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“I’m at peace,” I heard a woman say. My husband and I were attending Calvin’s 50th reunion last weekend when I overheard this comment. She went on to explain that she was facing a  life-threatening surgery.

From her story and demeanor, I felt she was saying she was ready for any untoward outcome. I thought it ironic that the same thought came unbidden to me when I had a recent health scare and felt each breath may be my last.

You might say Calvin is our “family tradition” college. My parents went there, as did my four siblings and their spouses. I met my husband at Calvin, and our children and their spouses went there. And our oldest granddaughter is on her way to graduating in two years.

And I can say with certainty that we all are at peace with whatever life holds for us, knowing we will be given, if necessary, the grace we need to persevere.

I’m grateful to Calvin College for honoring its 50-year graduates in a faith-filled, reaffirming our heritage,  two days of celebration.

I’m happy they included those of us who started with this class and then went on to nurses’ training.


I’m happy I had the opportunity to reunite with high school friends who went on to Calvin.


I’m  happy my nephew, alumni association president, was the one to drape my Calvin medallion on me during a special ceremony.


It was fun to be in the audience when my grandnephew graduated with around  800 members of his class. And it was especially fun when his mom, my niece, found us in the crowd in the packed arena.


Plus it was fun (are you getting the message that this whole time was great?) to run into one of  my husband’s nephews, a former Kent County Sheriff, now with Campus Safety.  IMG_2102

Whatever had transpired in the lives of our classmates during the 50 years–outstanding successes or adversities, I felt a solid sense of joy and gratitude during informal conversations and formal presentations for our God-centered higher education and lives.

And while singing, more than once, our “dear” Alma Mater:

Calvin, Calvin, sing we all to thee;

to dear Alma Mater we pledge fidelity.

Forever faithful to maroon and gold,

they name and honor we ever shall uphold.

Calvin, Calvin, God has been thy guide;

dear Alma Mater, thy strength He shall provide.

Be loyal ever to the faith of old.

God’s name and honor we ever shall uphold.

Finally, for more fun yet, it was perfect to end our celebration with a chili supper with family members before heading back to Chicago.


We feel blessed to be part of the Calvin College Class of 1963.

* Read more about Calvin College and Commencement here.