We were inspired to create Elim Park University (EPU) by the incredible talent, knowledge, and life experience that members of our community bring to us. EPU is a new way for residents to share their special gifts.
We’re always looking for fresh ways to enrich residents’ lives. Our unique, on-campus higher learning model enables residents to participate in our university as teachers, students, or both! EPU even has a Dean of Students—Pastor Wayne Detzler, Elim Park’s resident chaplain—and retired adjunct professor of history at Sacred Heart University and academic dean of Southern Evangelical Seminary.
The purpose of EPU is to enrich the lives of Elim Park residents through continuing education and to stimulate conversation and interaction among residents supporting their well-being and connection. Our goal is to provide a stimulating educational environment through courses and programs whereby residents grow and are encouraged to continue life-long learning.
We have writers and artists, master gardeners, craftspeople, engineers, academics, carpenters, athletes, and cooking professionals—we even have a bona fide ‘rocket scientist!’ The range and caliber of talent here are remarkable. And you don’t have to be a trained teacher to teach a class!
Resident Dorothy DuPont, an author, and Juried Watercolorist, says she was a bit nervous about teaching her first watercolor class. Now she absolutely loves it—and so do her students, many of whom are painting for the first time in their lives.
While most classes take place in a traditional classroom or lecture setting on our campus, teachers are free to design their own unique way of sharing knowledge with their students. Last summer, resident and master gardener Joy Norman and her husband Clay, a gardening expert, decided to take their students outside on a garden tour through the beautiful Elim Park grounds. The students loved this kind of outdoor experiential ‘classroom’ that revealed many interesting plants, such as a cactus that is actually native to Connecticut and grows right here on our campus!
Jean King, owner of a local travel agency, coordinated and escorted a group tour to experience an actual African safari – a trip she has been making regularly since 1985. Upon returning to Elim Park, she took EPU students on a virtual safari through her travelogue “Tanzania Under Canvas,” featuring stunning photographs that vividly captured her adventure.
Our EPU instructors bring a wealth of knowledge from their hobbies and interests and former careers. Richard Boynton, an engineer, musician, author, and former rocket scientist, brings the wonders of the universe to our campus. His class includes fascinating explorations of comets, meteors, black holes, travel to Mars, and the upcoming Webb telescope — that may soon enable us to see back to the beginning of time!