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Alumni Profile: Doug Ruch '81

Doug Ruch is a Hope man through and through. A 1981 graduate of the college himself, Doug has a strong family tradition of Hope excellence. “My dad, brother, and sister all attended Hope,” Ruch says. With two sons having chosen to attend the college as well, Doug and his wife, Linda, have been able to stay involved as parents and fans.

Doug is president and CEO of the Fleetwood Group Inc., a Holland-based business that designs and manufactures furniture and electronic systems for global learning. He is respected not only for what he does but how he does it. In 2006, he earned the Holland Area Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Person of the Year award for his hard work in and for the Holland community.

He credits his time at Hope for preparing him not only with the technical skills needed for graduate school and his career, but with the values that drive him.

“I’m very blessed to have a fantastic job,” he says. “The company adage is: Christ-centered; Employee-owned. I thoroughly enjoy my role and feel very called to my work. One of the side benefits of my role at Fleetwood is that it offers me the chance to speak regularly on two topics I feel very passionately about: a Christ-centered approach to work and the merits of employee-ownership.”

Doug has many great memories from his time at Hope. “I had good times with friends during those four years—intramural basketball, nerf football, ‘yell-offs,’ Kollen Olympics, backgammon, air guitaring, ’ 80s music. I also have four years of tennis team stories, including trips
down south for spring breaks.”

Hope has had a lasting impact on Doug’s life. “I had a wonderful experience at Hope. I believe I grew a great deal as a whole person—body, mind, and spirit,” says Doug. “I also made great and lasting friendships with fellow students and professors.” He even remains close friends with his former college roommate.

Doug has been blessed to pass the Hope legacy on to his sons. “Hope has been an incredibly positive place for both of our sons. We believe it will leave an indelible mark on their lives. We have also been really impressed by classmates and teammates of both boys. We are confident Dustin and Mitch have made life-long friends at Hope.”

“ In my view, Hope is a unique place,” says Doug. “It was a great college when I attended and it’s a markedly better college today. I would not trade my experience, and I am very proud to be a Hope graduate.”

This profile was written by Megan E. Dougherty, a 2007 Hope College graduate from Normal, Ill., for the 2007-08 Hope College Catalog.

Hope People - Learn about the experiences of some of the people connected with Hope College.