Three members of the Hope College faculty have been appointed or re-appointed to long-standing endowed professorships at the college.
Linda Graham has been appointed to the Dorothy Wiley De Long Professorship in Dance, Dr. Laura Pardo of the education faculty has been appointed to the Evert J. and Hattie E. Blekkink Professorship and Dr. Peter Schakel of the English faculty has been reappointed to the Peter C. and Emajean Cook Endowed Professorship.
In addition to recognizing faculty members for excellence, endowed professorships provide funding for summer research projects as well as some salary support. The college has a total of 23 endowed professorships for faculty and five endowed administrative positions.
Graham has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1983, and currently serves as chairperson of the department. Her activities at Hope also include serving as assistant director of StrikeTime Dance Company and having co-founded Aerial Dance Theatre in 1986 (now known as H2 Dance Company), both of which are affiliates of the Department of Dance.
She has received recognition including a Michigan Creative Artist Grant; two National Association of Regional Ballet Monticello Awards; the Grand Rapids Ballet “Partners in Dance” Award; a Visitante Distinguido award from the Ciudad de Queretaro, Mexico; the Maggie Allessee New Choreography Award; and the Michigan Dance Association Outstanding Choreography Award. She has set works on the Joffrey Ballet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II and the Grand Rapids Ballet, among others. Her choreography has been produced not only in the United States, but also the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain, Mexico and France. She also choreographed the opening season of the Emmy Award-winning children’s television program “C’mon Over.”
Graham graduated from the University of Illinois with a BFA in theatre in 1979, and completed an MFA in choreography/performance at the university in 1982. Prior to coming to Hope she was a member of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and DanceMoves.
Pardo has been a member of the Hope faculty since 2005, and also currently serves as chairperson of the department of education. She teaches courses on topics including the foundations of education, literacy and principles of secondary education. She is the author or co-author of numerous articles published in scholarly journals, and has also made presentations at professional conferences around the country.
Immediately prior to joining the Hope faculty, she was pursuing graduate studies at Michigan State University, where she was also teaching undergraduate courses. From 1996 to 2000, she worked for a textbook publisher and also did independent consulting. Prior to that, she was a K-12 teacher for 14 years.
She graduated from Central Michigan University in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, completed a master’s degree in reading instruction at Michigan State University in 1990 and completed a doctorate in curriculum, teaching and educational policy at Michigan State University in 2005.
Schakel, who also serves as chairperson of the department, has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1969 and has held the Cook professorship since 1984.
He is an internationally respected scholar of C.S. Lewis’s work. He has published seven books on Lewis, including most recently “The Way into Narnia: A Reader’s Guide” in 2005 and “Is Your Lord Large Enough? How C.S. Lewis Expands Our View of God” in 2008. Schakel has also written and edited books on Jonathan Swift and 18th-century British literature, and has co-authored or co-edited four literature and poetry textbooks with colleague Jack Ridl, professor emeritus of English.
He received the “Hope Outstanding Professor Educator” (H.O.P.E.) Award and the college’s “Provost’s Award for Service to the Academic Program” in 2013, and the “Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Award” from Hope in 2004. He has received external recognition including a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) fellowship for college teachers during 1979-80; NEH summer seminar support in 1981, 1987 and 1997; and Mythopoeic Society Scholarship Awards in 1984, 1992 and 1996.
Schakel graduated from Central College in Iowa in 1963. He completed his M.A. at Southern Illinois University in 1964 and doctorate at the University of Wisconsin in 1969.
The Dorothy Wiley De Long Professorship in Dance was established in honor of Dorothy Wiley De Long by Mr. and Mrs. William P. De Long; their children, Dr. and Mrs. Jack De Long and Mr. and Mrs. Ted De Long; and friends and associates of Mrs. De Long. Dorothy Wiley De Long was actively involved in dance throughout her life, and was a leader in introducing dance to the community and to Hope.
The Evert J. and Hattie E. Blekkink Professorship was created from the bequest of Victor and Ruth Blekkink in honor of their parents to provide financial support for a member of the faculty who is selected on the basis of a distinguished record as an outstanding teacher, recognized scholarly contributions and significant contributions to the overall mission of the college. The professorship is open to faculty in education and religion.
The Peter C. and Emajean Cook Endowed Professorship was established by Peter C. and Emajean Cook to provide financial support for a faculty member who has an established record of excellence as a Christian scholar, as evidenced by effectiveness in teaching, a record of scholarship, and a Christian life marked by a meaningful integration of faith and practice, and who subscribes to the concept and principle of the free enterprise system.