By: TERRI HOLDEN, HASP PAST PRESIDENT, JUNE 2015 TO JULY, 2017
Terri Holden is a HASP member and former President of HASP. She’s a retired nurse who now volunteers in the Hope College Nursing Department and offered this introduction to the HASP blog.
HASP: Hope Academy of Senior Professionals is a branch of Hope College for learning in retirement.
My experience in Holland began in 1972 when Bill and I found an ideal harbor in Lake Macatawa at Jesiek Brother’s, soon to become Eldean Shipyard. Our sailboat on a mooring was our weekend destination. I did not discover the town of Holland nor Hope College for many years until I was in graduate school studying for my master’s degree in nursing and needed to locate a resource with healthcare references. That is when I discovered the Van Wylen Library and Hope College! Writing papers, studying for exams and sailing became the weekend norm for me. In the winter of 1986 when a planned stay at Point West and some cross-country skiing was disrupted by the lack of snow an impromptu visit to Woodland Realtors resulted in our becoming Lake Macatawa home owners for a weekend destination and later when we retired and reprioritized our lives.
After I left Loyola University Medical Center, enjoying a career in ICU nursing, administration, and teaching I found the Nursing Department of Hope College and my “retirement priority” took place in the form of volunteer and mentor to sophomore nursing students in the nursing skills laboratory and lecturing on healthcare finance to the senior students. This will be my tenth year with the college!
Bill and I were fortunate to discover HASP when we took a walk into the Central Park area by the chapel one afternoon and met two HASP members, John and Mary Nonhof, who asked to share a bench we were sitting on at the fire dock on Lake Macatawa. Thanks to two inquisitive conversationalists and Hope grads we soon learned about HASP. A week later we found a copy of the HASP curriculum in our mailbox and an invitation to join John and Mary at a monthly meeting.
The rest is history . . .
We have been members for nine years and I can’t think of a better organization to stimulate one’s life, reprioritize it, meet interesting people who care about our community and desire to keep learning, and who contribute in so many ways. HASP serves its members well with multiple activities like Special Events, varied year round curriculums, activities at the college, stimulating monthly programs, and a strong peer-led leadership which will have its 30th year organizational celebration in 2018.
Bill and I enjoy taking classes, the heart of HASP and life long learning. We both participated in ushering for the Grand Rapids children’s concerts held each year in Holland and Zeeland. Bill has participated in leading two trips, one a Mississippi River Boat cruise and the other to the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL. I have had the privilege of being a member of the Science, Medicine, and Technology Committee, a Member at Large, Board of Directors, working with our HASP board and Executive Director on our official alignment with Hope College, and serving as President of HASP for two years (2015-2017). I can’t imagine a better way to spend your “new reprioritized time!!” Go HASP and Hope.