This letter is an appreciation of the life and work of Hudson resident Iris Gold, who is leaving Hudson after many years to live with her daughter in Virginia.

Twelve years ago Iris created the S.A.G.E. program, a lifelong learning program for seniors. Building on her career of providing educational services for seniors at Cuyahoga Community College where she created the program that eventually became the Encore program, Iris envisioned a new program based on classes and fellowship.

Under Iris’s direction, S.A.G.E ("Stimulation, Adventure, Growth, and Education,") quickly became a lifelong learning program like no other in the area, with three "terms" each year dedicated to a wide variety of courses. The program’s faculty includes university and college professors, career teachers, and professionals from a variety of disciplines. Some members offer courses based on their life and work experiences and expertise.

Students range in age from the late-50s well into their retirement years, but the age range seems to disappear as the almost 200 members of the program continually discover common interests and become connected through course participation and lively conversations around the lunch tables.

Hudson will be a lesser place when Iris leaves for her new home, but she leaves behind a thriving, engaging program that – in spite of the problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic – remains a vital part of its participants’ lives and which always welcomes new participants.

Those who know Iris wish her all the best as she begins this new chapter in her long and event-filled life. The seniors who have participated and benefitted from the unique learning program Iris created and from their personal interactions with this extraordinary woman will never forget her. They will remember this Hudson treasure with gratitude.

Samuel Barnett, Member of the SAGE Community