Frater Jim Bultman reunites with brothers


FRATER ALUMNI REFLECT DURING HOMECOMING — Soderstrom shares a laugh with Frater brothers, “The new guys clean up much better than we did.” (The Fraternal Society)

Homecoming weekend gave Hope College Greek organization, The Fraternal Society, a chance to reconnect with alumni.

Frater James Bultman (’63) came to Hope’s new student center, named after him and his wife Martie, to give a speech to his old college fraternity. The Jim and Martie Bultman center went underway in 2015. It was built in the spot of old Nykerk Hall, originally in honor of Frater John B. Nyker (1885).

The Fraternal Society was established originally at Union College before creating a Hope chapter in 1864 that prevailed for over 150 years.

The Fraternal Society had original roots as a literary society and evolved to a more traditional sense of a fraternity. The bonds of brotherhood still ring through and are represented in the Fraternal crest.

The crest contains a sun meant to never rest, a rope that signifies the bonds of brothers and a book of knowledge that is always open, along with a red lion of strength and blue lion of courage.

Bultman has had a long devotion to Hope. He graduated with a major in chemistry and went on to become a member of Hope faculty in 1968. Bultman also took on sports as head baseball coach from 1971-1985 and an assistant football coach from 1970-1995. He became the 11th president of Hope from 1999-2013.

Bultman was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award from Hope in 1995.

Current Frater President Derek Chen (’18) expressed his admiration for Bultman and other visiting alumni, “We want to have a connection with the alumni. This is our first event in the new building and we look forward to making the bonds stronger.”

The Homecoming evening allowed the active members to meet-and-greet with other Frater alumni. “We are all excited to meet these guys on a professional level,” shared Clayton Sayfie (’19).

Bob Tiggleman (’73) shared his excitement to be reunited with lifetime friends. The Bultman student center was an impressive new sight for alumni. John Soderstrom (’76) reflected on the changes on campus; “The campus is unbelievable compared to the mid-70’s.”

Soderstrom helped set up many programs at Hope alongside Bultman. Soderstrom sported a Frater t-shirt under his suit and tie.

“The Fraters have amazing Alumni and we enjoy learning the history. It’s great to meet them and put names to faces,” shared Noah Bertolone (’19).

Bultman’s speech was for the private ears of Fraters only, but excitement was prevalent in the meet and greet and continued on to Bultman’s arrival.

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