Dear Friends,

Welcome to Spera 2020!

As an alumnus of Hope College, it is a particular pleasure to introduce this year’s issue of Spera. Now in its third year, this publication shares stories of faculty research, scholarship and creative performance at Hope.

Like so many graduates of Hope College, I experienced transformational mentorship from my professors — across all disciplines. In their everyday work, they guided me through rigorous academics, connected me to an amazing internship, supported me in my journey toward graduate school and prepared me for a career that ultimately would lead me back to this beloved campus. Now, as president of Hope College, I find special joy in the opportunity to work alongside the very people who always brought out the best in me.

In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked Hope #48 among all liberal arts colleges in the country for “Best Undergraduate Teaching” — a reflection of our “unusually strong commitment to teaching.” Our faculty are not only exceptional teachers, though; they are excellent scholars, too. Also in 2019, Hope continued its streak of placing on the U.S. News & World Report list for “Outstanding Undergraduate Research / Creative Project Opportunities.” Hope earned a ranking of #23, tying with Cornell and keeping company with schools like Yale, Stanford, MIT, Princeton and Northwestern.

How is it that Hope College receives this kind of recognition year after year? When you read this issue of Spera, you’ll understand. You’ll discern the great passion that our faculty have for research — a passion that they share with their students. It’s a passion that stays with Hope alumni after graduation. Indeed, in my first year as president, I have met many young alumni now in graduate school, eager to share how they stand apart from their peers, thanks to the “graduate-level undergraduate experience” they received from their professors at Hope.

Together, Hope faculty and students pursue truth, knowledge and beauty in all its forms, and in doing so, take part in a pursuit of God. They bring life to Hope’s motto, “Spera in Deo” — the inspiration for the title of this publication.

I hope you enjoy reading the stories in Spera 2020! And, I invite you to read more stories about faculty research, scholarship and creative work throughout the year at blogs.hope.edu/stories-of-hope.

Matthew A. Scogin