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Peter A. Hoekstra (1884-1966) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Peter A. Hoekstra (1884-1966)

Historical Note:

Peter A. Hoekstra, the son of Rev. Johannes B. Hoekstra, was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1884. At an early age, Hoekstra moved with his family to Pella, Iowa where his father became a pastor for their congregation. Later, the Hoekstra family moved to Muskegon Michigan.  Hoekstra entered Calvin College preparatory for his high school education. He then enrolled at Michigan University and earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree.  Next, he received his Doctor of Philosophy degree from University of Pennsylvania. His thesis was entitled “Dutch Settlements in Michigan from 1837 to 1913.”

Hoekstra’s scholarly reputation landed him a faculty position at Lehigh University at South Bethleham, Pennsylvania. For three years, he worked at Lehigh University, until Calvin College extended a faculty position to him. Hoekstra accepted Calvin’s offer, and he became a professor of history and political science. He would serve Calvin until his retirement in 1954.  Hoekstra passed away on June 25, 1966. His wife Wilhelmina (Zaagman) and son, Justin, survived him.

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