Hope College
Seal of Hope College
MottoSpera in Deo (Latin)
Motto in English
Hope in God
TypePrivate liberal arts college
Established1866; 158 years ago (1866)
Religious affiliation
Reformed Church in America
Academic affiliations
Endowment$229.2 million (2020)[1]
PresidentMatthew A. Scogin
ProvostGerald Griffin
Administrative staff
Undergraduates3,132 (fall 2021)[2]

42°47′13″N 86°6′8″W / 42.78694°N 86.10222°W / 42.78694; -86.10222
CampusSuburban, 125 acres (51 ha)
Colors    Orange and blue
NicknameFlying Dutchmen[3]
Flying Dutch
Sporting affiliations

Hope College is a private Christian liberal arts college in Holland, Michigan. It was originally opened in 1851 as the Pioneer School by Dutch immigrants four years after the community was first settled. The first freshman college class matriculated in 1862, and Hope received its state charter in 1866. Hope College is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America and retains a Christian atmosphere. Its 120 acres (0.19 sq mi) campus is adjacent to the downtown commercial district and has been shared with Western Theological Seminary since 1884. The Hope College campus is located near the eastern shores of Lake Michigan and is 2.5 hours away from two major cities, Chicago and Detroit.


Graves Hall
Dimnent Memorial Chapel

Hope's motto is taken from Psalm 42:6: "Spera in Deo" ("Hope in God"). The college's emblem is an anchor. This is drawn from a speech by Albertus van Raalte, the leader of the community, on the occasion of the founding of the Pioneer School in 1851: "This is my anchor of hope for this people in the future," (an allusion to Hebrews 6:19). The primary-level Pioneer School was later expanded to secondary and college-level education as Hope College. Van Vleck Hall, which originally housed the Pioneer School, is the oldest building on campus (1858) and serves as a dormitory. It is the city's second-oldest building. The first college class matriculated in 1862, and Hope received its state charter in 1866. The college admitted its first female students in 1878.

2015 marked Hope College's 150th year of education. In honor of this, Hope held many events in 2015. The celebration began with the 150th commencement on May 3, 2015. The year held two grand openings, the Kruizenga Art Museum and the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts, and the groundbreaking ceremony of the Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center. The college also sponsored the Presidential Colloquium lecture series, which featured an address by David Brooks on Christian education in the 21st century.[4]

A marker designating the college as a Michigan Historic Site was erected in 2019 by the Michigan Historical Commission.[5] The inscription reads:

In 1851, four years after settlers from the Netherlands founded Holland, the Pioneer School was established to meet some of the educational needs of the young colony. This school, the predecessor of Hope College, received direction and financial support from the General Synod of the Reformed Church in America. The school evolved into the Holland Academy, which in 1862 enrolled its first college class. On May 14, 1866, the institution was chartered as Hope College, and on July 17, 1866, the first class of eight students was graduated. The college’s name, seal, and motto are derived from a statement of the founder of Holland, Rev. Albertus C. Van Raalte, who said of the Pioneer School, “This is my Anchor of Hope for this people in the future.” In the decades that followed, a strong college of arts and sciences was developed which continues to serve the church and the community.


The following people have presided over the college:[6]

  1. Philip Phelps Jr. (1866–1878)
  2. Charles Scott (1878–1893)
  3. Gerrit J. Kollen (1893–1911, Hope College Class of 1868)
  4. Ame Vennema (1911–1918, Hope College Class of 1879)
  5. Edward D. Dimnent (1918–1931, Hope College Class of 1896)
  6. Wynand Wichers (1931–1945)
  7. Irwin J. Lubbers (1945–1963, Hope College Class of 1917)
  8. Calvin A. VanderWerf (1963–1970, Hope College Class of 1937)
  9. Gordon VanWylen (1972–1987)
  10. John H. Jacobson (1987–1999)
  11. James E. Bultman (1999–2013, Hope College Class of 1963)
  12. John C. Knapp (2013–2017)
  13. Dennis N. Voskuil (2017–2019, Interim)
  14. Matthew A. Scogin (2019–Present, Hope College Class of 2002) [7]

Hope Forward

The college is in pursuit of implementing Hope Forward, a model to fully fund every student's tuition through gifts after graduation rather than paying tuition up front. The pillars of the Hope Forward model are community, generosity and access. In order to fully fund tuition and offer Hope Forward to every student, the college seeks to raise over $1 billion. In June 2023, Hope Forward caught the attention of author Malcolm Gladwell, who devoted an episode of his podcast Revisionist History to Hope Forward, titled “A Good Circle.”  


Admissions statistics
2023 entering

Admit rate80%
Test scores middle 50%[i]
SAT Total1120-1330
ACT Composite24-31
  1. ^ Among students who chose to submit

The college offers 90+ majors, all of which lead to a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in engineering, or Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. It has a student population of about 3,200 with a student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1.

The college offers off-campus study programs in several cities, including Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, and overseas programs for the summer, semester, or an academic year. Among its international programs, a longstanding summer semester in Vienna is popular among students.

Hope maintains strong ties to the Reformed Church in America.

In addition, Hope College is a member of the Great Lakes College Association.

In the U.S. News & World Report ranking of schools by undergraduate research and creative projects, Hope College is ranked #27.[9]

Courses offered at Hope are divided into five disciplines:

Hope's most popular majors, in terms of 2022 graduates, were:[15]


Academic rankings
Liberal arts
U.S. News & World Report[16]100
Washington Monthly[17]97

Hope College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, with professional accreditation from the following:[19]

Hope is the first private, four-year, undergraduate liberal arts college in the country to achieve national accreditation in all four of the arts (Design, Dance, Music, and Theatre).

Campus life


On-campus housing[20] is provided in 11 residence halls, 24 apartment buildings, and 70+ houses (called "cottages") that the college owns near the campus. A small percentage of students—primarily juniors, seniors, and Holland, Michigan residents—live off-campus. All full-time students without commuter status are required to live in on-campus housing for three years.[citation needed]


Most Hope students come from the greater Great Lakes region. In 2023 approximately 90% of the student body came from Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Approximately 79% of the student body is white; students from minority backgrounds account for about 16% of the student body. Approximately 3% of the student body is international.[citation needed]

Student organizations

The Hope Sailing Club
The Hope Sailing club is one of the many clubs at Hope.

The college offers 80 student-led clubs and organization such as Dance Marathon and Relay for Life, an FM radio station (WTHS), newspaper (The Anchor), literary magazine (Opus), and yearbook (Milestone), plus a variety of academic, musical, spiritual, literary, social and athletic clubs. About 10–12% of students belong to social fraternities and sororities, which are local to Hope rather than chapters of larger organizations, with the exception of one fraternity, Phi Sigma Kappa. Hope also houses the 6th oldest fraternity that is still in existence, Omicron Kappa Epsilon. The college holds Sunday evening worship services ("The Gathering") and Monday/Wednesday/Friday Chapel services on campus. Attendance at these events has been voluntary since 1970, yet students routinely fill Dimnent Memorial Chapel to its capacity of greater than 1,000 students at each service.[citation needed]

The Pull

The Pull
A view of the Odd year side at the 114th pull

"The Pull" is an annual tug-of-war between the freshman and sophomore classes at Hope College. It takes place across the Black River in Holland on the last Saturday of September every year (until 1993 it was held on a Friday). The Pull dates to 1898. Each team has 19 students on the rope as "pullers," and another 19 acting as guides and morale boosters, or "moralers" as well as one pull "anchor" on each team. The freshmen are coached by juniors, and the sophomores by seniors. This arrangement has led to the rivalry between even and odd year classes. Even year's colors are red and white, while Odd year's colors are maroon and gold. The competition is limited to three hours; it previously had no time limit. The winner is the team that takes the most rope.[citation needed]

IMAGES: A Reflection of Cultures

IMAGES: A Reflection of Cultures is an annual international showcase featuring an array of skits, dance, song and other clips of culture and language performed by students from around the world.[citation needed]

The Nykerk Cup Competition

The Nykerk Cup is a multifaceted competition between freshmen and sophomore women involving song, play, and oration. As in the Pull, freshmen are coached by juniors and sophomores by seniors, also contributing to the "Odd Year" and "Even Year" competitions. The Nykerk Cup takes place during Family Weekend in late fall. The tradition was begun in 1935 by John Nykerk. Men participate in the competition as "moralers" by supporting the participants while building sets and coordinating scene changes.[21]

Winter Fantasia

One formal dance is offered by the college in February. Students may attend in large groups or with dates, and the college offers transportation to Grand Rapids, where it takes place. [citation needed]

Dance Marathon

The students of Hope College hold the annual Dance Marathon to raise money for the Helen Devos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids. This event takes place in the spring semester. Students volunteer to be dancers or moralers for the event. Dancers stand on their feet and dance for 24 hours while moralers take shifts supporting the dancers. Children of the hospital often visit to show their thanks.[citation needed]

Christmas Vespers

Each December, Hope College hosts a musical Christmas service in Dimnent Chapel. The service has been held annually since 1941 and features over 200 students, staff and faculty. It includes music performed by the Chapel Choir, College Chorus, Orchestra, and small ensembles.[22] There are four performances each year, all of which draw a crowd that fills the chapel. The event is regularly recorded and televised on PBS stations during the Christmas season.[23]

Campus events

Hope routinely hosts well-known authors, speakers, scientists, and global leaders who present lectures on a wide variety of topics.

The Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series sponsors prominent authors for free public readings. The series is named for poet and Hope College professor emeritus Jack Ridl, who founded the series in 1982.


For 18 consecutive years, Hope College has been listed among the "101 best and brightest companies to work for in West Michigan" survey of the Michigan Business and Professional Association.[24]

Campus renovation

The college marked the completion of the "Greater Hope"[25] campaign in October 2015 with the dedication of the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts. In September 2015, the college dedicated the opening of Kruizenga Art Museum, designed by C Concept Design, and broke ground on construction of the Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center.[citation needed]

As of October 2015, the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts and the Kruizenga Art Museum are open and in use by students and faculty. The Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center opened for the 2017–2018 school year.[citation needed]


See also: Hope Flying Dutchmen men's basketball and Hope Flying Dutch women's basketball

Hope College competes in the MIAA conference, and is a Division III member of the NCAA. It fields 20 men's and women's varsity teams. The college has constructed several new outdoor athletic venues in recent years—Jim Heeringa Athletic Center (2021) DeVos Fieldhouse (2005), Boeve Baseball Stadium (2008), Wolters Softball Stadium (2008), Van Andel Soccer Stadium (2009) and Heeringa-Vande Poel Tennis Stadium (2012). The college acquired Holland Municipal Stadium from the City of Holland and renamed it the Ray and Sue Smith in honor of a longtime coach and his wife. In 2006, the women's basketball team won the National Championship in its division, the second in school history, which has won three NCAA titles.

Hope has won the MIAA All-Sports/Commissioner's Cup Championship more than any other member school. Hope has won the honor a league-leading 34 times.[26] In 2012–2013 Hope athletes and/or teams qualified for nine NCAA championships.

The school's athletic teams are called the Flying Dutchmen[3] (men) and the Flying Dutch (women).[3] The school colors are blue and orange (possibly chosen because the Dutch royal family is the House of Orange-Nassau). The college sponsors club ice hockey and rugby in addition to a popular intramural sports program.

National Championships:

National Runners-up:

Club Team National Championships:

Club Team National Runners-up:

The men's and women's basketball teams also take part in a notable rivalry, the Calvin–Hope rivalry.

Notable alumni

Notable alumni and staff of Hope College include:



  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  2. ^ "College Navigator - Hope College". nces.ed.gov. Retrieved January 22, 2023.
  3. ^ a b c "History of Hope Nicknames--Dutchmen, Flying Dutchmen, Flying Dutch". Hope College Athletics. Retrieved January 22, 2023.
  4. ^ "Birthday Bash". hope.edu. Hope College. August 14, 2015. Retrieved January 22, 2023.
  5. ^ "Michigan Historical Markers -Hope College". www.hmdb.org. Historical Marker Data Base. Retrieved August 4, 2022.
  6. ^ "Presidents of Hope College". hope.edu. Hope College. Archived from the original on June 24, 2015.
  7. ^ "Day One: Matthew Scogin Takes the Reins at Hope". whtc.com. WHTC. Retrieved January 22, 2023.
  8. ^ "Hope College Common Data Set 2020-2021" (PDF). Hope College. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  9. ^ "2024 Colleges With Undergraduate Research Projects". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved January 19, 2024.
  10. ^ Hope College. "General Education". The General Education Program. Hope College. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  11. ^ Hope College. "Fine Arts and Humanities". Fine Arts and Humanities degre. Hope College. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  12. ^ Hope College. "Natural and Applied Sciences". Natural and Applied Sciences degree. Hope College. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  13. ^ Hope College (September 19, 2023). "Social Sciences". Social Sciences degrees.
  14. ^ Hope College. "Pre-Health Professions Advising | Hope College". Pre-health programs. Hope College. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  15. ^ "Graduation Report". hope.edu. Hope College. Retrieved July 1, 2023.
  16. ^ "Best Colleges 2024: National Liberal Arts Colleges". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 20, 2023.
  17. ^ "2023 Liberal Arts Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved September 25, 2023.
  18. ^ "Forbes America's Top Colleges List 2023". Forbes. Retrieved September 22, 2023.
  19. ^ Hope College. "Accreditation". Accreditation. Hope College.
  20. ^ "Residential life". hope.edu. Hope College. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  21. ^ "Nykerk Cup Competition". hope.edu. Hope College.
  22. ^ "Hope College Christmas Vespers Services". 1450 99.7 WHTC. Midwest Communications Inc.
  23. ^ Box 9000, Contact Hope College PO; Holl; work 616.395.7000, Michigan 49422-9000 (December 19, 2017). "Michigan PBS Stations Airing 2017 Christmas Vespers Service". Michigan PBS Stations Airing 2017 Christmas Vespers Service.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  24. ^ "West Michigan's 2016 Best and Brightest Companies To Work For® – The Best and Brightest". 101bestandbrightest.com. July 8, 2015. Retrieved December 31, 2016.
  25. ^ Greater Hope. "Greater Hope Campaign". The Hope College Campaign. Hope College.
  26. ^ "MIAA: Commissioner's Cup". Archived from the original on June 10, 2008.
  27. ^ New Brunswick Theological Seminary. Faculty Directory: Gregg Alan Mast, President Archived 2013-10-03 at the Wayback Machine (curriculum vitae). Retrieved 13 August 2013.
  28. ^ "Zigzag Journeys in the Camel Country: Arabia in Picture and Story". World Digital Library. 1911. Retrieved September 22, 2013.