Hope College will host its 88th annual Nykerk Cup competition on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. at the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse.

The event will feature members of the freshman and sophomore classes competing in song, plays and oration. The participating classes this year are the freshman Class of 2026 and the sophomore Class of 2025, who are being coached by the junior Class of 2024 and the senior Class of 2023, respectively.  The then-freshman Class of 2025 won last year’s event.

The competition, first held on March 16, 1936, is named in honor of the originator of the program, John Nykerk, a professor, college dean and founder of the Hope College Department of Music.

This year’s contest is returning to the DeVos Fieldhouse after two years away.  Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 event was exclusively online.  In 2021, a scheduling conflict due to home athletic competition prompted the event’s relocation to the Holland Civic Center, which had been Nykerk’s home every year but one (2008) from 1956 until it moved to the fieldhouse in 2014.  Nykerk was originally held at the former Carnegie Gymnasium on campus (1936-39), and subsequently at the Woman’s Literary Club (1940-44), and the auditorium of the former Holland High School at Pine Avenue and 15th Street (1944-55).

Nykerk has never been canceled, and was even held twice in 1939, when it transitioned from the spring to the fall.  The only postponement on record was in 2008, when a campus norovirus outbreak caused the event to be delayed to the following weekend, which also prompted relocation from the Holland Civic Center to Central Wesleyan Church.

Tickets for the Nykerk Cup competition are $5, and are available at the ticket office in the Events and Conferences Office located downtown in the Anderson-Werkman Financial Center (100 E. Eighth St.).  Tickets may be purchased online at hope.edu/tickets.  The ticket office is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at 616-395-7890.  Tickets will also be sold at the door.

The doors will open at 6 p.m.  Access for those attending will be through the main doors on the east side of the building, facing Fairbanks Avenue.

Audience members who need assistance to fully enjoy any event at Hope are encouraged to contact the college’s Events and Conferences Office by emailing events@hope.edu or calling 616-395-7222 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Updates related to events are posted when available in the individual listings at hope.edu/calendar

The Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave., between Ninth and 11th streets.