Alumni Class Notes for July 2020

Carl Swansen (’64) shares an original poem, Alice (Lesterhuis) Vander Plaat (’75) accepted a music director position, and two young alumni couples recently welcomed baby girls.

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Carl Swansen (’64) shares an original poem that he wrote to the tune of “From A Distance,” originally written by Julie Gold and popularized by Bette Midler.

From a distance the world looks grim and lost
as a virus sweeps the earth
From a distance life has changed so much
so sad with so little mirth
From a distance there is deep despair
and it echoes through the world
It’s the cry for help
It’s the hope for peace
It’s the prayer of every boy and girl

From a distance God drew ever close
in a stable cold, forlorn
And in a bed of fragrant straw
the baby Christ child was born
From a distance he lived and walked the earth
and he healed the blind and the lame
Freely sacrificed his precious life
that we might be saved, born again
God is loving us
God is saving us
God is reaching us from a distance

From a distance we all struggle here
with a virus so deadly and strong
It’s lethal arms stretch far and wide
while everyone wonders how long
From a distance we search for any hope
that can help us find our way
He’s our only hope
He’s our living Lord
He’s our Savior and our friend
He’s the King of kings
He’s the Lord of lords
He’s God’s Yea and Amen

God is loving us
God is saving us
God is reaching us from a distance

God is loving us
God is saving us
God is reaching us from a distance

Alice (Lesterhuis) Vander Plaat (’75) writes, “Starting early this year, I accepted the position of Music Director at the Montville Reformed Church in Montville, NJ. I really did not feel qualified for the position but it’s been a ‘learn as you go’ and a huge blessing in my life! I also have five children and eight grandchildren, my greatest blessings. I love them all dearly.”

Josh (’13) and Caroline (Schuemann) Craddock (’14) welcomed their third child, a daughter named June Suzanne, in July 2020. In May, Caroline graduated with her Master of Liberal Arts degree in Government from Harvard University’s Extension School. Her thesis addressed freedom of education. Josh co-authored a law review article with Chief Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, published in the May 2020 issue of the Notre Dame Law Review.

Kody and Jessie (Schnoebelen) Striplin (both 2016) write, “We’re delighted to share the news of the birth of our daughter, Peyton Joy Striplin. Her smiles joined our world on April, 29 2020 (her due date!).”


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