The idea that College Towns May Be the Best Places To Retire has been around for a while, but the benefits of having a University or college nearby just dawned on me.
Our Del Webb Active Adult Community is not technically in a college town, but for all practical purposes it is. Gainesville is home to Brenau University, North Georgia College and Lanier Technical School. Brenau University is only about 20-25 minutes away and North Georgia College and Lanier Tech even closer at 15 minute drive away from our community. The University of Georgia, the state’s largest University, is only 45 minutes away. I have gotten benefits from each one of these institution since moving here over two years ago.
Benefits I Received From Area Colleges and Universities
- Gainesville Theater Alliance is a nationally acclaimed collaboration between the University of North Georgia, Brenau University, Theater Professionals and the Northeast Georgia Community. Mary Ann and I went to see their production of “Crazy For You” and it was one of the most enjoyable plays we have ever seen. We have been back and have tickets to future plays as well. 97% of their season sold out. We have run into many Deaton Creekers and noticed retirees make up the large part of the audiences. Their tickets are reasonably price and there is plenty of close by parking.
- Entertainment – We just went to Pearce Auditorium on the beautiful campus of Brenau University to see the Young Irelanders perform song and dance. The Gainesville Arts Council has entertainment events there often.
- Community Events – Last weekend I participated in the Dempsey Dash 5K to raise scholarship funds in the name of a beloved dean. There were people of all ages and the community spirit was in full view. I plan on doing this one again next year.
- Fairs and Events I attended a fair at Brenau University recently and got a free massage. Their students studying massage therapy were giving them free to the public.
- Sporting Events – I signed up on georgiadogs.com for discount tickets for University of Georgia sport team tickets. I got one in Feb for the Lady Bulldogs championship basketball team tickets… for $1. Yes $1 to see a game. I have driven over for a UGA football game. They are so close by and if you are flexible on the dates, you can get some really cheap tickets as well.
- Museums – We went to the Northeast Georgia History Center at Brenau University. In Athens there is the The Georgia Museum of Natural History and The Georgia Museum of Art, both open to the public. More than one person has told me I should go to the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, a part of the University of Georgia. The Garden is 313 acres of Displays, Natural areas, and Conservation.
- Classes -Brenau University has The Center for Lifetime Study that provides opportunities for lifelong learning, leadership and cultural exploration to mature adults throughout northeast Georgia. This includes BULLI which offers a wide range of courses from each of four categories – academics, the arts, self-improvement and health and wellness. Several in our community take these classes in Gainesville and Braselton.
- I have been taking free on-line university courses that I found out about in my writing class here at VDC from FutureLearn.com. I would highly recommend the Mindfullness course. These are fun and no home work!
- Mentorships and Interns – I spoke with an official of Lanier Technical School about using one of their students to help me with my web sites and they put me in touch with their head of computer science department. There is also volunteer and charitable opportunities for retirees I found out.
- Lively Downtown – is probably due to the number of colleges and the university in Gainesville. College towns are fun.