Village residents are actively involved in volunteering inside and outside the village, as well as in fitness, social gatherings and interest groups. One of the oft-cited reasons new folks give for moving to the Village is “the people.” Our residents are diverse, friendly, busy, and stimulating. The following pictures and stories capture only a small amount of this activity. (The picture above, by Deon Holt, is of the AV Activities Committee-sponsored Patio Sale.)

A Lesson in Geology: Professor of Geosciences (Emeritus) Ed McCullough uses a 1000-sheet roll of toilet paper to drive home the concept of geological time. Each sheet represents 4,500,000 years. The appearance of humans on the planet occurs at the far edge of the very last sheet of paper. Dr. McCullough is offering a 4-part course on the formation of the Earth at the Arizona Senior Academy. (Photo by resident Brack Brown)

Wildlife Photos: The Arizona Senior Academy asked Academy Village/Altura residents for wildlife photos from around the Village to be placed in a slideshow.  Marcia Neugebauer collected the photos and created a slideshow and ran it for the residents.  It was very popular with the residents, and can be found here in a PDF format. Click on Photo at left to see the Wildlife slides. (Use of the photos is by permission only.)

Caffeinated Happy Hour: Every Monday morning, interested residents get together at the Caffeinated Happy Hour.  This is a chance to catch up on the news, discuss possible new activities, and laugh.  This time is particularly helpful for newcomers who feel free to ask questions about the village or the larger community, and hear answers that are not written in any book or pamphlet.  We drink coffee, or tea, discuss interesting issues, and have a lot of fun. (Photo by resident Ann Ratcliff)

An Amazing New Sculpture: We have many residents in the village who are artists and/or engage in art activities from time to time.  A group got together and built this clay totem for the pool area which was recently re-landscaped.  The building of this totem involved over 15 residents in the process of preparing the clay pieces to building the structure to hold them. 


Academy Village New GymNew Gym is Being Used: The brand new gym in the Community Center is full of very helpful equipment, and residents are receiving training on how to use these machines.  Residents can hire trainers, and several classes will be taken in the Gym. 


Mardi Gras Party: In what is becoming a yearly event, the Mardi Gras party was full of laughs, fun, and wonderful food and beverages.  Awards were given for those who answered a quiz on the Mardi Gras, and one resident, who received a 100% score, was crowned King of the Mardi Gras. 


Resident Wins Prizes at Tucson Senior Olympics:  Academy Village resident Doug Poust participated in the Tucson Senior Olympic Festval in the track and field event. He won a medal for second place in the discus and also placed 4th in the shot put. This was Doug’s first competition since college.


Recipients of Acknowledgment for Service to Community;  Two residents receive acknowledgment of service to Academy Village/Altura through their work on the transition team and their Home Owners’ Board involvement. The award is given by Carl Genthner, Chair of the HOA Board of Directors (on the right), to Bob Winder and Marcia Reinagel. Photo by Pat Mitchell.


Art Exhibit Opening: Henry Koffler’s IPad art is the focus of an exhibit at the University of Arizona’s Tech Parks.  The opening of the exhibit, called “Inner Landscapes” was held on January 25, 2017, and is available for viewing for the next several months. AV resident, Koffler, is a former president of the University of Arizona and is extensively involved in Tucson life, including the founding of the Academy Village. He continues to engage in new activities and began his iPad art journey three years 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.


A New Fitness Class:  The Academy Village/Altura extensive fitness calendar now includes “Jazzercize”.  This is a class that combines aerobic, dance, and weight activities for Academy Village and silver sneakers participants. This class has become very popular.  (click here for the fitness schedule) 


Resident installs an Academy Village Weather Station: AV resident, Deon Holt, installed a new Academy Village weather station on top of his house. Weather Underground publishes the current weather in the Village.  It is exciting for us to see the Academy Village weather. Please click on the picture for the current weather. (Click on diagram to the right to see the weather).


Fun at the Party:  The Academy Village annual small gift exchange party, was, as usual, full of fun and laughs. Great picture of the event by resident, Carol Poster.



Successful Completion of Tour de Tucson Bike Race: Academy Village residents Gary and Karen Hardy successfully completed a 54 mile long bike race in the Tour de Tucson. Their team, from across the nation raised over $47,000 for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. Gary and Karen’s efforts were dedicated to Karen’s father who suffered from Crohn’s Disease.

img_1371Village Astronomer: AV resident, Michael Criss, was interviewed by Arizona Public Media on the 100-year anniversary of the University of Arizona’s Stewart Observatory.  When Criss came to the U of A as a student years ago, he was the only person majoring in Astronomy.  He went on to a notable career in the field, and, now retired,  lectures at the Stewart Observatory and at the Academy Village. See More

sd-dogs-on-walksVillagers Love their Dogs: On any given morning, we can see a number of Academy Village residents walking their dogs–sometimes as a group.  We also note the many dogs (and their owners) who romp and play in the dog park.

desert website_edited-1New Website on Desert Life:  Residents of Academy Village have developed a new website that highlights the richness of the desert–energy from the sun, diversity of plants, and water during monsoon season–and how we can use these elements to add to the richness of our lives.  The ways of doing so as described in the website is through solar panels, water harvesting, and landscaping with native plants. Take a look: http://www.desertrich.com.

Academy Village Resident activitiesResident Mentoring of Winning University of Arizona Student Engineering Design Team: A student engineering design team, mentored by resident Ivar Sanders, won two awards at a recent presentation of projects and prototypes for the U of A Engineering Design Day.  The AZ Daily Star interviewed one of the student team members.

Academy Village and Arizona Senior AcademyGetting Smarter About Smart Phones: An ASA-sponsored mini course in IOS devices–IPhones, IPads and ITouches–was conducted by AV resident Gary Fenstermacher.  Twenty-six participants learned new tricks about how to more easily access information, move quickly to various tasks, and make more use of the possibilities on their devices.  As in this mini-course, village residents with specific expertise are often asked to present this knowledge to their neighbors under the auspices of the Arizona Senior Academy.

Academy Village PoolDog Day at the Pool: On the day prior to the pool being closed for recoating and adding new tiles, the dogs of Academy Village were invited in to take a swim.  Many villagers came to watch the excitment!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
BookmaAcademy Village Art CourseAcademy Village Bookmakingking Course: Sue Cotter, the nationally-known bookmaker, presents a workshop for Academy Village residents on a course in the Spontaneous Book (left). Over the course of two days, residents were able to complete lovely books that are useful and a delight to the eye. (Carolyn Grossman, resident).

Academy Village at Tucson Wildlife CenterTucson Wildlife Center Visit: The Tucson Wildlife Center is dedicated to the rescue, emergency medical care, rehabilitation and release of sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife. The Academy Village Activity Committee sponsored a tour of the Center. Shown here is a Great Horned Owl with a broken wing.

Academy Village Virginia Richardson TQG ShowTucson Quilters Guild Annual Show: Village resident, Virginia Richardson, wins award at the TQG annual show for her art quilt, “Village in the Rincons” that depicts The Academy Village. AV residents Maggie Davis and Deli Bloembergen are past award winners.

Academy Village Residents in Senior OlympicsTucson Senior Olympics Team from Academy Village: Andy Mai, Leah Hewitt, and Bob McCormack are three members of the Academy Village Ping Pong Team competing in the Senior Olympics.  A tennis team also competed.

Academy Villas Holiday CarolsHoliday Carols at the Villas: Village residents, led by Leslie Nitzberg, sing carols at the Academy Villas, the Assisted Living home in the Village.  A grandson of one of the singers joined in enthusiastically. 

Academy Village Play Reading

Sam Spade Play Reading.   Play readings, led by resident Wayne Magee, are popular at Academy Village.  This particularly play reading, from an early radio show, was was very funny and full of background noises, foreign accents and head gear. Photo by Brack Brown.

Academy Village Social EventFriday Evening Social Hour. Every Friday from 5-6 p.m., a social hour is held in the beautiful Academy Village Arizona Room. Residents catch up with others and newcomers meet their new neighbors in a congenial atmosphere.  This picture was taken by a resident photographer, Brack Brown.

Academy Village ASA presentationThe Art of Horses. Brack Brown, an Academy Village resident and docent at the University of Arizona Museum of Art, presented a lecture on the many ways in which humans have illustrated horses and their roles in human life. Drawing, in part, on the well over 400 images of horses in the University of Arizona Art Museum collection, Brack’s lecture displayed images of the types and forms of humans’ representations of horses, and told stories about some of them. This lecture was presented at the Arizona Senior Academy.

Tiles for BarbecueTiles for the Outdoor Barbecue Counter. An AV resident class in tile making collectively produced 105 tiles for the outdoor barbecue counter while learning all about preparing tiles. The tiles really look good on the patio of the Academy Village Center.

AM Jed&MarciaArizona Senior Academy’s New President is Jed Kee. After 12 years as President of ASA, Marcia Neugebauer steps down and Jed Kee takes over. The Presidency is a resident volunteer position, with responsibility for the 501C-3 organization that brings wonderful learning opportunities to the Academy Village and the Community. A party was held to thank Marcia for her remarkable leadership over the years, and welcome Jed to his new position. Marcia will continue to be responsible for the ASA programs.

BB13Jy15Hershberger_edited-1Photographers Flock to Class. A full house of Academy Village photographers attended Dr. Andrew  Hershberger’s classes and minworkshops on Exploring the History of Photography. The sessions were sponsored by the Arizona Senior Academy

AMBill McCourtWebSaving the Cacti.   Resident Bill McCourt is a member of the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society (TCSS), an organization that rescues cacti from development projects across southern Arizona. The organization also sells salvaged cacti, donates some, and has its own cactus refuge.
Bill is pictured  in his backyard in Academy Village with a saguaro that he rescued. Photo by Andy Mai.

VR Art class in market2Art Class at the Rincon Market. The recent art class taught at the village focused on pen and watercolor sketching.  Taught by Kath Macaulay, AV art students went to the the nearby Rincon Valley Farmers and Artisans Market held every Saturday morning to practice their sketching techniques.  Kath demonstrated her techniques, after which the AV students went to separate areas of the market and produced sketches.

croppedbirding 12-5_edited-1There Are Many Birders in the Village. Hiking and birding are favorite activities in Academy Village.  This picture was taken on an AV resident birding trip to Sweetwater Wetlands, led by two well-known resident birders, Andy & Bev Robertson.

Susan Nisbett, Marna Broekhoft, Leslie Nitzberg

Susan Nisbett, Marna Broekhoft, Leslie Nitzberg

Residents Practicing Foreign Languages.  Each week, residents interested in practicing and improving their foreign language skills meet around tables to converse and read in a different language.  The picture included here are three residents at the La Table Française.  There is also a German Table.  In addition, there are Spanish courses supported by the Arizona Senior Academy.

Ken & Yetta Goodman

Ken & Yetta Goodman

Those Goodmans: Still Teaching, Still Learning. Yetta and Ken Goodman are still busy pursuing their passions: understanding how young children learn and helping teachers teach children to read. While retired for some time, they still maintain offices at the University of Arizona and at home. Their active schecule includes writing books (4 published in 2014), speaking by invitation at national and international conferences, presenting webinars, and answering students’ questions both at the U of A and distant classrooms (via skype). They say they are fortunate to live and work in Academy Village where remaining mentally active is easy. 

Don Behnke

Don Behnke

Edu-tainment’ at Sea with Don BehnkeVillagers Don and Ruth Behnke took a trans-Atlantic cruise to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. After attending several on-board lectures, Don thought, “I could do that.” He decided to lecture about music—a subject about which he is knowledgeable and eloquent. He has lectured on “A Toast to the Tenors,” featuring the famous Three Tenors; “Ebony and Ivory,” highlighting Van Cliburn and Vladimir Horowitz, and nine others. Don now travels around the world sharing his programs with cruisers. Don says, “It’s my 41st career.”

Janet Kerans and Mely Bochman

Janet Kerans and Mely Bochman

Retirees Enhance Vail School District’s Curriculum: Arizona Daily Star: It is no coincidence that Academy Village residents have been volunteering in the Vail School District for more than eight years. Volunteerism was a key part of what was envisioned when Henry Koffler, then-president of the University of Arizona, conceptualized the retirement community off Old Spanish Trail on Tucson’s east side…more

Nancy & Jerry to Nogales

Nancy & Jerry to Nogales

Villagers Help Deportees in Mexico: Jerry Agnew and Nancy Fitzgerald learned about the work of the Kino Border Initiative (KBI). Inspired by stories of deportees’ struggles, they became involved. From late fall to early spring, they drive to Nogales, Mexico, to take clothing donations and help at the KBI Center. The Center provides a hot meal, basic first aid, and clothing. Most deportees arrive with nothing beyond what they’re wearing so offering a shirt or pair of shoes is vital to their comfort and morale. Nancy and Jerry thank their neighbors at Academy Village for the generous contributions of clothing.

The Wagners on bicycles

The Wagners on bicycles

Village Triathletes Thrive on Competition: The Wagners thrive on athletic competition. Jerry is a serious runner. Paula participates in bike-and-run biathlons. They mastered biathlons, so a move to triathlons, which added a swimming event, was inevitable. Their first triathlon was sponsored by the University of Arizona: an 825-yard swim, a 12-mile bike ride, and a 3-mile run, all on campus. To stay active in this demanding sport, every week the Wagners bike seven days on nearby Old Spanish Trail, run five days on local paths, and swim three to four days in the Village pool. Paula and Jerry are quick to say that Academy Village is a wonderful place for pursuing their sport.

Dick Miya on Site

Dick Miya on Site

Villager Serves as Archeology Site Steward: The National Park Service has a volunteer archeological site stewardship program that focuses on preserving Native American heritage sites in the Tucson area. Village volunteer Dick Miya says, “As a site steward I can enjoy the beauty of the Sonoran Desert, continue my study of southwestern archeology, and make a small contribution toward protecting some of the many archeological sites we have in this region.”

AV Golf Team 1Academy Village Golfers have their pictures taken for an article on Academy Village golfers for the Village Voices, a monthly newsletter for AV residents. The Del Webb golf course is just 7 minutes away from Academy Village, and the Forty-Niner is 25 minutes.

Erika Brand at Amarind

Erika Brand at Amarind

Volunteers at Amerind Foundation Museum. Forty-eight miles east of Academy Village is a museum that fosters and promotes understanding of the Native Peoples of the Americas through research, education, and conservation. AV resident, Erika Brand, volunteers her time at this museum that contains a superb collection of Native American artifacts, and sponsors special programs in which Indian artists demonstrate their skills.

JKTea5_edited-1Women’s Holiday Tea: For the third year in a row, The Activities Committee sponsored the Women’s Holiday Tea. The tables are set with residents’ table linen and dishes, and wonderful food is offered. A harpist adds lovely music to the festivities. We love this tea!