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Student Profile: Jon Moerdyk ’09

Jon Moerdyk took his time deciding where to go to college. He knew exactly what he was looking for in a school—a winning combination. He needed a place with an outstanding science program, a school where he would have the opportunity to do research, and a place where he could play baseball.

When he selected Hope, he was overwhelmed by the campus. Though Hope College is a small school in a medium-sized town, for Jon, a native of Paris, Mich., it felt sprawling and strange to be right in the middle of things. But since his freshman year, Jon has come to enjoy the sense of community Hope achieves. “I love the fact that I can walk down the sidewalk to class and see 10 people I know,” he says.

In high school, Jon was deeply involved in an accelerated mathematics and science program, doing college-level class work during his last two years, so declaring a chemistry major seemed like a natural step. He’s now involved in complex research with Dr. Jason Gillmore of the chemistry faculty, attempting to develop, control, and analyze light-sensitive molecules, and has found much to appreciate in the college’s nationally acclaimed emphasis on student-faculty research. “The chemistry department has a great record outside of Hope College as being an excellent academic program, but getting to know the profs has been really great, and obviously, being a part of their research has allowed me to get to know them even better,” he says.

Jon is on the leadership team for Hope’s chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, helping to plan a large body of speakers, worship times, meetings, and Bible studies during the school year. He enjoys planning and coordinating activities, and the fact that he can be involved in InterVarsity as well as the chapel program at Hope, where he’s met a lot of people he now considers good friends. Jon is also involved in intramural sports, spending as much time as he can playing basketball and soccer, but he is especially committed to Hope’s baseball team, serving as a pitcher. He loves his time with the team, and the friendships it has helped him to form.

Over the past two years, Jon has tried to get involved in a lot of ways, to become an active participant in the Hope community that has become so important to him. Far from being overwhelmed with his choice, he says, “It’s a great atmosphere, it’s a great academic school, and now that I’m here, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

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

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