posted May 4, 2004

Alfredo Gonzales Receives Vanderbush-Weller Award

Alfredo Gonzales, associate provost at Hope College, has been named recipient of the college's fifth annual "Vanderbush-Weller Development Fund" award for strong, positive impact on students.

The award recognizes and supports the efforts of Hope faculty and staff who make extraordinary contributions to the lives of students. Gonzales was recognized during a luncheon held on Friday, April 30, in conjunction with the spring meeting of the college's Board of Trustees.

Gonzales's responsibilities include general academic administration, developing strategies for recruiting multicultural faculty and enhancing multicultural learning at Hope, and oversight of capital and operating budgets. He has administrative responsibility for the Joint Archives of Holland and the college's A.C. Van Raalte Institute, Office of Multicultural Life, Office of International Education and Women's Studies program, and is chair of Hope's annual Critical Issues Symposium.

Gonzales was active in the creation of Holland's Sister-City relationship with Santiago de Queretaro in Mexico, and has similarly been actively involved in developing Hope's relationship with the Autonomous University of Queretaro. He has also done extensive work to develop the Preparing Future Faculty Program between Howard University and Hope College.

In 1998, he received the "Michigan Outstanding Hispanic of the Year" "Honorable Mention" award from the Michigan Educational Opportunity Fund Inc. In 1997, through one of only 24 fellowships awarded worldwide by the Ford Foundation, he participated in the "International Seminar on Diversity Issues in Higher Education" in New Delhi, India.

Gonzales joined the Hope staff in 1979 as director of the college's Upward Bound program, a position that continued with his appointment as director of minority student affairs in 1984. In 1986 he was named assistant dean of multicultural life, working in the Office of Student Development to strengthen the multicultural life at the college, assisting the admissions office in recruiting minority students, and developing contacts with area high schools and other organizations. He was named assistant provost in 1990 and associate provost in 2001. He is also an adjunct associate professor of social work.

Active in the community, he is currently chair of the City of Holland's International Relations Commission and is a founding member of the Tulipanes Latino Art and Film Festival. He is past chair of the Holland Community Hospital Board of Directors, the Michigan Commission for Spanish Speaking Affairs and LAUP Inc. He has also served on the boards of Western Theological Seminary, First of America Bank Corporation and the Holland Area Arts Council.

Gonzales graduated from Grand Valley State University and earned a master of social work degree from the University of Michigan. He and his wife, Maria, have two children, Abbie, who graduated from Hope in 2003, and Sarah, who is a member of this year's graduating Class of 2004.

The "Vanderbush-Weller Development Fund" was established in honor of longtime Hope professor and football coach Alvin Vanderbush of Bloomington, Minn., who retired in 1972. It was created by Ken and Shirely Weller of Knoxville, Iowa. Ken Weller is one of Vanderbush's former players and also a former Hope faculty colleague.