A Hope College graduate who spent his career in service to the Reformed Church in America is being honored posthumously with the "Hope for Humanity Award" presented annually by the college's alumni H-Club.
Jon Mark Schoon, a 1963 Hope graduate who died at age 62 on May 17, 2003, as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident, will receive the recognition during the club's annual Homecoming luncheon.
The award, first presented in 1990, recognizes Hope athletic alumni for consistent service to others and demonstrating the values of Christian commitment and service. The H-Club consists of Hope alumni who were athletic letter winners and other honorary letter winners as approved by the H-Club's Board of Directors.
The luncheon will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15, in the auditorium of the college's Maas Center.
At the time of his death, Schoon was program director at the Geneva Camp and Retreat Center, where he had been employed since 1991, serving as a mentor to the many college-age men and women employed at the camp as counselors and staff members. He hired nearly 700 staff members, and more than 30,000 campers knew him as "Grandpa." The camp and center are affiliated with the RCA, the denomination with which Hope has also been affiliated since the college, chartered in 1866, was founded.
Prior to joining the staff at Geneva, Schoon had been an RCA pastor for 20 years. He was senior pastor of Church of the Living Christ in Fremont from 1980 to 1990;
senior pastor at Belltower Reformed Church in Ellsworth from 1977 to 1980; associate pastor at Calvary Reformed Church in Ripon, Calif., from 1972 to 1977; and youth pastor at Bethel Reformed Church in Bellflower, Calif., from 1970 to 1972. He had also been an assistant chaplain at Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam, Wis., from 1968 to 1970.
His church and community involvement included serving as a presenter during Reformed Marriage Encounter and Reformed Engaged Encounter with his wife of 37 years, Mary Kay, who survives him. He had also been a teacher for the Academy for Christian Growth at Christ Memorial Church in Holland. He pursued his ongoing interest in basketball not only through noon-time pick-up games at the college's Dow Center, but also through Gus Macker tournaments, the Senior Olympics and the Huntsman Senior Games.
Schoon graduated from Hope with a psychology major and emphasis in secondary education. In 1968, he completed a Bachelor of Divinity degree at Western Theological Seminary.
He participated in intercollegiate football, basketball and track while attending Hope. His involvement in the college after graduation included serving on the H-Club board of directors and his class reunion committee.
Schoon and Mary Kay, who is a member of the college's Class of 1966, had met in the summer of 1962 while both were working at Camp Geneva as students. All three of their children and children-in-law graduated from the college: JR and Michele Schoon of Ludington; Kathryn and Joel Schoon-Tanis of Holland; and Gretchen Schoon-Tanis and Phil Tanis of Holland.