They met when they were 18 years old. Margie came to Duke from Richmond and Peg came from Raleigh. Both girls were an only child and encouraged to go to Duke by their fathers. Both earned academic scholarships to pursue their degrees.
The Girl from North Carolina
Peg grew up in Raleigh, a Hugh Morson High School graduate and daughter of a Duke graduate. Her dad often said, “There’s no way I am letting you go to Chapel Hill.” So she packed her bags and left for Durham. She moved into Aycock Dorm on the East Campus, the Duke Women’s College side of campus.
The Girl from Virginia
Margie grew up in Richmond, Virginia. Her father loved Duke football and thought this would be a great place for his daughter. With her scholarship, she too headed for Durham and moved into Aycock (now East Residence Hall). And the adventure began for Margie and her new friends.
The girl’s rooms were on the same corner of the hall. Eight girls were paired with an upperclassman and each was given a large white hair bow to wear for six weeks. The bow was to be worn at all times to help designate the new freshman class. Both Margie and Peg wrinkled their noses with the memory of this initiation period at Duke. Margie recently found the bow and many other keepsakes in her scrapbook at her daughter’s house. The two girls and their roommates remained in the same dorm for the next three and half years.
Margie majored in Accounting while Peg chose English. Most girls stayed on the East Campus with their classes but Margie was often on the West Campus with her accounting, finance and statistics classes. She also spent lots of her time working in the library. She said she actually spent more time reading than working. Shelving the books often stirred her curiosity and she found herself reading a chapter or two of each new book. Peg described Margie as “very, very smart.” With a smile, Margie thanked her for the compliment and said her Duke days kept her nose in the books. Her scholarship was tied to her academics so grades were very important. Not to say that they both didn’t have fun while they were there too!
The football program was important to Margie’s dad. Yes, it was football they both said, that was the big sporting event at Duke in 1954. If you wanted to go to a Duke basketball game, you simply headed over to Cameron and walked right in. No tents, no camping out, and no tickets. Asked if they ever pulled any pranks, one of them giggled and told her story. She said her 2nd floor room was directly above the front door. Late at night, when a couple came back to the dorm and the boy turned to the girl for a goodnight kiss, they sprinkled water on them from the window above.
Fast forward, sixty plus years and the two are together again. They both graduated from Duke, got married and moved to new states. Both moved multiple times across the eastern United States, had children and pursued their careers. The two lost touch after they left the East Campus.
That is until the day that Peg saw Margie Ford’s name on the Springmoor move-in report. As she recalls, “the name sounded very familiar. I remembered a girl name Margie dating a boy named Tom Ford.” With a little digging, she put it all together and realized Margie was in her small Duke FAC group (Freshman Advisory Council).
The two both went on to pursue Master’s Degrees. After a few years of teaching English in Rye, NY, Peg received another scholarship to pursue a Master’s degree in Guidance Counseling. Margie, for her 65th birthday, completed her Master’s Degree in Pastoral Care. Peg was the President of Aycock Dorm and now is the President of the Springmoor Residents’ Association. Margie, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate continues to pursue her educational interest.
With their fathers’ encouragement, the girls moved to Durham. With their children’s encouragement they moved to Springmoor. The two now live on the same wing, separated only by a floor. The two Duke grads have come full circle and are back together again.
Asked what is the best memory from Duke both girls say the “adventure” of being away from home was the highlight of their college days. Yes, they are both avid fans and even with grandchildren at the other ACC schools, they would never, “not in this lifetime” ever cheer for anyone but their Blue Devils. Continue reading →
Now that you have retired, what are you doing with all of your free time? The Administration for Community Living has declared this Older American Month and is asking the same question. They are challenging us to Age Out Loud: Are you taking charge? Are you striving for wellness? Are you focusing on your independence? Are you advocating for yourself and others?
We ask these questions to one of our newest residents, Jan Hagarty. She toured the Springmoor Community with her son and her daughter-in law. They live in the area and thought it would be a great place for her to really retire. Really, meaning better weather and closer to her family. The words, slowing down are not in her vocabulary.
Jan and her husband raised two boys in the Northern Virginia area. When their youngest was only five, they decided as a family that they should have a group project to help others. As a nurse, administrator, volunteer, mother and teacher, she describes herself more as a server than a taker. Teaching their boys this lesson was important to the Hagarty family.
Their youngest son, Kevin, suggested they become a foster family. He wanted one of his classmates to come and live with them. The idea was hatched and 21 children later; the family has been a strong advocate for foster parenting and adoption. Their seventh foster child, Marvin, came to them when he was only five days old. He was adopted into their family at age two.
When Jan and her husband decided to leave the hectic life-style and traffic congestion in the DC area, they moved to the mountains of West Virginia. Her husband was quick to say, “we are going to volunteer, we are going to be involved and we are going to make a difference in our new community.”
Jan has kept these lessons with her as she has made her move to Springmoor. She arrived in mid-March. Step One: get involved! She took the Springtimes activity book and signed up for every activity that she could. She tried the lectures, she tried the outings, she tried the exercise classes, and she tried the art classes. The list was long but she knew that if she didn’t step out, she would be sitting in her chair and reading all day.
Striving for Wellness
Reading all day sounds like fun but not to a great way to stay active and healthy. She volunteered to work in the library as another way to surround herself with books. She has joined the Springmoor tai chi class and the yoga class. These additions have been great for her joints and her movement. She is feeling better than ever before!
Focusing on Independence
Not only is she jumping in to activities on campus but she is also learning her way around the city of Raleigh. Starting with the surrounding neighborhoods, she has found a church, an abundance of grocery stores and many new places to eat and shop. She hopes involvement in the church will enable her to find volunteer jobs in the community. She wants to enjoy all that her new city has to offer. Continue reading →
“OLLI provides a challenge and stimulus to areas of knowledge and thinking, which stimulates my creativity, sparks long-forgotten areas of interest, and helps me discover new insights and thinking.” (OLLI member)
– The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload
– From Seeking Rights to Wielding Power: Women and the Supreme Court
– I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool: Author, Lee Smith
– History of Electricity – A Shocking Tale
– The Governors I Have Known
– Study Trip – Carolina Tiger Rescue
These are just a few of the many OLLI course offerings for Spring 2017.
In the Beginning
The continuing education program for older adults began at NC State in 1991. Originally named Encore, the classes began with a group of 653 participants. Today, the program has grown to over 1,500 active annual members. With 108 short courses, 56 lectures, 22 study trips and 218 volunteer instructors; it is a program that members say they participate in for the “joy of learning.”
With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, the need for intellectually challenging learning experiences will continue to increase. Bernard and Barbro Osher saw a need in the field of education to help this generation live a healthy and stimulating life style. Retirees with vast experiences need a way to stay engaged, share their backgrounds, help in the community and broaden their own education.
Beginning with an initial grant to the Fromm Institute, an educational and charitable foundation, the Oshers spent years researching possible ways to offer lifelong learning programs to seasoned adults. They wanted to offer opportunities for volunteer leadership, engage emeritus university faculty and offer exciting courses (without exams) in a college setting. Today the OLLI program is offered in all 50 states and the District of Columbia on 120 university campuses.
Members have been quoted as saying that they have “fallen in love with learning,” often signing up for more courses than time allows. Sharing life experiences and careers has brought new groups of friends together. Their intellectual and social horizons are being expanded with each class they take. Dr. Mary Bitterman, President of The Bernard Osher Foundation, says “older adults consider retirement not as the end of a boring or demanding job but as the opportunity to do more.”
She describes retirement as the “3rd age or midcourse” for adults 65+ years old. They are ready for a second or third career. This age group wants to be productively engaged and establish new patterns and a new network of friends as they step into retirement. Learning experiences and social facilitation are what make OLLI such and important resource for many in our community.
Not only do members take courses but they also volunteer in Wake County, teach classes, recruit new members and assist with administrative duties within the program. You will find NC State OLLI members at The Food Bank of Raleigh, Stop Hunger Now, A Note in the Pocket and other non-profit organizations throughout the city. Linda Denison, an active Springmoor participant, helps write the newsletter and volunteer her time at the Food Bank.
With only a $50 yearly membership fee, participants also have access to many of the NC State facilities and activities on campus. Jan Christensen, another active OLLI participant, enjoys the extra Wolfpack activities of campus theatre and sporting events. One OLLI member was quoted as saying that taking classes at The McKimmon Center proves to be quite an inspiring walk as he crosses the campus. Mixing with a college-aged crowd keeps him healthy, engaged, informed and optimistic. Privileges to the library system, discounts and the Corner Café and the Campus Cinema are available. Cultural events and the Stewart Theatre and the Thompson Theatre are also easily accessible to members. Free admission to non-revenue Wolfpack sporting events is also a wonderful perk.
Jan says that many of the courses fill-up even before the ink is dry on the semester brochures. She and fellow Springmoor neighbor, Dottie Davis, use their online registration each semester. The instructors, mostly Professors Emeritus from Meredith College, William-Peace University and NC State can be found leading the classes. Area authors, Lee Smith and Jim Clark can fill up a 150-seat classroom quickly.
Field trips accompany many of the offerings. Jim Clark’s latest class is scheduled for a four-night trip to Asheville to finish his Mountain Women by Mountain Men. Jan is taking a class now on Brazil. She has toured the country before and found this a great way to “see” it again! Continue reading →
If it’s Wednesday, everyone knows the Dining Services will be hosting “Appy Hour” later in the afternoon. This popular event happens in North Village at The Springs and South Village at The Willow Springs, our residents’ hospitality bars. Before dinner the two rooms will fill with friends and a toast to a birthday, a new grandchild or a putting green win. The laughter can be heard from around the corner and down the hall. Join us!
The Dining Services
Each Wednesday at 4:30 the Bartenders are on duty and the hot appetizers are being served. The menu can feature Mini Crab Cakes, Potato Skins, BBQ Meatballs, Chicken Tenders, Chicken Wings or a new weekly hors d’oeuvre from the Chef. The favorite is always our delicious melt-in-your-mouth Chicken Cordon Bleu Bites with a touch of ham and Swiss.
David, Dominick, Mitchell and Nate are our outstanding Bartenders. Wednesday is one of their busiest days of the week but they welcome residents every evening before dinner. The tables are painted with a board for chess or checkers and await a friendly competition between residents. The Bartenders keep the refreshment bowls filled with little nibbles and look forward to serving you with your favorite beverages.
Do you come to the Springs to watch sporting events? Do you come every week? What draws you here? The answers to all of these questions were the same, “We come for the conversation and for the camaraderie.” Seeing neighbors and friends is what draws them together. Asked if they watch sporting events together, everyone said with a laugh. “Oh, what sport is on now?” They all had to turn to see a television. This was only an afterthought to the fun times and good cheer shared with their neighbors. And of course, they all said, “We come for the food too!”
Beer and Wine Tastings are scheduled throughout the year. Saint Patrick’s Day brought a variety of green beers to the offerings. Beer from Neuse River, a local brewery, was sampled at a beer tasting event in the early spring. The brewery sent a representative to explain the brewing process and help us understand the differences in taste.
Every three months, the Dining Staff also hosts a Wine and Cheese Social. Foods and beverages for tasting are chosen depending on the season. Pairing the selections of wine and cheese is always the highlight of the event. The staff is helpful in explaining the tastes that work well together. They also offer wines that can be purchased during the event. Continue reading →
Spring is in full bloom on the Springmoor campus. From the azaleas to the dogwoods, from the gardens to the hallways, from the orchids to the bunnies, from the tulips to the phlox: you will find magnificant spring colors everywhere.
The gardeners have tilled their soil and begun planting their vegetables. The skies are bright blue and the temperatures are warm with a light breeze. Welcome to spring in North Carolina! Join us for a tour of the community.
Around the Campus
Through the Hallways
“As a full-body workout is optimal for all over muscle-growth, puzzle building can be considered a full-brain workout. The brain is comprised of two sides, the left and right. The right side is responsible for emotions, creativity and intuitive thought, while the left side is the logical, orderly and systematic component.
When you build puzzles, both sides are forced to communicate and work together, thus increasing cognitive function. You also give your occipital lobe a workout, which is the part of the brain that matches colors and shapes. Exercising the entire brain in this manner helps ward off future cognitive decline.” -The Alternative Daily
Puzzle building also increases visual perception and coordination of muscles. Children start early with large-piece puzzles to help with motor skills and problem solving. As we get older, puzzles become more difficult with smaller pieces and more detailed photographs. Jigsaw puzzles are a great workout for our short-term memories. Recalling the shapes and pieces as you scan through your puzzle and then to the pile of pieces, deciding which piece to try next, helps build muscle memory.
Residents of Springmoor will also tell you the puzzle table is great way to meet new friends and catch up on today’s news. On almost every floor of the campus you will find at least one, if not two, puzzles in the works. There are groups that meet in the morning after exercise class and groups that gather around the tables after dinner. There are some groups that have trays and separate pieces by color or shape and some that spread everything out on an additional table. You will find often find someone’s pet nestled under the table too.
As residents gather for “just a few minutes” they find they can’t leave the table until they find “just one more piece.” Time together is the best part about puzzle making. Everyone feels a sense of accomplishment as the last piece is put in place. And afterwards, no one wants to take it apart! Several puzzles have been glued together, framed and are hanging above the tables.
Peggy Blackburn, Eunice Bland and Pat Gessner are often found at their corner table on the first floor. The 2000 piece puzzle they recently completed of Cinque Terre, Italy was even more fun when they discovered that Eunice’s daughter and her husband had visited one of the restaurants on the mountainside. The colors were vivid and the pieces were small making the completion even more exciting when it all came together.
Ann Curren not only works flat puzzles but 3-D puzzles as well. When Leah Willis, our Residents Life Director, spotted her new style, she quickly ordered some for an afternoon activities class. They were a huge hit! A new dimensional challenge is added to your problem solving skills when you attempt this style. Not only do you need to find the pieces that fit together but also you must build the puzzle from the base up. Continue reading →