Centennial Celebration was "One for the Ages"


The Scripps Gerontology Center celebrated its 100th anniversary on September 9 and 10 with festivities at the Oxford campus. The weekend kicked off Friday with a "One for the Ages" lunchtime panel presentation with past Cottrell Distinguished Gerontology Alumni Award recipients who shared memories of Scripps, perspectives on the future of the field of aging, and advice for early-career gerontologists. Friday evening led with a social hosted by sponsor The Knolls of Oxford, where attendees mingled and enjoyed beverages and hors d'oeuvres. The social also served as an opportunity to celebrate the long-standing relationship between The Knolls and Scripps, which serves as a model for the relationships and collaboration that Scripps prioritizes and will continue to pursue.

Saturday was a day full of events where current and former Scripps researchers and fellows shared their work and experiences. In the “Journey So Far and the Path Forward” lunch presentation, Miami President Gregory Crawford contextualized Scripps's significance within  the university and its impact on the field of gerontology. Former Executive Director Suzanne Kunkel shared the story of the Center’s remarkable history, and new Executive Director, Katy Abbott, talked about the values and priorities that will guide Scripps into its next 100 years. The day ended with an Opening Minds through Art (OMA) experience, where attendees were introduced to the award-winning intergenerational art program and invited to explore their own creativity. The OMA program is celebrating 15 years in Miami in 2022. 

Rosemarie Oakman, a second-year MGS student, shared, "After participating in this weekend's event, I feel even more connected to the legacy of such an innovative institution. The highlight of my weekend was the OMA session. It is incredibly inspiring that a creative aging program started here at Miami University by Dr. Elizabeth Lokon has been implemented by hundreds of trained facilitators nationally and internationally. I loved seeing the stunning abstract artwork created by the session attendees and learning about how these same failure-free art projects are utilized in memory care communities."

Saturday night, staff, faculty, alumni, current students, sponsors, donors, and guests gathered for the "One for the Ages" Banquet, and continued the celebration with food, music, and socializing. Miami’s Vice President for Research and Innovation, Sue McDowell, opened the banquet with remarks praising Scripps’s research and funding achievements and honoring the leadership of Suzanne Kunkel and former Director of Research Jane Straker, who both retired at the end of June 2022. Sponsor Serene Suites spoke about the impact of Scripps and the OMA program on their personal and professional endeavors.

Overall, the weekend was a great success and allowed those involved with Scripps from the past and present to come together and honor a truly remarkable milestone. 

Executive Director Katy Abbott, concluded, "I am deeply grateful for the Scripps Gerontology Center mission because that is what brings us all together. My priorities moving forward include stewarding the health of the organization, continuing to build strong relationships with our partners, and refining our processes to be more efficient. I also want to prioritize and highlight the integral part that Scripps plays in the mentoring, supervising, and training of Miami University students.”

Thank you to all who organized, attended, and contributed, for a memorable weekend!  Cheers to another 100 years!