Dr. Jennifer Sasser, human sciences chair and gerontology program director, is one of several experts who will lead Oregon Humanities' Talking About Dying Series starting in September 2015.
Velda Metelmann, 91, proved no one is "too old" for school, earning a master's degree in interdisciplinary studies from Marylhurst University in June 2014.
Excerpt from an article published on OregonLive.com, June 14, 2014.
Velda Metelmann was a college sophomore for 67 years.
Born in Milton (now Milton-Freewater) in 1922, Metelmann is 91 and will receive her master's degree in interdisciplinary studies from Marylhurst University on Saturday, June 14.
But she wasn't always a good student. After high school, Metelmann attended Oregon State University to study secretarial sciences, only to drop out during her sophomore year.
"Nothing was expected of me except to get married," Metelmann said.
Her second husband, Christoph, was incredibly supportive, Metelmann said.
He encouraged her to return to school, and in 2009, she did. She began studying gerontology, the study of aging, at Marylhurst University.
Due to her age, she thought she'd be a natural in the subject, she said.
"But the people in gerontology were all young; they didn't know anything about old age," she said. "It would help gerontology a lot for old people to contribute. Like really old people."
Metelmann tired of studying the elderly, so she switched to liberal arts. In that field, she took classes in literature, algebra, art and more.
Metelmann said she would recommend all old people (she prefers the term "old people" to euphemisms) return to school.
"Things change," she said, "and I think lifelong learning is really an important part of having a great old age."