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Student Profile: Jeffrey Brown ’07

Jeffrey Brown of Colts Neck, N.J., hails from the East Coast, but his family is not unfamiliar with Hope College in western Michigan.

“Actually, I’m a seventh-generation Hope student,” he says. “I’ve had six generations before me and over 55 relatives attend Hope throughout the years.”

Family tradition was not the only influence on Brown’s decision to attend Hope, however. He says, “I liked the school and knew the music department was good.” Brown is double majoring in instrumental and vocal education. He sings, plays the tuba and piano, and participates in a variety of Hope ensembles such as the Wind Symphony and the Chapel Choir.

“The performance aspect is fun,” he says. Chapel Choir has provided Brown with the opportunity to travel on tour to the Eastern United States, France, and the Netherlands. Performance and involvement on campus is exciting as well. Reflecting on one of the Wind Symphony’s recent concerts, he says, “It’s a lot of great music, and it’s a great ensemble to be a part of.”

Brown’s experience with the Hope tradition of the Nykerk Cup competition added an entirely different dimension to his musical involvement. Nykerk, first held in 1936, is an all-female showcase of singing, acting, and oration. Men get involved by becoming the supportive morale staff that helps build the sets, organize behind the scenes, and otherwise encourage the participants.

It has had an enduring impact. “I met a lot of my closest friends through Nykerk,” says Brown. “I liked being part of a tradition that’s been going on for so long.”

While his musical involvements are important to him, Brown also values the variety that a liberal arts college provides.

“I like other classes, such as Spanish and religion and math that make you a little more well-rounded; it’s nice to have something else thrown in there,” he says.

The Centurian fraternity has been another important part of his experience outside of music.

“It’s a bunch of good guys,” he says. “There are many of us with many different majors. It’s a neat cross-section. I’m the only music major. It’s just fun to be in an organization with a whole bunch of different people like that.”

As he looks towards his own possible future as a high school music educator, Brown appreciates the range of experiences he is getting at Hope College.

“My professors do a great job of preparing us for all sorts of different situations,” he says. “It really is a good place to help you grow as a person.”

This profile was written by Melissa Sexton, a 2005 Hope College graduate from Kalamazoo, Mich., for the 2005-06 Hope College Catalog.

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