Hope College student Sarah Ratliff and Postmaster Michael Story meet at the windmill that stands in front of the Holland, MI, Post Office.
When students arrive in Holland, MI, the Dutch heritage is evident by actual windmills, windmill replicas, and windmill symbols dotting the landscape. One windmill is particularly important, as it stands in front of the Holland, Michigan Post Office serving as a welcoming beacon to Hope College students.
The windmill out front was built 20 years ago by former Clerk Phil Williams. It is the most iconic symbol of their shared heritage that continues today and is maintained by a host of employees. Of course some of that history is preserved at the Holland Museum, a beautiful stately building located in the heart of downtown, which once served as the Holland Post Office.
The roots of Hope College are intricately linked with the history of Holland, growing from 10 students who enrolled in 1862 to more than 3,300 students today. It is ranked by Forbes as one of America’s Top Colleges .
“Ensuring every student gets all their mail requires coordination and communication with the college,” said Postmaster Michael Story. “Hope does a great job!”
Story explained with the students moving in and out so often, it is a constant challenge to keep up with where their mail needs to go. The mail is also an important connection to home. “It’s nice to see all the care packages that are shipped to the students,” said Story.
During the school year, approximately 2,000 to 3,000 pieces arrive each day for Hope College. “We definitely notice a spike in mail when the school year starts each fall and then a drop off when students go home for the holidays,” Story added.
Students also find a helping hand at the Holland, Michigan Post Office when it comes to completing passport applications in preparation for study abroad and receiving answers to mail forwarding questions as they graduate or move.