Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Legend: Dr. Jack Holmes Retires After Nearly 50 Years At Hope College

Holmes, center, with Terri Lynn Land, left, and Rep. Bill Huizenga, left (Photo by Tom DeVette Photography)
By Brandon Hall
(Email him at

As President Lyndon Johnson was preparing to leave his office, 676 miles away-in a little town called Holland, at a little college called Hope-Dr. Jack Holmes was decorating his, getting ready for his first class as a professor.

47 years later, Holmes is calling it quits, retiring as a Hope College Professor. Holmes taught his last class a couple weeks ago.
Holmes and Rep. Bill Huizenga enjoy a laugh at the Holmes Retirement event Monday (Photo By Tom DeVette Photography)

Holmes, a fixture of the Ottawa County GOP, was honored at an event last night at New Holland Brewery in downtown Holland. He has served on the group's Executive Committee for decades, instrumental in numerous projects over the years.

He briefly left Hope to work in D.C. as the assistant to Congressman Don Brotzman for a couple years in 1973, has been extremely involved on the Hope campus, vital to programs like Model United Nations. Holmes also co-wrote a textbook while at Hope, "American Government: Essentials & Perspective."

Holmes has advised local, state, and federal politicians for decades. He has also helped lead countless campaigns, and through his work as a professor, shaped thousands of students in his famous "Campaigns and Elections" class, among many others.

One of those students is Terri Lynn Land. She was in attendance last night, along with Congressman Huizenga, State Rep. Roger Victory, State Rep. Amanda Price, Dennis Van Dam, Joey Gamrat, and many more.

The event featured speeches and no shortage of old memories. It also included a video with special messages from former Governor John Engler, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, Sen. Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, and other dignitaries.
From left: Dennis VanDam, Holmes, Ottawa Drain Commissioner Joe Bush, Jim Barry, State Rep. Roger Victory, Joey Gamrat (Photo by Tom DeVette Photography)

Allegan County Commissioner and political consultant Jim Storey took to Facebook praising Holmes, writing, "Jack is certainly deserving of this recognition for all of his efforts to boost West Michigan Republicans' effectiveness in keeping its dominance."

Former Ottawa County GOP Chair Adam Tountas tells West Michigan Politics:

"Jack Holmes has been a cornerstone of our county party for decades. I'm proud of the work he's done-and continues to do on a daily basis on behalf of the conservative movement. I'm even prouder to call him my friend."

Holmes is a legend. 

"Establishment?" Yes. Far more importantly though: fair, hard working, respectful, and an all around decent guy. A dedicated patriot with a passion for his community, and his country. In an age with so much hate, rudeness, and backstabbing Dr. Jack Holmes is a shining example for future generations to emulate,

He  is a class act-may he have a fantastic retirement! Thankfully, he still serves in Ottawa GOP leadership, so Holmes just may have another campaign or two in him. Take notes while you can.
Dr. Jack Holmes receives the Volunteer of the Year award for his dedication to the Ottawa County GOP in 2011
Holmes helps volunteer at Bill Cooper's "Thanks A Million, West Michigan!" food truck on a cold December night in December 2009
Dr. Jack Holmes, center, with Ottawa County Clerk/Register Justin Roebuck, left, and Schuette staffer Matt Hall, right at a Hope College event a couple weeks ago
>>>Rep. Huizenga recently took to the House Floor to honor Holmes. Here is the speech:
Holmes, center, with Rep. Bill Huizenga and family Monday night at the event celebrating Holmes (Photo by Tom Devette Photography)
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Dr. Jack Holmes and his commendable service to Hope College as a Professor of Political Science.

After graduating cum laude from Knox College with honors in political science, Professor Holmes went on to earn his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Denver. As a Captain in the U.S. Army in the Politico-Military Division at the Pentagon, Dr. Holmes researched major international political decisions affecting the army. After his work in Washington, he moved to Holland, Michigan, to teach at Hope College. After four years, however, he returned to Colorado to work as the District Assistant for Congressman Don Brotzman. This position entailed constituent relations as well as advising on foreign policy, minority, education, and environmental matters. Ever a true Flying Dutchmen though, Professor Holmes returned to Hope in 1975.

Professor Holmes' experiences in the public sector and his interest in American foreign policy and international relations were instrumental in creating his Mood/Interest Theory of American Foreign Policy. He has recently written a follow up to Mood/Interest Theory called Ambivalent America: Cyclical Interactions with Trends. Not only is Professor Holmes an excellent theorist, he has also co-authored a national government textbook American Government: Essentials & Perspectives as well as many other articles and journals. He has been heavily involved in the Hope College community, especially as faculty advisor to Model United Nations and to the Hope Republicans. Professor Holmes has also served as a political consultant and has been very involved with the Michigan Republican party.

Professor Holmes grew up in Colorado and returns each summer. As an avid outdoorsman he spends the summer months on his mountain ranch researching, writing, backpacking, fishing, and even teaching a course on wilderness politics.

Today, April 27, 2015, we recognize Professor Holmes for all of his tireless work and commitment to political science and to Hope College. I want to thank Professor Holmes for his service to Hope College, to Michigan, and to this country."
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
>>>Email him at 

Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson

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