• Beth & Tim Manners

SUNY Purchase Buys Into Senior Housing

Updated: Sep 18, 2019

The New York Times: “SUNY Purchase is one of a growing number of colleges sponsoring retirement communities on campus or thinking about it … the communities promise a new revenue stream for institutions that are coping with reduced state operating support and declining college enrollment in many parts of the country. They are bringing a new generation (or old generation) to campus to fill classes, eat in dining halls, attend student performances and become mentors … Retirees who are happy to be living on campus, including alumni and faculty members, could become a fertile source of fund-raising.”


“Many students have mixed feelings about sharing their college years with people who remind them of the parents and grandparents whose orbit they have just escaped. Anton Creutzfeldt, a junior at Purchase College, worried that older people would object to noise and late-night partying … Mr. Creutzfeldt said he had been in classes that were audited by old people, and their presence changed the atmosphere.” He comments: “An older person will go on a tangent about something because it’s interesting to them, or they have personal experience with it, while everyone else is just trying to get through the lecture.”


“Other students said they might like having surrogate grandparents on campus. Annie Yang, a senior majoring in economics at the University of Chicago, said she had basically been raised by her grandmother while her parents were working. She said she could see herself living with old people on campus, especially if she got a break on housing fees in return … At Purchase, residents and students will take short courses together, because research has shown that most retirees had little interest in full-length courses. And a student performance space is being built within the retirement complex.”

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