82 0f 140 signs set to change when Calvin becomes a university


Photo by: Hannah Van't Hof

The presidential search committee hopes to be able to recommend a candidate to the Board of Trustees around February 2022.

Along with a historical change that Calvin will experience when the institution becomes a university there will also be changes to the signage around campus and new landscaping and signs along the Burton St. entrance.

The planning for this project began in the summer of 2018. Between that time and up to the present, the strategic planning teams and designers have produced a new logo. The new logo’s most significant change replaced “college” with “university”.

Donald Levy, Computer-aided Design (CAD) operator and designer, or the “Sign Guy” at the Physical Plant, commented on the changes that will be made to the signs around campus.

“On 82 of these new signs, we have to take out the word ‘college’ and put in University,” said Levy.

That is 82 out of 140 signs that replaced the old signs around campus which were in need of an updated a couple of years ago as part of Calvin’s “Master Wayfinding Plan” which rebranded the entire college.

Bob Speelman, landscape operations supervisor at Calvin’s Physical Plant, briefly commented on the aesthetic of the new Burton St. entrance landscaping. He described the design concept as being more “coherent” and “contemporary”.

Tim Ellens, Director of Communications & Brand Steward at Calvin, commented that the new Burton entrance will be donor-funded so there won’t be any extra expense to the institution.

Ellens, being the one overseeing the changes to Calvin in terms of the name and branding, also commented on some of the various things which will be redone across campus, including the apparel sold in the campus store. “One of the things that we have is a licensing program,” said Ellens. “And so with Leerfield Licensing, that means all the vendors and campus store. People like that will have to use the logos we’ve supplied to them.”

The campus store is run by Follet, a company that supplies various educational products to schools, colleges and libraries. They will propose some new designs for the new Calvin University apparel, but Calvin will have to officially approve the designs and how the logo is being used within those designs.

In terms of the logo replacements on signs around campus, Ellens said that there will be an extra expense to the college; however, they were expecting this change to be a University when the new signs and logos were placed around campus a couple years ago. Rather than the entirety of the signs being replaced, only the word “college” will have to be changed on each of the affected signs.

While the gym floor in Van Noord Arena doesn’t have the words ‘Calvin College’ on it, it will also be getting replaced around the same time as these big changes are being made to the signage. The new knighthead will be placed on the updated floor as well. This wasn’t part of the signage project but is another significant change happening to part of the school as it transitions to Calvin University.

All of these projects are expected to be completed in time for John Calvin’s birthday, which is July 10, as an honor and celebration of the historical changes.