Learning for a Lifetime at Fairfield University's University College


A new year is filled with possibilities. And at Fairfield University, the choices for a lifetime of learning are many.

University College has designed a membership program for intellectually curious individuals over 50 that takes full advantage of the rich assortment of educational opportunities the university has to offer.

On Friday, Jan. 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the David J. Dolan House, University College will host an Open Registration Day for those interested in continued learning. Classes begin Jan. 16 and run through May. The membership fee is $222 per semester and a spouse's fee is $189.

The program brings like-minded people together through participation in broadly based monthly symposia and encourages the exploration of the world of arts and humanities through auditing a spectrum of university courses.

When Jim Biggs retired in 1999, he walked out of his office with a list of things he wanted to accomplish and made a decision to turn those possibilities into realities. His goal was to take control of the freedom retirement would bring and channel his formidable energy and curiosity into his many latent interests.

He and his wife decided to make a second home in Fairfield because, "We had it all right here," he said, and continued enthusiastically, "Fairfield University is a jewel for this area and, in addition to the lectures, symposia and cultural events, members of the University College program have the privilege of auditing one undergraduate course each semester."

The schedule for the Thursday afternoon "Lifetime Learning Spring Symposia" begins on Valentine's Day, February 14 with a behind-the-scenes-at-the-Westport-Country-Playhouse-lecture by Tazewell Thompson, artistic director of the Westport Country Playhouse. In the following months the symposia will feature, Bob Smith, author and Shakespearean expert, Ray Leoni with an illuminating history of the Black Hawk helicopter and cardiologist, Dr. Lisa Freed who will discuss women and heart disease.

The Symposia is only one of the program's benefits. In addition, a program membership includes:

  • Audit of one undergraduate course per semester
  • Fairfield University ID cards
  • Use of the Leslie C. Quick, Jr. Recreational Complex (additional fee applies)
  • Access to the DiMenna-Nyselius Library
  • Discounted tickets to Open VISIONS Forum and Quick Center performances
  • Access to the myriad lectures taking place on campus each semester - often free of charge

Biggs took his first course in American Studies in 1999 and has continued studying each semester with courses in History, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Film, Economics and Physics. He finds the "outstanding faculty, impressive" and he has also become a mentor.

With a wealth of educational opportunities in easy reach at University College, Biggs is certain to achieve his greatest wish, "Die young ... as late as possible."

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Posted on January 2, 2008

Vol. 40, No. 143