The Pruett Gerontology Center (PGC) at Abilene Christian University was established in order to meet the changing needs of our community as the population ages. The PGC supports the mission of Abilene Christian University to educate its students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world by providing an interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in Aging Studies as well as an interdisciplinary graduate certificate in Aging Studies. The minor and the certificate are designed to enhance a student’s major area of study and giving the student confidence to enter career fields where they will work with people at all stages of the life course. Through the generous gifts of alumni and friends of the PGC, students pursuing the minor or graduate certificate are eligible for academic scholarships.
In addition to educating students for careers with older adults, the PGC is also committed to serving the ACU community and the broader community through workshops, consulting, and connecting them to resources provided by agencies like the local Area Agency on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association. Some of the events sponsored by the PGC are a town hall that takes place every other year and brings seniors from the Big Country together with ACU students to discuss issues facing older adults. Those concerns are taken by the Texas Silver-Haired Legislature to Austin where they lobby on behalf of older adults in Texas. The PGC also runs an annual Images of Aging Photo Contest and a Careers in Aging fair.
The PGC also serves as a research center at ACU. Each year the center provides grant funds for faculty at ACU who are conducting original research in gerontology. In addition to these funds, the director of the PGC also conducts research on teaching and learning in gerontology.