Learning at an IUN computer class for senior citizens.
We are born, we age, we die. As we enter life’s later stages, we are faced with a number of issues, from failing eyesight and reduced mobility to questions of long-term health care and financial security. But age comes with benefits too, such as wisdom, accrued knowledge, and resources. How we—and our society—deal with these issues is a question that ultimately can’t be avoided.
Joseph “Joe” Thomas taught at IU Northwest for a time, and gave the first commencement address. He is a trustee of the Byron A. Root Memorial Trust Fund. Mr. Root, a self-made businessman, left a trust fund to care for the elderly. The principal of the trust lies in an account managed by the IU Foundation, and the interest goes to support various programs and projects in the Northwest area. Together with IUN Dean of Continuing Studies Robert Lovely, Joe directs funds from the trust to develop and support various projects concerned with aging in the Northwest community.
The trust has supported such projects as a series of interviews with local health practitioners. Videos have been deposited in the local library as a resource for professional and family caregivers. Health fairs at local churches, computers and computer classes in community centers for the elderly, diabetes screening, blood and health checks, ceramics and clay work for arthritis patients are all tangible results of the fund’s assistance.
Joe’s history of helping has a history: He is the son of Ray Thomas, an IU trustee for 15 years during Herman B Wells’ tenure as president. He has also established the Ray and Josephine Thomas Scholarship at IUN in honor of his parents.
Age may bring wisdom. But wisdom needs action to make a difference. Joe Thomas brings them together at IUN.
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