-Americans are funny about the last days of their lives. For many, part of the “American Dream” is to retire at a young age and do nothing but have what they consider fun. For some, it’s living in a retirement community where children are not permited to live (they can visit). For others, it might involve golfing every day or volunteering someplace where they can feel useful. ASU is giving them a new option.

ASU Mirabella is new housing under construction on the corner of Mill & University… and our university president has dubbed it “the world’s coolest dorm” and it’s currently being completed and filled with people in their 60s, 70s and up (not your typical university students). It’s really a brilliant idea that has opened the door for ASU students to engage with older people ready to embrace campus life. 

President Crow has said he wants to re-conceptualize “lifelong learning,” a popular talking point among university leaders who promote the important role of higher education in helping adults prepare for new career opportunities. Retirees are often left out of the equation and have not been a significant part of those efforts, said Todd Hardy, managing director of innovation zones at ASU. While they don’t need degrees or certificates to show to future employers, many retirees do want to keep learning and feel engaged, he said.

“We want these residents to be part of our community and to be fully integrated into everything we do,” Hardy said “We’d like them to be guest lecturers, advise us on start-up companies, be docents at our art gallery and performance hall. We’d love them to engage in ways that appeal to them.” ASU Mirabella is another example of how our world-class university can lead the way into the future.