January 9, 2008



Adam Sundstrom, Senior Academy Coordinator, 896-5881
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — A new program by Montana State University Billings to engage adult learners in new ways will be unveiled Thursday at an event at the MSU Billings Downtown campus.


The MSU Billings Senior Academy is the latest program developed by the College of Professional Studies and Lifelong Learning. It will be formally introduced to the community at an event at MSU Billings Downtown Campus, 214 N. Broadway, from 5-6:30 p.m. The event is free and light hours d’oeuvres will be served. 


The new program for lifelong learning and personal growth will feature a variety of classes for adults age 55 and over, said CPSLL Dean Karen Heikel. The MSU Billings Senior Academy will fill a need for adults who want to fill their desires to never stop learning. 


“That age group is the fastest growing demographic in Billings and this is a group that wants continued learning opportunities,” Heikel said. “And we’re not talking about pinochle.”


A variety of academic courses are being developed that will provide mental stimulation, conversation and personal growth. One of those is “The Search for Meaning,” a class offered by Dr. Walter Gulick, a professor emeritus of Philosophy, Humanities and Religious Studies at MSU Billings.


A Fulbright scholar and published writer on subjects ranging from ethics to theology to mythology, Gulick will use his global experiences and scholarly background to facilitate philosophical discussions about what brings meaning to life and how life’s varied and rich experiences have an effect on that meaning.


Gulick plans to use works by author Dennis Ford, who has written “The Search for Meaning: A Short History” and “Sins of Omission: A Primer on Moral Indifference.” He said he also wants to have rich conversations with participants about their lives, their experience and their perspectives.


“It goes along with the title of the class,” he said. “We’ll interact with each other, talk about our varied life experiences and learn from each other. It’s all a part of community.”


 Gulick, along with others involved in the program, will attend the Thursday reception.


For more information about the MSU Billings Senior Academy, call Adam Sundstrom at 896-5881.