Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Jeanne Petit, History; Dr. Pamela Koch, Sociology and Social Work

Document Type


Event Date



This project focuses on Hope College during the Vietnam War era. During this time, the draft created moral dilemmas for both students and faculty. When it started affecting themselves and people they knew, students felt that they needed to be educated about the war. The draft also meant that students sought deferments through such means as studying ministry, pre med, and other sciences. Hope students noticed that young men who were able to avoid the draft were usually privileged and not a part of the minority class. This led many Hope students to protest the draft and the war. These protests often led to social justice because they compelled the larger community to reevaluate the United States’ participation in the war. But these protests only became in earnest once the war hit home through the draft. As Hope alumnus Don Luidens said, “We only started to care when it affected us."


This research was supported by the Mellon Grand Challenges grant.