Former Hope College president Gordon Van Wylen dies after contracting coronavirus

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — A former Hope College president who helped transform the school in the 1970s and 1980s — and who also was a World War II Navy veteran — has died at age 100.

Gordon Van Wylen died Thursday, Nov. 5 after battling coronavirus, according to Hope College officials.

Van Wylen is recognized not only for his efforts to improve and grow Hope College, but also his attention to the revitalization of downtown Holland.

Van Wylen served as Hope College president form 1972 to 1987.

Numerous major campus building projects began or were completed during his tenure, including the Peale Science Center, now part of the A. Paul Schaap Science Center; the Dow Health and Physical Education Center; College East Apartments; the De Pree Art Center and Gallery; the Maas Student and Conference Center; Bekkering Admissions Office; and the Gordon J. and Margaret D. Van Wylen Library.


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New & Noteworthy Visual Books, From Extraordinary Women to Van Gogh’s Letters

VINCENT VAN GOGH: A Life in Letters, edited by Nienke Bakker, Leo Jansen and Hans Luijten. (Thames & Hudson, $39.95.) Three curators at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam compile the artist’s correspondence to shed light on his creative process and personal life.

THE ART OF NASA: The Illustrations That Sold the Missions, by Piers Bizony. (Motorbooks, $50.) Blending a history of space exploration with a survey of illustration technology over six decades, these 200 large-format images from NASA detail such landmarks as the Space Shuttle, the I.S.S. and the mission to Mars.

THE PEOPLE: Nimiipuu, Nez Perce Tribe, by Hunter Barnes. (Reel Art, $39.95.) Barnes, a photographer, was welcomed into the close-knit Lapwai Idaho reservation from 2004 to 2008 to document its ways. These black-and-white portraits and other images capture lives at the intersection of tradition and modernity.


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