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UNG earns Age-Friendly University designation

UNG is first and only institution in the state of Georgia to become a member of the Age-Friendly University (AFU) Global Network.

Based on the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Center for Healthy Aging and other activities, the university has joined the Age-Friendly University (AFU) Global Network.

"We are the first and only institution in the state of Georgia," said Dr. Pamela Elfenbein, professor of sociology and human services at UNG. "We have chosen to align ourselves with the principles of the AFU Global Network."

A few of the principles include encouraging older adults to participate in educational and research programs, promoting personal and career development in life and recognizing the educational needs of older adults. The complete list of principles can be found on the AFU Global Network website with its 55 participating schools.

Elfenbein explained these principles align with the mission of UNG's Center for Healthy Aging to provide a community-based center that will offer quality education and services to older adults. Almost 30 percent of the Hall County population will soon be 65 and older, she said. In Georgia, residents 62 and older may enroll for classes at University System of Georgia colleges and universities and attend for free.

Elfenbein said becoming an age-friendly institution allows UNG to collaborate with experts at top-tier universities who also are members of the network such as Arizona State University, Concordia University Chicago, Florida State University, Purdue University, University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California, and Washington University at St. Louis.

"It's a network of like-minded universities and college that understand the importance of reaching out to a segment of the population and bringing them into the life of the university," she said.

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