Newsletter  Volume 1| Issue 7
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Kimberly Hawkins
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Letters to the Editor

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Support EUEC

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Upcoming Events

Click on the link below to register for the next Lunch Colloquium on Monday October 20 at 11:30 am.

November 3 Colloquium

Jeff Pennell of the Law School leads a session on Estate Planning on Wednesday, October 29 at 4:30 pm.  For more information, click here.  To sign up, click below.  (Note: this seminar is almost full!  If you are interested in attending, please register soon.)

Retirement Seminar

Atlanta Food Bank

Our Service Committee is sponsoring a collection of food for the Atlanta Food Bank.  When you come to the Luce Center, please bring food to donate.

Contact Other EUEC Members


Read the article about EUEC Member Travel in this newsletter. If you would like to  
find out about a travel destination, or find other EUEC members who would like to travel with you, send an email to:


If you would like to find other EUEC members interested in taking a MOOC together, an OLLI course together, or possibly teaching together in an OLLI course, click on the following link to send an email:

October 27, 2014

This newsletter is sent to members and friends of the Emory University Emeritus College (EUEC).  I hope the newsletter will help keep you informed about our activities and help you feel connected with our members throughout the U.S.  On the left are links to our website and links to contact either me or the EUEC office.

With best wishes,

Gray F. Crouse
Director, EUEC
In this Issue:
DirectorMessage from the Director

Continuing thanks go to EUEC member Jim Keller and to Sid Stein who once again have provided some valuable information for this Medicare open enrollment period. (See the article below.) Also, many of you have submitted your own findings and experiences, and all that has helped to make the healthcare transition much smoother than it otherwise would have been.


Our Lunch Colloquium series has been extremely interesting this semester, and next Monday I think we will again have a real treat, although in a very different field. Be sure to register--we have been close to our room capacity for our previous sessions and need to know how many extra chairs we will have to find!


I am delighted to have a report from one of our Bianchi Award winners, Gretchen Schulz, who describes how she used her award, and the prominent role EUEC played in her talks.   


I know by talking with many of you that we have a very active membership in terms of travel. I also think there is a great willingness to share that travel knowledge with others and I have set up an email listserv specifically for that purpose. If you would like information about a travel destination or would like to find travel companions, try it out!


There are also another article about computer security, information on Beckett project happenings, and comments on more member activities, as well as an additional request for OLLI teachers. Feedback on any content is welcome. Send email to me or to


I am very grateful to Herb Benario, Gretchen Schulz, and John Bugge for help with proofing and editing.  


HealthTopHealthcare Updates

Medicare Open Enrollment is from October 15 to December 7 this year.  There is much less for you to do during this period than in the transition from the Emory retiree plan to the private market.  However, you should not ignore this enrollment period.  Thanks again to EUEC member Jim Keller and to Sid Stein for their help in putting this information together!  There is an update below on choosing a Part D drug plan which you should be sure to read.

LCTopLunch Colloquium November 3
Meat Glue and Other Interesting Ingredients in our Meals

Jim Snyder, Director of Biostructural Research and Adjunct Professor, Chemistry

The Luce Center, Room 130 11:30-1:00

(Don't forget to bring food for the Atlanta Food Bank!)

TravelTopEUEC Member Travel

One thing I have discovered is that EUEC members travel--a lot! Even those of you who might not travel as much as you used to have logged a lot of miles in a lot of places. Also, some of you might be interested in finding travel partners. How might EUEC members with similar interests make contact?


Click here to read more below 




Gretchen Goes to Michigan

Gretchen Schulz reports on her trip to the annual conference of the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, which was partially funded by an EUEC Bianchi Award.  She also reports on her talks about EUEC both to the conference and to MSU faculty.


As I have said before, I don't think MOOCs will take the place of universities like Emory anytime soon, but I do think they represent a great educational opportunity for those seeking intellectual engagement. (MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. Click here for a more complete explanation, how EUEC members might want to use MOOCs, and one member's experience in taking MOOCs.)


Robert Lue was on campus last week and gave two seminars, both of which I attended. Among his many roles, he is Faculty Director of HarvardX, Harvard University's MOOC initiative, which is part of EdX. His second seminar was The Digital Evolution of the University, and described HarvardX and its plans. I also had dinner with Rob and so got a chance to talk about Harvard and MOOCs. Like its endowment, Harvard's commitment to HarvardX development is truly massive. They plan on developing 30 new courses each year and currently have a full-time staff of 50 and an additional 150 part-time staff who work on specific projects. That does not count the faculty involved in course development. Part of the development is on building an innovative infrastructure for MOOCs to allow a more sophisticated MOOC environment. It will certainly be interesting to see how HarvardX progresses.


 CSTop Computer Security

EUEC member Selden Deemer has information for those of you who use Google services about keeping your account secure.

Faculty Governance

Jim Keller is the voting representative of EUEC to both the Faculty Council and University Senate.  You can read short summaries of the latest meetings of each by clicking Council Concerns and Senate Summary.


Emory's OLLI program (the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Emory) remains very interested in recruiting faculty from EUEC to teach in its courses.  To encourage EUEC participation, we are offering EUEC-OLLI teaching fellowships.  For more information about OLLI and what teaching in OLLI is like, please click here.

BeckettTopThe Beckett Project 

We heard about the Beckett Project in our first Lunch Colloquium of the year, and in particular about the involvement of EUEC members in editing the letters of Samuel Beckett.  There are many events happening on and around the campus in the next few weeks.  Read below for information about those events.

Faculty Activities

Activities involving two of our members are described below--one taking place tonight and one tomorrow.  (Read about Gretchen Schulz's activities in a separate article.) Please send us information on more faculty activities!

Lunch Colloquium

Meat Glue and Other Interesting Ingredients in our Meals

The internet gives us all easy access to deep information, strong opinion, and, of course, utter nonsense as many voices take stands on every conceivable subject, including one of the ones we care most about, the food that graces our tables. But what's really in that food? Dr. Snyder's presentation will focus mostly on proteins, perhaps grains, and the claims and counterclaims about them. It may give us all something to chew on as we browse our browsers-and our supermarket aisles.

We couldn't hear about the chemistry of food from a more knowledgeable source. Indeed, we may have to have Jim back to talk about some of his many other areas of expertise, including organic synthesis, NMR spectroscopy, structural biology, molecular design and medicinal, computational, and organometallic chemistries.


Most recently, he has focused on agents to block cancers, viruses, stroke, inflammation and certain infectious diseases.  The work, much collaborative, has yielded nearly 300 publications and patents. He has served as a consultant or a Scientific Advisory Board member for Coca Cola and a number of biopharmaceutical companies including Atherogenics, Metastatix, Neurop, and AstraZeneca.

Brief Background: Jim Snyder has split his career between the university and the pharmaceutical industry both in the US (Yeshiva University, Searle Pharmaceutical, Merck Sharpe and Dohme, Emory University) and in Europe (University of Copenhagen, Institute of Research in Molecular Biology (IRBM, Rome, Italy)).  He co-invented lap-dissolve projection for classroom teaching, a forerunner of Microsoft's PowerPoint, and was awarded the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Fellowship. He has delivered many workshops on computational chemistry and molecular design and was one of the founders of the European Workshop in Drug Design that continues to be held in Siena, Italy.


Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Cornell University in 1965
Postdoctoral training, Universität Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany, under Hans Bestmann and at Columbia University, New York City, under Thomas Katz

Click here to return to top

HealthcontdHealthcare, cont'd

Open Enrollment

You can read a recent article in the New York Times about open enrollment in Medicare by clicking here.  Most people will want to keep the Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan in which they are currently enrolled.  Members should pay particular attention to the following:

1.  Individuals who switch from an Advantage Plan to a Medigap Plan may be subject to medical underwriting.


2.  During the enrollment period retirees should place much of their attention on the Part D drug plan asking the following questions:

  • Has the premium gone up? 
  • Is there now a deductible?
  • Are all your drugs covered, what tiers are they classified in, and how much will it cost for each tier?
  • Drug plans tend to change each year and the fact that your current drug plan is best for you now does not mean the same plan will be best for the same drugs next year!

3.  Members should not forget that they have to send in the One Exchange Recurring Medicare Part B Reimbursement Form and a copy of the Social Security Benefit Award Letter to obtain their monthly HRA for the 2015 year.


Choosing a Part D Drug Plan

Thought you might want to know my experience with One Exchange. I checked online (One Exchange site) and found the drug plan I want.  I called One Exchange and waited about 20 min for a person, who was a customer service rep and couldn't help and so I waited again for a "certified benefits advisor". She said it would take 20 min to fill out the application and listen to the stuff they are required to read me. While waiting for her, I filled out the application at the Silverscript web site in about 2 minutes (that's the plan I chose) and also indicated automatic deduction from my bank account for the premiums, a function One Exchange cannot even do! My conclusion, do NOT use One Exchange. (They also tried to tell me I couldn't do it directly with the drug plan provider, a clear falsehood. It turned out to be very simple).


Reply from Sid Stein: 

 I think retirees need to understand that they are free to select a drug plan without One Exchange (and that they will have many more choices if they don't use One Exchange). For those retirees drawing Social Security, the monthly premium is deducted from their monthly check; for those not currently drawing Social Security (under age 70) the deduction will come from their checking account. One Exchange is an optional, value-added service which many retirees will choose to rely on. All of our retirees over the age of 65 will need to have minimal contact with One Exchange if they want their $100 supplement from Emory; beyond that, they don't have to use One Exchange to select a Medigap plan, Medicare Advantage plan, or Part D plan.


One important point in Sid's reply above is that you don't have to restrict yourself to drug plans that One Exchange offers.  You can see a complete list of drug plans available to you by going to .  In order to get a list of drug plans that will be most useful to you, you will need to enter all of the drugs you currently take.  One factor that One Exchange uses in selecting the drug plans it offers has to do with the quality and reliability of the drug plans; if you choose a drug plan not offered by One Exchange, it would be prudent to look at the star rating of the drug plan, which is given (if it exists) in the listing of available drug plans for you.  Particularly if any of your drugs are expensive or not so common, this step can be very important in controlling the cost you will pay for your drugs. 


Emory Subsidy through One Exchange

As of this writing, the subsidy that Emory is providing through One Exchange is not working as had been expected.  That may change in the future, but at this point it appears that in many cases more than one subsidy check is being sent in some months.  That seems to happen when one submits a recurring monthly expense that is greater than $100.  $100 is paid the first month, and then at some point in the second month, the remainder of the first month's expense is paid, and then later in the month, the remainder of the $100 for that month is paid. 

TravelContdEUEC Member Travel, cont'd

Our members' travel experiences are so extensive, that if you were interested in taking a trip to almost any place in the U.S. or overseas, you could likely find useful travel information from other members. Would you have guessed that one of our members spent 10 weeks traveling in India and Myanmar last year, or 2 months in Vietnam and Laos the year before? Did you know that one of our members lives in Hawaii? Did you know that one of our members lives half of the year in Kenya? The problem is that there has been no way for members to access this information and make use of the world knowledge that exists within our membership.


Another issue that I have heard about from members is that they don't want to travel by themselves, but don't have a way of finding suitable travel companions (and don't want to make a post on Craigslist to find someone!).


I have created a listserv specifically for EUEC members to share information about travel: EUEC-Travel (send email to: You can send an email to that address and it will be sent to EUEC members. You might have a question about what sights to see in parts of the U.S. You might want to know about how best to tour Myanmar. You might want to know about members' experiences with various tour companies. You might want to see if there are members who would be interested in traveling with you to a certain destination, or to a mutually determined destination. All you have to do is send an email to this listserv and see what responses you get. All responses should be sent to the member who posts, and not to the list. That is one way of reducing email traffic to members who might not care, for example, about traveling to North Korea or Syria at present.


I hope members will find this listserv useful. For the past several years, my wife and I have talked about traveling to Hawaii-we haven't made it yet, but before we left, we would want to make use of our members' knowledge base in planning our trip!


CSContdComputer Security  by Selden Deemer


Secure Your Google Account


If you use Google services (Search, Gmail, Calendar, Drive, etc.) then you know that your Google ID and password are the key to everything. Signing in one time and being able to use multiple services is convenient, but if your account is ever compromised, you could be in a heap of trouble.


Google recently updated its User Setting and Security site with a thorough and easy to use "Secure Your Account" audit.  


Go to: and you should see the following:


Just click on the blue "Get Started" button to walk through the steps, and you may sleep better at night.


"Secure your account" will check your settings for all these things:    




Security on the web is your responsibility! Don't be surprised. Lots of companies offer security audits, but this is one of the easiest (and best) that I have used.


Do you have a question about computer security?


Selden has agreed to answer user questions, to the extent that he can, in his column.  Send questions, with a subject of "Security," to


Click here to return to top 



FacultyContdEUEC Faculty Activities

Pinter Fest

There are a number of events involving the works of Pinter.  Tonight, October 27, there is a staged reading of one of Pinter's plays directed by our own Brenda Bynum.  Brenda writes:

I saw Harold Pinter's MOONLIGHT in London at its premiere performance almost 20 years ago and have wanted to see it in Atlanta ever since.


As part of Theater Emory's Pinter Fest I am directing a staged reading of the play in the Black Box Theater Lab in Schwartz Center on October 27 at 7:00 PM . The performance is free and parking is free and convenient right next door in Fishburne Deck, which can be accessed from North Decatur Road between Clifton and Oxford Roads.


Please RSVP to insure seating as the theater is small:






Benario Lecture in Roman Studies




The Benario Lecture in Roman Studies was established through a generous donation by EUEC Member Herbert W. Benario, emeritus professor of Classics at Emory University. A world renonwed authority on Tacitus, Dr. Benario has published numerous books, including editions, translations and commentary on Tacitus, A Commentary on the Vita Hadriani in the Historia Augusta, and the Res Gestae of the Emperor Augustus.


 The annual Herbert W. Benario Lecture in Roman Studies will take place on Tuesday, October 28th at 7:30 pm in the reception hall of the Michael C. Carlos Museum. Dr. Victoria Pag√°n, University of Florida Research Professor in the Department of Classics at the University of Florida, will give a lecture entitled, Tacitus' Obituary of Augustus. This lecture is free and open to the public and a dessert reception will follow.


This talk will demonstrate Tacitus' potency as a source for Augustus by examining the obituary at Annals 1.9-10. First, we shall see that the Augustan center of power was susceptible to influence, not from individuals or even the Senate; rather, Augustus was subject to the chance circumstances in which he found himself and to the choices he made in the face of those unique circumstances. Tacitus' language also shows an awareness of change over time. Neither the Augustan regime nor attitudes toward it were static entities but the result of dynamic processes that continued long after his death. If we lend ourselves to the ironies of the passage, then we begin to see the importance of change over time and to recognize that centers of power are susceptible--that they are created and maintained by their vulnerabilities as much as by their exercise of sheer force or domination. Tacitus will be a lens through which we can examine the forces of chance, choice, and change on contemporary politics, and question the vulnerabilities to which we modern Americans are susceptible.  


The Beckett Project

New Volume of the Letters of Samuel Beckett debuts at Emory University

A Celebration of The Letters of Samuel Beckett: 1957-1965, published by Cambridge University Press, will be held on Wednesday, November 5 at Emory University with readings from Beckett's letters by renowned Irish actor Barry McGovern, and Atlanta actors Carolyn Cook, EUEC Member Brenda Bynum and Robert Shaw-Smith. Whatever is to Come will be presented in the Emerson Concert Hall of The Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, 1700 N. Decatur Rd., at 8 pm. Admission is free, seating is unreserved.




Gretchen Goes to Michigan

While I'm still feeling excited about the many pleasures of the annual conference of the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies (hosted this year by Michigan State University) from which I have just returned, I thought I'd write to tell you, my fellow Emeritus College members, a little bit about that conference. And I also wanted to encourage you to consider doing as I did to enable my attendance at the conference, that is, applying for one of the EUEC's Bianchi Awards to help cover the costs entailed by scholarly activity of this sort (and other less-than-massively-costly sorts specified in the Fellowships section of the EUEC website). I know many of us are still engaged with professional organizations with which we were engaged before our retirement--maybe much engaged, as I am with AIS. And without the access we used to have to University support, most of us have been paying out of our own pockets to present at conferences and otherwise stay involved in these organizations. It's great that we now have access to an Emeritus Excellence Fund that offers smaller grants for smaller projects than the major projects supported by the Heilbrun Fellowships. A big thank you is due to Gene Bianchi, whose generous bequest established this special fund, and to the friends and colleagues whose contributions in his honor have brought the fund to a level that allows for two of these wonderfully useful small-scale awards to be given each year. (If you're wondering, and I hope you are, the call for applications for the next set of awards will go out in the new year.)


FYI, the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies (formerly the Association for Integrative Studies) has long been the premiere professional organization devoted to interdisciplinarity and integrative work in the academy and beyond; US-based but increasingly international in membership, AIS promotes the exchange of ideas among scholars, teachers, administrators, and so-called stakeholders in the public realm about interdisciplinary/integrative theory, curriculum, pedagogy, research methodologies, and real-world applications. And, of course, it's the growing understanding that real-world applications of just this sort are so very necessary that accounts for the growing understanding that we educators need to prepare our students accordingly. Oxford College got involved in AIS as early as 1998, in conjunction with one of its periodic reviews of curriculum, and I and some of my Oxford colleagues have been attending and presenting at the annual conferences since then. In 2006, Oxford faculty joined with Emory faculty (especially Kevin Corrigan and others representing the ILA and its undergraduate counterpart) to host the annual conference. By 2008, I had been invited to join the Board, and Peter Wakefield, the then new director of Emory's undergraduate IDS programming, had been invited to write a chapter about Emory's long and storied history in interdisciplinary studies for a book that came out in 2009, The Politics of Interdisciplinarity. How ironic that the chapter, touting Emory's success in this area, was so soon followed by the evisceration of the ILA; it isn't only the Lord that works in mysterious ways. At least Emory's undergraduate IDS is still a viable program. The Oxford campus continues to seek ways to involve students in work that's interdisciplinary and integrative. And even in my retirement, I have continued to serve on the Board, and have also served as co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal, Issues in Interdisciplinary Studies, and contributing editor of the quarterly newsletter for several years now.


Because the annual AIS conferences always include a Board meeting (one of the two we have every year) I am obligated to attend. But, as I suggested at the start of this article, attendance is an obligation I am delighted to fulfill, given the pleasures of extended interaction with like-minded colleagues doing some of the most interesting and important work that's being done in academe (and often, now, in the real world, as well). I expected no less when the hosts at Michigan State University identified the theme of this fall's conference as "Interdisciplinary Public Problems, the Global Community, and Diversity." The call for proposals for the conference said pretty much what any interdisciplinarian would expect, pretty much what I expected, for sure:


The theme of the 2014 AIS conference . . . emerged from a growing consensus that public problems-problems affecting multiple groups and populations across cultures in a diverse, global community-require insights and tools from a variety of disciplines, perspectives, and practices. As scholars and teachers, we are members of both local and global communities with a mandate to explore the roots and potential solutions to public problems and to educate a generation that is capable of addressing them. To do this, we must interrogate, integrate, and expand existing knowledge by creating collaborative relationships among disciplines in the arts, humanities, and sciences and by adopting integrative modes of research, education, and learning, communication, and policy-making.


I set about preparing a couple of paper proposals (as is my wont). And (as is my wont) I proposed telling those who'd be attending what I thought they needed to hear, making it sound as if it would be just what the planning committee asked for, even if it wasn't. (Sound familiar?) First, I proposed a paper on Shakespeare. Given my conviction that many interdisciplinarians need to accord the humanities more respect than they typically do (as capable of being just as helpful with interdisciplinary approaches to "real-world problems" as disciplines in the social and natural sciences are) I often propose papers on Shakespeare (or other literary greats). When I noticed that the bullet list of possible topics included in the call for proposals made reference to "wicked problems," I just couldn't resist appropriating this buzziest of contemporary buzz phrases for my own uses. I called the paper I was proposing "'Something wicked this way comes': The Problem of Evil in Shakespeare's Plays." (You'll recognize the quotation from Macbeth.) And here is the abstract for the paper:


There is much talk today about "wicked problems," problems so complex they require interdisciplinary solutions. But, of course, such problems have been around for a long time, with our greatest artists among those attempting to deal with them, not least the problem that may be the "wickedest" of all, the problem of wickedness itself, the problem of evil. Shakespeare's greatest villains and the plays they inhabit address this problem, raising questions about the nature of human nature and suggesting answers from a variety of perspectives that deserve designation as "interdisciplinary." I will discuss how Shakespeare "anatomizes" the "hard hearts" of his villains in Richard III, Othello, Macbeth, and King Lear--positing (and portraying) causes (possible causes) for their behaviors that might well be labeled theological, psychological, sociological, and even biological (if we were to use the labels we use today when discussing the evil characters we find in our own midst-and in our own drama--Frank Underwood and his real-life counterparts anybody?).


The paper ended up as one of three in a session entitled "Art, Literature, and Interdisciplinarity" with a colleague of mine from Oxford, Spanish professor Helena Talaya-Manso, presenting on a travel-study course in which she and her students examined the work of Picasso and Dali (on their home sites) and a professor from an interdisciplinary program at St. John's University presenting on a photo project that took the students in her senior capstone course out into the streets of New York to exercise their "social imaginations." The session was very well attended and very well received.


I also proposed (and ended up presenting) a paper on Emory's Emeritus College. Since I myself have retired--and come to know so many fellow members of the EUEC--I've become more and more mindful of the extent to which lack of mindfulness is a problem. Those un-retired don't often think of us--and vice versa. But, of course, better communication could benefit us all. We've got a lot to share--by way of knowledge, experience, wisdom. And it's far from too late for us to learn from those still teaching, researching, etc., especially where newer subject matters and methodologies are concerned. This is true in our home institutions. And it's true in our professional associations, too. Not many make a point of reaching out to retirees (as they often do graduate students just beginning their careers). It's time for that to change, I think. And I thought a presentation on my experience--our experience--in EUEC in which programming has been developed to better integrate retirees into the University community might be a good way to get members of AIS to consider ways of better integrating retirees into that community, too. My paper was entitled "Better Late Than Never: Interdisciplinarity and the Emeritus College of Emory University." And here is the abstract of that paper:

The Emory University Emeritus College is a thriving organization of retired faculty and administrative staff established to advance the intellectual and creative interests of its members with programming providing continuing opportunities for all to enjoy such "life of the mind lived in community with colleagues" as they enjoyed before retirement--and then some. I say "and then some," for a recent study of the EUEC has yielded data tracing much of its success to the fact its programming allows for more interdisciplinary exchange than most of its members experienced when still working in what was (and still is) a very disciplinary institutional structure. Most were credentialed in disciplines and spent their whole careers in departments so designated, publishing and presenting in their often rather narrow areas of expertise, for other experts, of course. And most have therefore had little or no occasion for real conversation on serious subjects, much less real work, with people in other disciplines. The Emeritus College is changing all that. Twice a month members turn out for Luncheon Colloquia in which speakers from many disciplines (and inter-disciplines) address important topics and invite lively discussion. And several times a year, members may choose to sign up for interdisciplinary seminars in which they meet on a weekly basis to delve into topics of general interest. Members LOVE the interdisciplinary experience EUEC programming offers them--and appreciate interdisciplinarity itself in a way few did before--making them another voice in support of IDS in the academy (and beyond).


People were really interested in this presentation--and not only those old enough to be approaching retirement themselves. Most didn't even know whether their home institutions had some sort of retirement organization, much less what it might have to offer them or allow them to offer in their turn. And most left the presentation (and later conversations with me) determined to find out more. In the process, I hope they'll encourage their home institutions to support retired faculty who want to continue to make meaningful contributions to professional organizations with which they were involved before retirement (even new ones), perhaps by offering awards like the Bianchi Awards to help cover the costs of attending a conference now and then. That could be managed even without an organization like our Emeritus College. And that's just as well-because my conversations in Michigan left me more convinced than ever that there is no other organization out there quite like our Emeritus College. For that, as for the Bianchi Awards, we've got our founder, Gene Bianchi, to thank, for the EC is, itself, the greatest Bianchi Award of all, the grant every one of us gets to enjoy (without even submitting a proposal), the gift that allows us to "stay in school forever." Which is, as I've been heard to say before, "My idea of heaven, really."


ADDENDUM: Bianchi Award Enables a Twofer


I also wanted to report a happy circumstance--that the same Bianchi Award that supported my presentations at the AIS conference at Michigan State University also supported a presentation at the MSU College of Education--a presentation about our Emeritus College. When Gray Crouse, John Bugge, and I attended the AROHE conference in Minneapolis in mid-August (that is, the bi-annual conference of the Association of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education), we met Roger Baldwin, a Professor of Educational Administration in the College of Education at (you guessed it) Michigan State. His area of scholarly specialization is higher, adult, and lifelong education, and, of late, he's been doing a lot of work on retirement organizations, especially those that style themselves "emeritus colleges." He's been following Emory's success with this particular form of retirement organization, and has mentioned Emory (and quoted Emory representatives) in articles he's written for Inside Higher Education and the Chronicle of Higher Education. He was delighted to meet some of us face to face in Minneapolis--and still more delighted to hear one of us--me--was soon to visit MSU. He asked if I'd be willing to meet with some of his colleagues (and students) from the College of Education and assorted others with interest in retirement organizations during my time at the conference. And I said, 'Of course." After all, I enjoy talking about the EUEC to anyone who will listen--and (as explained above) I was already scheduled to do just that in one of my conference presentations.


We had a lively session with about a dozen in attendance, including (small world) Deb DeZure, a woman I first got to know through the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies (when I replaced her on the Board). She is now Assistant Provost for Faculty and Organizational Development at MSU and is, among other things, trying to expand and enhance what they're doing for their retirees. Like others there, she said she was impressed with what we're doing in the EUEC and could see ways some of our programming might be adapted to serve their own people and purposes. And Roger Baldwin said much the same thing in his thank-you note: "Thanks for meeting with us yesterday to explain the emeritus college concept and to share your many wonderful experiences as a member of Emory's EC. I think my MSU colleagues left the conversation with a much richer sense of what an emeritus college can be."


I appreciated the final paragraph in his thank-you note, as well--a heartfelt tribute to the ways emeritus colleges can serve their constituents and their institutions that I think you will appreciate right along with me:


At their best, I believe emeritus colleges can serve as "holding environments" or "bridge organizations" that help professionals rethink who they are and how they want to engage with the world following a long career in higher education. For many of us, work in a college or university provides a sense of meaning and purpose. Abruptly leaving our institution through retirement can be a shock to the system and leave a person wondering who he/she is and what of value he/she can do moving forward. I don't pretend that emeritus colleges are right for all academics, but they offer one means to work through a major life transition while also nurturing the spirit, building and sustaining community, and, ideally, offering fulfilling opportunities for service to one's institution.


Right on, Roger! And again, many thanks to Gene Bianchi and those who gifted me with one of the Bianchi Awards, making it possible for me to present at both the AIS conference hosted by MSU and at the MSU College of Education. A twofer for the price of one.


--Gretchen Schulz 


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