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Kim Paquette and Diane Ellsworth

From left to right: Kim Paquette and Diane Ellsworth

Senior alumni embrace new learning for life program

November 19, 2015 — 

The passion for on-going learning does not stop with youth. This was proven by the success of the University of Manitoba’s inaugural Seniors’ Alumni Learning for Life Program – a series of seven lectures exclusively for U of M alumni and friends aged 60-plus.

“I think as seniors it’s a way to continue to be connected,” says Kim Paquette.

Paquette has a number of Continuing Education certificates, including designations for human resources and applied counselling but is now retired.

“So for me, not being in the workforce, the social aspect as well as continuing to improve your knowledge and to learn were the highlights of the sessions. I think learning is really important,” says Paquette.

At the beginning of October the University of Manitoba launched the interactive and exciting new program for seniors. Covering a spectrum of topics ranging from the hidden history of our city to the water crisis on First Nations communities, the new series got Winnipeg seniors talking, learning and engaging with some of the best researchers in their fields.

The series presented opportunities for senior alumni to explore new ideas and share their love of learning. The final session of the season finished on November 19 with a talk from David Barber on climate change.

Retired nurse, Anne Baetsen graduated from St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. John New Brunswick. She moved to Manitoba and worked as a nurse in northern Manitoba, receiving specialized training from the U of M in the early 1980s.

“I found it was enlightening and gave me a chance to get out of the house,” says Baetsen. “I really enjoyed the program. I felt that it really opened my eyes with what’s out there, especially today with the environment and climate change.”

The program was in such high demand it sold out and required a waiting list. Scheduled for spring of 2016, the second instalment of the series promises to be equally stimulating and engaging.

Diane Ellsworth earned her Masters of educational psychology in 1992. “It was excellent,” she says. “It was thought provoking and it made me want to look for more information about the various topics and I look forward to coming.”

Stay tuned for registration and session details. For more information visit

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