Classes meet from 9 a.m. until noon Wednesdays and Fridays in four-quarter sessions. Most of the volunteer instructors are retired professors and professionals, with guest speakers on special topics such as health or police procedures providing additional insight.
“Some people have instructors they like so much, they take whatever they’re teaching,” said Bill Beeson, SUGA’s executive director, who added that students come from across the metro area to attend. “We thought we’d lose some people when we moved, but we actually picked up a little bit. Many people keep coming because they miss seeing everyone and want to stay in touch.”
Beeson’s wife, Gretchen Turner, likes the academic atmosphere.
“When I think of senior centers, I think of computers and yoga,” she said. “These classes are much more academic – but with no tests, no quizzes and very little outside work.”
Tucker resident Lyn Conley, a former president of the SUGA board, began attend six years after ago hearing positive comments about the programs from friends as well as her mother, who was a student for several years before she passed away.
“I wanted the mental stimulation,” she said. “I like that there’s such a wide variety of courses all the time. I enjoy current events and history, but I’d never taken an art class, and I did that here. And there’s a book club and day trips as well.”
Slavin became a SUGA regular after his initial visit. “It was love at first sight, and it was one of smartest decisions I’ve ever made,” said the retired banker.
“When you’re retired, you need to find important, worthwhile things to do that are not only educational but social as well. I’ve made very good friends there, and I love to teach there; the student body is very responsive and receptive,” he said. “There’s a lot of good interaction.”
SUGA tuition is $175 for an entire year. More information is online at su-ga.org.
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Each week we look at programs, projects and successful endeavors at area schools, from pre-K to grad school. To suggest a story, contact H.M. Cauley at email@example.com or 770-744-3042.