In 1851, four years after settlers from the Netherlands founded Holland, the Pioneer School was established to meet some of the educational needs of the young colony. This school, the predecessor of Hope College, received direction and financial support from the General Synod of the Reformed Church in America. The school evolved into the Holland Academy, which in 1862 enrolled its first college class. On May 14, 1866, the institution was chartered as Hope College, and on July 17, 1866, the first class of eight students was graduated. The college's name, seal, and motto are derived from a statement of the founder of Holland, Rev. Albertus C. Van Raalte, who said of the Pioneer School, "This is my Anchor of Hope for this people in the future." In the decade that followed, a strong college of liberal arts and sciences was developed which continues to serve the church and the community.
SPERA IN DEO