July 4, 2019
When Age is Just a Number
Hazelton Place Retirement Residence is proud to congratulate our resident, Lou Hollander, on completing his bachelor’s degree with Majors in History and Political Science from the University of Toronto. He is believed to be the oldest University of Toronto graduate in 2019 at the age of 84. After a successful career in Business, Lou decided to go back to school and in 1995 he enrolled at the University of Toronto to pursue yet another degree.
Lou’s early career started with a factory cleaning job after which he moved on to research and then administration and the commercial side of the business. Lou received his first university degree in Chemical Engineering from McGill University in 1956. After working for a few years and saving money, he enrolled at Western University and successfully completed Master of Business Administration Degree in 1959. While initially being successful in the Chemical Engineering field, Lou’s interest was neither chemistry nor engineering, his whole life was in numbers, as he has always loved mathematics.
Lou’s decision to pursue a B.A. degree was largely influenced by the desire to step away from numbers, analysis and business. He was determined to gain a new perspective on the world. Nevertheless, his decision to combine courses in History and Political Science can, in fact, be called a strategic move. According to Lou, such combination gave him the ability to explore the world around us and materials on a much deeper and more advanced level.
During his studies, Lou travelled around the globe to explore continents and countries he was studying. Thus, he spent a month in China, three weeks in India, as well as visiting different places in Western Europe. While not related to his areas of study, subjects of interest for Lou also included courses in Astronomy, Sociology and Philosophy.
While Lou’s family may use him as a role model for his grandchildren, he does not believe himself to be one: “Some people believe that being older means being smarter, I do not agree with that at all. In fact, people get stuck because they think that being older, so they know everything. Actually, by doing so, they are showing the opposite.”
Lou’s ability to get along with his classmates, who were the age of his grandchildren, comes from his easy-going personality and outstanding listening skills. He enjoys going out for lunch or grabbing a cup of tea with his fellow classmates and with his grandchildren: “I do a lot of listening and I never talk down to them. I think this is why I get along with them so well”.
The most rewarding moments of his recent University education for Lou have been going to school, walking down the street from Hazelton Place, being in the midst of the buildings, the architecture, lecture halls, and enjoying chats in the University cafeterias.
Lou is looking forward to continuing his studies in the upcoming years. He is currently most interested in courses offered by the English Department. Lou’s passion for lifelong learning is a reminder for everyone that there is always room for working on yourself and challenging your perspectives. Lou’s story is both exciting and inspirational to residents and staff at Hazelton Place Retirement Residence.