international and multicultural understanding locally and regionally. Among other activity, he is a past chair of the City of Holland’s International Relations Commission, the Michigan Commission for Spanish Speaking Affairs and Latin Americans United for Progress, and a founding member of the Tulipanes Latino Art and Film Festival.
The Great Lakes Colleges Association honored him in 2009 as a founding member of its Committee on Institutional Commitment to Educational Equity. In 2006, the city of Santiago de Queretaro in Mexico presented him with its “Germán Patiño Díaz” Medal for his role in creating the sister-city relationship between Holland and Queretaro and exchange relationship between the Autonomous University of Queretaro and Hope. In 1998, he received the “Michigan Outstanding Hispanic of the Year” “Honorable Mention” award from the Michigan Educational Opportunity Fund Inc. In 1997, through one of only 24 fellowships awarded worldwide by the Ford Foundation, he participated in the “International Seminar on Diversity Issues in Higher Education” in India.
Hope presented him with the Motoichiro Oghimi Global Courage Award in 2013 and the “Vanderbush-Weller Development Fund” award in 2004.
- Dr. Anne Larsen '70
Dr. Anne Larsen’s teaching interests include intermediate French language and culture; the myth and reality of Paris; French and Francophone drama; Francophone literature of Algeria, West Africa and the Caribbean; literary theory; early modern French society; and writings by French women intellectuals. Her research interests include the writings and intellectual history, biography and education of European Renaissance and 17th-century women, particularly in France.
Her several books include four co-edited collections of articles on early modern women writers; four volumes featuring works by the mother-daughter team Madeleine and Catherine des Roches; and, earlier this year, a monograph on the Dutch Golden Age linguist and scholar Anna Maria van Schurman, “The Star of Utrecht.” She has also published many scholarly articles, book chapters and reviews.
National recognition of her work has included multiple awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, among them two year-long research fellowships and a summer stipend. Among other honors, she received the 2008 “Roland Bainton Prize for Reference Works” from the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference, and the 2007 “Translation or Teaching Edition Award” from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women.” Hope recognized her with a four-year term as the Lavern ’39 and Betty DePree ’41 VanKley Professor of French from 2011 to 2015 and presented her with the Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Award in 2014.
- Gloria Slaughter
As a technical services librarian, Gloria Slaughter has administered the Van Wylen Library’s electronic management system, resources including more than 200,000 electronic books, 39,000 electronic journals and 156 databases; assured that students and faculty have electronic resources available through OpenURL linking; administered and maintained the knowledge base used for the library’s discovery tool; and catalogued all serials, electronic journals and music scores.
Among other responsibilities, she has also been the library’s liaison to multiple academic departments, worked with other faculty as they developed First-Year Seminar courses, led course tours focused on the effective use of library resources, and assisted in the supervision of other technical services staff and student workers. Her active engagement with the campus community included advising Hope’s Relay for Life group for several years.
Professor Slaughter has been an active participant in professional associations and conferences, including as a presenter, with colleague Brianne Hagen, at meetings of both the national Innovative Users Group and the Michigan Library Association in 2014.
- Dr. Boyd Wilson
Dr. Boyd Wilson’s research and teaching specialties are religions of India, Indian philosophy and theology. In addition to his academic-year teaching, he has led a popular May Term travel seminar in India since the early 1990s.
He has made numerous presentations concerning world religions and Indian culture to academic audiences and the general public, including a presentation concerning Indian women's folk art during the college’s 1994 Winter Happening. External support of his research through the years has included a Fulbright Scholar Award and a National Council for U.S.-Arab Relations grant. His scholarly writing has included the 665-page textbook Introduction to Some of the Religions of the World, developed exclusively for his Introduction to World Religions course at Hope and revised continuously across the past 20 years.
Wilson has received a variety of honors from the college’s students through the years. During Homecoming in 2013 he received the faculty appreciation award presented by the student body. In 1987 he was presented the Hope Outstanding Professor Educator (H.O.P.E.) Award by the graduating seniors, in 1990 he delivered the Commencement address and in 2009 the college’s chapter of Mortar Board selected him to speak through the “Last Lecture Series.”