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Grandparents University (GPU) is a Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA) summer program for grandchildren and grandparents that emphasizes fundamental education. Think summer school but shorter, more fun, and with your nana. Available to WAA members, the program began in 2001, when Bonnie Geyer ’67, MS’00 and Jeff Wendorf ’82, WAA’s vice president of development, came up with yet another way for grandparents to spoil their grandkids. With each session of GPU, kiddos get two days’ worth of the college experience, parents get a well-deserved break, and grandparents get a blast from the past. GPU started with four majors, but now participants can choose from dozens of options, including computer science, limnology, journalism, and nursing. Throughout three sessions this month, the young and the young at heart will be on campus to make chicken nuggets and master meat processing, study the stars at Washburn Observatory, drill ice like South Pole scientists, and more. And once grandparents have inspired future astronomers, writers, and vets, they can happily drop these young mad scientists back off with their parents to deal with subsequent at-home experiments (a.k.a. messes) and endless curiosity.

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