MBU opens its doors to invite local senior adults to come enjoy a meal and a showing of “Peter Pan.”

Photo courtesy of MBU Communications


MBU will host this year’s Senior Adult Day Friday, March 24, in the Mabee Great Hall, a tradition that enters its 14th year with a new addition, a performance of “Peter Pan” by MBU Theatre following a catered lunch.

MBU’s annual Senior Adult Day has become a cherished Spartan tradition, starting in 2003. The Advancement Office brainstormed to find a way to involve the community and showcase MBU.

MBU first reached out to local churches involved with MBU, but due to the success of the event, MBU now invites friends, family and community groups.

Save-the-date invitations are sent out to any senior who has previously attended the event.

Senior Adult Day is a positive community relations event that allows students, faculty and staff to serve local senior citizens.

This event has had significant success through the years, serving 600-plus guests every year.

When the event began MBU served lunch to 350 seniors. After continually selling out, MBU decided to sell “show only” tickets which allowed the numbers to double.

This year MBU will host 340 senior adults for lunch and have an additional 280 seniors for the show only, “Peter Pan.”

One of the major benefits of Senior Adult Day is to foster a spirit of servant leadership and maintain good public relations for the area churches, said Linda Myers, administrative assistant for institutional advancement.

Myers works with a team, consisting of herself, Terri Adams and Ashlee Johnson, to plan and organize the event.

Over 40 student, staff and faculty volunteers will have a chance to get involved in this event, serving as waiters and ushers.

During Senior Adult Day, MBU offers those in attendance a chance to participate in a raffle. According to Adams, director of special events and calendaring, the senior adults love the raffle as they feel involved and enjoy winning prizes.

“It’s an honor to be a part of Senior Adult Day each year. The shows are always amazing and it’s such a wonderful opportunity to showcase the university programs and people to members of the St. Louis community,” Adams said. “Many church groups and community centers organize group trips each year to attend and we just love having guests on campus. It’s a joy watching the intergenerational conversations during the day between students and senior adults. Such an awesome picture of the body of the Christ.”

Kasey Cox is directing “Peter Pan,” which opens tonight (Thursday), March 23, 7:30 p.m., in the Pillsbury Chapel & Dale Williams Fine Arts Center, and runs Friday, March 24, and Saturday, March 25, at that same 7:30 p.m. time, and finishes with a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 26.

“One of the things that I think is really special about doing this for Senior Adult Day is that we’re kind of running the spectrum here because on Saturday we’re doing the show for kids with illnesses,” said Cox.

MBU will host a Matt’s Hats fundraiser on Saturday, March 25, which will include a character meet-and-greet, games and a real pirate ship. Entry to the Matt’s Hats fundraiser is $25, which includes a ticket to the 7:30 p.m. performance Saturday night.

“It’s cool to get to do two shows that are for two very specific age groups because it’s going to mean two very different things to each of those age groups,” Cox said.

As for the show’s main run in the Chapel this weekend, nearly 1,000 tickets have already been sold. They run $15 for general admission, $12 for seniors and non-MBU students, $7.50 for MBU faculty and staff members, and $2.50 for MBU students, who will receive Chapel credit for attending.

The Tony award-winning musical, based on the play by Sir J.M. Barrie and featuring Emily Rice in the lead role of Peter Pan, will actually have Rice and other actors flying through the air and over the audience in a first-ever for MBU Theatre.

Call the MBU box office at 314-392-2345 for more information, or log on to the website at www.mbuboxoffice.com.

By Danielle Dirks

Danielle Dirks is a staff journalist for MBU Timeline, majoring in public relations. She transferred to MBU in the fall of 2016, from St.Charles Community College. After graduation, Dirks hopes to pursue a career as an event coordinator.