Lifetime learning and friendships

The Lifelong Learning Society at CNU celebrates 30th anniversary together

Christopher Newport University has many amazing things to offer. Not only does the school offer a lot for its students, but also for the people in the community. The LifeLong Learning Society (LLS) is a group of retirement-age residents around the area that are excited to be in a group enriching their lives in many different ways. There is so much that this group offers to them such as classes, intellectual advancement, trips, and simply meeting a bunch of new people. The group was founded in 1989 and has flourished ever since. They recently celebrated their 30th anniversary. 

If you have never seen the LLS on campus, then there is a reason. Yoder Barn is the home of the LLS. One may wonder, if they do not have representation on campus, then how do they advertise such a program? Word of mouth has helped grow the LLS from 54 to over 700. It is mostly run by volunteers who help keep the day-to-day activities running smoothly. The instructors range from current and former CNU professors, retirees from trades, and even some of the LifeLong Learners can teach a class or two! Professors are even expired to join LLS after retiring from CNU. Theodora Bostick retired in 2006 and decided to join LLS after a decade of teaching LLS classes.

Have I mentioned the field trips and friendships one can make at LLS? Bostick has had the opportunity to go to France as a LLS trip. Naturally not all trips are as far away as France. LLC takes trips to the Jefferson Lab, the Mariners’ Museum and NASA Langley Research Center. Or the trip can come to the them at Yoder Barn! The Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s Monday talks attract tons of LLS members. Some of the trips are offered extremely close to CNU. Or even at CNU! The student shows at the Ferguson Center for the Arts are always a big hit. 

An even bigger hit that is new at Yoder Barn is the “Ukulearners.” Instructor Mark Morgan introduced ukuleles over a trip with the LLS over the summer. It was a much bigger hit than he thought it would be. Soon it developed into a course. Over 50 LLS members signed up for the course and it eventually made its way into the Hampton Roads community. One of the “Ukulearners” asked her fellow members to play a concert for her neighbors and that was certainly their performance debut. They went on to perform at the 30th Anniversary Carnival.

The friendships made at LLS are deep. Members are coming together to gain more knowledge and to learn new hobbies. They form relationships based on a value: knowledge. When friendships are based on knowledge, the possibility of the growth of that friendship is endless.

~Caitlyn Bauske, Staff Writer~

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