Administration Profile: James E. Bultman
President of Hope College
Many people with a variety of academic, business, counseling,
and service skills make up the Hope administration. Some work “behind the scenes;” many
work directly with students to provide services and fulfill needs.
As president of Hope College, Dr. James Bultman carries the responsibilities
and commitments of leading a bustling educational institution. His
drive and inspiration for his position comes from a passion for excellence and a desire to ensure that Hope stays true to its mission.
“I desire for our students to grow,” says President Bultman, “intellectually, spiritually, socially and physically. I want students to make a difference for good in this world.”
It is this holistic approach to education that Dr. Bultman states is the reason and rhyme to why Hope College functions as it does. He believes that Hope provides a firm foundation for learning and living.
“It is important to be willing to change those things on
the peripheral, but we must also recognize the importance of keeping
a core, of keeping a center to the way we do things. Our core mission
as an institution is unchanging.”
A substantial part of Hope’s holistic approach involves a strong tradition of spiritual life and rigorous academics.
“The Christian character of Hope is certainly unique. Most small, private colleges were founded to have a dual purpose: to promote both the academic
and the spiritual. Few of those remain and aspire to have that dual purpose.
That puts Hope in a small group of colleges that seek to both at the highest
As President Bultman observes, “Spiritual life on campus
is fueled by opportunities, not requirements,” meaning that activities, like chapel services,
while not required, are well-attended and contribute to an ever-changing,
but supportive campus community life.
The high quality of the college’s academic program can be
witnessed in the ambition and motivation that students display as they work towards
“Students really have to earn an education at Hope; they aren’t
just given a diploma. There is a huge difference.”
While professors consistently earn professional accolades for being
outstanding scholars, President Bultman prizes even more their commitment to
students—an admirable quality that makes for an even greater Hope experience.
“Our society likes to say that it’s who you know who gets
you places. I don’t think that’s accurate. Rather, it’s who you know who
cares about you! That’s the trademark of the Hope community!”
This profile was written by Charlie A. Walter, a Hope College
senior from Grand Rapids, Mich., for the 2010-11 Hope College
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