Family Anchors Award

The Family Anchors Award is given in honor of the outstanding and significant contributions family members make in the lives of Hope students in preparing them for college and supporting them while they are here.
How to Enter 
Essays are now being accepted for the 2014 Family Anchors Award. The deadline is October 23. Email your essay of no more than 500 words (.doc or .docx format) to You must include the following information to be counted as a valid entry:
  • Your name
  • Your year at Hope (Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior, Senior)
  • Your phone number
  • The name of the person you are nominating and writing about
  • Their relationship to you
  • Thier address, phone and email
Hope students are invited to submit an essay about a family member who has taught them a significant lesson and apply it to their experience at Hope.  Essays are judged by a committee.  The subject of the winning essay receives the Family Anchors Award and the student who wrote the essay wins a Kindle Fire.
Congratulations to Cyndi Nykamp, winner of the 2014 Family Anchors Award. Her son, Elijah Nykamp '18, wrote about her in a moving essay entry. They were honored at the President's Breakfast on Saturday, November 1st, as part of Family Weekend 2014. Download Elijah's essay
Sieun Ruth Lee '18 was awarded an honorable mention for an essay written about her mother. Download Ruth's essay.
  • The 2013 Family Anchors Award recipient is Ardis Greene. The essay was written by Allison Greene, Class of 2014.
  • The 2012 Family Anchors Award recipient is Melissa Mattinson. The essay was written by Brooke Jeries, Class of 2014.  
  • The 2011 Family Anchors Award recipients are Bruce and Colleen Bandy. The essay was written by Lindsey Bandy, Class of 2012.
  • The 2010 Family Anchors Award recipient is Amelia Zipay. The essay was written by Carly Henkel, Class of 2012.
  • The 2009 Family Anchors Award recipients are Leonard and Rosetta Shetler. The essay was written by Kara Shetler, Class of 2011. 
  • The 2008 Family Anchors Award recipient is Lisa Paulun. The essay was written by Rebekah Ostosh, Class of 2012. 
  • The 2007 Family Anchors Award recipient is Marty Feldhake.  The essay was written by Emily Feldhake, Class of 2011. 

About the Contest

The contest, presented by the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations and the Hope Fund, provides students with an opportunity to recognize family members whose presence, endeavors, dedication, and care have contributed to his or her personal development and academic success.

Essay Requirements

  • Identify and illustrate a life lesson you have learned from a family member. 
  • Share how this lesson has contributed to your personal development and academic success and how you have used or plan to use this lesson during your time at Hope College.  
  • You must be a current Hope College student to participate. 
  • Entries should be no more than 500 words in length.

Judging Criteria

  • Thoughtful reflection on the life lesson illustrated and the ways in which the nominee has impacted and influenced the student in a positive manner.
  • Clear and concise development of points.
  • Technical correctness and grammar. 

Recognition and Prizes

  • All nominees will receive a congratulatory letter and a copy of the essay submission. 
  • Recognition of the winning essay and the award recipient(s) will occur during Family Weekend at the President's Breakfast.
  • The student who wrote the winning essay will be presented with an Amazon Kindle Fire and the winner(s) of the Family Anchors Award will be presented with a framed certificate. The winning student will also be highlighted in News from Hope College.