University announces new school of health, complete with cadaver lab


Spectrum Health closed the West Michigan Regional Lab due to budget cuts. It will now become a state-of-the-art medical laboratory.

University officials announced the launch of a new school of health on Monday afternoon.

The school will be funded by a $15 million donation from an anonymous alumnus — the second largest donation in Calvin’s history.

Its programs will include the existing disciplines of nursing, kinesiology, exercise science, speech pathology and audiology, and public health, as well as the three health-related master’s programs Calvin plans to launch by fall 2022. Expanded degree options are also expected.

“Everywhere we see growing demand for quality health sciences education,” said University President Michael Le Roy. “We are deeply grateful for the vision that prompts this outstanding gift.”

The former West Michigan Regional Lab in the basement of DeVries Hall, which was recently dissolved due to financial issues, will be repurposed as a state-of-the-art medical laboratory, according to a press release.

“This will include a new cadaver lab for teaching human anatomy, alongside additional virtual dissection tables to support anatomy exposure for students who may not be in a traditional semester-long course,” Provost Noah Toly said in the press release.

“The strength of Calvin’s health-related programs is rooted in excellent teaching and research mentoring. Our faculty regularly receive grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Michigan Health Endowment, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation,” Arlene Hoogewerf, academic dean, said in the press release.

According to Hoogewerf, health sciences professors at Calvin are active in their research projects, giving students more research opportunities than undergraduates at top-tier research schools.

The school of health will capitalize on existing relationships in higher education, including Calvin’s partnerships with Wayne State, Michigan State and the University of Michigan’s medical schools.

“We appreciate these strong partnerships, and we are poised to grow those connections in multiple directions,” said Kevin den Dulk, associate provost of the Calvin Global Campus. “I’m excited that we have faculty and staff with wide connections as well as committed alumni who will contribute to the strength of the School of Health.”

In the months to come, a committee made up of faculty, staff and administrators will flesh out details for the school and make recommendations for undergraduate and graduate health programs. University officials are also looking to hire a new dean to lead the school of health.