Editor’s Note: As admitted students discern whether HDS is right for them, it can be helpful to hear why current students decided to come here! Please enjoy this short piece by Sally Hammel, a second–career MDiv student planning to work in hospital or hospice chaplaincy.
Post by: Sally Hammel, MDiv ‘21
When I meet people and I tell them I’m at Harvard Divinity School, they politely ask how I decided to come here. The question always surprises me—until I remember that I’m sixty-one years old, so not your typical graduate student.
I am an almost native New Yorker, having lived my whole adult life on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Employed by the same company for about thirty years, I’ve had a robust career in advertising. While I enjoyed the benefits of my demanding career, I wanted more balance in my life and found myself signing up for various retreats, workshops, and online courses to help fill a spiritual need. In 2014, I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma—breast cancer. Following treatment, I took a thirty-day sabbatical and walked the Camino de Santiago, a 500 mile walk across Spain. During this trip, I connected with many other seekers, and realized I really wanted to explore and grow my spiritual connection.Continue reading