June 1, 2008

Return to University Life as a Senior

When Bruce Roberts, 70, a professor of psychology at St. Olaf College, in Northfield, Minn., retired in 2001, he and his wife, Jan, 69, had no intention of giving up a life devoted to education. Rather than taking off for warmer climates, they moved close to campus to Village on the Cannon, a condominium community affiliated with both St. Olaf and nearby Carlton College. "An active intellectual life is very important to us," says Bruce, who calls this stage of life "a second planting for teaching, writing, volunteering and traveling."

The couple attend cultural and sports events on both campuses, meet friends for $5 meals at student dining halls and browse the colleges' bookstores. They're members of the Cannon Valley Elder Collegium, a group of adults ages 55 and older who include many retired St. Olaf and Carlton professors. They take and teach classes held in spaces around town. Bruce teaches the psychology of retirement, and Jan is studying Irish short stories.