Jackson State University’s Seniors College program has exposed 70-year-old Ruthie Jackson to information about money management, computers and the history of Mississippi’s storied Delta region.
Jackson, who joined the program with a $10 membership fee in January, is among 96 was officially inducted into Seniors College on Thursday during a ceremony at the Mississippi e-Center.
Dr. Lucille Green, coordinator of Seniors College and an assistant professor in the School of Lifelong Learning, said the program’s purpose is to engage seniors in educational activities and keep them informed. The program is open to the community, but many of the participants have JSU ties, Green said.
“Some of these are retirees of JSU. Some of them are alumni and some are currently enrolled at JSU,” she said. “The induction ceremony is something special for them and we want them to know they are valuable.”
Jackson said her experience has been great, so far.
“We’ve had speakers to come in and help us out with money matters. We had a trip to the Delta that was very fascinating. Some people had never been there before. We saw cotton gins and the old farmhouses where sharecroppers used to live. We visited the Crossroads, where Robert Johnson was supposed to have sold his soul,” Jackson said.
The educational tour also covered the death of Emmitt Till, the origins of blues music and the contributions made by civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer.
Jackson said the computer lab was helpful because she learned how to create folders.
On June 26, a trip is planned for Memphis, Tenn., where the group will visit the National Civil Rights Museum.
Green said she plans activities at least twice a month for the seniors, many of whom have been recruited from community centers, including Johnnie Champion Center, Tougaloo Community Center, Greater Fairview Seniors Center and Cade Chapel Courtyard.