† June Hamersma (1929-2020)
June Hamersma was born and raised in Grand Rapids. She grew up in a family of four children, struggling to survive during the Depression. June’s mother worked outside the home. June attended both Christian and public schools in Grand Rapids, and she and her family were faithful members of the Christian Reformed Church. At age 12, June became Grand Rapids’ speed skating champion. She graduated from Calvin College with a degree in history and philosophy in 1951 and began a career in public relations. In 1957, she married her husband, John, and went on to raise two children. John became a professor of music at Calvin. June Hamersma was the creator and director of the January Series at Calvin, a lecture series that attracted some of the world’s greatest thinkers in a wide variety of subjects. For several years, the series was named “Best Campus Lecture Series in the USA” by the International Platform Association. She retired in 2007 after twenty years of directing the series.