Carnegie Mellon University

Our Partnership With Chatham University

Beginning in August of 2019 Executive Director, Lyn Decker and Past President, Jim Reitz, had a series of meetings with Chatham University’s President, Dr. David Finegold. These meetings have led to the decision that our Lifelong Learning program is going to begin partnering with Chatham University to offer lifelong courses at their Eden Hall Campus in Gibsonia, PA (Richland Township) for current members, new members from their alumni and retired faculty, and the Eden Hall Campus neighbors.

It has consistently been established via research that seniors who keep their minds active lead a healthier, more productive and happier lives, with less dependence on physical and mental healthcare services.

Dr. Finegold introduced this partnership negotiation to President Farnam Jahanian and Provost Jim Garrett of CMU who enthusiastically endorsed the proposed collaboration.  The Osher Foundation was also contacted to be sure they would not oppose such a development and the response was also a clear endorsement.

Only a small portion of the seniors in the Greater Pittsburgh area have access to the courses offered by Osher at CMU and our sister Osher program at Pitt.  Will extending courses to Chatham at their Eden Hall Campus result in more work for our officers, our board, our curriculum committee, our volunteers and especially our staff?  Absolutely, but how can we, who value lifelong learning so much, say no to such an opportunity.

A membership analysis tells us that as many as 500 of our members live either in the North Hills or places where the Eden Hall Campus is more easily accessible than the CMU campus.  (maybe the parking issue at CMU will get better).  Chatham’s focus on sustainability (Chatham is the alma mater or Rachel Carson), and the Falk School of Sustainability & Environment (housed at Eden Hal Campus) faculty and their network of contacts can bring to us, adds a new, valuable element to what we now offer.

When will this start? Our target was in the fall of 2020, but COVID-19 has thrown us a curveball, so it will get pushed back to the Winter term of 2021. We are discussing a couple of Zoom courses this Fall term to provide members who choose an opportunity for at least an introduction to offerings that will come from Chatham’s side.