In the News
(May 21, 2014) 

Hope College Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Upward Bound

Hope College in Holland, Michigan
Hope College has a lot to celebrate. Its Upward Bound project is one of the oldest in the country, celebrating its 45th year. It represents a history of success. Referencing the numerous alumni who have been involved in UB celebration activities during the last few months, Director Elizabeth Colburn emphasized the generations-long impact of the program and its continuing vital influence on participants in the Holland, Michigan area. “The most exciting part of these activities has been reconnecting with former students who span almost the entire history of the program,” she said.

Senior Scholarship Recipients with representatives from their Diamond Sponsors — P.J. Thompson, CEO/President Trans-Matic, and Adam Tountas, Chairman of the Ottawa County GOP
Alumni have been talking with current students in roundtable discussions and informal sessions, sharing stories about their own Upward Bound experiences and how, as adults, they made their way through college to their current careers.

Norfilia Ramirez-Hamilton of Ada, a 1970 UB graduate, stated, “I was the first one in my family to go to college.” Ramirez went on to complete his Baccalaureate degree and a Masters in Social Work at Central Michigan University and Grand Valley State University, respectively. Ramirez stressed that, “Upward Bound provided a confidence in myself that my educational goal could be attained.”

Rep. Bill Huizenga (MI-R) and Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra
On May 17th, the college hosted an all-day series of events beginning with breakfast and a benefit golf outing at Winding Creek Golf Course and continuing in the evening with a reception and banquet. All proceeds will be used to fund the Upward Bound Scholarship Fund. The keynote speaker was Dr. Antonio Flores, president and CEO of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). Dr. Flores’ connections run deep since he was the Hope College Upward Bound director in the 70s.

In reflecting on the opportunities this celebratory year has brought to her program, Director Colburn noted that Hope College has a brand new President and Upward Bound get-togethers have allowed President John Knapp to observe, first-hand, the impact that this program has had on Hope College and that the college has had on the Upward Bound Program. Similarly, faculty and staff involved over the years have been reconnecting and the Deans of the college are sponsoring tables that will include other people who worked for Upward Bound.

At Hope College, there are 85 students are currently enrolled in the Upward Bound program and since its beginning, more than 2,500 students have participated.

For more information about the Upward Bound 50th Anniversary, please click here.