The Admissions House at Hope College has been named for Dr. James Bekkering, who is retiring this summer after having guided the college's admissions program for more than a quarter century.
The two-story brick structure opened in May of 1988, and is located on 10th Street at College Avenue.
Bekkering was appointed dean of admissions in 1980, and during 1988 and 1989 additionally served as interim dean of students. He was named a vice president in 1989, continuing with responsibilities in both admissions and student development before returning to admissions full-time in 1995. He is responsible for a staff of more than 20, including admissions representatives and support staff. He is retiring at the end of June.
Enrollment at Hope has grown steadily during Bekkering's tenure. The college had 2,464 students in the fall of 1980, a figure that climbed to 3,141 by the fall of 2005.
Raised in Fremont, Bekkering is a former Hope student himself, a member of the college's Class of 1965. Immediately after graduation he spent two years on the Hope staff as an admissions counselor and then another two years as director of financial aid. He was also a residence director in Kollen and Emersonian halls at the college.
He left the Hope staff in 1969 to pursue his master's and doctorate at Michigan State University, working at the same time in financial aid with the Michigan Department of Education in Lansing. From there he went on to Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, first as dean of student services, which included responsibility for admissions and financial aid, and later as dean for the arts and sciences before returning to Hope.