The Alcor Chapter of the Mortar Board honor society at Hope College has named the college's provost, Dr. Jacob E. Nyenhuis, an honorary member.
He was honored on Sunday, April 11, during an
induction ceremony for the 40 students who will be members
of the chapter during the 1999-00 school year. "Our chapter
desired to recognize Provost Nyenhuis for his contributions
to Mortar Board, Hope College and the community," said Lori
Guse, who is president of the Alcor Chapter and a senior
from Cassopolis. "Our chapter cannot imagine a person more
qualified to receive this honor."
Guse believes that it is the first time that the
chapter has granted honorary membership.
Honorary membership is reserved for individuals
who have made a notable contribution over a period of years
and whose influence has extended beyond a chapter's college
or university. Recipients should also be an advocate of the
three ideals of Mortar Board: scholarship, leadership and
Nyenhuis, who is also a professor of classics,
joined the Hope faculty in 1975 as dean for humanities. He
was appointed dean for arts and humanities in 1978, and
provost in 1984.
His publications include the textbook "Latin Via
Ovid," currently in the seventh printing of its second
edition, of which he is co-author. He also co-authored
editions of "Plautus: Amphitruo" and "Petronius: Cena
Internationally recognized as an expert on the
Greek myth of Daedalus, he was invited to serve as a
consultant to the successful 1988 recreation of the
legendary inventor's 74-mile flight across the Aegean Sea.
His book-length manuscripte, "Myth and the Creative Process:
Michael Ayrton (1921-1975) and the Myth of Daedalus," is at
Nyenhuis led the college's effort to have the
statue of the Rev. A.C. Van Raalte, founder of Holland and
Hope, cast and installed in Centennial Park in conjunction
with the city's 1997 sesquicentennial celebration. He is
co-author of the book "A Dream Fulfilled: The Van Raalte
Sculpture in Centennial Park."
He is past chair of the Michigan Council for the
Humanities, and past president of the National Federation of
State Humanities Councils. He is also past chair of the
Deans' Council of the Great Lakes Colleges Association
Prior to joining the Hope faculty, he was a member
of the faculty at Wayne State University. He was a
professor of classics from 1962 to 1975, also serving as
chair of the Department of Greek and Latin from 1965 to
1975, and as director of the Honors Program of the College
of Liberal Arts from 1964 to 1975.
He has held visiting professorships at the
University of California, Santa Barbara, Ohio State
University and the American School of Classical Studies at
Athens, Greece. He was named a member of the Green College
Society at Green College, Oxford, after he spent a
sabbatical there as a visiting scholar in 1989.
Mortar Board is a national collegiate honor
society. The members, chosen based on their scholarship,
leadership and service, are inducted during the spring of
their junior year.
The Alcor Chapter has existed at Hope since the
1936-37 academic year, although it did not become part of
the national Mortar Board organization until 1961.