Getting back into collegiate life is something many of today’s retirees are looking forward to in their retirement. Whether it is for continued learning or personal enrichment, many retirees are finding their way back to a college campus.
This desire for lifelong learning and personal development is playing a central role in the future plans of many retirees as they want to acquire new knowledge and skills, and plan to continue to do so in retirement. This is also a key factor in the search for a retirement community. More and more seniors want a place to retire that is active, intellectually stimulating, and intergenerational, all of which can be provided by a college or university campus.
Retirement communities are recognizing this desire, and are looking for ways to connect residents to institutions of higher learning. As of 2008, there were an estimated 22 communities linked to colleges or universities or near to them. Masonic Village at Dallas is no exception. Located a close proximity to the campus of Misericordia University, many residents are taking advantage of campus life and all that the university has to offer. With a walking path over to the university, many are finding their way to campus whether to use the library, fitness center, or just to enjoy the beautifully landscaped grounds.
Misericordia University provides residents with the opportunity to participate in various activities on campus, ranging from cultural to sporting events. Additionally, fitness programs offered at the Anderson Sports and Health Center is a nice complement to wellness programs offered onsite at the Masonic Village. Residents enjoy aerobics, racquetball, and swimming in the indoor pool, and through the partnership with the university, residents may receive a discounted rate for select activities.
In addition to fitness, many residents enjoy lifelong learning and continued education programs. Residents may choose from a broad array of non-credit classes and workshops, audit a liberal arts and sciences course, or utilize the campus’s state of the art, three floor, 37,000-square-foot library which houses an extensive collection of books, publications, archives and a computer lab. Each summer, the Road Scholar program provides a weeklong series of classes, entertainment, and fun. Additionally, Masonic Villages has invited university faculty to participate in their own Healthier Selves lecture series to address topics ranging from nutrition to dementia.
Masonic Village at Dallas has also coordinated with different departments on case study work for students. For instance, we are working with the Physical Therapy Department on a semester long program to be held at the village, providing one on one interaction between students and residents. Misericordia students have also taken advantage of both internship and job opportunities with the Masonic Village at Dallas and Irem Clubhouse.
Retirement communities continue to see the benefits of a university partnership and connection. These programs not only allow for residents to engage with other retirees with similar interests and goals, but with students and faculty. This intergenerational engagement can lead to many personal and physical benefits for the resident, and just allow for a mix of people who are interesting to be around.
- Angelo, J. M. (2008). Baby Boomers, Back to Campus. University Business , 61-64.
- Grunewald, W. (2014, March 13). How Baby Boomers Are Changing Retirement. Washingtonian.
- Wilson, L. B., Harlow-Rosentraub, K., Manning, T., Simson, S., & Steele, J. (2006-2007). Civic Engagement and Lifelong Learning. Generations , 90-94.