The Hope College Alumni Association
will present four graduates with Distinguished Alumni Awards
during the college's Alumni Day on Saturday, May 5.
Being honored this year are Lori Cook, a 1985
graduate from Comstock Park; Dr. Linda Dykstra, a 1966
graduate from Durham, N.C.; the Hon. Pete Hoekstra, a 1975
graduate from Holland; and Dr. Roger Kempers, a 1949
graduate from Naples, Fla.
The annual Distinguished Alumni Awards are
presented by the Alumni Association Board of Directors in
recognition of the awardees' contributions to society and
service to Hope. The award, presented during the college's
Alumni Banquet, is the highest honor that alumni can receive
from the college's Alumni Association.
Lori Cook has been well known to West Michigan
audiences as children's television personality "Maranda" for
more than a decade.
For 13 years, she portrayed the character as Fox
17 Kids coordinator and host with WXMI in Grand Rapids. In
January of this year, she and the character "Maranda" moved
to WOOD TV 8 as "children and family services manager."
She is also the "Newspapers in Education"
coordinator for "The Grand Rapids Press," for which she has
been a columnist for 10 years. In addition, she is author
of a book, "Maranda's Guide to Family Fun."
Cook makes some 250 appearances annually at
schools, churches, festivals and community events
celebrating kids. She also participates in charity events
on behalf of organizations ranging from DeVos Children's
Hospital, to Girl Scouts, to Project Rehab, to the American
Cancer Society and the American Lung Association.
She is a member of boards including the John Ball
Zoological Society, The Very Special Arts Board and the Old
Kent River Bank Run Race Committee. She is a "Kids Kingdom"
coordinator at Blythfield Hills Baptist Church.
She has mentored Hope interns, and for the past
three years has presented lectures to public relations
classes at the college. During the college's 1996 Critical
Issues Symposium, "The Role of the Media in American
Culture," she led a focus session on children's programming.
She has received several awards, including a
Lifetime Achievement Award from the Michigan Chapter of the
National Association of Women in Broadcasting, a 1998 Fox
Kids Monument Award, a "Volunteer of the Year" award from
Very Special Arts of Michigan, and Distinguished Service
Awards from the Kent and Lakeland district libraries.
She and her husband Ron have two daughters,
Samantha and Alexandra.
Linda Dykstra is dean of the graduate school at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is
the William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor in the departments of
psychology and pharmacology. Since 1999, she has also been
interim provost for graduate studies and research. The
university offers 60 doctoral programs, 12 professional
doctoral programs, and 101 master's programs and other
She has been at the university since arriving as a
postdoctoral fellow in 1972, the same year that she
completed her Ph.D. in psychopharmacology at the University
of Chicago, from which she also holds a master's in English.
For more than 25 years, Dykstra has studied the
behavioral pharmacology of analgesics. She investigates
drugs that effectively relieve pain but have a low
likelihood of being abused. She currently studies
alterations in immune function linked to acute and chronic
use of drugs derived from opium.
Her many awards include the National Institutes of
Health's prestigious MERIT Award, which gives researchers up
to 10 years to focus on innovative research, and a Research
Scientist Award from the National Institutes of Health.
Her current board memberships include the Research
Triangle Institute, North Carolina Biotechnology Center,
Triangle Universities Center for Advanced Studies and the
National Institute on Statistic Sciences. She is a past
member of the National Advisory Council of the National
Institute on Drug Abuse, and is past president of the
American Psychological Association's psychopharmacology and
substance abuse division.
Dykstra is the author of more than 100 scholarly
articles, and wrote the book "Psychopharmacology: A
Biochemical and Behavioral Approach."
She and her husband, William Hylander, have two
children, Grayson and Rebecca.
Pete Hoekstra is the U.S. Representative for Michigan's
2nd Congressional District.
He was first elected in 1992, a newcomer to
politics who conducted a "grass roots" campaign for the
Republican primary that included biking 270 miles to meet
the district's voters face-to-face. Currently in his fifth
term, he has held a variety of committee assignments through
the years, including the House Committee on Education and
the Workforce, and the House Committee on the Budget.
Hoekstra has received several awards and
endorsements for his work. Among others in 2000 alone, he
was named "Public Official of the Year" by Habitat for
Humanity of Michigan, received the "Faith, Family and
Freedom Award" from the Family Research Council, and
received the "American Freedom Award" from the American
Association of Christian Schools.
He frequently speaks to Hope students both on-
campus and in Washington, D.C., and participates in
election-year political activities including student-
Hoekstra was born in the Netherlands in 1953 and
immigrated to Holland in 1957. After graduating from Hope,
he completed an M.B.A. in marketing at the University of
Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Prior to his election, he was employed with Herman
Miller Inc. in Zeeland. He had been with the company since
1977, concluding his service as vice president of product
management. He is one of the few members of Congress to
have been an executive with a "Fortune 500" company.
He is a member of Christ Memorial Church in
Holland. He and his wife Diane have three children, Erin,
Allison and Bryan.
Roger Kempers is retired from a long-time career as a
scientist, educator and clinician.
After Hope, he graduated from Wayne State
University of Medicine with an MD, and from the University
of Minnesota with a master's in obstetrics and gynecology.
He was with the Mayo Clinic from 1961 until 1995,
serving as a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, vice
chair of the department, head of the division of
reproductive medicine, and as director of education for the
department of obstetrics/gynecology. From 1996 to 2000, he
was medical director of the American Society for
Reproductive Medicine in Birmingham, Ala.
He was editor-in-chief of the journal "Fertility
and Sterility" from 1975 to 1997; co-editor or on the
editorial boards of six other journals in obstetrics or
reproductive medicine; and an examiner for the American
Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology for 13 years. He is past
president of three medical societies, and is president-elect
of the International Federation of Fertility Societies.
He is an honorary member of the obstetrical or
fertility medical societies of five countries, and has been listed in "Who's Who in America" since 1986. The Wayne State University College of Medicine presented him with a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1992.
He is past director of the Rotary Club of Rochester, Minn., United Way of Rochester and the Children's Home Society of Minnesota. He was a ruling elder at First Presbyterian Church in Rochester.
He has been active in Hope alumni activities, and in 1997 served on the task force that conducted long-range planning for the new science building. His parents and parents-in-law all attended Hope.
He and his wife, Marcia, who is a 1950 Hope graduate, have three children, Mary; Thomas, a 1978 Hope graduate; and Steven.