Press Release for Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Donor Promotes Free Classes for Seniors

Donor Promotes Free UNF Courses for Seniors

JACKSONVILLE -- William Barnett, a retired Jacksonville bank executive, believes more seniors should be taking advantage of a special program at the University of North Florida.
While the University serves more than 13,000 students, relatively little attention is devoted to a special state program allowing Florida citizens age 60 and over to audit college classes free of charge. Only about 70 seniors took advantage of this program at UNF during the spring semester.

Barnett is donating $20,000 to increase awareness of the availability of the program. “I want as many people as possible to take advantage of this great resource we have in our community,” he explained. “Now that I’m retired, I’m looking forward to enrolling in a number of classes that I was unable to take when I was in college,” he added.

Barnett’s gift will fund promotion of the “Learning for a Lifetime” program. Jim Owen, who is coordinating the program at UNF, said an outreach effort will be launched in coming weeks to explain the details of the program to area civic groups and clubs. “It’s been said that UNF stands for ‘ you never finish.’ We hope to alter that perception and demonstrate that education is a lifetime endeavor – something that ‘you never want to finish.’”

There is only one day before each semester that seniors may register for free classes under this program. For Summer B term, registration opens at 8 a.m. on June 19. Classes begin on June 24. Registration is accepted on a space available basis.

For more information on this program or to receive a schedule of classes contact Owen at 620-2881.