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Catherine Van Opynen Collection



Biographical Note

Detailed Description

General Papers

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Catherine Van Opynen Collection, 1904-1960 | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

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Collection Overview

Title: Catherine Van Opynen Collection, 1904-1960

ID: COLL/298

Primary Creator: Van Opynen, Catherine (1915-1979)

Extent: 1.5 Cubic Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Folder level description


Dean of women and professor of education at Calvin College. The collection includes correspondence, files on faculty committee activities, teaching, counseling, and student housing.

Biographical Note

Catherine Van Opynen was born in Grand Haven, Michigan on August 24, 1915. She graduated from Grand Haven Public High School in 1932 and went off to Calvin College for her undergraduate studies. She graduated from Calvin College with a bachelor's degree in 1938. Van Opynen accepted a teaching position at Southwest Christian School in Grand Rapids. She attended a Teachers College at Columbia University during her summers, earning her first master's degree in 1945.

In 1946 Van Opynen accepted a faculty position in Calvin College's English Department teaching freshman English.  She also taught geography.  Only a year later Van Opynen accepted the position of Dean of Women. She would hold the title until 1967. During her time as Dean of Women she was known as a tireless worker and held a high moral standard. She even earned her second master's degree in education from the University of Michigan in 1957. After she resigned from her Dean of Women position, she was appointed to assist in the Psychology department and Psychological Institute as counselor at Calvin College.

Dean and professor Van Opynen served Calvin College in many capacities. She served on the Religious & Social Committee, Dorm & Dining Hall Committee, and Social & Special Academic Activities Committee to name just a few.  She also a member of the National Association of Deans of Women, Michigan Academy of Arts & Science, and American Association of University Women. Van Opynen was an active member of her church as well. She played the organ and served as a Sunday school teacher for many years at Grand Haven CRC. She was a Bible leader at Eastern Avenue and Seymour CRC.

Due to a lingering illness, Catherine Van Opynen passed away on September 22, 1979.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: General Papers],

Series 1: General Papers
Box 1
Folder 1: Letter from Calvin and Ad Hoc Report
Folder 2: Graduate Studies Committee
Folder 3: Religious and Social Activities Committee
Folder 4: Geography Committee
Folder 5: Speeches and articles
Folder 6: Readings
Folder 7: Education papers
Folder 8-9: Faculty materials
Box 2
Folder 1: Lesson plans
Folder 2: Education material
Folder 3: Pictures colored by children for C. Van Opynen
Folder 4: Textbook material
Folder 5: Term paper
Folder 6: Geography papers
Folder 7: 7th grade lit papers
Folder 8: 6th grade children's lit papers
Folder 9: 5th grade children's lit papers
Folder 10: 4th grade children's lit papers
Folder 11: 3rd grade children's lit papers
Folder 12: 2nd grade children's lit papers
Folder 13: 1st grade lit papers; binder
Box 3
Folder 1: Notebooks
Folder 2: Social conduct paper
Folder 3: Board material --- 1904
Folder 4: Girls Fellowship Club
Folder 5: Student Affairs papers
Folder 6: Counseling and guidance
Folder 7: Privates Club

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: General Papers],

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