Hope College has a long tradition stretching back nearly 150 years. Throughout these years many people-teachers, students, alumni, and friends--have committed themselves to the school, making it what it is today. One of the most obvious ways we can still see that commitment today is in the buildings which have served Hope through the years.
The Dutch settlers who built Holland placed an early emphasis on education, establishing the Pioneer School in 1851, four years after they first arrived. From this meager effort the seeds of Hope were planted, culminating in a chartered collegiate institution in 1866.
The growth of Hope can be seen in the way in which its campus has changed over the years. The walls can tell many stories about eager pioneer students yearning to grow, young men heading off to war, and earnest students protesting an unpopular war. Our tour booklet was put together to help you understand a part of the college story through the buildings that have appeared--and sometimes disappeared--from our campus.
From those humble beginnings, Hope College has persevered. Small enrollments and limited resources marked the first decades of the school. Unlike many colleges that failed in this period, Hope went on to become a leading Christian liberal arts college.
The walking tour begins in front of the DeWitt Center at Columbia Avenue and 12th Street and will take you around the campus to a number of locations. If you have any questions about Hope's history, please contact one of the authors or stop by the Joint Archives of Holland (lower level of the Van Wylen Library) or the A. C. Van Raalte Institute (100 E. 8th Street).
Elton J. Bruins
Larry J. Wagenaar