Mitch Albom


Monday, December 2, 2019


7:30 pm

Ticket Price




Author of Tuesdays With Morrie, philanthropist, columnist, and sports reporter Mitch Albom is an inspiration around the world. His books have sold over 39 million copies and have been translated into 45 languages. While nationally recognized for his sports writing, Albom is perhaps best known for the themes of hope and kindness woven through his books, plays, and films. He is the author of eight bestselling books, with five debuting at #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List, including The First Phone Call from Heaven; Have A Little Faith; The Five People You Meet in Heaven, and its sequel, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven. Albom’s next work, Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family, is the true story of Chika, a young Haitian orphan whose short life would forever change Albom’s heart. In his presentation, "Why Every Life Matters," he will speak about how we are all connected and we all have influence, so it is our responsibility to do whatever we can — wherever we are to make the world a better place.



A buffet dinner will be served in newly renovated Grand Upton Hall before Mitch Albom’s presentation. Dinner begins at 5:30 pm and includes mixed greens salad, stuffed pork loin, Swiss steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls and butter, Mississippi mud pie in coup champagne glass.


At 6:30 pm, the Campus for Creative Aging will present a 30-minute panel discussion titled “Why Every Life – and every age – Matters.” We each have something of value to contribute to our community no matter what our stage of life. Building on the themes of Mitch Albom’s presentation, a panel of experts give their perspectives on the value of every age and engage the audience in a discussion on the value of intergenerational and interdependent communities. Each of us has a unique and singular contribution we can make to better our community.

Panelists include:


Mamie Yarbrough, Berrien County Commissioner and President of the Benton Harbor Public Library Board, Benton Harbor Homecoming, Inc., and the Coming Home Coming Together Concert Committee – Yarbrough is a life-long resident of Berrien County, attended Benton Harbor High School, Western Michigan University, and has several certifications in the field of Housing Management, a field in which she was employed for 30 years in varied administrative, management, and consulting roles. A known leader in the community, she has been tapped for multiple leadership roles and has infectious passion for her community, always willing to consider new possibilities.


Dr. Toni Woolfork-Barnes, Director of The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Western Michigan University –The Osher Foundation was founded in 1977 to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts. The lifelong learning programs it supports can be found in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. WMU has been the home of an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and part of the foundation's national network of similar entities since April 2014. Woolfork-Barnes brings more than 30 years of experience in leading various student-focused programs at WMU prior to taking leadership of OLLI last spring. She is excited about continuing the mission of offering courses and trips designed for learners age 50 and above.


Orion Bell, President and Chief Executive Officer at the Cleveland-based Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging – Bell brings more than 30 years of leadership experience in the field of aging and persons with disabilities. Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging is a nationally recognized nonprofit whose work includes deepening the understanding of the evolving needs of older adults in a changing society; promoting effective public policies; and developing innovative, high-quality solutions. Bell previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer at CICOA Aging and In-Home Solutions in Indianapolis, preceded by a long career with the American Red Cross. Bell is a member of the American Society on Aging, the Gerontological Society of America and past board member of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.


Panel moderator Lynn Kellogg, CEO of Region IV Area Agency on Aging (AAA) based in St. Joseph, Michigan and serving Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties – Kellogg is a regular newspaper columnist. She has been in the field of aging over 40 years, is well-known nationally as an innovator and speaker, and is a champion for business development in the field and the richness of intergenerational, interdependent communities. Region IV Area Agency on Aging recently received a National Innovations Award for its Campus for Creative Aging, a virtual campus concept launching an all-inclusive movement to laud age as a time of creativity, purpose, growth, and learning.


Following dinner and the panel discussion, ticket holders for Mitch Albom’s presentation will take the short walk through The Mendel Center to their reserved seats in the Mainstage. Dinner and Mitch Albom tickets sold separately.

Member dinner tickets - $25 per dinner

Public dinner tickets - $35 per dinner

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