Category Archives: Emeritus
By day, Konley Kelley is the director of corporate and community relations at Richland College Garland Campus, overseeing contract training in the north Dallas area and assisting with the development of grant projects for the local business community. But when it’s time for the suit and tie to come off, Kelley hits the skies. A long-time volunteer with the Commemorative Air Force B-29/B-24 Squadron, Kelley has served as the editor of “The Flyer” newsletter since 2012 and has been the squadron’s education officer since the title’s creation in late 2017.
Recently, work and play collided when Konley gave a presentation on the CAF as part of the Emeritus program’s Enrichment lecture series. Richland College’s Emeritus program offers a variety of affordable classes and programs to individuals over 50 who enjoy continued learning.
“Many of the Emeritus program members lived through World War II or have clear memories of their parents in the 1940s and ‘50s, who grew up as part of the Greatest Generation,” explained Kelley. “Many Emeritus participants are veterans and history buffs. I think my presentation helps them remember a time that seems distant for people my age—52—and younger, and it encompasses many of their cherished memories. With 18,000 B-24 Liberators built during World War II, some attendees had relatives who flew aboard these aircraft, while many others have fond memories of seeing the aircraft at airshows throughout the years.”
The CAF B-29/B-24 squadron is under the charter of the Commemorative Air Force, an organization dedicated to acquiring, restoring and preserving a complete collection of combat aircraft flown by all military services of the U.S., along with selected aircraft of other nations, for the education and enjoyment of present and future American generations, while also paying tribute to the thousands of men and women who built, serviced and flew them in defense of the U.S.
Kelley’s Emeritus presentation on Sept. 24 included an explanation of the CAF and upcoming plans for a CAF national airbase in Dallas, which will include an aviation museum and regularly hosted air shows. He also described his personal experiences with the organization, shared videos and told stories about veterans who have been able to ride in the B-29/B-24 squadron’s legendary planes for the first time since serving in World War II.
“I personally really enjoy being around these beautiful warbirds and learning the history of World War II,” said Kelley. “Through projects in the CAF and the newsletter, I am able to share the stories of the Greatest Generation and these remarkable aircraft with others and promote the mission of the Commemorative Air Force.”
This presentation was Kelley’s fifth Emeritus presentation. In addition to several general CAF presentations similar to this one, Kelley has also previously presented on the B-29 Superfortress “FIFI,” the B-24 Liberator “Diamond Lil” and American women in World War II. He has also participated in events for Richland College Veterans Services.
The CAF gives Kelley an outlet to explore another passion of his, scale and 3-D modeling. “I love the detail and craftsmanship involved in the modeling,” he explained. “Each model also represents the story of a person, moment or machine and most of my projects are associated with military history. Now with the CAF, I get to play with the 1:1 scale models!”
Kelley isn’t the only Richland College employee with eyes to the skies. Two other Richland College employees also volunteer for the CAF. Angie Whitney, leadership trainer, is one of the few qualified female loadmasters on a B-24. Lisa Foster, adjunct faculty member, is a living history representation of “Rosie the Riveter,” a World War II icon who symbolized women’s “We Can Do It” attitude by stepping up to work in factories and shipyards. Foster is also the executive officer of the Women Airforce Service Pilots Squadron.
Kelley has been working for Richland College since May 1997. Since then, he has been an Administrator of the Year nominee in 2005 and 2007. His current position is focused on community outreach for corporate services, which provides training to companies at their worksites to provide a more skilled workforce. In turn, this training gives employees the opportunity to earn higher wages and become more promotable through their learned skills.
The Richland College Emeritus plus 50 program provides affordable classes to people ages 50 and older to help them stay intellectually challenged, physically fit and socially connected. Dallas County residents 65 years old and older who have lived in Texas for at least one year may receive free tuition for up to six college credit hours per semester. For more information, visit www.richlandcollege.edu/emeritus.
The CAF B-29/B-24 Squadron maintains, preserves and operates the world’s only operational B-29A, “FIFI,” and B-24A, “Diamond Lil.” The squadron regularly brings together the aircraft, pilots and crews from over 70 CAF units across the country to create the AirPower Squadron, an assortment of military aircraft touring across the U.S. The tour will always include at least one of the squadron’s rare, premiere bombers: “FIFI” or “Diamond Lil.” For more information, visit www.cafb29b24.org.
The CAF is the largest flying museum in the world. It is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to honoring American military aviation history through flight, exhibition and remembrance. The CAF has approximately 12,000 members and a fleet of more than 160 aircraft assigned to 63 units across the country. These units are comprised of CAF volunteer members who restore and operate the planes that are viewed by more than 10 million spectators annually. For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org.
The Richland College Emeritus plus 50 program is expanding its bus trips program this fall semester, allowing participants ages 50 and older to keep their minds and bodies active while experiencing some of the best events and locations the DFW metroplex and state of Texas have to offer.
“The trips in the Richland College Emeritus plus 50 program allow the participants to experience activities, educational opportunities, and historical locations that they might not otherwise be able to do, because of limited budgets and driving capabilities,” said Cindy Berry, Emeritus program director. “These activities provide an opportunity for the participants to interact socially with people from different walks of life in a safe, secure environment.”
There are currently several trips planned for this fall. On Sept. 9, Emeritus will be taking students to see the Texas Rangers square off against the New York Yankees at Globe Life Park in Arlington. On Oct. 7, students will be going on an educational bus trip to historical sites in Dallas facilitated by the legendary Rose-Mary Rumbley, who has written several books on the history of Dallas.
Some tentative trips that are planned include a visit to LBJ Library in Austin, Texas, and the LBJ Ranch and National Historic Park in Johnson City, Texas, on October 24 and 25. On November 4, there is a trip planned to see the Top O’Hill Terrace in Arlington—a Texas Historic Landmark that was a famous hangout for celebrities, entertainers and gangsters to gather and gamble—and a chance to see the Fort Worth Museum District. More details will be posted online once the trips are confirmed.
The Richland College Emeritus plus 50 program provides affordable classes to people ages 50 and older to help them stay intellectually challenged, physically fit and socially connected. Dallas County residents 65 years old and older who have lived in Texas for at least one year may receive free tuition for up to six college credit hours per semester. The fall 2017 semester will begin on August 21.
For more information and the full list of events and class schedules, visit richlandcollege.edu/emeritus.
Experience memories and magic as Richland College Emeritus plus 50 Program presents “Music, Magic and Movies,” a special event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 14 in Fannin Performance Hall.
This one-time event will feature Dallas’ own The Levee Singers (Ed Bernet, Dick Bernet, Ralph Sanford and Ralph Lindsey), who will thrill the audience with the melodies of yesteryear. Magician and motivational speaker David Hira will amaze and inspire guests with dazzling illusions and words of wisdom. Film critic and humorist Larry Ratliff will highlight unforgettable cinematic moments as well as serve as the the master of ceremonies for the event.
The admission price to “Music, Magic and Movies” is $15, which includes box lunch. Call 972-238-6147 today to register. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road in Dallas.
Sustainable Community Building — As part of Richland’s Emeritus Program ongoing services to the community, Richland and AARP Texas are hosting a Volunteer Connection Fair for Plus 50 adults on Aug. 12 to allow area senior citizens to learn about volunteer opportunities in our community. A number of community agencies will be present to recruit adult volunteers to serve in their organizations. Participants will be treated to agency information, refreshments, and door prizes.
If you’re a mature adult looking for volunteer opportunities in your community, attend the Richland College Volunteer Connection Fair. The fair is a joint effort between Richland’s nationally recognized Emeritus Program and AARP. Several organizations will be on hand to sign up volunteers.
Teresa Love, the Outreach Coordinator for Richland’s Emeritus Program, said the fair’s main purpose is to promote volunteerism for mature adults.
“This is for the person who is 50 years old or older who may be retired or their children are out of the house and they’re looking for a way to give back to the community,” she said.
This is the second year the fair has been held and the goal is for it to become an annual event. Last year’s fair boasted over 150 attendees, with 32 community agencies represented and rave reviews on evaluations.
Love said partnering with the AARP brings additional resources to the table such as a direct mail campaign to promote the event. She said it’s also a good thing for the Emeritus Program.
“This is really a win-win for us because our program received a grant, part of which includes providing training and re-training for mature adults. So we get the opportunity to recruit for that as well.”
The Volunteer Connection fair will be held from 4-7 p.m., August 12 in Richland’s El Paso Hallway and it’s free. For more information, call 214-265-4078 or log on to http://www.richlandcollege.edu/boomers/volunteer.
Sustainable Community Building — Richland’s Emeritus Program held its fall back-to-school kickoff on July 6 with a record-breaking attendance of approximately 365 seniors, most of whom were 65 and older. Analysis of participant feedback revealed that 95 were attending for the first time; 134 are planning to register for classes, with 98 undecided; 62 are planning to take both credit and non-credit classes; and 60 are planning to take non-credit classes only. The guest speaker Rosemary Rumbley presented “Laughing for the Health of It,” with 247 respondents rating her presentation the highest rating of 5. Richland Emeritus Program kickoffs are held twice annually, in July and December.
Kent said, “Richland College [and Bill Neal] take us through the very beginning of life to silver and golden years of life.”
Kent, a former Richland student and adjunct professor of 15 years, applauded Neal for teaching a variety of fitness classes from health to bowling to golf as well as coaching the wrestling, volleyball, baseball and women’s basketball teams over his 38-year tenure. He also facilitates the “Silverducks” Emeritus class; they nominated him for the award.
“Receiving the award on behalf of the emeritus program is an honor since they are the committed group that keeps it going,” said Neal.
Richland College interim president Dr. Kay Eggleston said, “It is through people like Bill Neal that we build community one person at a time.”
Richland College’s Boomers Program is helping other community colleges to engage the 50+ population.
In June, the college hosted a day-long Plus 50 Initiative Texas Expansion Conference for 14 community colleges, including DCCCD sister colleges. The conference, supported by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and Atlantic Philanthropies, provided information for community colleges developing Plus 50 Initiative programs. Topics included collaboration between departments; marketing and promotion; obtaining college support; stakeholders; appropriate teaching styles; programs that work; and program challenges.
“We are excited to share information about the Plus 50 Initiative and to see the enthusiasm of other community colleges as they build or expand their Plus 50 programs,” Richland’s Boomers Program Outreach Coordinator Teresa Love said. “The conference included very informative panel discussions containing both students and faculty. During these discussions, the panelists addressed student motivation and effective teaching methods for Plus 50 students.”
AACC is expansion of the Plus 50 Initiative is to promote community colleges as the primary place where Plus 50s can learn, train, and find ways to contribute to society. Mary Sue Vickers, AACC Plus 50 Initiative director, said Richland is already a leader in reaching this age group and can help other colleges that are starting or adding to their programs.
“Two innovative topics on the agenda of Richland’s conference that I thought were most helpful for those beginning or expanding Plus 50 Initiative programming were on successful instructional practices for Plus 50 students and tips on assessing current administrative procedures from the point of view of the Plus 50 student,” Ms. Vickers said. “We are hopeful that the community colleges attending the conference will continue to work with Richland College and implement or expand upon their existing programming, providing additional options for plus 50 students at their community college.”
During the conference, Richland’s Boomers Program Director Mitzi Werther and Ms. Love discussed “How to Get Started” (obtaining institutional support, stakeholders, and assessing current administrative procedures). This segment included a panel of key, participating instructional department heads and a panel of Richland Plus 50 students and instructors. The panels addressed “What Works: Great Instructional Practices, Expectations, and Tips for Sustainability.” The afternoon concluded with Richland presentations on “Profiles in Excellence: Popular Class Topics;” “Volunteer Programs;” “Boomer News;” “Volunteer Connection Fair;” and “What’s Next?”
In 2008, Richland was one of 15 college chosen to pilot the Plus 50 Initiative. Since then, the program has grown to include dozens of colleges across the United States. From 2009 to 2014, the Plus 50 population in Richland’s service area is projected to grow by more than 102 percent, from 89,000 to 180,000. The Plus 50 population currently makes up 14 percent of Richland’s service area, and is projected to comprise 28 percent by 2014. To learn more about Richland’s Boomers Program (part of the college’s Emeritus Program), visit www.richlandcollege.edu/boomers.
Sustainable Community Building — Richland’s Emeritus Program hosted a day-long Plus 50 Initiative Texas Expansion Conference for 14 community colleges, including DCCCD sister colleges, on June 24. This professional development conference, supported by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and Atlantic Philanthropies, provided information addressing areas such as collaboration between departments; marketing and promotion; obtaining college support; stakeholders; appropriate teaching styles; programs that work; and program challenges. The overall goal of AACC’s expansion of the Plus 50 Initiative is to promote community colleges as the primary place where Plus 50s can learn, train, and find ways to contribute to society. From 2009 to 2014, the Plus 50 population in Richland’s service area is projected to grow by more than 102 percent, from approximately 89,000 to 180,000. The Plus 50 population currently comprises 14 percent of the total population in Richland’s service area, and is projected to comprise 28 percent of the total service area population by 2014. AACC Plus 50 Initiative Director Mary Sue Vickers presented a general program overview, and Richland’s Emeritus Program Director Mitzi Werther and Associate Director Teresa Love discussed “How to Get Started” (obtaining institutional support, stakeholders, and assessing current administrative procedures). This segment included a panel of key, participating instructional department heads and a panel of Richland Plus 50 students and instructors. The panels addressed “What Works: Great Instructional Practices, Expectations, and Tips for Sustainability.” The afternoon concluded with Richland presentations on “Profiles in Excellence: Popular Class Topics;” “Volunteer Programs;” “Boomer News;” “Volunteer Connection Fair;” and “What’s Next?”
Institutional Effectiveness – Altrusa International Inc. of Richardson recently named Richland Emeritus Program Director Mitzi Werther its 2009 Outstanding Woman of Today/Builder of Tomorrow–Education Sector. Altrusa also recognized Richland Chemistry Professor Becki Williams as a finalist in the education sector. More than 100 women leaders in the Richardson area attended the Altrusa Outstanding Woman luncheon to honor this year’s recipients in the fields of business, health care, education, and the public sector.