WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Midwestern State University held a grand opening on Friday for its new Lifelong Learning Center. The school is for students who are 50 and older.
The school was the vision of Dr. Suzanne Shipley, MSU president.
"What's appealing about a lifelong learning center is that it attracts a demographic that we want in Wichita Falls that we want to be happy in Wichita Falls and that's retired people," Dr. Shipley said. "When you go to towns that have this, they become a magnet for retirees."
Dr. Shipley said lifelong learning centers were inspired by salons during 18th century Europe where people would gather to learn and socialize with like-minded people.
Genevie Rattlif, who will attend the center, said she cannot wait for classes to start.
"I'm very much a people person," Ratliff said. "That's one thing I very much enjoy about teaching. It's the context and contact with teachers and other colleagues. A lot of people consider education finished after college or trade school or something like that and they think education is over."
There are 25 classes offered at the school. All the teachers are volunteers like Robert Roach. Roach will teach a class about beekeeping.
"Just because a person matures does not mean they lose their enthusiasm for learning and this new organization provides that opportunity for learning, for mature persons to learn more about the world and many, many subjects," Roach said. "Just take a look at their eyes of learning brings to everybody. It's a matter of providing conversation and providing a relationship with others. It's fascinating to continue to learn."
The center is inside a house, 2527 Hampstead Lane. It is across the new parking lot that is under construction.
Classes start on Thursday and take place every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.