Families experience K-State at Grandparents University

K-State Alumni Communications

Willie the Wildcat signs autographs for children at Grandparents University. (Photo: Ashley Pauls)

Grandparents and their grandchildren tap-danced, built catapults, went bowling and created many other memories during their time as Kansas State University “students” at Grandparents University. Co-sponsored by the College of Education and the K-State Alumni Association, the three-day camp took place at K-State’s Manhattan campus in early August and was attended by nearly 30 grandparents and their grandchildren, ages 8 to 12. In addition to fun activities, grandparents had a chance to bond with their grandchildren, and the children got an early look at what life would be like as a K-State student.

“We’re just really excited that you’re here today,” K-State Alumni Association President and CEO Amy Button Renz '76, '86 told the campers during a brunch at the Alumni Center. “It’s fun that you’re considering Kansas State University as something in your future.”


Campers learn to tap dance at Grandparents University. (Photo: Ashley Pauls)

During their time at K-State, the campers participated in a variety of activities and learned more about the university. They decorated their residence hall rooms; attended a tap-dancing lesson; created a “Stringitecture” or string architecture project, which involved assembling a woven construction around a cardboard frame; learned how to design a catapult; sampled Call Hall ice cream; and received a surprise visit from Willie the Wildcat, who signed autographs for the children.

Helen Matthews ’71, Manhattan, Kansas, attended Grandparents University with her grandson, Bradyn Burke, age 12, Russell, Kansas. Matthews said one of her favorite activities was watching 3-D printing and laser cutting. Burke said he liked the catapult activity and is considering studying engineering at K-State in the future. 


Cecilia Tarwater and her grandmother Betty Lavery '69 decorate their residence hall room for Grandparents University. (Photo: Linda Cook '77)

“I think [Grandparents University] gives you a great opportunity to see the campus and how it’s evolved, and to see how it’s changed,” Matthews said. “That just shows growth.”

Betty Lavery ’69, Paola, Kansas, said she also thought Grandparents University was a valuable experience. She brought her granddaughter Cecilia Tarwater, fourth grade, Olathe, Kansas. They enjoyed the tap dancing and string architecture, as well as just spending time together.

“It’s always fun to have time to spend with your grandchildren, especially one-on-one,” Lavery said. 

For more information about Grandparents University, visit www.coe.k-state.edu/events/gpu
 

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