Video: Grandparents' U brings families to campus

Grandparents University, UW-Green BayFor some, it was their first college experience. For others, it was a homecoming of sorts. This year, 105 people from 47 families took part in Grandparents’ University.

More than a dozen of the grandparents graduated from UW-Green Bay, including Nancy DePrey.

“I thought it would be something very interesting that the girls and I could do together,” said DePrey (featured in the video; click here).

Back in 1970, DePrey was the first person to walk across the stage as a UW-Green Bay graduate. She came back to the University for Grandparents’ University. She enrolled in a nutrition course with her granddaughters Gwen and Maggie, who live in Minnesota.

“It’s a time to do something together because about four times a year we get together, so this is special,” DePrey said.

“I didn’t know what I was going to think at first but I like it,” said DePrey’s 12-year-old granddaughter Maggie Andersen.

Karen Lacey, the director of the dietetic program at UW-Green Bay, teaches the nutrition class.

“It’s a great way of bonding for the grandparent and the grandchild,” Lacey said. She added that seeing grandparents and grandchildren cooking together makes her feel right at home.

“I do that with my own grandchildren so to see it in the foods lab is really enjoyable for me,” Lacey said.

While the two-day summer camp is called Grandparents’ University, it could just as well be called Grandchildren’s University because of the focus on the kids.

“They get quality time with their grandparents; they get to experience our faculty; they get to live a college life in the dorm and eat college food and sleep on a college bed,” said Mona Christensen, the director of camps and conferences at UW-Green Bay.

While the grandparents and grandchildren make the camp happen, the classes couldn’t happen without the instructors.

“I think it’s a win-win for everybody,” said Information and Computing Science Prof. Bill Shay.

After a career that spanned 32 years at UW-Green Bay, Shay is now retired. His last official class was teaching grandparents and grandchildren how to create a family webpage as part of Grandparents’ University.

“It’s really the whole point of doing something together,” Shay said. “It doesn’t make any difference if it’s the computer thing or the nutrition session or the one with clay and modeling, it’s the fact that they’re doing something together. It’s a family activity and it’s kind of neat to see that.”

The camp wrapped up with a special graduation ceremony, where the families celebrated the program and each other.

The other classes and instructors this year were: Physics in the Real World (Prof. Heidi Fencl); Animals on the Wild Side (Thomas Erdman, Curator, Richter Museum of Natural History); How to Draw Cartoon Characters (Addie Sorbo, Lecturer); and Clay Creations (Dean Hoegger).

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Photos by Robert Hornacek, Marketing and University Communication