HISTORY

About LIFE at UCF

The Learning Institute For Elders at UCF began in 1991. LIFE at UCF is now a 501(c)3 organization in partnership with and hosted by the university. Members of this organization are 50 and older. They enjoy stimulating, non-credit, lifelong learning experiences on the UCF campus and occasionally in the local community. Talented faculty members from every UCF college and talented professionals from the local community share their knowledge and passions in weekly presentations to the membership on the UCF campus.

Members of LIFE at UCF also receive many other benefits that include a special parking decal, use of campus transportation buses, library privileges, reduced-price football tickets, free admission to other sporting events, and reduced musical and theatrical performance tickets. LIFE at UCF members themselves administer the organization’s dynamic, relevant, and enriching curriculum content. Not surprisingly, membership has grown from an original 50 members to almost 800 current members.

UCF provides administrative office space, meeting space for LIFE at UCF sessions in the UCF Student Union, and another important link to UCF, a faculty member who serves as a liaison. In turn, LIFE dedicates a significant portion of its excess operating funds to a program of annual awards provided to UCF colleges, faculty, students, and support personnel to enhance education at UCF.

To date, this senior learning organization has recognized the contributions of the University of Central Florida by awarding over $600,000.00 to those award recipients. Additionally, individual LIFE members often volunteer as research participants for faculty and graduate student research projects in departments across the university. This partnership has enriched the lives of many older adults in Central Florida and has, at the same time, provided models of successful aging and lifelong learning to the UCF community.

LIFE at UCF is managed by its Board of Directors, which is composed of 18 organization members elected for three-year terms. All members of this board are volunteers, as are the numerous committee members and special assistants who keep operations running smoothly. Management of operations by volunteers has kept membership dues to a minimum while also providing for significant financial awards to the UCF faculty, staff, and students. Clearly, this has been a mutually rewarding and highly successful partnership, membership in which has become highly valued in Central Florida.