Dr. Jonathan Hagood, the Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning who served in a variety of roles at Hope College, died unexpectedly on Sept. 18. He was 43. There was a tangible sense of sadness and grief on the campus. Dr. Hagood was a well-respected professor and administrator here at Hope. “We’re mourning the loss of a treasured and dedicated friend and colleague, and grieve especially for his loved ones,” said the Rev. Dr. Dennis Voskuil, President of Hope College. He went on to say this about Hagood: “His service to Hope reflects his many talents and his diverse array of interests. His passion for effective teaching, vocational discernment, and the relationship between faith and scholarship benefitted many at the college and beyond and will continue to do so for years to come.” Hagood was a member of the History faculty since 2008.
He was also director of the Senior Seminar program, chair of the music department, and codirected the college’s Faith and Scholarship Discussion Series. Hagood received many awards during his time at Hope, which included the 2017 Provost’s Award for Service to the Academic Program. Hagood was the leader of the team that developed an initiative at Hope, funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., to help churches develop programs for calling and vocation, while also serving as the faculty liaison for the 2018 Lilly Fellows Program National Conference. He also was a key member of the task force that developed the plan for the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career. He mentored many students, working alongside them in collaborative or independent research projects.
One of those students, Megan Clark, shared her thoughts on his passing on facebook: “I am speechless. Jonathan Hagood was my advisor, mentor, professor, and friend. He single handedly crafted my course path at Hope College, and I would have been lost without him. When Hope College tried to take away my scholarships because I exceeded the credit level needed to graduate, Jonathan wrote a letter of recommendation explaining my circumstances. I was able to stay in school. Please pray for his students, friends, colleagues, and family. We are all hurting.” He is survived by many members of his family, including his wife, children, and parents.
His visitation was held on Friday at the Third Reformed Church, 111 W. 13th St., Holland. A funeral ceremony was held on Saturday at Third Reformed Church. The Rev. Kent Fry and the Rev. Dr. Trygve Johnson officiated. Memorial contributions can be made to Third Reformed Church, 111 W. 13th St. Holland, 49423. Continue to be in prayer for the Hagood family. Hope College is moving into another week but grief is still present.