posted April 23, 2008

Hope College Will Honor Anne Irwin & Norm Japinga

Two persons who have made lasting impacts on HopeCollege athletics will be recognized through the naming of the press boxes in their honor at the college's new baseball and softball stadiums.

The press box at the Wolters Softball Stadium is being named in recognition of Dr. Anne Irwin while the Boeve Baseball Stadium press box is being named in honor of Norm "Bunko" Japinga.

Dr. Irwin will be honored Saturday, April 26, during the dedication festivities for the softball stadium.  Japinga will be recognized prior to the Saturday, May 3, home baseball doubleheader against Alma.

Both stadiums feature spacious, state-of-the-art press boxes that compliment the outstanding playing fields and areas for spectators.

Dr. Irwin was a member of the Hope faculty for 28 years (1976-2004), serving as the college's first director of athletics for women.  She coached several sports, including softball, and served as director of intramural sports.  She was an outstanding softball player, competing on a national level.  Even in retirement she has stayed involved in the college, serving as a bus driver through the transportation department.

Japinga, affectionately known as "Bunko", has been involved in the life of the college for more than 40 years.  He joined the staff as the college's first fulltime equipment manager in 1968 and headed the transportation department in its early stages.  He retired as a fulltime employee in 1995, but has remained very active in the life of the college, serving as the official scorer at baseball and women's basketball games.  He is also a bus driver in the college's transportation department.