Hope College has named the first executive director of its new Boerigter Center for Calling and Career. Shonn Colbrunn of Zeeland will bring more than 23 years of experience in administrative leadership to the college-wide initiative that seeks to inspire students to engage in lifelong practices of career development by emphasizing discernment, preparation and pursuit. Colbrunn will begin his work at Hope’s Boerigter Center on June 4.
“Shonn brings strong leadership, innovation and change management experience to his
new role as the inaugural executive director of the Boerigter Center for Calling and
Career,” said Dr. Cady Short Thompson, provost of Hope College. “A Hope alumnus and
proven leader, he is well-equipped to build an organizational structure, team culture
and strategy to realize the vision of the center to positively impact our students
and the broader regional workforce. I am delighted that Shonn is joining our academic
Colbrunn, who is a 1994 Hope graduate, has worked in visionary capacities for a wide variety of businesses — from start-ups to global leaders — in industries such as health care, automotive and technology. He currently serves as a senior director of human resources for Spectrum Health, West Michigan’s largest employer. At Spectrum Health, Colbrunn oversees the talent development and recruitment of the organization’s 26,000 employees.
Colbrunn’s other career experiences include serving as the vice president of learning solutions for ThinkWise Inc., a technology start-up in Grand Rapids; the lead labor relations representative for Visteon Corporation, a global automotive supplier in Dearborn; and performance and process consultant for MSX International in Dearborn and Accenture in Detroit.
“I am energized by the vision of the Boerigter Center,” Colbrunn said. “We have an opportunity to build on a strong legacy of success and bring even greater distinction to Hope College in how we prepare students to engage with the world. I am very much looking forward to working with the outstanding faculty and staff to help bring the Boerigter Center to life.”
Colbrunn holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Hope and a Master of Arts in adult instruction and performance technology from the University of Michigan. He is a certified facilitator of Senn Delaney’s Culture Shaping Workshops and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator as well as Strategic Workforce Planning, a program of the Human Capital Institute.
The Boerigter Center for Career and Calling was made possible by a major gift from SoundOff Signal in 2016 in honor of founder and chairman George Boerigter, who is a 1961 Hope College graduate, and his wife, Sibilla. Based in Hudsonville, SoundOff Signal provides high-tech safety lighting solutions across the globe.
Hope has developed the Boerigter Center, scheduled to launch this fall, through campus-wide conversations led by Dr. Karen Nordell Pearson, the center’s interim director, over the past 18 months. Programming for the Boerigter Center will enable all Hope students, beginning in their first semester, to understand their strengths, engage in experiences that directly connect to career preparation, discern vocational and life goals, and ascertain clear next steps toward their future.
Integrating with advising, experiential learning and alumni engagement, the Boerigter Center will build upon Hope’s strong foundation for graduate outcomes. In Hope’s most recent graduate survey, 94 percent of the Class of 2017 was in the workforce or graduate school within six months of graduation, with 96 percent of the class having participated in experiential learning.