The A.C. Van Raalte Institute of Hope College will inaugurate six months of celebratory events in honor of its 25th anniversary with an open house on Tuesday, Nov. 27, from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. in the Theil Research Center at 9 E. 10th St.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
The event will include the dedication of the institute’s library in recognition of founding director Dr. Elton J. Bruins and the premiere of a commemorative video that reviews the institute’s history and purposes. Snacks and hot cider will be served.
Founded during the 1993-94 academic year, the Van Raalte Institute specializes in scholarly research and writing on immigration and the contributions of the Dutch and their descendants in the United States. The institute is also dedicated to the study of the history of all the people who have comprised the community of Holland throughout its history.
Across the past quarter century, the institute has grown from a single scholar in a solitary office to include eight senior fellows, an editorial associate and office manager, several honorary fellows, dozens of current and former visiting fellows, and an extensive research record. Fellows have produced more than 40 books and hundreds of articles and book chapters, many published by the Van Raalte Press.
From its earliest days, the institute has been generously supported by benefactors of Hope College, including a foundational gift from Hope College Trustee Peter Huizenga and his wife, Heidi. Henri and Eleanore Theil contributed to the acquisition and renovation of the Theil building that currently houses the institute and the Joint Archives of Holland.
Future anniversary events will include a presentation on the life and times of Mrs. Albertus (Christina) Van Raalte at Hope College’s Winter Happening on January 26; a revival of Max Bush’s well-received play, “Vision of a New Life,” based on the writings of the Rev. A.C. Van Raalte, founder of Holland, Michigan, and co-founder of Hope College; an extended exhibit of Dutch-American artist Chris Stoffel Overvoorde’s landscape paintings along with related lectures; and the formal release, in April, of Provost Emeritus Dr. Jacob E. Nyenhuis’ monumental history, “Hope College at 150.”
The Theil Research Center is located at 9 E. 10th St., between Central and College avenues.