Tony Muiderman, a professor emeritus of business administration at Hope College who led development of the college’s George F. Baker Scholars Program and advised the group for more than three decades, died on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. He was 94.

Muiderman, who was living in Eugene, Oregon, in retirement, joined the faculty in 1977 and retired in 2000.  The graduating senior class presented him with the Hope Outstanding Professor Educator (H.O.P.E.) Award in 1986.

His greatest joy as an educator was in his role as mentor and advisor. With great kindness and wisdom, he helped guide thousands of students in their academic, career and life pursuits. He was always a keen listener ready with an encouraging word to help students reach their full potential. His office door was always open, and he was always generous and gracious with his time.

Through his management courses Muiderman emphasized values-based leadership.  He believed business could be a force for good in the world and that the bottom line is not the only metric of success for an organization. He was a strong proponent of liberal arts education and felt it offered students a distinct advantage in terms of bringing a diverse and well-rounded perspective to the business world.

Specializing in business management and entrepreneurship, he became faculty coordinator of the Baker Scholars Program in 1978. Although the program had existed prior to his arrival, he implemented many of the practices that continue to this day, and continued to lead the program and mentor students for several years after retiring. The Baker Scholars Program is a leadership-development program for outstanding upper-level students majoring in economics, business or accounting.

He also served as department chair; developed an “Executive-in-Residence” program for the department; was the college’s faculty liaison to the Philadelphia Urban Semester for more than 20 years; co-led May Terms on Management in the British Economy; was assistant director of the May-June Term Meiji Gakuin-Hope program in 1984; and was a faculty representative to the Board of Trustees.

Muiderman was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1927, to parents who had emigrated from the Netherlands in 1919.  He spent his first 16 years in Grand Rapids in the Christian school system.

He was a veteran of World War II, joining the U.S. Navy in 1944 at age 17 and stationed in the Pacific Theater.  He was with a unit that serviced naval bases and ships along the Japanese coast after the end of the war, and his experiences included visiting Nagasaki while on shore leave three months after the atomic bomb had been dropped.

After leaving the navy in 1946, he attended Calvin University, from which he earned a bachelor’s degree.  He also completed a B.S.E. at the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. at Grand Valley State University.

He was originally an engineer, but with multiple interests transitioned to a career in business and management. Before going into teaching, he spent 25 years in industry and manufacturing in executive positions including serving as plant manager for the Herman Miller Corporation in Zeeland, Michigan, before going into teaching.  He taught at Grand Rapids Community College and then Grand Valley State University before coming to Hope.

He was preceded in death by a son, Jeff ’83, in 2018. Survivors include his wife, Elly; three children, Kevin ’85 and Amy Herrington ’86 Muiderman, Julie Muiderman ’88 and Cacy Celver, and Erik ’92; a daughter-in-law, Geriann; and grandchildren Jenna and Hayes.

A celebration of life/memorial has not yet been planned, but will likely be held in the spring on a date still to be determined. The family suggest that memorial tributes be sent to the Anthony “Tony” Muiderman Baker Scholars Endowed Fund, 

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