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MSU Alumni Association’s Grandparents University is largest intergenerational event of its kind

Wednesday, June 14, 2017  
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Statistics show time spent with grandchildren encourages values such as education, honesty,and self-sufficiency at an early age

Michigan State University (MSU) Alumni Association is gearing up for the 12th annual Grandparents University on June 27-29, 2017. As the largest intergenerational event of its kind in the U.S., Grandparents University welcomes young Spartans, ages 8-12, and their grandparents to campus for a unique learning experience. This year’s program is sold out with more than 1,300 people, or 461 families, registered.

“This is a local event that showcases all of MSU. Even though this is an Alumni Association sponsored program, we partner with more than 25 colleges and departments around campus, offering 170 different classes to families. It’s cool because grandparents get to look at MSU through the eyes of future Spartans,” said Amy Carnahan, director of Grandparents University at MSU Alumni Association.

This three-day summer camp is a unique, fun-filled experience that actively engages children in MSU academics while creating lasting family memories. Time spent with grandparents fosters important values while encouraging children to further their education.

According to a MetLife study on how grandparents share their time, values, and money, at least half of the grandparents rated most of the tested attributes as being very important to pass down to children or grandchildren. Some of these values include: honesty (88 percent), good behavior (82 percent), self-sufficiency (70 percent), higher education (69 percent), and good health habits (68 percent).

“I was so excited to have a chance to be with my granddaughters and expose them to what college was like at my university. Their dads played football at the University of Michigan so this was a great chance to showcase MSU,” explained a 2016 Grandparents University participant.

MSU alumni and guests from across the U.S. and around the world will have the opportunity to attend four classes and unique evening programming over the four days. Participants enjoy living and dining in the MSU residence halls, and explore the many other opportunities the university has to offer. New this year, MSU will host a Green and White Night that will bring all 1,300 people together for a tailgate style event on Wednesday, June 28 from 6-9 p.m.

“We have a two-tier registration process,” said Carnahan. “This year, the first tier was on March 16 where everyone reserves their spots. The second tier was on March 22, one week later, where every class goes live at 10 a.m. Approximately 85 percent of people will have their classes chosen within the first five to six minutes. This event sells out in less than an hour!”

Some of the classes families will be participating in this year include “Entrepreneurship: The First Lemonade Stand”, “Taste of Japan: Japanese Culture and Sushi Rolling”, and “Where Does Our Food Come From? The Amazing Honey Bee”.

For more information about Grandparents University, visit

About MSU Alumni Association: The MSU Alumni Association embodies Michigan State University’s world-grant mission to make the world a better place through collective Spartan power. Through engagement and continuing education, MSUAA fosters lifelong connections with more than 500,000 Spartans around the world. For more information, visit


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