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Vanden Bosch, Jacob G. (1875-1970) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Vanden Bosch, Jacob G. (1875-1970)

Historical Note:

Jacob G. Vanden Bosch was born near Zeeland, Michigan on September 5, 1875.

Vanden Bosch entered Hope College's preparatory school and then to Hope College as an undergraduate. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in 1897. He then furthered his education at the University of Michigan where he earned his Masters' degree with a focus in classical languages and education.  In 1898 Vanden Bosch accepted the position of principal of Gaylord High School. Vanden Bosch remained at Gaylord High School for two years.

In 1900 accepted the opportunity to become faculty at Calvin College. He entered Calvin as the only English professor.  At the time Calvin College had only around 50 students, but Vanden Bosch would remain at Calvin long enough to see the school flourish to nearly 1,500 students.  Professor Vanden Bosch was known for his unique and eccentric personality and was affectionately called "Jakie" by his students. Vanden Bosch formally retired from Calvin in 1945, but continued to teach until 1951.

Although Vanden Bosch had a successful professional life, he had experience heartache in his personal life. Vanden Bosch married Jennie Mae Cathcart in 1903. Together they had a daughter, Hila. Jennie passed away in 1918 and three years later Vanden Bosch got remarried to Roelena Vermeer. In 1968 Vanden Bosch experience the loss of both Hila and Roelena. His daughter and wife died within a couple of months of each other.

While living in Grand Rapids, Vanden Bosch was a member of LaGrave Avenue church. He actively participated in the church as the Sunday school superintendent and as an elder. At the age of 94, Jacob G. Vanden Bosch passed on May 15, 1970.

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