Hi, my name is Dudley Tower and I live with my wife Chris on the escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Upstate area of South Carolina.
I am 68 years old – have a BA in economics, an MBA in finance, an MA in clinical psychology, an MA in Organizational Development, and a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems. I am most knowledgeable on the subjects of human systems change, dynamic (or complex adaptive) systems theory, adult psychological development, positive psychology, and optimal aging. In addition, I personally understand how getting older can have many challenges since I am also a cancer survivor, had three major joint replacements (two knees and a hip), and most recently a pulmonary embolism which nearly killed me. However, I am still alive, and more motivated than ever to change our country’s ideas about retirement, and re-integrate retired adults back into our society where they can utilize their broad experiential base and acquired wisdom to positively change themselves and the communities they live in.
As a way to give you some background, I have been teaching older adults for the last twelve years in a learning in retirement (LIR) program located at Furman University in Greenville SC – now called OLLI at Furman – with almost 2000 students. Prior to that I was an executive with a major automobile company and, later on, an organizational consultant. My wife and I were able to retire early, and I have taught many classes at Furman over the years. Four years ago I started consolidating my notes from past courses, and began my own study of the latest research on aging across multiple scientific disciplines. As a result of this inquiry, I founded the Dynamic Aging Program (DAP) at Furman in 2014, and am now teaching my fourth year of the one-year program, along with an Aging Mastery course for DAP graduates. The DAP is the only existing, and proven successful program of optimal aging in the world. There are currently 85 graduating students, with another 30 or so expected to graduate this spring.