skip to main content
classes, field trips, educational travel, lectures & special events


The Senior College of Central Nebraska officially began in April 2005 but its roots extend farther back in time. In the late 1990’s a group of farsighted, energetic people began a conversation that focused on developing educational opportunities for seasoned citizens. The primary pioneers in this effort were Jackie and Bob Rosenlof, Marilyn Hadley, Bob Smoot, Christy Walsh, and Dick and Marilyn Jussel; each of whom represented one or more important entity that had the potential to support life-long learning opportunities in the Kearney community.

The early phases of this program – which became known as “A Taste Of Life” – combined resources from Good Samaritan Hospital, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kearney Public Library and the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce. From 2001 through 2005, Taste of Life offered a variety of classes, programs and activities that attracted seniors from across south-central Nebraska.

Concurrent with the emergence of Taste of Life, the Bernard Osher Foundation undertook a national program of underwriting development of and support for life-long learning programs at larger colleges and universities around the country. Kearney’s fledgling program was too small to qualify for Osher support but the concept and model of the larger initiative fit the Taste Of Life program quite well.

In April  2005  the Taste of Life innovators formed and served on the original Steering Committee which selected the name “The Senior College of Central Nebraska” for the organization.  By June 2005, The Senior College had a membership of 184 representing 8 communities in south-central Nebraska. In Fall 2005 a Board of Directors was elected at the first Annual Meeting of the Senior College.

In the 2005-2006 academic year, three semesters worth of classes were offered. The Fall semester provided 8 classes for 126 registrants. The following Spring session had 10 classes with, again, 126 participants. The Summer session (June) included 6 classes and 35 students for a total 287 registrants.

For the 2017 Spring, Summer, and Fall sessions, Senior College enrollments reached 620.

Contact Us

P.O. Box 1556, Kearney, NE 68848
308-234-1616  •

© 2024 Senior College of Central Nebraska