The non-profit ASA exists to support lifelong engagement with extended learning, creativity and public service for adults in or near retirement. We are located in the Academy Village/Altura active adult community in the Rincon Valley of eastern Tucson. Founded by a former UA president, our affiliation with the University of Arizona downtown helps the ASA provide a rich year-round menu of public concerts and lectures. Each week we enjoy a range of talented artists, experts and scholars, including faculty guests sharing encores and previews of headline events. This has made ASA an audience magnet for much of eastern Tucson and beyond.

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    Posing with Nancy McCallion, The Scarlet Lettermen are (from left) Les Merrihew, Chris Davis, and Karl Hoffmann.

    Tuesday, July 16, 2019, 11:30 am-12:30 pm

    Nancy MCallion and the Scarlet Lettermen

    Singer-songwriter Nancy McCallion returns to the Arizona Senior Academy, joined by “The Scarlet Lettermen,” for a high energy show mixing Americana with a twist of soul and a gram of blarney.

    McCallion has been compared with Lucinda Williams and Iris DeMent as American songwriters of the highest caliber. Her lyrics have been described as “world-weary, bitter, stark, drunken and funny.” (Singout Magazine)

    A multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, ukulele, harmonica and pennywhistle, McCallion draws upon the Norte sounds of her childhood Southwest Tucson neighborhood along with Celtic influences from her Irish-Scots father, Texas old-time country influences from her mother, and a “cultural stew” of other influences.

    Maaria Dobozy

    Wednesday, July 17, 2:30-3:30

    Minstrels and Culture in the Middle Ages: When is a Text not a Text?

    Maria Dobozy, Professor Emerita, University of Utah

    Encountering the literature of Europe between 1100-1400 means meeting the ubiquitous minstrels who were essential to literary and cultural life.  As professional performers, all minstrels were poets, singers, composers, and instrumentalists who created, adapted and performed literary, musical and theatrical entertainments. As travelers, they were polyglots who served their patrons as reliable messengers and informants. Often branded as pariahs, they were nevertheless capable of functioning politically and artistically within society. By means of their varied performances, minstrels transmitted the traditions and values of medieval European society. They were also capable of innovation–of challenging and restructuring their listeners’ views and expectations.

    During the Middle Ages literature was experienced primarily through minstrel performances rather than through written texts. The act of reading a text to oneself, a perfectly ordinary activity to us today” is actually a remarkable development. Instead of reading, people listened to the itinerant minstrels’ performances of songs and stories of all kinds. Academy Village resident Maria Dobozy will reveal to us the lost knowledge of Medieval literary and musical entertainment circulated through the artistic talent and practice of minstrels.

    C. Scott, Udall Center Director

    Thursday, July 18, 2019, 2:30-3:30

    Water Security and Climate Change in the Himalayan Mountains

    Christopher A. Scott, Director,

    Udall Center for Studies on Public Policy, U. of A.

    It’s not just the Colorado River whose watershed is contested and in need of the cooperation of the people and political entities who depend upon it. The Himalayan Mountains provide the fresh water for a quarter of the world’s population, about 2 billion people: water for food, for energy, and for the entire ecosystem of a large portion of southeast Asia.  The water comes from snow and glacier melt as well as monsoon precipitation, and it is in danger of running out because of the inexorable global rise in temperatures. Christopher Scott’s aim is to get the word out about the looming danger and promote international cooperation to mitigate the coming crisis through agreements between the affected nations.  With his training in physical hydrology, Scott and his international colleagues are well-positioned to evaluate human impacts on the environment and watersheds and to move governments toward planning for a water-scarce future.

    In addition to leading the U. of A.’s Udall Center, Christopher Scott is a University Distinguished Scholar and Professor in the School of Geography and Development. He earned the Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Hydrology from Cornell University. Scott grew up in the mountain region of India in an area now submerged behind the giant Tehri Dam, part of the Himalayan watershed.  He has written, “everything comes back to water. It is the thread that unifies most facts of the environment and society, agriculture, energy, urban growth, water supply, the climate’s impact on the glacier system, ecosystem services.”



    Arizona Senior Academy Blood Drive

    Friday, July 19

    9:00 AM- 1:00 PM

    13715 E. Langtry Lane

    Arizona Senior Academy Building

    (in Academy Village off Old Spanish Trail)

    To make an appointment:

    • Call: 520-647-0980
    • Email:
    • Call: 877-258-4825
    • Visit:, using sponsor code AZSeniorAcademy

    Eligibility questions?  Call 877-258-4825


    • A voucher redeemable for a PAIR of tickets to the Sept. 8 Phoenix Mercury game against the Las Vegas Aces, donated by Vatalant
    • Raffle entry for a 2019 VW Passat Wolfsburg Edition, donated by Valley Volkswagen Dealers


    ASA FacilityThe non-profit Arizona Senior Academy (ASA) is the cultural hub of the Academy Village/Altura retirement community for active adults in eastern Tucson and we have a public service mission to enhance lifelong learning and creativity. Located at the foot of the beautiful Rincon range in eastern Tucson, we are on the southern side of Saguaro National Park East, not far from Vail, AZ. (See map)

    To attend an event: Public concerts and lectures at the ASA are free of charge. But if you wish to assure seating, you may make reservations by sending an email to ASA Operations Manager Tremia Cox (

    Postal Address: 13715 E. Langtry Lane, Tucson, AZ 85747


    The ASA is supported solely by membership dues from Villager residents and tax deductible donations from fans, families and friends. All contributions welcome with thanks!


    Performing at the Arizona Senior Academy, in their gorgeous location on the eastern side of Saguaro National Park East, is a high point of the year for both my students and myself.  The audience and administration are very welcoming to UA students and faculty, and the subsequent question-and-answer period is always informative. Daniel Katzen, UA Horn Professor

    Samples of past events: Classical cello and piano by Sanda Schuldmann and Harry Clark; concert from Vail Chorale led by Academy member, Fritz Reinagel; lectures on topics in science and art; ASA concert by steel drum band from Empire High; concert by Ronstadt Generations; pre-season Downton Abbey preview at ASA via PBS and KUAT

    The non-profit Arizona Senior Academy was conceived by former UA president Henry Koffler before any homes were built in our community. Then and now, the ASA mission has been to support extended learning, creative engagement, mentoring and public service over the entire span of retirement.

    The lectures and concerts each week are open to the public and cover a wide range of content from science and technology to health, humanities and creative arts. This diversity also complements the aims of those who are not yet fully retired but wish to explore new interests or prepare for “encore” careers.

    Our village is an over-55 community and all residents become full dues-paying Academy members at age 60, providing support for the ASA. In addition to the concerts and lectures each week, the resident members have a number of amenities available to them. For example, the ASA support organization, Academy Services Corporation, runs the Academy Health Care Program on a subscription basis for resident members.

    Many supporters from east Tucson and nearby Vail who attend our public events also make contributions to the ASA as “Friends” and “Fans” of the Academy. From time to time, our members and friends also make direct donations to sponsor the appearance of an artist or expert of special interest.

    This mosaic depicts a sampler of past events, including a concert by the Vail Chorale founded and led by an Academy member, plus an early preview of the the final season of Downton Abbey which was co-hosted by ASA and our local PBS station KUAT.

    To learn more about the ASA and our activities, click any of the topics below.


    Lively Arts & Music

    Weekly concerts feature classical, pop, jazz, folk and world music of many kinds — plus ample opportunity to interact with artists who are pleased to engage...
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    Lifelong Learning

    Expert speakers on topics from current events to ancient history, and everything in between plus frequent updates from UA scientists making headlines.
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    Public Service

    ASA members are encouraged to stay active and use their experience and energy to help the community at large.
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    About ASA

    Our members have different backgrounds, but share a commitment to making retirement a time of cultural enrichment and intellectual stimulation.
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