According to Bob Rickert, the residents of Monarch Landing have voracious appetites….for learning. Many of the residents of Monarch Landing are retired professionals who are seeking to broaden and expand the scope of their knowledge. "I didn't realize there was such a thirst for continuing education. I'm just blown away that people are still so hungry to develop their future learning," he said. Rickert, who is a resident of Monarch Landing, coordinates continued education programs for his community with North Central College.
Monarch Landing and North Central College have had a great relationship for years. "The first thing we worked on together was with North Central's Fine Arts Program," said Rickert. "Over the past four years, students from the college would come to Monarch Landing and present previews of their performances. Additionally, we purchase 250-300 tickets each year to attend performances on North Central campus. It's really a nice relationship."
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Rickert said that it is increasingly a priority for Monarch Landing to solidify connections throughout the Naperville community. Building on the foundation already established at North Central seemed natural.
Earlier this year, Monarch Landing launched its expert speaker series, hosting professors from North Central, speaking on a variety of topics.
A committee including Rickert identified the topics in which they were most interested, such as art, sports, travel, history and more. Thus far, Monarch Landing has had a three-part expert speaker series on Eastern Asia including history, religion and travel. Additional sessions will feature Chicago sports history, Islam in the Middle East, jazz and culture in America, and more. The first series which was held in March drew a huge audience. "We packed people in," said Rickert. "Turn out was excellent."
Rickert said that the greater Monarch Landing community supports the initiative in creative ways. Dining services held a Chinese New Year's celebration menu for the Asian series. In April, with a nod towards the Chicago sports history discussion, there will be a picnic with hot dogs, brats and other ball park fare. "We'll wear sports T-shirts," said Rickert.
The hope is to continue to build on the relationship between Monarch Landing and North Central College. "We're still in the first phase and looking into the future. We haven't finalized the vision. But we know we want to enrich the lives of North Central students and Monarch Landing residents," he said.
Monarch Landing is a senior living community on a scenic campus in Naperville, Illinois - named "one of America's best places to live and retire" by Modern Maturity. Monarch Landing is owned by Senior Care Development and managed by Life Care Services. For additional information, visit www.welcometomonarchlanding.com.