posted October 11, 1999

H-Club Honors Bill VanderBilt

The alumni H-Club at Hope College will present its "Hope for Humanity Award" to Dr. William R. Vanderbilt of Holland on Saturday, Oct. 23.

          The award, first presented in 1990, recognizes
  Hope athletic alumni for service to others, transformation
  of Christian values and consistency of commitment.  The H-
  Club will recognize Vanderbilt during its annual Homecoming
  luncheon, which will be held in the Haworth Inn and
  Conference Center.
          Vanderbilt has been executive director of the
  Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area since 1994.
  He was chief executive officer of Freedom Village, which he
  founded, from 1988 to 1994, and was a coach and member of
  the Hope kinesiology faculty from 1967 to 1988.
          As a long-time colleague at Hope, Ray Smith of the
  college's kinesiology faculty had many opportunities to see
  Vanderbilt in action.  They even shared an office in the old
  Carnegie-Schouten gymnasium.  Smith praised Vanderbilt's
  professionalism, teaching, love for sport and rapport with
  students, as well as his leadership as department chair
  while the college developed the Dow Health and Physical
  Education Center, dedicated in 1978.
          "He, at a key time in our department, took on the
  role of leader and got our department moving and the
  building built," said Smith, who has been a member of the
  Hope faculty since 1970, and is professor of kinesiology and
  director of athletics for men at the college.  "It was one
  of the great eras in our department and in sport at Hope."
          Vanderbilt grew up in Adell, Wis., and graduated
  from Oostburg High School in 1957.  He graduated from Hope
  in 1961 with a history major and minors in physical
  education and English.  While a student at Hope he competed
  in baseball, basketball and track, serving as captain of the
  basketball team during his senior year.
          He completed a master's degree in physical
  education at the University of Michigan in 1963, and a
  doctorate in health and physical education, with an emphasis
  in sport sociology, at the University of Utah in 1971.
          During the 1961-62 school year, he was a teacher
  and coach in Coopersville.  From 1962 to 1967, he was a
  teacher and coach at new Trier Township High School in
  Winnetka, Ill.
          He chaired Hope's department of health and
  physical education--today the department of kinesiology--for
  13 of his 21 years on the college's faculty.  The cross
  country teams that he coached won or shared 14 men's and
  three women's Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association
  championships.
          For his service to Freedom Village, the center's
  staff in 1994 presented him with a plaque honoring his
  "vision, enthusiasm and persistence in leading Freedom
  Village from Dream to Reality."  For his support of the
  Youth Advisory Committee of the Community Foundation of the
  Holland/Zeeland Area, the Detroit Pistons and the State
  Youth Advisory Board of the Michigan Community Foundations
  accorded him special recognition during the Council of
  Michigan's 26th annual conference in November of 1998.
          His area activities have also included serving as
  a member of the board of Boys and Girls Club in 1992-93, and
  chairing the Long-Range Planning Commission of Overisel
  Township for 10 years.  Since 1967 he has been a member of
  Christ Memorial Church, where he is a member of the choir
  and has served on the consistory on several occasions.
          His wife Patricia died on August 17 following a
  battle with cancer.  She was a 1962 Hope graduate, and all
  three of the couple's children are also Hope alumni:  Sandra
  K. Bajema of Grandville, a 1985 graduate; William C.
  Vanderbilt of West Olive, a 1988 graduate; and Susan M.
  Vanderbilt of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., a 1992 graduate.
          The Hope College Alumni H-Club consists of Hope
  alumni who were athletic letter winners and other honorary
  letter winners as approved by the H-Club's Board of
  Directors, and currently has more than 2,800 members.
          The previous recipients of the "Hope for Humanity
  Award" are:  the Rev. James W. Baar of Holland, a 1942 Hope
  graduate (1998); Ekdal J. Buys of Holland, a 1937 Hope
  graduate (1994); Robert N. DeYoung of Holland, a 1956 Hope
  graduate (1995); Mary Dykema of Holland, a 1973 Hope
  graduate (1992); Jack Klunder of Hopkins, a 1974 Hope
  graduate (1997); the late Herman Laug of Coopersville, a
  1929 Hope graduate (1990); George Moger of Fort Gratiot, a
  1978 Hope graduate (1991); and Ross Nykamp of Fennville, a
  1980 Hope graduate (1993).