Alumni CLASnotes Fall 2002

Going Back to School

Knowledge Never Ends at the Institute for Learning in Retirement

At age 70, Joyce Bell has slowed down a bit but her mind has not. She exercises five days a week, has lunch every Friday with her friends and is planning a trip to Prague. Now the retired Gainesville resident--along with 250 other retired citizens--has decided to go back to school.

Through the new Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) at UF, retired citizens like Joyce can continue to sharpen their minds during their retirement years. Created by the Institute on Aging and the Oak Hammock retirement community, the ILR offers intellectual stimulation and networking opportunities for people who share an interest in learning. The institute is a non-profit, community-based organization run by retirement-age members.

Advisory council member, Ed Lyon, 70, is a retired UF faculty member from the College of Dentistry. "We are a great mass of information, all of us coming from different backgrounds," he says. "There are journalists, photographers, doctors, architects, mathematicians, English professors and even farmers."

Courses cover many subjects, including genealogy, art, music appreciation, history, computer use, philosophy and current events. Programs will be offered quarterly, with sessions ranging from four to six weeks. Membership is open to all older adults, regardless of previous academic achievement. The annual membership fee is $25 and includes early registration for courses, mailings and members only special events.

Joyce looks forward to her time spent at the ILR and says she would go everyday if she could. "It's a great crowd, a casual setting and a lot of listening and discussing," she says. "I've made a lot of friends and role models."

For more information, call Oak Hammock at (352) 271-8411 or visit its website at

--Morgan Lord

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