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Sinke, Carl (1928-2016) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Sinke, Carl (1928-2016)

Historical Note:

Carol Sinke was born in Moline, Michigan on October 15, 1928.  Sinke attended Calvin College, earning a degree in mathematics in 1945. Sinke went on to earn his Ph.D. in mathematics from Purdue University.  After he received his Ph.D., Sinke enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed in California and Illinois. While in California he met his bride-to-be, a young school teacher named Cora Maw Waander. They were married in 1956, the same year that Sinke accepted a faculty position at Calvin College.

Although Sinke was the first Ph.D. mathematician at Calvin, he started out as an Instructor and had to work his way up the professional ladder. Sinke was known to have a "gruff" exterior, but the students knew that he had a warm heart and was always ready to help them. He often spent time working with students on a one-on-one basis.

Sinke served the college in many other ways. He was a member of the Faculty Organization Study Committee during the early 1970s. He also served as department chairperson for a total of 15 years and as department chairperson of the science division for 3 years. He also served on the Educational Policy Committee and the Professional Status Committee as well as coordinator of the Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship team.

Outside of the classroom, Sinke was also well-known for his hobby and interest in railroads. His interest determined his vacation destinations and how he traveled. He even had a railroad in his background in which family and local children loved to visit and ride. Sinke was a member of East Paris Christian Reformed Church and served as a Bible Study teacher. Sinke was also interested in local politics.  He served many terms on Christian School boards and as Kentwood City Commissioner.

On January 20, 2016, Carl Sinke passed away at the age of 87. He was survived by his wife of 59 years, Cora Mae, and their four children. He had served Calvin College for 35 years.

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