Partnership between Rockwood at Whitworth and Whitworth University allows for intergenerational education 

By Abbey Rodriguez | Staff Writer

Tim Williams (left) and Rick Thomas (right) talk before class at Whitworth University, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2023, in Spokane, Wash. |The Whitworthian/Madison Stoeckler

The senior living community, Rockwood at Whitworth, has partnered with Whitworth University, allowing Rockwood residents to be a part of the Whitworth community. Residents may take classes on campus and attend lectures and events put on by the university.  

A 2019 news release published in collaboration with Whitworth and Rockwood explains that together, the institutions “have formalized a partnership that will offer students, residents and alumni unique access to educational, social and entertainment opportunities on their respective campuses.” This partnership opens doors for both Rockwood residents and Whitworth students to build an intergenerational community in the broader Spokane area.   

“The new Rockwood at Whitworth partnership will feature the best of intergenerational community and learning,” said former president Beck A. Taylor in the same 2019 document. So, what does this partnership look like for this academic year?  

Tim Williams (Whitworth class of 1982) and Rick Thomas are both Rockwood residents enrolled in Rebecca Korf’s class, PH-340: Knowledge, Power and Propaganda. While the class is difficult, it “really activate[s] my brain and my desire to learn again. I’m excited about it,” said Thomas. This partnership has given both Williams and Thomas a unique opportunity to challenge themselves and their minds. “I believe that we should never stop learning even though we’re out of school now,” said Williams.  

Moving to Rockwood at Whitworth was “to reconnect physically with Whitworth,” said Williams, and he and is looking forward to getting to know “smart, idealistic, eager [and] young people with a lot of hope.” Williams and Thomas agree that they are excited about the potential to build genuine relationships with Whitworth students and staff. Williams hopes that students will feel safe to “talk to us old guys in an honest, open [and] protected” way.   

Thomas and Williams are hopeful that more classes will be open to Rockwood residents for the spring 2024 semester and are looking forward to more intergenerational opportunities.   

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