With no less than 15 colleges and universities, Grand Rapids enrolls tens of thousands of students per year in technical, undergraduate, and graduate programs.
One college has been around for over 100 years and is associated with the Christian Reformed Church. Join Blu House Properties as we profile Grand Rapids’ own “world-class Christian college:” Calvin College.
Calvin College (named after theologian John Calvin) was founded in 1876 to train church ministers.
The first class had seven students and started in a rented room on Spring Street. Between 1876 and 1900, the college moved away from strictly training ministers to preparing students for other professions.
With continued growth, in 1917, the college moved into a newer, larger building at the northwest corner of Franklin and Giddings in Grand Rapids’ Eastown neighborhood. In 1920, Calvin College transitioned into a four-year, liberal arts college modeled after the Free University in Amsterdam’s program in the Netherlands. With its continuing student enrollment, Calvin College purchased over 400 acres of land for its current campus in the late 1950s. Many construction projects have taken place since then and have helped Calvin serve their current 4,000 students and have helped it become a leading college in the Midwest.
While it offers over 100 fields of study, Calvin is most popular in the engineering, business and nursing fields. Because Calvin is a liberal arts school, it provides students with over 40 credit hours of core competencies, as well as a senior year capstone.
Calvin currently splits up its major offerings into 10 schools, comprised of Business, Communication and Media Studies, Education, Fine Arts, Health Sciences, Humanities, Religion, STEM, Social Sciences, World Languages, and Cultural Studies.
Calvin’s campus is also notable, with a circle of commons rather than a central building. Student life and athletics are a major component of the Calvin experience. To cement the college experience in students’ minds, Calvin requires that most freshmen and sophomores reside in one of seven residence halls on campus.
One favorite event of Calvin students is Chaos Day, during which the residents of each of the halls have their own theme, decorate their dorm, and dress in costumes, competing in a number of relay races and similar games.
There are also many lectures, concerts, films and cultural events that take place at Calvin. Many notable acts have performed here, including Death Cab Cutie, Sufjan Stevens, MGMT and Ben Harper. The Calvin Knights participate in 10 sports for men and 10 sports for women. No athletic event is more anticipated than the Calvin vs. Hope basketball game. People go nuts for this long-standing, friendly meeting of rivals.
With so many things to do and such a solid, foundational education, the possibilities truly are endless at Calvin College. We thank you for coming along and enjoying Blu House Properties’ insider guide to Calvin College. Please share, like and comment on some of your favorite pastimes and activities at Calvin.