Calvin University professor wins national award, announces departure

Calvin University President Wiebe Boer and Executive Associate for Diversity and Inclusion Michelle Loyd-Paige. Courtesy Calvin University

A longstanding member of Calvin University’s diversity and inclusion team won recognition by a national Christian leadership conference. 

Michelle Loyd-Paige, sociology professor and executive associate to the president for diversity and inclusion at Calvin University recently was awarded the Inspire 2022 Dante Venegas Award in recognition of her leadership at the university. 

Inspire 2022, a national conference for Christian Reformed Church leaders and volunteers, offers the Dante Venegas award as the church’s Office of Race Relations’ method for recognizing distinguished leadership in diversity and racial justice. 

Loyd-Paige and Sheila Holmes, a pastor from New Jersey, are the only 2022 awardees in North America.

“There are few recognitions and awards that are more deserving,” said Wiebe Boer, Calvin’s 12th president, a role he assumed earlier this summer. “There are countless examples illustrating how the Calvin University community has leaned further into its commitment to diversity and inclusion because of Rev. Dr. Loyd-Paige’s faithful leadership in this area over many, many years.” 

Loyd-Paige has served at Calvin for 37 years, during which she received several awards, most recently being selected as one of the church’s Office of Race Relations’ 10 Champions of Justice in 2021. In 2017, she was recognized as Calvin’s Woman of Achievement for the YWCA Grand Rapids Tribute Awards. In 2015, she received the Floyd Skinner Justice Award.

Loyd-Paige also announced the 2022-23 academic year will be her final season at Calvin. 

“I wish she could stay longer,” Boer said. “Believe me, I’ve asked her. What I do know is our focus as an institution to diversity and inclusion will grow stronger and be accelerated because of the foundation Loyd-Paige has laid for us. This is my personal commitment to honor her legacy.”

Loyd-Paige received a bachelor’s degree from Calvin University, and went on to earn her master’s degree and Ph.D. from Purdue University. 

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