posted September 15, 2006

Lubbers Hall Renovation Anticipates New Year

A familiar place will be all-new when classes begin at Hope College in the fall.

The renovation of venerable Lubbers Hall has completely changed the interior of the building, taking advantage of space made available when the department of communication relocated to the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication last year. The project has added 28 faculty offices while reducing the number of classrooms in the building from 10 to six. Lubbers, built in 1942 and previously remodeled in 1975, continues to house the departments of English, history, philosophy, political science and religion, as well as the office of the dean for the arts and humanities.

As usual, the summer saw a variety of other construction and maintenance projects, foremost among which were the completion of a 15-suite addition to Cook Hall; the reconfiguration of student offices in the DeWitt Center, taking advantage of space made available by the relocation of the "Anchor" student newspaper and WTHS student radio station to the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication; and the ongoing restoration of the chapel's Skinner organ. Other work included a new roof and carpeting for the Van Wylen Library, and work on the roofs of both the DeWitt Center and Nykerk Hall of Music.

The school year will begin formally with the traditional Opening Convocation on Sunday, Aug. 27, at 2 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. The featured speaker will be Dr. Harvey Blankespoor, who is the Frederich Garrett and Helen Floor Dekker Professor Emeritus of Biology.

Blankespoor has continued to teach at Hope part-time since retiring in 2002, including leading popular May Term courses to Africa and the Galapagos Islands. Blankespoor, who joined the Hope faculty in 1976, received the "Hope Outstanding Professor Educator" (H.O.P.E.) Award from the graduating Class of 1980, and was named the national 1991 "Professor of the Year" by The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Residence halls for Hope's new students will open on Friday, Aug. 25, at 10 a.m. Orientation events will begin that evening and will continue through Monday, Aug. 28.

Returning students are not to arrive on campus before noon on Sunday, Aug. 27. Classes will begin on Tuesday, Aug. 29, at 8 a.m.