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Polytechnic campus welcomes older 'students'

January 17, 2007

Adults who are interested in returning to school without the hassle of tests, homework or grades are invited to a lecture series at the Polytechnic campus sponsored by the ASU Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Tailored for learners over age 50, the free lectures are given by professors and professionals on topics such as the future of the airline industry. Free of charge and held at ASU's Polytechnic campus in southeast Mesa, the lecture series also offers students a chance to meet a local author and a historian of the West.

“Through the lectures, we hope to familiarize East Valley senior adults with the institute and the Polytechnic campus,” says Lois Lorenz, ASU program coordinator of the lecture series and the institute.

The remaining lectures for the spring semester include:

• “Ready for Takeoff: An Overview of the U.S. Airline Industry,” from 10 a.m. to noon, Jan. 19, in the Simulator (SIM) Building, presented by Mary Niemczyk, an ASU assistant professor of aeronautical technology management.

• “Meet the Author of ‘Porch Stories,' Jewell Parker Rhodes,” from 10 a.m. to noon, Feb. 19, in the Cooley Ballroom A, presented by Jewell Parker Rhodes, ASU Piper Endowed Chair and artistic director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.

• “Cowboys and Cow Towns,” from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., March 29, in the Union Annex Building, Fireside Lounge, presented by Laurence E. Gesell, an ASU professor of aeronautical management technology.

The California-based Osher Foundation supports more than 60 Osher Institutes at universities across the United States. ASU Osher Lifelong Learning Institute sees the lecture series as a springboard for future programming and plans to develop a program for senior adults in the East Valley.

“With Baby Boomers nearing retirement age, the older population in our state is growing rapidly,” Lorenz says. “ASU wishes to meet the ongoing educational interests and needs of this group of individuals. This spring we want to continue what was started with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute last spring in the East Valley, with the hopes of expanding our offerings in future months.”

For more information about the series, or to reserve a seat, contact Lois Lorenz at (480) 727-1153 or (