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Beacon Senior News

Connect with CMU

Jul 31, 2019 11:06AM ● By Melanie Wiseman

11 cool things for seniors to do on campus

Retired and looking for something to do? Perhaps you need a change of scenery. Why not get involved with activities at your local community college or university?

Research shows that interacting with younger people on college campuses has its benefits for older adults, especially those searching for active and intellectually stimulating environments.

With approximately 11,500 students and growing, Colorado Mesa University (CMU) and Western Colorado Community College (WCCC) provide plenty of intergenerational opportunities for seniors to enjoy.

“We see the community at athletic events, plays and musical concerts, but it’s a very focused audience that only comes as far as Moss Performing Arts Center and Saunders Field House.” said CMU President Tim Foster. “Everyone drives around the outside of campus, but few come inside.”

Foster hopes seniors take advantage of the amenities available to the community, such as Eureka! McConnell Science Museum and the new teaching hotel slated to be completed in spring 2020. He said students are eager to engage with the community more and more, and the interaction and exchanges are good for everyone.

“To interact with these students is uplifting and will turn you into an optimist,” he said.

Ways you can connect on campus

1) Go on a campus tour.

 Lead year-round by student ambassadors, you can schedule a tour online at or call 248-1875.

2) Check out a book from the library.

Book-lovers can use their Mesa County library card to check out up to five items from Tomlinson Library on the south end of the main campus. You can even reserve items in advance online. The library is an outstanding resource for print, ebooks and multimedia; a massive maps collection; special art collections; a huge children’s collection (bring the grandkids); group spaces; free computer use and community-friendly events including lectures, panel discussion and workshops.

3) Explore EUREKA! McConnell Science Museum.

Located in Confluence Hall on 1400 N. Seventh St., this museum is a great experience for the whole family. EUREKA! features over 100 interactive and educational hands-on exhibits that give kids and community members the satisfaction of learning about science from astronomy to zoology and everything in between. Daily admission is only $6 for adults age 55-75 and children age 4 and older. Adults older than 75 are free. For details, visit or call 254-1626.

4) Cheer on the Mavericks!

Support student-athletes at competitive sporting events, including football, volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, track and field, baseball, basketball and softball. An all-sport annual pass is just $150. Individual event tickets are $10 for adults, and $5 for adults age 60 and older.

5) Visit El Pomar Natatorium.

Located in the Hamilton Recreation Center, the natatorium is one of the premier aquatic facilities in the western U.S. complete with a 50-meter competition pool. The facility is open to the public. Individual monthly passes are $35; a family pass is $55. Swimming, diving, kayaking and scuba lessons are available, and the pool is available for rent to private groups.

6) See a performance.

Students put on professional music, dance or theatre performances that are open to the community throughout the year. Subscribe to the mailing list to see what’s coming up:

7) Take a walk around the beautiful grounds.

8) Dine on campus.

Grab a coffee at Jazzman’s Café or dinner from the dining hall while being immersed in the energy on campus.

9-11) Life-long-learners will love these opportunities for continuing education.

Golden Scholars program allows seniors age 60 and older to take almost any CMU course for just $25 per credit hour without the stress of a grade. Visit or call 248-1555.

Western Colorado Community College also offers adult non-credit continuing education classes such as Spanish, international cooking, playing the guitar and improving writing and computer skills. Visit or call 255-2800.

New Dimensions offers those age 50 and older the opportunity to enroll in a diverse selection of non-credit classes focused on academic and personal enrichment. Classes are taught by volunteers who are experts on topics from bird watching to local history. Sign up at