Stories of Change

Lee Sacks Begins a New Chapter through Lifelong Learning

Lee Sacks thought about retiring, but then what? Lee says, "I had no passions other than work and family." That's before he found the Lifelong Learning Institute [LLI]. University level courses at LLI transformed Lee's life. In his seventies, Lee's discovered he's a writer.

An insurance agent for decades, Lee was in a rut. A former colleague urged Lee to try a writing workshop. LLI is a program of NSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine. Lee expected social events for seniors. He got intellectual stimulation and a new passion!

LLI promotes intergenerational learning. Seniors like Lee interact with NSU students and professors. Everyone benefits. Shanti Bruce, Ph.D. leads writing workshops at LLI. Dr. Bruce is Chair of Farquhar's graduate writing program. She says LLI experiences are a highlight of working at NSU.

Before LLI, "I hadn't written anything but business letters," Lee says. At one workshop, he tried historical fiction. Participants challenged him, "Is this an outline for a book?" Dr. Bruce encouraged him. The result was Lee's first book, The Incredible Life of Pinnie Lavan.

Dr. Bruce says, "Lee's enthusiasm for writing is contagious." Now Lee shares his newfound wisdom. He corresponds with younger NSU writers. Lee's come full circle and even lectured for LLI. He doesn't do it to sell books. Lee follows the example of inspiring LLI lecturers. He provokes thought and interaction.

LLI is about examination not exams. Aging adults are nontraditional students. Like Lee, most don't seek degrees. LLI lectures, workshops and field trips are lively. Director of LLI programs Linda Maurice describes seniors as an "eager population." Older adults love to learn so LLI keeps growing. She discusses this expansion on local news.

Classic Residence by Hyatt supports LLI satellite programs across three South Florida counties. Senior residents want to explore. Many can't travel as much as they'd like. Satellites bring LLI to them. They get high academic quality. Lectures range from Japanese culture to Big Band Era music.

The first tri-county Senior Spelling Bee was a joint effort between Classic Residence by Hyatt and LLI. Satellite members came to Main Campus. The Senior Spelling Bee was held at the Don Taft University Center. Intergenerational learning programs began at NSU in 2003. Innovative education brings traditional students and LLI members together.

Lee takes an interest in the Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center. It's starting a collection of books by local authors. Lee donated copies of his first book. Soon he'll add his second novel , Buttonwood Nine-Eleven.

Members like Lee teach the lesson of LLI and NSU. Education is enriched by active minds of all ages.