posted February 2, 1998

Three to Recieve MSA Honors

The Hope College Alumni Association will present three Meritorious Service Awards during the college's Winter Happening on Saturday, Feb. 7.

          Those being honored are Roger Rietberg, professor
  emeritus of music, and retired Hope president Dr. Gordon Van
  Wylen and his wife Dr. Margaret Van Wylen.  They will be
  recognized during the Winter Happening luncheon, which will
  be held in the college's Haworth Conference and Learning
  Center beginning at 12:30 p.m.
          The Meritorious Service Award recognizes a
  person's contributions to Hope and its alumni through
  notable personal service and long-time involvement with the
  college.  Hope presented its first Meritorious Service Award
  in May of 1993.
          Rietberg was a member of the Hope music faculty
  from 1954 until his retirement as professor emeritus in
  1990.  He directed the college's Chapel Choir during his
  final 15 years on the faculty, succeeding long-time director
  Robert W. Cavanaugh upon his retirement in 1975.
          Rietberg, along with choir members, was featured
  in a Winter Happening seminar in 1990, discussing the
  group's 1989 concert tour in the former Soviet Union.  A
  1947 graduate of Hope, he was on the committee for the
  class' May, 1997, 50th reunion celebration.
          He served as director of music at Third Reformed
  Church in Holland from 1950 to 1995, and was interim
  minister of music at Central Reformed Church in Grand Rapids
  from February through July of 1997.
          Among other community activities, he is a member
  and past president of Holland Rotary and a member of the
  Board of the Holland Area Arts Council.  He served as an
  elder at Third Reformed Church, and was on the Hymnbook
  Committee for the Reformed Church in America in the
  publication of "Rejoice in the Lord."  He currently
  volunteers as chapel organist at Western Theological
          He holds an M.S.M. from the Union Theological
  Seminary School of Music, and has done additional study at
  the Juilliard School of Music and Syracuse University.
          Rietberg and his wife, Evelyn, have three
  children, all Hope graduates:  Jonathan, Class of '80;
  Roberta Hartt, Class of '83; and Amy Van Allsburg, Class of
  '92.  Another son, Tommy, is deceased.
          Gordon and Margaret Van Wylen were president and
  first lady of Hope College from 1972 until their retirement
  in 1987.  They have stayed active in college functions in
  the years since, including attending May Term courses abroad
  in 1992 and 1994.
          They each hold an honorary degree from the
  college:  Gordon received a Litt.D. in 1972, and Margaret an
  L.H.D. in 1987.  The college's Van Wylen Library, developed
  during their tenure and dedicated in April of 1988, was
  named in their honor.
          Gordon Van Wylen's community and volunteer
  involvements have included serving as a member and elder of
  Christ Memorial Church; as a board member and president of
  the Holland Community Foundation; as a board member with
  Bethany Christian Services and Trinity Christian College;
  and Words of Hope.  Since retiring from Hope, he has been
  involved in the renewal of downtown Holland and various
  other community projects.
          He received a Distinguished Alumni Award from
  Calvin College in 1967, an honorary degree from Meiji Gakuin
  University of Japan in 1987, and the Alumni Society Medal
  from the University of Michigan College of Engineering
  Alumni Society in 1995.  The Holland Area Chamber of
  Commerce presented him with a Distinguished Service Award in
          Prior to assuming the Hope presidency, he was dean
  of the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan,
  where he had been on the faculty since 1951.  He is a
  veteran of World War II, having served in the U.S. Navy as a
  submarine officer.
          He holds bachelor's degrees from Calvin College
  and the University of Michigan, and a doctorate in
  engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
          Margaret Van Wylen retired from a career as a
  psychiatrist in 1994.  She had been on the staff of Holland
  Community Hospital, and had served as both medical director
  of the Psychiatric Unit and as chair of the Psychiatric
  Department.  She had also been staff psychiatrist with
  Ottawa County Community Mental Health and with Child and
  Family Services, and had been in private practice.
          In June she will complete a three-year term as an
  administrative elder at Christ Memorial Church.  She is on
  the board and a volunteer in day care health at Evergreen
  Commons, is a member of the Ladder House board, and is a
  volunteer facilitator for the Ottawa-Allegan Support Group
  for Multiple Sclerosis.
          She is a past member of the boards of Hospice and
  Community Action House.  She was named "Michigan Mother of
  the Year" by the Michigan Mothers Association in 1980.
          She holds a bachelor's degree from Duke
  University, and an M.D. from the University of Michigan
  Medical School.
          The Van Wylens have five children, three of whom
  graduated from Hope:  Elizabeth Rudenga; Stephen, Class of
  '77; Ruth Jasperse, Class of '79; David; and Emily Overway,
  Class of '85.
          In addition to the luncheon, which will also
  feature a humorous slide presentation, Winter Happening will
  include six free seminars, an exhibition, two concerts, and
  a home men's basketball game with Kalamazoo College.
          Admission to the luncheon costs $9, and advance
  registration is required.
          Additional information about the Winter Happening
  activities may be obtained, and reservations may be made, by
  calling the college's Office of Public and Alumni Relations
  at (616) 395-7860.