Lifelong learning with Lindsey Beagley

Mirabella at ASU's 1st Anniversary and Engagement Celebration

Mar 23, 2022

It’s hard to believe this community has been open for just over a year now. In this short time, we have explored and accomplished so much in terms of our growth as a community and our integration with the ASU campus community. 

To celebrate this milestone, the leadership team wanted to reflect back to the community all the incredible acts of kindness and care we have observed residents show one another this last year as the Mirabella community began to take shape. We also wanted to highlight and celebrate the many individuals who led special efforts to explore new learning and engagement opportunities on campus, bringing others along with them as Mirabella at ASU continues to become an integral part of the campus community. 

We solicited nominations from residents to recognize their neighbors for these efforts to advance the audacious vision of Mirabella at ASU. We receive dozens of nominations expressing appreciation for neighbors who had taken care to check in on one another when ill or injured, to provide transportation, or just offer a helping hand. We discovered all of the incredible ways that Mirabella residents were building friendships, learning from each other, and venturing into unknown territory in classrooms and campus spaces as new members of the ASU community.

However, we also heard from residents that they didn’t want to single out any particular person because everyone was contributing meaningfully to the overall vision of this intergenerational lifelong learning community. So instead, we decided to capture the collective achievements of our community, looking at how we showed care for one another, how we continued our learning, how we supported students and engaged on campus, and how we persisted in building the vision for Mirabella at ASU. Here were some highlights:

  • Across 4 semesters, 90 Mirabella learners enrolled in classes (about 40% of the community)
  • Of those classes, 39% were online classes, while 61% were in-person classes.
  • We hosted 50 unique Mirabella Signature Lifelong Learning Lectures, including special speakers from the community, including ASU faculty, City of Tempe Mayor Woods, State Senators, a Lt. Army General, and a U.S. Ambassador.
  • We went on 38 different tours of destinations throughout the area: 20 library tours, 17 campus tours, and 10 field trips across the State of Arizona.
  • We had 22 food and beverage-related field trips and learning opportunities, including topics on honey, olive oil, wine, and chocolate.
  • Mirabella at ASU residents engaged in a wide variety of support roles on campus from pen pals, mentors, professional teaching assistants, research participants, citizen scientists, mock interviewers, guest lecturers, and band and chorus members. A sample of 75 Mirabella residents showed that we made at least 317 new student connections and spent a collective average of 375 hours/week supporting students on campus (that’s about 9 full time employees with vast life and professional experience helping ASU students succeed).
  • We enjoyed lots of positive news coverage in major local and national publications, ranging from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, and PBS—to name a few!

Mirabella at ASU residents showed up in a big way for students and the community this year through philanthropic support and service, including food and hygiene drives and distribution projects for food insecure students and community members.

There was so much to celebrate, so we knew it was cause for a very special occasion!

A fabulous dinner was served in Aria fine dining restaurant, followed by red carpet photos and cocktails, a toast from Executive Director Tom Dorough, a live band, and dancing until late in the evening. The Lifelong Learning Auditorium was transformed into a cocktail lounge with big comfy chairs, votive candles, and mood lighting in maroon and gold. Community members dressed in cocktail and formal attire, and the band played hits from across the decades to get everyone out on the floor for fun and enjoyment. It was a night to remember!