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H88-0088. Kollen, Gerrit J. (1843-1915). Papers, 1825-1971, (bulk 1885-1915). 0.75 linear ft.

 Collection
Identifier: H88-0088

Scope and Contents

The collection includes clippings, diaries, photos, correspondence, marriage certificate, memorial, inaugural address, appointment by President Woodrow Wilson as delegate to the Opium Conference, biographical materials, minutes of the Mission Band of Hope College, which include Samuel Zwemer and Albertus Pieters. Correspondents include William Jennings Bryan.

Dates

  • 1825 - 1971
  • Majority of material found within 1885 - 1915

Creator

Biography

Gerrit Jan (John) Kollen was born the youngest of five children on August 9, 1843, in Nyverdal, the Netherlands. After the children’s father passed away in February of 1846, Egberdina Kollen and her children travelled to Overisel, Michigan, in 1851 to settle near her brother who had moved to Michigan earlier. After Kollen completed school in Overisel, he continued to attend school in Allegan for a year before teaching school in Lubber’s district. By the year 1862, Kollen entered Holland Academy in the preparatory program. He then continued with his studies at the newly formed Hope College, graduating as one of five men in his class.

After completing his course of work at Hope, Kollen was hired to work in Overisel until 1871. He was appointed tutor in the Grammar School for mathematics, natural philosophy, and astronomy.

Gerrit Kollen was quite involved in activities outside of teaching. In 1872, Holland celebrated its 25th anniversary, of which he served as secretary of the committee. He was involved with the Ebenezer Fund, serving as the financial agent.

He married Maria "Mary" Wilhelmina Van Raalte on December 24, 1879. She passed away in Holland, Michigan, in 1905. From that union was born a daughter, Estelle Marie Kollen, in July 1886.

In 1893, Kollen was elected president of Hope College and served in the role until 1911. Kollen was the first Hope College president to be a church layman rather than an ordained minister. Beginning his administration in 1893, Kollen’s term as president marked a time of campus growth at Hope College; four major facilities were constructed during this time: Graves Library and Winants Chapel, Van Raalte Memorial Hall, Carnegie Gymnasium, and Voorhees Hall. Both Graves Hall and Voorhees Hall have become campus landmarks.

Gerrit J. Kollen passed away September 5, 1915, in Holland, Michigan.

Extent

0.75 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Hope College class of 1868; president of Hope College, 1893 1911. The collection includes clippings, diaries, photos, correspondence, marriage certificate, memorial, inaugural address, appointment by President Woodrow Wilson as delegate to the Opium Conference, and biographical materials. Correspondents include William Jennings Bryan. Detailed Collection Register available.

Provenance

Gerrit Kollen

Photographs

15 images (2 negatives) (Box 2 and Oversized)
Status
Completed
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Joint Archives of Holland Repository

Contact:
Theil Research Center
9 East 10th Street
Holland Michigan 49423 United States
616-395-7798