By Harry Jacobson-Beyer–
As explained in part one of this series on the Continuing Studies Program at U of L one group of Continuing Studies students are adults 65 years of age and older. These senior students attend the university tuition free and are not interested in obtaining a degree. They attend classes for the challenge of learning something new.
In part two you met Don Stern and Al and Anita Golden. Today meet Betty Neurath and Callie McCrocklin.There are 53 senior adults enrolled in this program and 5 of them spoke to the Cardinal about their experiences at U of L and shared some of their life stories.
Betty Neurath, 71, grew up in Portland in Louisville’s west end. She attended Shawnee High School and the University of Louisville. After graduating college she worked as a medical technologist. Her husband, Sonny, also from Louisville, was a dentist and Betty worked in her husband’s dental practice part time.
Betty started auditing classes at U of L when she was 48 years old. Some senior friends of hers who were Continuing Studies students at U of L got her interested in the program. “I had a degree already and I just wanted to sit in on the classes. I didn’t want to take tests. I didn’t do the homework. I paid for classes just like regular students….I just enjoy going in and listening to the lecture.…I like these courses as much or more than anything I’ve ever done.” she told the Cardinal.
In college Betty majored in Medical Technology and had a lot of science classes. As a result her interest now is history. She has taken some classes several times under different professors. She explained that each professor emphasizes different aspects of the subject.
“The interesting thing is if you take a different professor teaching the same course you’ll have a completely different experience. I’ve taken Revolutionary war 3 times under 3 different professors and everyone of them has been different,” she said.
In addition to her history classes at U of L Betty attends lectures at the Filson Historical Society on 3rd Street in Louisville.
Like the other seniors interviewed Betty’s experiences with her fellow students has been positive and interesting. When asked about her experiences with her younger classmates she related how she came into class early one day and struck up a conversation with an undergrad who wanted to know if she was minoring in the subject. She told him she was auditing. He didn’t know what that meant and after telling him he couldn’t believe she wasn’t getting a grade. “He was there just to get his grade,” she said.
Betty has an interest in sports. When she was younger. She played volleyball, tennis, baseball and basketball. She and her husband also liked to hike, ride bicycles and sail. She doesn’t do these things anymore but she still works out with a trainer at the Louisville Tennis Club’s fitness center where she has been a member for 30 years. Betty gets her sports fix when she attends the U of L women’s basketball and volleyball games at the KFC Yum Center.On another occasion Betty was in McDonald’s and met a lady there who had been in one of her courses. The woman said to her “You know, I just really admired you for taking that course.”
In her spare time Betty volunteers at the Neighborhood House in Portland.
Callie McCrocklin, 82, heard about the Continuing Studies program from Al and Anita Goldin whom you met in part two.
Callie grew up in New Hampshire and attended Wheaton College where she received a BA in the Classics in 1952. She then attended a Business Administration program at Harvard/Radcliff where she received a Certificate of Completion (women were not eligible to receive advanced degrees in Business Administration at that time). In 1955 she graduated from the Wharton Graduate Division at the University of Pennsylvania and was in the first group of women to receive MBAs there.
Callie’s husband is a surgeon and grew up in Louisville. She met him while he was a resident at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. After residency and a stint with the Air Force at the Strategic Air Command Base in Thule, Greenland he returned to Kentucky and started a surgery practice at a small hospital in Carrolton, KY.
Because her husband needed a nurse Callie attended the Spalding College (now Spalding University) School of Nursing and graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and and then worked as his assistant. “I was like a nurse practitioner today,” she said.
She and her husband purchased a farm in Carrolton and Callie managed it while assisting her husband in his practice.
After they retired from medicine and sold their farm in the early ’90s, Callie and her husband moved to Louisville and started taking history classes at U of L. Her husband is no longer able to attend the university.
Callie also regularly attends lectures at the Filson Historical Society on 3rd Street in Louisville with Betty Neurath.
When asked about her younger classmates Callie said “It’s fun being there with the young people. People ask me why don’t I go to Veritas (a program for seniors run by Bellarmine University)? I say no because I like the whole atmosphere at U of L.”
During the course of her conversation with the Cardinal Callie mentioned that she reads the New Yorker on her iPad. She also has a computer and a cell phone. When asked about her use of technology she said, “I grew up with them (computers). I put the first computer system for industry in this town at Anaconda Aluminum, in their corporate office.”
In her spare time Callie does pilates, walks every day and she is writing an online cookbook.
This is the third installation in a four-part series on the continuing studies program.
Harry Jacobson-Beyer is a Continuing Studies student who qualifies for tuition remission. He can be reached at [email protected]