posted August 1, 2013

New Trustees Elected to Hope Board

Rev. David Bast, Dr. Gerald J. Pillay, Suzanne L. Shier, Mark VanGenderen

Four new members have been elected to the Hope College Board of Trustees.

Newly elected to serve four-year terms on the board are the Rev. David Bast of Grand Rapids; Dr. Gerald J. Pillay of Liverpool, England; Suzanne L. Shier of Chicago, Ill.; and Mark VanGenderen of Weston, Fla.

The board has also re-elected the Rev. Dr. William R. Boersma of Holland and James L. Jurries of Holland to four-year terms.

Trustees concluding service on the board of Joel G. Bouwens of Holland, who was chairperson of the board from 2003 to 2011, and Cheri DeVos Vander Weide of Ada.

Mary V. Bauman of Grand Rapids is continuing to serve as chairperson, Boersma is continuing to serve as vice-chairperson and Dr. David W. Lowry of Holland is continuing to serve as secretary.

Bast, a 1973 Hope graduate, has been broadcast minister and president of Words of Hope since 1994.

His appointment as a trustee marks a return to the board:  he had previously served two four-year terms running from 2001 to 2009.  In addition to his prior board service and other involvement with the college, he delivered the Baccalaureate sermon in 2005.

Words of Hope broadcasts gospel radio programs in approximately 40 languages worldwide, especially among the world's least-evangelized, hardest-to-reach peoples. As part of his work with the radio ministry, Bast preaches frequently in churches and conferences, representing Words of Hope across the Reformed Church in America and around the world.

Prior to joining Words of Hope, he held pastorates at Hamilton Reformed Church; First Reformed Church of South Holland, Ill.; and Fifth Reformed Church in Grand Rapids.

Bast majored in English at Hope, where his activities as a student included the Fraternal Society, Pull tug-of-war, the Chapel Choir and College Chorus, and participating in several Hope College Theatre productions and in intramural sports.  He completed his Master of Divinity degree at Western Theological Seminary.

His father was the Rev. Henry Bast, a member of the college’s Class of 1930 who taught at Hope and at Western Theological Seminary, and who preached on the Temple Time radio program--predecessor of Words of Hope--from 1952 to 1972.

Bast and his wife, Betty Jo, a Hope classmate, have four children: Andrew; Peter; Jane, a member of the college’s Class of 2003; and Anne, a member of the college’s Class of 2012.

Pillay is vice chancellor and rector of Liverpool Hope University, which is one of Hope’s international partner institutions.  He received an honorary degree from Hope, the Doctor of Letters, in April of this year.

He was born in the former British colony of Natal in South Africa.  He was awarded a B.A., a B.D. (with distinction) and Doctor of Theology from the University of Durban. He also achieved a D.Phil. in Philosophical Theology from Rhodes University.

After lecturing at the University of Durban-Westville, he became professor of ecclesiastical history at the University of South Africa in 1988, a post he held for eight years. During this period he was also variously a guest professor at Northwestern University in Illinois; a research fellow at Princeton University; a visiting professor at Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia; a guest professor at Rhodes University and a visiting professor at the graduate school at AMBS, Indiana.

In 1997 he became Foundation Professor and head of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Otago University, New Zealand’s oldest university, based in Dunedin in the South Island. He was asked to serve as the first head of liberal arts within that university in 1998. He has served in various senior leadership roles at the University of South Africa, the Human Sciences Research Council in Pretoria and the University of Otago.

Pillay has been with Liverpool Hope University since 2003.  He was initially appointed head of Liverpool Hope University College, an institution whose first founding college was established in 1844.  He became the first vice chancellor when Liverpool Hope was given full university status in July 2005.

He has served on editorial boards of two international journals, “Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae” and “Verbum et Ecclesia”; has presented papers at numerous international conferences; and has served on various public and educational bodies. He has published extensively and is an internationally respected scholar.

He was elected a Life Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA) in October 2005.  Among other activities in the Liverpool community, he is currently a governor of Liverpool Community College, a member of the Board of the Liverpool Biennial, an honorary vice president of Personal Services Society and a Cathedral lecturer at the Anglican Cathedral.

Pillay and his wife, Nirmala, have two children, Kirubin and Sudershan.

Shier is a senior vice president and director of wealth planning and tax strategy for Personal Financial Services at Northern Trust Company.  She is responsible for leading the Personal Financial Services wealth planning group and for providing insight on federal tax issues of interest to Northern’s clients, with a special emphasis on policy, legislation, charitable giving, cross-border trusts and fiduciary law.

Prior to joining Northern Trust, she spent 26 years as a partner at Chapman and Cutler LLP in Chicago, ultimately leading the firm’s Trusts and Estates Practice Group.

Shier is an adjunct professor in the Master of Laws in Taxation Program at Northwestern University Law School and also a frequent speaker and author.  She has been quoted in publications such as the “Wall Street Journal” and “Bloomberg,” and has received numerous professional honors and recognitions.

She earned her bachelor’s degree with distinction in economics and sociology from the University of Michigan in 1982.  She received her law degree, cum laude, from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 1985 and a Master of Laws in taxation from the DePaul University College of Law in 1997.  She is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, where she is a member of the International Committee, and a member of the International Bar Association, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, the American Bar Association and the Chicago Estate Planning Council.

In the civic community, Shier is actively involved in many women’s, diversity and education initiatives, including serving as the chairperson of the Board of Directors of Chicago Scholars, a college-access program for high-potential urban students. She is a long-time member of Edgewater Baptist Church in Chicago, ministering to children, youth and families on Chicago’s north side. She is a strong believer in the difference education makes in the lives of young people, particularly faith-based education.

She and her husband, David, have two children, Hannah and Sarah. Sarah is a member of the college’s Class of 2010.

Shier’s involvement in the life of the college includes having served on the Hope Parents’ Council during 2009 and 2010.  She has also assisted Hope’s admissions program, and with her husband has hosted regional events for the college.

Van Genderen, who is a 1990 Hope graduate, is Vice-President and Managing Director of Latin America with Harley-Davidson Motor Company.  He is responsible for the company’s overall performance and ongoing business development of the Latin American market.

He has worked with Harley-Davidson since 1998.  Prior to assuming his current role in 2007, he had served as a production manager, dealer development manager, motorcycle marketing director and director of investor relations.

Van Genderen majored in business administration and minored in German at Hope, where he was a third-generation student.  His activities as a student included the Chicago off-campus semester, the London May Term, the Lacrosse team, the Pull tug-of-war, and the German Club.

For the first two years after graduation, he served as an admissions counselor at the college.  In 1992 he joined his father Kurt, who is a 1963 Hope graduate, at Branch Capital Management, a family-owned investment advisory firm in Holland.

Immediately before joining Harley-Davidson he completed his MBA at the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University.

Van Genderen has been an active volunteer on behalf of the college.  He was a member of the Hope College Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2004 to 2011, serving as president during 2009-11.  He also participates in the Alumni Calling Program geared toward prospective students, and has mentored Hope students in internships and through the college’s Career Resources Network.  He also enjoys meeting up with students in Miami during the college-sponsored spring break mission trip to the area each year.

He and his wife, Laura, have three children, Aaron, Ethan and Catherine.