Senior University

Learning Opportunities

Senior University at Franke Tobey Jones provides a wealth of programs for lifelong learning for people 55 or older, for retirement home residents and the surrounding community. This educational and cultural program designed for seniors is unique to Pierce County. Senior University offers the opportunity to build skills, explore new subjects and enjoy the learning process with others.  Lecturers and instructors are experts in their fields, hailing from local colleges and universities, businesses, not-for-profits and cultural organizations, along with others who have retired with rich career experiences. Most classes are offered free of charge as a public service to the Tacoma-Pierce County community.

Senior University offers a wide array of educational programming to stir the senses and inspire the mind. Our retirement home offers classes in partnership with local universities, museums, educators, cultural organizations, and local businesses in Tacoma, including:

A Variety of Speakers

Speakers and organizations speak on the issues you care about ~ local and national policies, world cultures, interpersonal relations and inter-generational connections.

Professors and Instructors from University of Puget Sound, University of Washington Tacoma, and Pacific Lutheran University

A variety of faculty and topics gleaned from the college community include everything from British literature to astronomy to aging to history.

Practical Knowledge

Courses such as Social Security 101, Paying for Long-Term-Care, Online Banking, estate planning, overviews of local attractions, history, etc.

Computer Courses

Courses include exploration of tablet technology, smart phones, social media, e-mail, digital photos, web searches and other technologies in lab setting.

Health, Wellness and Nutrition Courses

These include topics like coping with various diseases and feature nationally known speakers such as Joe Piscatella.

Curious Minds

No degree or level of educational experience is necessary to join a Senior University class, just an urge to learn and grow. You may participate in a single class or take advantage of a broad range of classes or series held in a variety of locations on our retirement home campus in Tacoma.

Participatory Classes in Writing, Genealogy, Travel and Exploration Programs

For the curious and adventurous, these classes feature world travelers and adventurers, educators, published writers, and student groups to bring the wonders of the world straight to your parlor. Also included: Brain Games and Great Courses!

Hands-On Arts and Crafts

Classes range from painting to mosaics and jewelry to wood-shop projects or theater-acting techniques. Instructors include local artists as well as teachers from local college art programs and cultural organizations. 


Franke Tobey Jones is a lifestyle community that enjoys partnerships with many local cultural and educational organizations. Included in these partnerships are:

  • Tacoma Historical Society
  • Museum of Glass
  • Symphony Tacoma
  • Meaningful Movies Tacoma
  • Metro Parks Tacoma
  • Northwest Apple Pickers Macintosh User’s Group
  • Master Gardener’s
  • Tacoma Arts Live

Most courses are free of charge and offered to senior retirement living community residents and the Tacoma community as a public service. We are proud to offer Senior University as the only program of its kind in Tacoma. Please click here for a Senior University calendar.

To join the mailing list, please click here.

For questions or suggestions for Senior University, please contact Jana Wennstrom at