Archive for Friday, August 12, 2005

Retired faculty continue learning, socializing in Endacott Society

August 12, 2005

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The formal hallway within Adams Alumni Center fills up with laughter and the rich smell of freshly brewed coffee every Wednesday morning.

Kansas University Endacott Society members Dick Schiefelbusch, retired director of what is now the Life Span Institute, chats with Jim Seaver, host of KANU&squot;s "Opera is My Hobby," during a Wednesday meeting at the Adams Alumni Center. Members of the society are KU retirees who gather each week for coffee and doughnuts. The society also offers courses and social activities.

Kansas University Endacott Society members Dick Schiefelbusch, retired director of what is now the Life Span Institute, chats with Jim Seaver, host of KANU's "Opera is My Hobby," during a Wednesday meeting at the Adams Alumni Center. Members of the society are KU retirees who gather each week for coffee and doughnuts. The society also offers courses and social activities.

This can mean only one thing: The KU Endacott Society is gathering for another weekly meeting.

Previously known as the Retirees Club, the Endacott Society - named after its founder, KU Basketball Hall of Fame member Paul Endacott - began meeting in a small break room in 1981. Members would bring their own self-addressed postcards that would later be mailed back to them with information on the club's upcoming events.

Today, the Endacott Society comprises more than 400 retired faculty and staff members from Kansas University. The postcards have been replaced with a monthly newsletter.

From left, Bill Hambleton, retired from the Kansas Geological Society, and Tom Eblen, retired general manager and news adviser for the University Daily Kansan, meet at the Adams Alumni Center.

From left, Bill Hambleton, retired from the Kansas Geological Society, and Tom Eblen, retired general manager and news adviser for the University Daily Kansan, meet at the Adams Alumni Center.

Society members can choose from a variety of activities such as computer study, gardening seminars and music appreciation. Other activities such as drama and cinema study keep members involved in academic discussions.

"You can be as active as you want," said Max Lucas, past president of the society. "Some are involved in four or five activities while some only one or two. Our interest groups start out as just that: A group that is interested in something. If it catches on, great. If it doesn't, that activity just phases out."

From left, Karmie Galle, retired Kansas Geological Survey Research scientist, his wife, Edna Galle, retired budget assistant to the School of Education dean, and Winnie Geissler, retired Anglo-Saxon instructor at Kansas State University, enjoy tea and coffee during a Wednesday gathering of the Endacott Society.

From left, Karmie Galle, retired Kansas Geological Survey Research scientist, his wife, Edna Galle, retired budget assistant to the School of Education dean, and Winnie Geissler, retired Anglo-Saxon instructor at Kansas State University, enjoy tea and coffee during a Wednesday gathering of the Endacott Society.

Membership in KU's Endacott Society also is extended to retired professionals from other universities, such as member Winnie Geissler, retiree from Kansas State University's English Department. In-state rivalry didn't prevent her from joining, but she nevertheless is exposed to a few harmless barbs from time to time.

Geissler admits a few members have poked fun at her choice of K-State, telling her that "everyone makes mistakes when they're young." It's all in good fun, though, she said.

Amid the friendship and the activities, the Endacott Society's greatest achievement is the amount of support for all its members.

"The nice thing about this group," said Edwyna Gilbert, the group's new president, "is that it's supportive."

Susan Chase is a Sunflower Broadband employee

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