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Michigan State University

Volunteers and Instructors

Impact the Grandparents University Experience

Grandparents University would not be successful without the work of many who give their time annually as instructors and volunteers in a host of capacities. Volunteering your time creates a memorable experience for future Spartans, alumni and friends of MSU.

Volunteer at Grandparents University

Grandparents University is a fun event and in years past there have been more than 1,000 participants, but it requires many people to make it happen. As a volunteer at the event, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with the participants in a variety of different roles and assist with many aspects of the event.

For 2024, volunteer registration is scheduled to open in mid-April.

Become a Grandparents University Instructor

Instructor Application:

The application period for 2024 is closed.

But it's never too early to think about a class you would like to teach for GPU 2025! If you're interested and/or would like to learn more, contact Nikki Hawthorne via email

Desired Class Criteria:

  • Classes that are geared towards an intergenerational audience – participants in the program are between the ages of 8 and 13 and grandparents and/or guardians.
  • Classes that have an academic focus and are informative and interactive, incorporating visual, auditory and kinesthetic components.
  • Classes that accommodate at least 20 participants.

Benefits of Participation:

  • Showcase your area of expertise to a new generation of students and their grandparents.
  • Participate in an experience so rewarding that 90% of our instructors have taught for multiple years.
  • Demonstrate your commitment to MSU’s land grant mission through outreach and service to the community.
    • For tenure system faculty, you may consider including this on the Form on Progress and Excellence in Reappointment, Promotion or Tenure Action (formerly Form D).
  • Check out this video below to hear from an experienced GPU instructor on why this opportunity is so enriching. 
If you have questions about Grandparents University, contact Nikki Hawthorne via email