Students flock for frozen foray into Seminary Pond



Photo by Anna Delph

“There’s some things that you think you shouldn’t do, and then you do it, and it was awesome,” said Jay De Boer, of his experience at the Seminary Pond last Friday.

This past Friday, Chaplain Mary Hulst and President Michael Le Roy jumped into the frozen Seminary Pond, followed by a long line of Calvin students.

Although this year’s Cold Knight Plunge had warm weather compared to previous years, the water was just as icy.  This didn’t deter approximately 550 Calvin students from jumping. Seventy of these students were seniors who had done the jump every year attending Calvin, receiving the revered golden towel.

When asked about his experience jumping, junior Andrew Groenewold joked it was “breathtaking.”  When contemplating his plunge, Alex Cho said, “There’s a fine line between bravery and stupidity; I like to think I walked that line.”

One at a time, students walked out onto the boardwalk over the ice, jumping into a section of the pond with the ice carved out of it.  When the students emerged from their plunge (it’s around three and a half feet deep), divers wearing waders helped them out of the murky water.  This year had extra safety precautions consisting of the EMT and divers, helping the Plunge stay fun and safe.

The slight rise in participation is most likely due to the warmer temperatures, even though the Plunge has traditionally been held around this time every year.

Calvin alumni group Knights 4 Life (K4L) plans the event with the help of campus safety, the physical plant and many other Calvin community partners. 

K4L’s mission is to “build the Calvin community by providing opportunities for students to connect with and learn from alumni, aiding students in their transition from student to graduate, and creating lasting bonds between students, alumni and Calvin,” says Taylor Greenfield, alumni and annual giving program coordinator of K4L. Keeping old traditions such as the Cold Knight Plunge is one of the ways K4L helps create these lasting bonds.

Greenfield’s personal favorite part of the event is watching the line grow as people wait to jump. “It makes the anticipation of the jump that much greater when you have that really long line.”