College of Humanities Partnering with Watermark

Friday, September 28, 2018

The UA’s College of Humanities is continuing to expand its community outreach in lifelong learning, with an agreement to deliver Humanities Seminars Program courses to residents of Watermark Retirement Communities.

The University of Arizona’s premier adult education series, the Humanities Seminars Program has enrolled more than 21,000 community members in 367 classes, in a wide range of subjects, taught by top UA professors.

“I am very excited about this new partnership with Watermark. Lifelong learning is a cornerstone of the humanities and the Humanities Seminars Program is a strong leader in its field,” says College of Humanities Dean Alain-Philippe Durand. “We’re grateful to Watermark for its willingness to join a public-private partnership that extends such quality programming directly to Watermark residents.”

Founded in 1984, HSP has expanded rapidly in recent years, which led to a partnership with the Town of Oro Valley starting in 2017 and continuing efforts to expand the program to more locations.

Now, the College of Humanities has forged an agreement with Watermark Retirement Communities to offer one or two classes each semester, starting in Fall 2019, at The Hacienda at the Canyon, a Watermark community under development at River Road and Sabino Canyon.

“This new collaboration with Watermark will allow us to have an east side venue to reach even more learners. It will also enable HSP and COH to tailor offerings specifically for the Watermark community,” says Malcolm Compitello, Director of HSP and a UA professor of Spanish.

HSP courses span a range of topics, from literature and film to astronomy and ecology, selected by the program’s board members. The courses at Watermark will be brand new seminars never taught before. Watermark residents will have priority registration, but the seminars offered at The Hacienda at the Canyon will be open to all.

“The Humanities Seminars Program is excited to be entering into a partnership with Watermark to offer to its residents and others the same engaging, stimulating and informative classes taught on campus by top U of A professors,” says Karen Junghans, HSP Board Chair. “These classes have become a staple in Tucson for those interested in continuing their pursuit of lifelong learning and the residents of Watermark have expressed just such an interest.”

Founded in Tucson in 1987 and still headquartered here, Watermark Retirement Communities currently manages 52 communities in 21 states. The Hacienda at the Canyon is one of Watermark’s flagship communities under development, opening late spring 2019. The 10.5-acre senior living campus will have lifestyle offerings of a destination health spa resort, including integrative wellness programs and a diverse schedule of programs and events.

“The Hacienda at the Canyon is honored to be partnering with the College of Humanities. Our two organizations are aligned in so many ways, especially around the mission of lifelong learning and healthy aging,” says Shannon Ruedlinger, Executive Director of The Hacienda at the Canyon. “We’ve heard so much about this series from our members and are anxiously awaiting the first lecture and the rich, diverse events to follow.”

Tammy Farris, Director of Strategic Innovation for Watermark Retirement Communities, says transformative programming like HSP courses support not only the physical and intellectual health of residents, but also their emotional and spiritual well-being.

“When I began meeting our new members of The Canyon, so many were enthusiastically sharing their love of the UA College of Humanities HSP courses. I knew it was something special and wanted to meet the folks behind this special community offering,” she says. “In fact, I was told that many of the seminars are full just hours after opening for registration. After meeting Dr. Durand and members of the board, I can see why. There is a volume of thought, consideration and planning that goes into this that creates a loyal following of repeat students, many of whom are members of The Canyon.”