Welcome to a collection of interesting stories about the events that make the Academy Village a great place to live.
Arizona Daily Star Writes Extensive Article About Academy Village/Altura: A reporter and a photographer from the Arizona Daily Star spent an extensive time at Academy Village/ Altura, and wrote a long and positive article on the Village. It included descriptions of the new building going on by Miramonte, the Arizona Senior Academy, and the Aging-in-place initiative and new Academy Villas residence. The article may be seen here.
New Langtry Villas–Ribbon-Cutting: Ribbon Cutting for the new Vivaldi Court Academy Villas Assisted Living residence took place on March 16th. The Vail Chamber of Commerce held the ceremony at the Villas with Chamber members, and Academy Village residents.
New Assisted Living Residence: The new Assisted Living guests has room for 16 residents, and will continue to offer the Highest standards of care as the first villa. For more information, please see academyvillas.org.
Greatly Expanded Gym: We are excited that the Community Center’s renovation will include a bigger fitness room full of many useful machines. It will contain a full line of Paramount weight stations, cardio equipment that will keep us all in shape, free weights and bench, and other equipment.
Pickle Ball Comes to Academy Village: At numerous AV residents requests, the HOA Board agreed to examine the possibility of Pickle Ball in Academy Village by using tape on the tennis court to create a court. More than 30 villagers have come to the court to see how it is played, and many are now playing on a regular basis.
Three Short Play Readings: Villager Wayne Magee directed three short play readings performed by Academy Villagers. The three plays were “Talk to Me Like Rain, and Let Me Listen” and Lord Byron’s Love Letter” by Tennessee Williams; and “Youth” by Thornton Wilder. The photo is of resident Sarah Dinham who played Lady Sibyle Ponsonby in “Youth”.
The First Holiday Market held at Academy Village: The Academy Village Activities Committee’s first Holiday Gift Market included 33 vendors from the village and nearby communities. The goal of the market was to raise funds for Greater Vail ReSources that is taking over the Vail Food Bank. Vendors donated prizes for the raffle, and a silent auction included many wonderful items for people to bid on. An excellent lunch was available from Club La Familia.
Opening of Miramonte Homes Model Home and Sales Office: Miramonte Homes sponsored an open house for Residents of Academy Village to see the new model home, and hear from the Miramonte realtors about the sales and building plans. Residents were very excited about the model home.
New Video of Academy Village/Altura: A new video that describes Academy Village/Altura has been produced by Academy Village residents. All individuals seen in the video are either residents or staff members. This video may be seen here.
Draco, The Dragon, Comes to Academy Village: Resident Bob Smith created this ten and one-half foot ceramic dragon He has placed on his patio wall. The dragon consists of 38 separate ceramic pieces that he began in an Arizona Senior Academy-sponsored ceramics class. All of the pieces were fired in Academy Village’s new kiln.
Groundbreaking for the new Academy Villas Assisted Living Home. Academy Services Corp. President, the Architect/Builder, Board, President of Commerce Bank of Arizona, and two ASC Board Members met to break ground for an additional 16-bed Assisted Living home in Academy Village.. They were joined by 50 donors from Academy Village to celebrate the groundbreaking.
A New Information Website about the Flora in Academy Village. Mary Welch-Keesey, a well known botanist and
village resident, has prepared a new website to help us identify the many flowers and plants around Academy Village. The website is www.bloomingatAcademyVillage.org and provides viewers with a month-by-month photo gallery of plants in bloom, basic how-to-grow information plus links to additional resources, and photos and descriptions to help with identification.
Two New Spec Homes by Miramonte. Miramonte’s Altura Homes are beginning to be built in Academy Village, and the Sales Office is on its way. Miramonte’s site provides pictures of and floor plans for its Altura models. Miramonte
“Downton Abbey” Preview. The Arizona Senior Academy sponsored a preview of the immensely popular show, “Downton Abbey”, with commentary supplied by ProfessorJerold Hogle of the University of Arizona English Department.
Dog Park Opening. The Academy Village dog park was officially opened at a ceremony that included a parade of dog-owners and their pets, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The dog-park was designed by residents Jed Kee, Fred Neidhardt, and Gary Hardy, and built with contributions from AV villagers. This has been a long-awaited event in this community of pet lovers. Picture by resident Deon Holt.
Pluto: King of the Kuiper Belt. On July 14, 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made the first close-up observations of Pluto and its moons. Dr. Veronica Bray, a planetary scientist described what New Horizons discovered about Pluto and its moons at an Arizona Senior Academy lecture. Bray is a member of the New Horizon’s science team and an Associate Staff Scientist at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. She received her PhD from Imperial College, London. Bray gave Pluto its new title: “King of the Kuiper Belt”.
Talk by Congresswoman Martha McSally. First-term U.S. representative Martha McSally visited Academy Village and gave a talk at the Arizona Senior Academy. She focussed on the threat of terrorism on American soil in her capacity as Chair of the Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications Subcommittee on the House Committee on Homeland Security. She spent 26 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a full colonel prior to running for Congress in 2014.
Interview with Academy Village Resident on Phoenix NPR Program. The Phoenix NPR station KJZZ interviewed Mike Maharry on July 23 about Academy Village as representing an example of the specialized retirement communities of the future. The interviewer pointed out that the U.S. has 78 million Baby Boomers and they’re living longer. They also want more choices in retirement than previous generations. The stereotype of golfing, fishing, long naps and rocking chairs simply doesn’t apply anymore. This is leading to the creation of specialized retirement communities such as Academy Village. Please listen to this informative conversation. KJZZ on Retirement Communities.
Memorial Weekend ASA Event. Folk singer Pamela Reinagel, daughter of AV residents Fritz and Marcia Reinagel, performed a concert of unaccompanied ballads memorializing the First World War. In this centennial memorial program, she sang folk ballads about the war, presented pictures, and and talked about the history that they illustrate. Dr. Reinagel lives in San Diego with her two children. She is a professor of neurobiology at the University of California San Diego, where she also teaches a course on the history and culture of American folk songs.
Historical Highlights: Representative Gabby Giffords at Academy Village. On June 6, 2009, then U.S. Congressional Representative, Gabby Giffords, held a Town Meeting at the Academy Village, and participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Academy Villas Assisted Living building. She spoke to the residents in an event held in the ASA auditorium, and also used a shovel in the groundbreaking ceremony. She is second from the left in this picture.
Resident Ballet Choreographer. A number of Academy Villagers attended the Ballet Tucson Dance and Desert event and saw, among other performances, Black Swan Pas de Deux, choreographed by Suzanne Erlon Kee, an Academy Village Resident. Erlon Kee was a member of New York City Ballet under the legendary George Balanchine and also was a principal dancer with Ballet West.
“Nobility, Competence and Disruption”: Gary Fenstermacher gave the 70th Anniversary Keynote Address at the California Commission of Teacher Education meeting in San Jose, CA. Gary, who was the Dean of Education at the University of Arizona, now volunteers as president of the Academy Services Corporation, the organization that handles health and wellness services at Academy Village.
Magical World of Henry Koffler’s Art: On May 21, the University of Arizona Tech Parks sponsored an Art in the Park gallery opening featuring the iPad art of Henry Koffler. Henry is well known worldwide as a leader in higher education. He is a former president of the University of Arizona and is extensively involved in Tucson life, including the founding of Academy Village. He continues to engage in new activities and began his iPad art journey last year at the age of 90. One of Henry’s great accomplishments is his concept of a different type of retirement learning community. He models this concept as he continues to engage in new activities such as iPad art.
Marcia Neugebauer Is Honored: Marcia Neugebauer has received two prestigious awards: The National Academy of Science’s Arctowski Medal for establishing the existence of the solar wind, and the 2010 George Ellery Hale Prize from the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society for outstanding contributions to the field of solar astronomy. The NAS award recognizes outstanding contributions to the study of solar physics and relationships between the sun and the earth. An Academy Village resident since 2002, Marcia is currently adjunct research scientist at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, but Villagers know her best as the president of the Arizona Senior Academy.
New Kiln Arrives: A long held dream has been realized. A kiln has been installed in the Activities Room. In anticipation of the upcoming ceramics classes, a number of Villagers got together and shopped for a kiln that would fit in the Community Center space that was specially wired when the building was built. All art classes are offered by the Senior Academy, so it was agreed that contributions toward the cost would be tax-deductible. The money was raised and the kiln was purchased, and everyone is looking forward to seeing future creations.
Prizewinning Quilt: Maggie Davis, who recently won a first prize for her quilt, “Windows,” lives a life surrounded by quilts. In her Academy Village living room are an abstract of grey printed fabrics, a traditional quilt in flowered fabrics, and an intense blue-and-white quilt with white accents. And underway are a multicolored collage and a hand-embroidered design using hand-dyed fabrics. Maggie’s prize, from the Tucson Quilters Guild, won in a category for abstract and graphic designs, where the professional judges awarded highest ratings for visual impact, appearance, precise piecing, and careful finishing. With this prize, Maggie follows her neighbor Virginia Richardson, who previously won two prizes for an arresting, colorful quilt that now hangs in her home.
Vail Chorale Starts a New Season: The Vail Chorale started its 4th season this fall. Village resident Fritz Reinagel founded the Chorale in 2010 as an intergenerational community chorus. Fritz says he believes that a local music group can help identify a community and offer both social and creative outlets. He also believes strongly in mixed age groups in which the young and mature can learn from one another. Under the slogan “Live for Singing! Sing for Life!” about 35 members formed the nascent Chorale whose start-up was sponsored by the Arizona Senior Academy, with support from Calvin Baker, the superintendent of Vail Schools. Choral members come from Vail and the surrounding area and include six voices from Academy Village.
Labyrinth “Materializes” on Galileo Lane: As if by magic, a labyrinth began growing on Galileo Lane this spring. Resident Sabra Andersen initiated the project. “Labyrinths have long appealed to me, aesthetically and mathematically,” she says. “I’ve walked many, including the medieval labyrinth on the floor of Chartres Cathedral and a lovely fragrant labyrinth in New England where the paths were outlined with lavender bushes.” Oriented toward Rincon Peak, the Village’s labyrinth has an outside diameter of 40 feet. After reviewing several designs, Sabra chose the Chartres model. She raked dirt to form the basic pattern, then volunteers gathered and placed the stones. They celebrated the project’s completion at daybreak on May 19.
Academy Villagers Harness the Sun for Electricity. Academy Villagers are taking advantage of the powerful sun in Tucson to transform it into electrical energy through solar panels. There are now many houses with solar panels on the roofs to power water heaters and other electrical items in the house. Community-wide emphasis on “power from the sun” began in early 2009 when the Solar Initiatives Group, a group of Academy Village residents, began raising awareness and providing information to neighbors on the subject. See the The Arizona Daily Star for an article about solar power in Academy Village.
Residents Cheer the Village’s First Fashion Show: The “Fall Into Fashion” show was conceived by resident Rita Miller and staged by the manager of the local dressbarn. The audience of more than 70 was treated to a range of fashions from casual to career to dressy social wear, all modeled by resident fashionistas. The general consensus among all attending was that the show was lots of fun.
ASA Sponsors Trip to University of Arizona Library: Residents were amazed at the changes in university libraries–particularly the 3-D Printer which they saw in action. The printer can be used by Academy Village residents for a small fee, but have to bring the software program for the specific item with them.
Drums Alive Introduced as New Fitness Class: In late Fall, fifteen AV residents arrived at the Academy Village fitness room to participate in the trial of a new class called “drums alive”. Exercise balls were sitting on laundry baskets, and kitchen spoons substituted for drumsticks. The class provided ¾ hour of fun and cardio exercise. Drums alive works for participants sitting in chairs and standing, all exerting different levels of energy. The residents loved it, and it has become a once-a-week class with real drumsticks.