MSU joins Age-Friendly University Global Network

Contact: Carl Smith

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State’s commitment to providing quality educational opportunities to all learners, no matter which season of life they are in, has earned the university membership in the Age-Friendly University Global Network through 2028.

Age-Friendly University Global Network logoAFUGN member institutions are committed to promoting positive, healthy aging and enhancing the lives of older people through innovative educational programming, research agendas, curriculum development, online education, well-being activities, arts and culture programs, and civic engagement opportunities. MSU is the first AFUGN member from the Magnolia State, as well as the Southeastern Conference, and joins approximately 100 universities across five continents in the Arizona State University-based network.

“Mississippi State University is working hard every day to meet the needs of the many people and communities we serve across the great state of Mississippi and beyond through teaching and learning, research and creative discovery, and outreach and service,” MSU President Mark E. Keenum said. “We want to meet people wherever they are in life, and attaining this ‘age-friendly’ designation is further confirmation of our commitment to do so.”

As an AFUGN member, MSU pledges to uphold the organization’s key principles and will prioritize recognizing the educational needs of older adults; promoting personal and career development in the second half of life and supporting those who wish to pursue second careers; increasing access to online educational opportunities for older adults; and ensuring regular dialogue with organizations representing the interests of the aging population. The MSU Division of Access, Diversity and Inclusion will coordinate and facilitate the initiatives stemming from the AFUGN’s key principles.

“Taking care of what matters means that we are making communities welcoming and livable for people of all ages, especially aging adults,” said Ra’Sheda Forbes, vice president for access, diversity and inclusion. “I am very excited about this designation for Mississippi State University. We now have multiple generations together in the workplace, which only increases the strength of our university. Furthermore, as people are living longer lives and embarking upon new careers that require new skills and knowledge, we want to make sure that we are enhancing learning opportunities and creating opportunities for career development.”

David Buys, associate professor in the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion and MSU Extension state health specialist, said the university’s inclusion in the AFUGN reflects its “long history of taking care of what matters for people across the life course,” citing examples from Extension’s founding in 1914 to this year’s establishment of MSU’s College of Professional and Continuing Studies.

“With the CPCS, we have a brand-new indication of our commitment to meeting the educational needs of lifelong learners as we build new learning opportunities and degree programs for those who can’t get to campus,” he said. “As a gerontologist who studies healthy aging, I couldn’t be prouder to be at an institution that centers the importance of making our resources accessible for everyone.”

MSU will begin an AFUGN renewal process in 2027. Visit for more information.

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