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Lifetime learners: seasoned seniors stay young by staying in school.

Variety is certainly the spice that seasons the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Senior Academy. "There is hardly a field of study that can't be found among our members," says Dr. Jerry Meketon, director of the USF Sarasota-Manatee Senior Academy.

Not only is Meketon the director, but he also teaches regularly. Not surprising when you see his pedigree: bachelor's and master's from Temple University, Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky, a master's in public health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and a B.F.A. from Ringling School of Art Design. This guy clearly loves learning.

And lifetime learning in a university setting is what the Senior Academy is all about.

The USF Sarasota-Manatee Senior Academy is an affiliate of the Elderhostel Institute Network, a voluntary association of Lifelong Learning Institutes funded by Elderhostel Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities for older adults.

Reasonably priced, the courses include a variety of topics taught by academy members. Subjects include creative writing, constitutional law, history (American and otherwise), computers, navigating on eBay, government, opera, the arts, anthropology and many more. You have to be at least 50 years young to sign up.

Last spring, on the 122nd anniversary of the fictional battle at Reichenbach Falls, author Arthur Conan Doyle's effort to end the Sherlock Holmes saga, the academy featured "An Evening with Sherlock Holmes." It included an illustrated lecture by Dr. Arthur Liebman, teacher of mystery and detective fiction at New York University and author of the prize-winning book, The Biographical Sherlock Holmes. Liebman presented an evening of photos, wit and music. Rare slides, accompanied by silent movie music performed by concert pianist Joyce Ann Liebman, showed the world of Holmes, Dr. Watson, Moriarty and Doyle.

Past and current Senior Academy instructors include former college professors, authors, artists, composers, journalists, lawyers, concert pianists and historians. Many have degrees from such prestigious institutions as Columbia University, New York University, Yale, Northwestern University and Harvard.

The USF Sarasota-Manatee Senior Academy is looking forward to the new campus opening. "In the early days, space was not a concern," says Meketon. "But now we field almost as many courses per year as a small college, and space has become critical.

"Our move to the new campus will largely solve the space issues. But more importantly, it will allow us more interaction with faculty and students. There will be more opportunities for USF faculty and academy members to share their teaching within the university and the community at large."

For more information on Senior Academy membership and class schedules, visit the Web site at

By SANDRA HICE, USF Sarasota-Manatee Staff

RELATED ARTICLE: Just the facts, please.



* Bringing the prestige of a nationally ranked research university to our backyard as a regional campus of the University of South Florida, providing affordable education and small classrooms.


* Conveniently located on 140 acres at U.S. 41 north of University Parkway (next to Ringling Museum of Art and Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport).

* Students: community college grads pursuing bachelor's degree, bachelor's grads pursuing graduate degrees, or others seeking post-baccalaureate and professional certification: median age 28 years: 65% of Manatee Community College grads attend USF.

* 35 degree programs + 4 certificate programs = 39 academic programs.

* More than 10,000 alumni in Sarasota-Manatee area

* 500 Graduates each year

* Brunch on the Bay every fall

* USF Week every spring and fall


Adult Education, Business Administration, Criminal Justice Administration, Educational Leadership, Elementary Education with Concentration in Curriculum, Elementary Education with Concentration in Language Arts, Engineering**. Library & Information Science, Reading Education. Rehabilitation Counseling, Special Education, and Social Work.


Hotel Management, Leadership in Developing Human Resources, Nursing Informatics and Restaurant Management.


Accounting, Criminology, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Engineering**, English & American Literature, Finance, General Business Administration, History, Hospitality Management, Information Systems and Decision Sciences, Information Technology. Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, International Business**, Management**, Marketing, Nursing. Professional and Technical Writing, Psychology, Social Work, Special Education, and Bachelor of Science in Applied Science with concentrations available in Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Development, General Business. Hospitality Management. Information Technology and Public Administration.

**These programs may require some course work on other USF System campuses.

5700 N. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota. FL 34243

"I invite you to explore our web site and find ways we can help you
prosper professionally and personally."
--Dr. Laurey Stryker, Campus CEO
COPYRIGHT 2005 Clubhouse Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Hice, Sandra
Publication:Sarasota Magazine
Date:Nov 1, 2005
Previous Article:Top 50 goal: the USF "System" includes our campuses.
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