Hope seeks proposals for campus-city partnerships

A college campus is its own entity, but it also exists within a broader community.

In an effort to better connect those two, Hope College is seeking proposals for college-community partnerships focused on enhancing the quality of life in Holland.

William Pannapacker is the Senior Director of Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Programs and Initiatives at Hope.
A 42-month, $800,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation made the “There’s No Place Like Home” initiative possible. Although the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic delayed the initiative’s start by several months, it also helped focus its efforts.

In light of the unprecedented events of the spring and summer — beginning with the pandemic and continuing through the global Black Lives Matter protests — the initiative is especially hoping to assist partnerships focused on public health, economics, and intergroup relations, says William Pannapacker, Senior Director of Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Programs and Initiatives at Hope.

“That’s going to be a top priority for us: How do we address the urgent things now?” says Pannapacker, who is also a professor of English at Hope.

Proposal parameters

Proposals for “There’s No Place Like Home” must include a partnership with a member of the Hope College faculty, have a humanities focus, and provide meaningful experiential learning opportunities for students in the arts and humanities. Grants will range between $10,000 and $100,000.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Living Book in Holland's Centennial Park. Proposals could be anything from a local speakers bureau with a focus on inclusion, to a project to help people navigate difficult life experiences or preserving culture in times of change.

The project’s name is a nod to Holland’s ties to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which author L. Frank Baum partially penned at his Macatawa summer cottage.

Longtime partners

Hope has a long history of partnering with the city and residents of Holland. The college has worked with area high school students through Hope College TRIO Upward Bound since 1968, elementary students through the Children’s After School Achievement program since 1989, and middle school students in the Step Up program since 2010.

Hope College has also partnered with the city of Holland and Holland Board of Public Works on the Hope College-Holland Sustainability Institute since 2015.

“These initiatives align with Hope’s longstanding commitment to and robust engagement with our neighbors in impactful ways,” Provost Cady Short-Thompson says.

The program’s advisory board, which will review the proposals, consists of representatives of community organizations as well as the college, including former Mayor Nancy DeBoer; the Rev. Denise Kingdom Grier; Elizabeth Kidd, Vice President of Community Impact with the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area; Sandra Visser, Dean for the arts and humanities at Hope; and Shonn Colbrunn, Director of the college’s Boerigter Center for Calling and Career.  

Visit hope.edu/mellon for more on “There’s No Place Like ‘Home," including how to submit pre-proposals.
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