Genevra Thome Begg

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Kelly Jacobsma, Genevra Thome Begg Director of Libraries

Kelly Jacobsma, Genevra Thome Begg Director of Libraries

Genevra Thome Begg’s interest in the college stemmed from the one year early in the 20th century that her late husband Raymond had attended the high school that Hope had operated in its earlier decades. Married only 11 years prior to his untimely death in 1956, they had visited Hope and Holland together just once, because she wished to see one of the places in which he had spent his youth. From that single visit her relationship with and appreciation for the college grew.

Following Raymond’s death, she established the Raymond VanRenssalaer Begg Scholarship at Hope in his honor. She added to the fund over many years, and enjoyed corresponding with the dozens of students assisted by her generosity.

As she had received training in library science and worked for several years in a library, she began planning to also give an endowed professorship for the director of libraries at Hope. She died at age 95 on November 2, 2007, and her love of libraries and the college resulted in her bequest to establish the Genevra Thome Begg Professorship.

The first recipient of the endowed professorship is Kelly Jacobsma. A member of the Hope library faculty since 1988, she became director of libraries on July 1, 2008, following the retirement of long-time director David Jensen.