Think of it as educational enrichment for a vibrant life.
The Stetson University Center at Celebration, in partnership with an advisory board of Celebration residents, is launching a new program: StetsonLifelong@Celebration.
“It’s an opportunity for people 50 and above to be in a learning environment with their peers,” said Dr. Emily Richardson, Stetson associate vice president for Boundless Learning.
“StetsonLifelong@Celebration members will be able to choose from 30 different classes, in a variety of subjects, each semester,”Richardson said. “But this is different from auditing a class. This is peer-led, with no tests and no books. It’s learning for the sake of learning, and it provides a social component, as well.”
An Open House will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, at the Stetson Center, 800 Celebration Ave., to meet the instructors and hear more about StetsonLifelong@Celebration. To receive a catalog of information on upcoming courses, call (321) 939-7600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
StetsonLifelong@Celebration is the brainchild of a group of Celebration residents exploring ways to stay healthy, active and independent as they grow older, said Mary Ann Kinser, a resident volunteer and StetsonLifelong Advisory Board member. Called Thriving in Place, the group identifies services people might need and facilitates enrichment activities such as concerts.
“Everything we’ve read and researched talks about the importance of lifelong learning,” Kinser said.
“Celebration was founded on the cornerstones of education, technology, health, sense of place and community,” she said. “This is an active community – we’re looking for stimulation and enrichment and other venues for deepening community.”
StetsonLifelong@Celebration promises that.
Members can choose from annual or per-semester memberships, with a discount for Celebration residents, Stetson alumni and additional family members. As an example, memberships for Celebration residents will be $185 a year.
That allows access to up to nine classes each semester. Designed with flexibility for active people, each class meets weekly (1 hour 15 minutes long) for three weeks, with fall sessions starting the weeks of Sept. 17, Oct. 8 and Oct. 29. Topics vary from genealogy and Spanish colonial shipwrecks to diabetes and Facebook to Shakespeare and the exit from Iraq and Afghanistan.
In addition to Richardson and Kinser, members of the Advisory Board are resident volunteers Paul Kinser, Mary Myers, Lyn and David Berelsman, Mary Orr, Cheryl Tschanz, Bill Newkirk and Laura Simpson; Celebration Foundation Executive Director Gloria Niec; Celebration Town Manager Pat Wasson; Celebrators President Dick Nathan; Florida Hospital Celebration Fitness Center instructor Alexis Saire; and Laura Poe of Celebration Town Hall.
“This is a perfect fit for Stetson,”Richardson said. “As the only higher education institution in Celebration, we believe it’s critical to serve the needs of the community. We already offer degree programs in business, counseling and education in Celebration, but this is our first program aimed at the community itself.”
“I hope everyone in Celebration and nearby areas will take advantage of this opportunity for intellectual discussion and interaction with other mature adults in a social environment,” she said. “It’s a great way to enrich your life!”