Wiggins named coordinator of ILR, Exploritas

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 29, 2009

NATCHEZ — Judy Wiggins of Natchez has been named coordinator of the Institute for Learning in Retirement and Exploritas, formerly Elderhostel, two programs sponsored by Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Natchez.

Wiggins retired recently as English instructor after a 30-year career.

The ILR is a regional program where individuals 50 years and older participate in wide variety of educational and fun activities, including trips, classes, lectures and meals. The ILR meets regularly at Co-Lin with membership taking an active role in planning the activities.

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Exploritas is affiliated with Exploritas International, and involves groups from around the nation and world visiting the Natchez area for educational and fun experiences. Elderhostel is for individuals 55 years of age and older.

Local residents may join either one or both organizations.

“The Exploritas program allows us to showcase Natchez to people from around the world. It is an educational and fun experience for all involved,” Vice President Teresa Busby said. “ILR brings our retirees to campus for meetings, to hear guest speakers and to participate in a variety of activities. The group does things from Tai Chi to bird watching. They are a great group.”

Wiggins is a graduate of Co-Lin Natchez, earning her associate’s degree and is an inductee in the Co-Lin Natchez Hall of Fame. She went on to the University of Southern Mississippi, earned her bachelor’s degree, then to Appalachian State in North Carolina for her master’s degree.

During her 30 years at Co-Lin Natchez, Wiggins has worn many hats, including advising the campus newspaper N-Sights, sponsor for the yearbook Trillium, been Student Government Association and Homecoming sponsor, and advisor to Refractions, the literary magazine.

In 1997 she began the Travel Abroad program for the Natchez Campus. Students have been to various countries in Europe through the years.

She has chaired the campus Wellness Committee and originated the Renaissance Faire.

She has won the Co-Lin High Performance Award, been honored by the yearbook, and been selected Outstanding Humanities Instructor by the Mississippi Humanities Council.

During her time at Co-Lin she authored a book “From the Heart of Ponder Country,” a recipe and essay book based on food in Eudora Welty’s “The Ponder Heart.”

For information about the programs, contact Wiggins at 601-446-1237 or judy.wiggins@colin.edu.