April 23, 2018

Centenary University Awarded Grant to Foster Intergenerational Connections
Council of Independent Colleges grant will fund programs linking college students with older adults.

Hackettstown, N.J., April 12, 2018—The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) has awarded a $13,000 grant to Centenary University to fund intergenerational programs that link college students with older adults in the community. Centenary was selected for the grant from a pool of more than 65 applicants, according to Richard Ekman, CIC president. Titled “Intergenerational Connections: Students Serving Older Adults,” the grant is funded with support from the AARP Foundation.

Last year, the University embarked on a Strategic Design Process that seeks to achieve six high-level results, positioning Centenary to respond to today’s fast-paced global marketplace. The CIC grant advances one of those goals to strengthen institutional and student-focused partnerships between Centenary and external organizations.

The intergenerational partnership project, which will begin during the 2018-2019 academic year, seeks to expand Centenary’s relationship with older adults in the area, who often visit the Hackettstown campus for cultural events. Under the direction of presidential spouse and university ambassador Lisa Baldwin, the latest initiative will extend that relationship by bringing older adults to campus for college classes, and sending faculty, administrators and students to local elder communities to lead book groups, discussions and other activities. Baldwin and Centenary University President David P. Haney visited a local elder community to gather ideas on the types of activities residents prefer.

“Seniors want engaging conversations about politics and current events,” Baldwin explained. “They want to start book groups and have our faculty come and speak. They want to sit in on classes. Through this grant, we’re creating community partnerships that open up our campus and our University. It brings us all closer together.”

Haney hailed the grant as important seed money that will enrich the lives of older adults and Centenary students. “This grant will allow us to jump-start important student-focused intergenerational initiatives,” Haney said. “Learning is a lifelong process. Centenary University can be a rich resource for older adults to continue to stretch their intellect and explore new interests.”

Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township. The Centenary University School of Professional Studies offers degree programs at two locations, Parsippany and Edison, as well as online and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.

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