Hope College's Feature on Cal VanderWerf: Anchor of Hope and Doug Neckers
A new book by former faculty member Dr. Douglas Neckers celebrates Hope’s eighth president, Dr. Calvin VanderWerf, for enabling the college not only to survive in the research-focused era of Sputnik, but to become the nationally recognized institution which continues to thrive today.
Neckers’s book “Cal VanderWerf: Anchor of Hope” credits VanderWerf, who led the college from 1963 to 1970, with transforming Hope into an institution that provided an exceptional education for students of the space age and years since. Published in June by BioSolar Publishing, the book explores how VanderWerf, who had a distinguished career in higher education as a chemist before becoming Hope’s eighth president, emphasized enhancing the college’s academic quality, particularly in the physical sciences. It was a move, Neckers notes, that was absolutely essential as private colleges and state-supported universities began to compete ever more not only for students but also external funding for their programs—especially for research—resources that were and continue to be crucial.