Seniors can take courses for free, but don't get credit
James Kimmett started his 41st semester at the University of Colorado last week.
Call him a super senior.
The 80-year-old, who retired from the banking industry, has been attending classes on the Boulder campus for the past couple decades through the school's senior auditor program.
"I've taken almost every history class offered," said Kimmett, who drives down from Loveland on Tuesdays and Thursdays to sit in on a course focusing on modernism and mass culture.
The senior auditor program -- which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year -- is sponsored by CU's Alumni Association. Registration for the fall semester is set for 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday at the Koenig Alumni Center, 1202 University Ave. Free parking is available on a limited basis at the Koenig lot, which is on the southeast corner of Broadway and University Avenue.
While it's free for Colorado residents 55 and older to take the courses, the association charges a $25 fee to defray the administrative expenses.
In the fall, about 300 to 350 seniors typically enroll to audit courses, said Tori Peglar, of the Alumni Association. Annually, the program serves more than 600 seniors.
"The senior auditor program is a wonderful opportunity to be in the classroom with bright, young minds, engage in intellectually stimulating conversations and be taught by world-class professors," Peglar said. "There's an energy on campus that can't be found anywhere else and being part of that community, no matter what age you are, is inspiring."
Kimmett, who majored in American history while he was an undergraduate at CU, also has been taking sociology, political science and classics courses over the years.
He said he enjoys listening to the exchanges between students and professors.
"It really does keep one alert and alive," he said.
Anne Burke -- a retired magazine editor -- is auditing a course about Rome and Florence during the Renaissance alongside her husband, who is a retired attorney. Originally from the East Coast, they followed their kids to Boulder. Two of their children attended CU.
The course coincides nicely with a trip they'll be taking to Italy later this fall.
Burke said she enjoys the history courses the most. Her husband audits mostly science courses and has a favorite professor whose classes he always signs up to take.
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