The Class of 2018 won the 80th annual Nykerk Cup competition held Saturday.

Nykerk, which takes place in conjunction with Family Weekend at Hope, features members of the two classes competing in song, plays and oration.


This year Nykerk was held for the first time in the on-campus DeVos Fieldhouse. It happens, though, that Nykerk was originally held at Hope, and also in a college athletic facility.  From its start in 1936 through 1939, Nykerk took place in the former Carnegie Gymnasium that once stood near the central campus.

The new location will help meet the strong audience demand that has pushed past the Civic Center’s capacity in the current millennium.  The event has consistently sold out the 2,200 seats available at the Civic Center.  The fieldhouse will accommodate about 3,000.

“We’re excited about the new location,” said Ellen Awad, director of student life and Greek life at Hope, who is a 1990 Hope graduate and herself a past Nykerk participant.  “We appreciate the Civic Center and the important part it’s played in Nykerk and the memories made there, but we’re also looking forward to being on campus and especially to making it possible for more of the students’ family members and friends to attend.”

Tickets for the Nykerk Cup competition are $7, and are available while supplies last through Friday, Oct. 31, at the Events and Conferences Office located downtown in the Anderson-Werkman Financial Center.  The office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890.  Tickets are also available at for an additional online service fee.  Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door.

The competition, first held on March 16, 1936, is named in honor of the originator of the program, John Nykerk, a professor, college dean and founder of the Hope College department of music.  The participating classes this year are the freshman Class of ’18 and the sophomore Class of ’17, who are being coached by the juniors and seniors respectively.  More than 200 members of the two classes will be involved.

The Nykerk Cup competition was held at Carnegie Gymnasium, which was razed in 1982, five times from 1936 through 1939, reflecting that the event took place twice in 1939 as it transitioned from the spring to the fall.  Nykerk subsequently relocated to the Woman’s Literary Club from 1940 through 1944 and to Holland High School from 1945 to 1955 before moving to the Holland Civic Center, which also hosted Hope basketball for many years prior to the opening of the fieldhouse in 2005.  Central Wesleyan Church hosted the contest in 2008 when a campus norovirus outbreak prompted the event to be rescheduled to a weekend that the Civic Center wasn’t available.

The three-day Family Weekend, running Friday-Sunday, Oct. 31-Nov. 2, will feature a variety of other performances and presentations in addition to the Nykerk Cup competition.

The De Pree Art Center is hosting its annual fall juried exhibition of student artwork from Friday, Oct. 31, through Sunday, Nov. 23.  The exhibition will open on Friday, Oct. 31, with a curator’s talk by guest juror Paul Amenta at 4 p.m., followed by a reception in the gallery from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.  After the opening date, the gallery will be open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Admission to the talk, reception and exhibition is free.

The college’s biology seminar series will feature the address “Speciation and Trait Evolution” by Dr. Amy Russell of Grand Valley State University on Friday, Oct. 31, at 3 p.m. in room 1019 of the A. Paul Schaap Science Center.  Admission is free.

The college’s chemistry seminar series will feature the address “Disease Challenges and Biotechnology” by Dr. Andrew Feig of Wayne State University on Friday, Oct. 31, at 4 p.m. in room 1000 of the A. Paul Schaap Science Center.  Admission is free.

The Wind Ensemble, joined this year by the Chamber Winds and Saxophone Quartet, will present its annual Halloween-themed concert on Friday, Oct. 31, at 5 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.  The performers will be in costume with audience members are encouraged to dress in costume as well, and candy will be available following the performance.  Admission is free.

The college’s club hockey team will host Calvin College on Friday, Oct. 31, at 7:30 p.m. at the Edge Ice Arena.  Tickets are $5 and are available at the Events and Conferences Office as well as online at  They will also be sold at the door.

H2 Dance Co., an affiliate of the college’s department of dance, will perform on Friday-Saturday, Oct. 31-Nov. 1, and Friday and Saturday, Nov. 7-8, at 8 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland.  Tickets are $10 for regular admission, $7 for senior citizens, and $5 for Hope College students and children 18 and under, and are available at the Events and Conferences Office as well as online at  They will also be sold at the door.

The women’s soccer team will host Kalamazoo College on Saturday, Nov. 1, at noon at Van Andel Soccer Stadium.  Tickets are $5 for regular admission, $3 for those under 18 and free for children five and younger, and will be available at the door.

The weekend will also include activities geared toward parents of current students specifically, including a variety of open classes and tours.  Additional information about the weekend is available online at

The Anderson-Werkman Financial Center is located at 100 E. Eighth St., between College and Columbia avenues.  The De Pree Art Center is located at 160 E. 12th St., on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.  Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.  The DeVos Fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave., between Ninth and 11th streets.  The Edge Ice Arena is located at 4444 Holland Ave.  The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. Eighth St.  The A. Paul Schaap Science Center is located at 35 E. 12th St., at 12th Street and College Avenue.