Happy birthday, Coop!
by Christian bell
On his 60th birthday, one of Calvin's most beloved members, Chaplain Dale Cooper, was welcomed to the library lobby on Wednesday to the cheers and applause from hundreds of members of the Calvin community.
Cooper - or ``Coop'' as he is more affectionately known - has been an essential part of Calvin's campus since many of the current faculty and administration were themselves students. Nevertheless, the common remark overheard during the planning of the celebration was one of complete surprise and remark that his energy and vitality belied his sixty years.
The library lobby could not hold everyone who came out to pay tribute to a man whose three decades of service have touched the lives of thousands. After chapel, a crowd gathered around tables full of cake and punch to share in Coop's celebration and sing him happy birthday. Former President Spoelhof presented Coop with a certificate of appreciation, and other gifts were given to Coop in gratitude for his many years of service to Christ and the college.
In typical fashion, Coop humbly accepted the certificate but turned the praise on those around him, refusing as always to allow himself to be the focus of attention. Nevertheless, a warm smile radiated from his face in the presence of family, friends, colleagues and students. As one administrator remarked, it is precisely Cooper's humility that is reason he is so worthy of the celebration.
Cooper was absent last semester as he and his wife took a sabbatical to England and the Middle East so Coop could do research for an upcoming devotional on Puritan heritage. The Commons Lecture Hall seemed strangely empty without Coop there, and his return prompted ``Welcome back, Coop!'' and ``Good to see you again!'' greetings from students and staff alike.
We at the Chimes want to honor Cooper for his many years of service he has rendered rendered, and with the rest of the community, we look forward to many more years of this humble servant's instruction, faith, and love. Happy birthday, Coop!