Telegram & Gazette’s Visions Cultural Enrichment Award Given to Assumption's Senior Education Program

Mar. 19, 2015
Office of Communications
WISE class
The College's WISE program has been recognized for its contribution to cultural enrichment in the city with Telegram & Gazette's annual award.

The Assumption University-sponsored Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE) is this year’s recipient of the (Worcester) Telegram & Gazette’s Visions Cultural Enrichment Award, which is given to an organization that provides “outstanding creative contribution to the arts or cultural life.”

The award will be presented at a March 23 ceremony; Gov. Charles D. Baker Jr. will be the keynote speaker for the awards program, which will be held from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St.

Celebrating its 22nd anniversary this year, WISE—which boasts more than 400 members—gives  older adults in central Massachusetts an opportunity to continue learning on a convenient schedule, with less of a time commitment, and no grades or pressure.

“This award is a tribute to WISE members and volunteers,” said Assumption University President Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D. “WISE exemplifies a commitment to lifelong learning, and the on-campus presence of WISE enriches Assumption students’ educational experiences as they interact across campus with WISE members.

Studies show that older people who continue intellectual development and stimulation are less prone to forgetfulness and dementia. Research demonstrates that other benefits of participating in a lifelong learning program include opportunities for personal growth, self-esteem, contribution, and empowerment in later life.

“WISE has enriched the lives of many seniors in central Massachusetts—and even beyond—for over two decades,” said WISE Director Paul J. Mahon, Ph.D. “Our programs keep seniors active as they continue their education, and put them in touch with other seniors with similar interests. Many have told me they cannot envision their lives without WISE.”

Many WISE courses meet on Assumption’s campus, and others are held at local cultural organizations, such as Worcester Art Museum, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester Historical Museum, as well as at two retirement communities, Briarwood and The Willows at Worcester. Members also interact with the Assumption community by volunteering as guest speakers in classes, and by helping students who are looking to interview people for projects.