The day a 101-year-old member of Elder Quest ceased participation in the group’s activities was the day she died.
A little-known “lifelong learning” organization for senior students over 55, Elder Quest has been supporting UVU since 1992 as an integral part of UVU’s Community and Continuing Education Department. Not only has the self-sustaining organization with over 350 members offered peer-taught, non-credit classes exploring everything from opera to Civil War field studies, it also sponsored 18 scholarships for nontraditional students this past school year.
Elder Quest President, 66-year-old Provo native Rhoda Zobell, championed Elder Quest as a proponent of UVU’s well-known tagline: engage.
“What better way to be engaged with the people who live here?” Zobell said, noting Elder Quest’s involvement with the greater Orem community and the university’s propensity to focus on younger, more traditional students.
Zobell also mentioned Elder Quest’s focus on collaborative learning and its goal to gather students and teachers from the same pool, emphasizing that “you don’t have to have a degree in anything to teach.”
In addition to its semester-long classes, Elder Quest’s $35 annual membership fee also backs monthly current event luncheons and weekly classic movie viewings.
“After a week of scholarly activities, we have fun,” Zobell said regarding the weekly movie night. Elder Quest members are also planning a trip to view the musical, “Wicked.”
Furthermore, Elder Quest is gearing up for its annual scholarship seminar held this upcoming Tuesday, April 10 at the Provo Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.
The “Make Each Day Your Masterpiece” Annual Spring Seminar Scholarship Fundraiser, actualized in 2002, is preparing for 350 guests and will feature door prizes and speakers Michael McLean and LaVell Edwards sandwiched around a luncheon. Donors have promised to match all scholarship donations, despite scholarship funds tripling in the past two years.
“No donation is too small,” Zobell said.
Zobell described the activities offered by Elder Quest as new, exciting learning experiences for all members, regardless of one’s background or religious affiliation.
“I don’t know why people have to be at home and be bored,” Zobell said.