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Kelley D. Hamilton Talks about Retirees Returning to College
Kelley D. Hamilton

Kelley D. Hamilton Talks about Retirees Returning to College


Kelley D. Hamilton

Kelley D. Hamilton

Kelley D. Hamilton is Chief Executive Officer and co-owner of Bonaventure Senior Living.

Information Nation: Why would anyone choose to return to college after retirement?

Kelley D. Hamilton: Ask 10 different senior adults and they will give at least 10 different answers.

Information Nation: Such as?

Kelley D. Hamilton: Some like to challenge themselves. Some enjoy the college experience. A few go for something to do.

Information Nation: But isn’t it expensive, especially on a retirement income?

Kelley D. Hamilton: Many colleges and universities offer tuition discounts or waivers for older adults. Several allow retirees to audit classes for free.

Information Nation: But they don’t get credit if they audit a class, right?

Kelley D. Hamilton: Right. However, they gain knowledge and increase brain stimulation. Plus, they have the satisfaction of knowing they can sit in a classroom full of teenagers and 20-somethings and keep up.

Information Nation: Are they capable of keeping up?

Kelley D. Hamilton: Of course they can! They have a great advantage over their younger classmates.

Information Nation: What sort of advantage?

Kelley D. Hamilton: Older adults are inclined to be more focused and more determined to get a good grade. They devote all the time and energy they can to learning.

Information Nation: Suppose a senior adult does want a degree?

Kelley D. Hamilton: Some colleges offer scholarships for senior adults. Some state schools have senior adult scholarship programs that provide free tuition for 60+ citizens.

Information Nation: At what age do people generally decide it isn’t worth the bother to get a degree?

Kelley D. Hamilton: Funny you should ask that. A year or so ago I read about this lady named Nola Ochs who received her bachelor’s degree at the age of 95.

Information Nation: Amazing!

Kelley D. Hamilton: Yes it is. Even more noteworthy is that she went on to get her master’s degree when she was 98.

Information Nation: Ninety-eight? I’m impressed.

Kelley D. Hamilton: As am I. She is the most senior person in the world to ever receive a college degree.

Information Nation: What did she do after graduation? Start a new career?

Kelley D. Hamilton: I know you mean that as a tongue-in-cheek question, but the answer may surprise you.

Information Nation: Don’t tell me she started a new business and is now on the top Fortune 500 list.

Kelley D. Hamilton: Not yet. But after graduation she was hired as a guest lecturer on a cruise ship and then made the talk show circuit. So it appears she has done OK with her degrees.

Information Nation: She finally retired then?

Kelley D. Hamilton: The last I read about her said that she was a graduate teaching assistant and a master’s degree student. Don’t underestimate our senior citizens.

Information Nation: Do you think someone will beat her record?

Kelley D. Hamilton: It wouldn’t surprise me. I meet smart, energetic seniors every day who aren’t ready to retire to the front porch rocking chair.

Information Nation: Not all retirees have stopped working?

Kelley D. Hamilton: Some of the retirees who move into our senior communities say they are just getting their second wind. College or a second career is right up there with golfing and travel on our residents’ bucket lists.

Information Nation: It sounds like retirement communities are nothing like the stereotypes we’ve come to envision.

Kelley D. Hamilton: At Bonaventure, we make sure of that. Retirees are in control of their life, as they should be.

Information Nation: I believe Bonaventure’s motto is Life on your terms.” What does that mean?

Kelley D. Hamilton: We are committed to supporting freedom of choice for our residents. We believe that retirees have the right to make decisions about retirement living, and we are there to assist them with their choices
Kelley D. Hamilton and his staff are passionate about providing the best in retirement and assisted living accommodations for senior adults. Bonaventure communities are located in the Western United States. Learn more at

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