2023 SEL Board
Birdel Jackson, President
Betsy Jones, Vice President
Marge Irace, Secretary
Allen Buckley, Treasurer
Eleni Nega, Education Director
The mission of SEL is to empower mature adults to lead productive, creative and independent lives by offering continuing stimulating educational programs and classes.
In 1989, the late Dr. Malone Dodson, Senior Minister at Roswell United Methodist Church, and members Tom Nash and Mel Smiley were the impetus for starting Seniors Enriched Living in the North Fulton area. They developed a program for active, retired adults over 50 years of age.
RUMC provided office space in the Counseling Center. (Though supported by local religious affiliates, SEL is a secular 501c3 organization.) At this time an idea was conceived and funds raised for a building to be used for Senior and Youth activities. This project became the Dodson Building. Later the SEL office was moved to a house on the church property but is now housed in the Dod.
By Laws were written and the first classes were offered at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in February 1990. That first session had 14 course offerings for over 100 attendees. Church member Carol Hopkins was instrumental in organizing, promoting and securing volunteers.
During the beginning years Tom Nash and Mel Smiley ran the program. In 1996, the late Dick Higgins was hired as the Executive Director. He had been an attendee as well as an instructor.
From the beginning SEL was treated as a department of the Roswell United Methodist Church. Then in the mid 2000s the Methodist Conference stated outside organizations could no longer be a church department. Retaining church support, SEL transitioned to an independent organization.
SEL has grown from the 100+ members in the 1990 Winter Session to more than 487 in Winter 2021. Over the years thousands of Seniors have benefited from attending Seniors Enriched Living classes.
Currently some classes are taught on Zoom video conferencing software and some are in person.
Please note that pursuant to Georgia State law, no video recordings of classes that include attendees on-screen are allowed to be recorded or distributed.