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Staff Profile: Wilma Hart
Assistant to Student Life
and Coordinator of Volunteer Services

Before coming to Hope College, Wilma Hart worked at OAR Inc., a drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic, but after watching her children grow up and start their own families, she found herself wanting more.

“I had raised a large family,” Wilma says, reflecting back on her life before Hope. “My husband and I had been foster parents for pregnant teens as well. In the end, though, I missed the day-to-day interaction with young people.”

Now, as coordinator for Volunteer Services, Wilma is actively involved on a daily basis with the things she loves: service, family, faith and students. As passionate as she is about serving, she is continually amazed at how equally active and passionate Hope students are about it.

“At Hope, service is part of our mission statement. With all the activities that I work with, everything is student-led. We are here to advise and guide them as they serve.”

Dance Marathon, a fundraiser for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, is one event in which many students get involved. Student volunteers and student-leaders form the crux of the fundraiser.

“That is the purpose,” Wilma says, “for students to learn and to grow, to educate them in areas other than academics. It’s hands-on experience.”

Wilma also organizes Time to Serve, a community-wide service event early in the fall semester that gathers nearly 400 Hope students, many of them freshmen, who then venture out to 40-plus Holland-area organizations to serve.

“It is a great way to get students involved early on in the year and introduce them to the community.”

Wilma’s involvement in campus life doesn’t stop at these big events. She and her husband regularly attend and serve communion at the Gathering, Hope’s Sunday night worship service.

For Wilma, the faculty and the students who attend, the Gathering can feel a lot like spending time with a family of sorts.

“What a privilege. I see so many students at the service, many students whom I don’t know. It’s a family feel and it’s just an awe feeling to be a part of the faith outlook at Hope, worshipping together.”

So no matter where Wilma goes on campus, she finds herself making connections with students and faculty and serving on all different levels. For her, Hope is where family meets service, and as she continues to play an integral role in service at Hope, her student family blesses her back day after day.

“The students keep me motivated, and I think that I get to work with the cream of the crop. Working with them is the highlight of my job.”

This profile was written by Charlie A. Walter, a Hope College senior from Grand Rapids, Mich., for the 2010-11 Hope College Catalog.

Hope People - Learn about the experiences of some of the people connected with Hope College.