LIFE@Elon adds an additional class session in response to growing demand
The lifelong learning initiative at Elon features weekly presentations from current and retired Elon faculty and staff, alums and other experts in the community.
This fall, you can walk in the footsteps of Daniel Boone, experience the heights of Mt. Everest, get the view from behind the camera in Hollywood and hear the sounds of a powwow, all through the LIFE@Elon program.
The lifelong learning program designed for people 50 and older is starting its sixth year this week, and rising demand for the classes that cover a broad range of topics has prompted the creation of a fourth class of students.
There's still space in the newly added class, which meets Wednesdays from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and starts this week on Sept. 14, said Kathryn Bennett, program coordinator for LIFE@Elon. Members pay a $125 yearlong membership fee that includes enrollment in 24 sessions, convenient parking on class days, borrowing privileges at Elon's Belk Library and discounted tickets to many events on campus.
"Each week is a freestanding class," she said. "Some members have been with us from the very beginning, they like to say they are in 'graduate school' now, since they are in starting their sixth year. Lifelong learning is fun because it is free from the stress of homework and tests we remember from school, but the benefits to the mind and spirit are so important as people age."
Bennett said LIFE@Elon also attracts people from areas outside of Alamance County — Hillsborough, Durham, Raleigh, Greensboro. "Our members not only enjoy the classes each week, but also the connection it gives them to all that is happening on a university campus," she said.
LIFE@Elon Curriculum Committee volunteers are involved in picking the topics for each semester, from ideas generated by class members, which helps create a dynamic lineup of sessions each year.
Among those programs this fall — "From Burlington to Hollywood: A Firsthand Experience" by Dean and Starr Jones, brothers originally from Alamance County who have succeeded as makeup artists and filmmakers. Shane Jones '89 will lead the session, "High-Altitude Mountain Climbing: Experiencing the 2014 Mt. Everest Catastrophe," while History Professor Clyde Ellis will offer, "This is a Good Way, Get Up and Dance: The History of Powwow Culture in American Indian Communities."
Looking ahead, Bennett said that LIFE@Elon is exploring the addition of more in-depth classes that explore the same topics from week to week to supplement the current format. "There are other types of class offerings we may add eventually, our volunteer members on our Executive Board are exploring the possibilities."