MatureLearningScholarship
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Clark College News and Events


October 12, 2006
For Immediate Release
For additional information:
Barbara Kerr, Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
Telephone: 360-992-2921

A LOVE OF LEARNING EXTENDS
ACROSS GENERATIONS

Her father founded Clark College’s Mature Learning Program. 
Her mother nurtured it.  Their daughter has created a new scholarship
for mature learners in her parents’ memory.

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Dr. Alfred Apsler believed so deeply in lifelong learning that he established the Focus on Mature Learning program in Clark College.  To support that passion and to honor her parents, Ruby Apsler has established a scholarship for adults age 55 and older who need financial support to take advantage of mature learning programs.

Dr. Alfred Apsler established the Focus on Mature Learning program at Clark College in 1971, after retiring as an instructor of history and social science.   The late Clark County historian Gus Bacarach, who was also a founding member of the Focus on Mature Learning program, said, “Fred Apsler started his task of creating an enrichment program for retired persons with the same thoroughness that he exercised during his academic career.”   

Dr. Apsler told friends that he wanted to know what he would face when he retired and what he could do to assist others who would be entering the world of retirement.  Instead of waiting for others to tell him, he established one of the first lifelong learning centers in the nation.  His wife, Camas physician Dr. Erna Apsler, was also deeply involved in the genesis of the program. 

When Erna Apsler passed away last year, her daughter Ruby, who wanted to honor both of her parents through a gift to the community, decided to establish a scholarship program for the Mature Learning program at Clark College.  Ruby Aspler said the decision to honor her parents in this way was easy.  “Education was very important to them,” she said.

Thirty-five years later, the face of retirement is rapidly changing, but the Mature Learning Program has continued to thrive.  Every term at the college, more than 40 courses -- from T’ai Chi to watercolor to “The Mideast Crisis” -- are offered to senior citizens.  “Now, more people than ever will be able to take part in our terrific courses,” said Tracy Reilly Kelly, Director of Continuing Education.  “People on fixed incomes will particularly benefit from this wonderful gift from Ruby Apsler -- a fitting tribute to the legacy of her parents.”

Reilly-Kelly noted, “It’s easy to obtain a scholarship.  In fact, it can be done over the phone.  Our volunteers, who assist in all aspects of our Mature Learning program, staff our phone line and they would be happy to assist anyone who calls.”   To find out more or to apply for the scholarship, call the Mature Learning program at 360-992-2213. 

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