On a bright sunny day in early March, under a large white and yellow striped tent, city administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and commissioners, including Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss , gathered to celebrate innovative university.
“This work rests on the shoulders of giants, and there are many giants for whom we thank and thank today,” said Michael Le Roy, president of Calvin University, in his opening remarks.
“As followers of Jesus we believe in business education, and this education responds to the needs of human communities by providing meaningful work, producing the food, goods, services and technology we so rely on today. ‘hui. All of this is necessary for human beings to flourish, ”said Le Roy. “So it is by the grace of God that Calvin University School of Business is poised to become a premier learning center, advancing knowledge, skills and business values on a foundation of Christian liberal arts.” . And we’re excited to launch this vision here today. “
Space for vision
Tom Betts, one of the Associate Deans of the School of Business, envisioned how this vision would play out in physical space.
“I want to welcome you to our new facility, now it doesn’t seem like much right now, but join me in a vision of what it will look like in 18 months,” Betts said. “We will be standing here or just there (pointing behind him at the site of the new building) and a senior human resources student will take the short walk from the KE apartments through the beautiful newly landscaped space at the top of the steps and into Professor Stansbury’s business ethics course in a new case study classroom. “
Over the next few minutes, Betts presented scenario after scenario highlighting the myriad opportunities that the new space’s features will open to students, faculty, staff and the business community. From a natural light-lit atrium, to a two-story video screen where students can watch the latest news on Google’s latest product, to state-of-the-art classrooms, tech-packed breakout rooms and private study tiles.
A dream, a reality
In 18 months, these scenarios will become realities. And it all started with a phone call.
“(Cate and Sid Jansma) called us a year and a half ago and challenged us to dream big, to see big what a Christian business school at Calvin University could look like,” said Bob Eames, Partner. dean of the School of Business, in his remarks, “what types of new learners and what types of new programs we could create, and what types of needs we could serve together”.
So Eames and his colleagues started dreaming and soon saw a vision.
“We are very, very grateful for our project planning team who went from an idea, to a giveaway, to an innovation in less than 18 months. It’s phenomenal, ”said Le Roy.
A shared vision
This was made possible by the generosity of Calvin supporters. While the Jansma’s provided a primary donation to the project, during his remarks at the ceremony, Sid Jansma stressed that this project represents a community of loyal supporters committed to a lasting and compelling mission.
“We are here today on the shoulders of the thousands of people who have operated this institution for over 100 years. It’s just a joy to be a part of it today. We have a long tradition of people who wanted a beautiful Christian education in higher education, and I thank God for that, ”Jansma said.
“We know that God loves us and that God has called us to love others, and so we are here as a group to provide education for young people and others to help them improve their lives and learn to serve God in this. world for the rest. of their lives, ”Jansma added.
Trust in the Lord
At the end of the program, before the physical rupture of the field, Mary Hulst, pastor of the university, rightly offered a prayer. The closing words of this prayer could truly be seen as a blessing to the people and the space that will help shape business leaders for years to come.
“May this space be filled with your Spirit, that in our work we will be faithful, in our study we will be diligent, and observing the surprises of your grace, we will often laugh. As we pray for this space, Lord, we pray for ourselves. Use all of us to proclaim your healing to a broken world, to be the light in the dark places, the salt where the going gets tough. Use this Creator God of construction and use us. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. And all of God’s people say… ”
The time ended with a strong chorus of “Amen’s”.