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8th Annual Grandparents University Summer Camp will kick off Thursday


Karla Cooper helps her granddaughter, Kaitlin Ottesman, 10, put frosting in a pastry bag on Thursday afternoon during the Cupcakes, Cookies, and More! session in Wightman Hall at the Grandparents University event on the campus of Central Michigan University.

Central Michigan University alumni will be able to come back and relive their college years with their grandchildren Thursday as the 8th Annual Grandparents University begins.

The three-day weekend summer camp allows alumni to stay on campus in the residence halls while sharing their college experience with their grandchildren. Alumni and their grandchildren will be able to choose from 40 different class sessions that will take place all over campus. 

"We started GrandparentsU eight years ago. Alumni relations was looking to engage alumni in a non traditional way and we though of this," said Annie Sanders, associate director for alumni relations. "We thought bringing them back with children who would be perspective students would be a win-win for us and the university."

There are 244 participants registered this year: 117 grandparents and 127 grandchildren. Sanders said the summer camp provides a unique opportunity for alumni. 

"Many of these alumni have not returned in years, so the campus is totally different." Sanders said. "They get to stay in the new residence halls and see all of the new buildings--there's so many changes here."

The sessions the grandparents and grandchildren will participate in are led by faculty members and students. In the evening they can participate in extra activities in the Student Activity Center, such as bowling.

"The most exciting thing is the one-on-one time the children will get with their grandparents that they might not always be able to get," Sanders said. "This is also the first time at a college setting for these children. GrandparentsU opens the eyes of these children to all the different opportunities CMU has to offer them in the future."

Class session preference is based on registration times. Representatives from every department on campus will be available to alumni and grandchildren to answer questions during class sessions. 

Alumni can view and register for sessions here.