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April 2, 2001

'Retired Professionals' academy gets ready for April 19 debut

By Eric Rangus


One of Emory’s most popular continuing education offerings, Senior University, is gaining a companion. The Academy for Retired Professionals debuts April 19 with seven weeks’ worth of classes aimed at adults whose last classroom experience may have been many years ago, but who are still interested in enriching their experiences.

“There is a real market for this,” said Director Mary Cobb Callahan. “Our Senior University is filled up, so we started a whole new program.”

The popular Senior University, which has been a staple of Emory’s continuing education program since 1979, is filled to its 350-person capacity. Prospective students have had to wait as long as two years for openings.

Because of this surging and sustained interest in continuing education, the new Emory Center for Lifelong Learning created the Academy for Retired Professionals. It will be a peer of the center’s other programs, including Senior University, Evening at Emory and Evening at Oxford.

Academy classes are generally associated with the humanities or the proper management of one’s golden years. Topics range from the ancient Middle East to Civil War-era Atlanta, from tai chi to practical traveling, to smart budgeting for retirement.

There is no set limit for class size beyond what classrooms will comfortably hold (about 20 students). Since registration began in early March, more than 50 students have signed up.

In all, the academy encompasses seven classes held every Thursday between April 19 and June 7. Students can sign up for one class at each time period 9:30 and 11 a.m.).

Academy memberships are $150 a year, and classes are open to anyone 50 and over. That $150 fee will cover four quarters of classes, each seven weeks long. An added perk is that members will receive a 50 percent discount on all Evening at Emory classes.

The Spring 2001 curriculum is, at 9:30 a.m.: Perils and Pleasures of Your Retirement Renaissance, Travel Smart, Maximize Your Retirement Dollars and Tai Chi Chuan.

At 11 a.m., classes include: Ancient Civilizations: Mummies and Monarchs, Red Clay Minuet: The Campaign for Atlanta in the Civil War and Big Band Jazz: A Unique Program.

Future planned offerings include elementary Spanish, yoga and classical music appreciation. All classes will be held in Building B at Emory West.

A diverse array of experts will serve as instructors. For example, Mike Armistead, vice president of retirement education for SunTrust Banks will lead the Maximize Your Retirement Dollars course, and William Scaife, author of The Campaign for Atlanta, will teach Red Clay Minuet.

Classes will resemble those of the lecture-focused Senior University, but the academy will consist of more study groups, Cobb Callahan said. “We try to make it intellectually stimulating,” she said. Like other continuing education courses, there are no tests or grades.

Applications are available on the Senior University website at and can be faxed to 404-727-6001 or mailed to the Academy of Retired Professionals (the address is on the application). Applications are also available in the academy office at Emory West.

The academy is part of a nationwide program called the Elderhostel Institute Network, which consists of more than 200 programs—most connected to colleges and universities—catering to the educational interests of retirement-age learners.

The Senior University has been part of the network for many years. The Emory program is one of six network affiliates in Georgia.


Back to Emory Report April 2, 2001