Ricks College in Rexburg, ID hosted a program titled Sunbirds. The Sunbird program was dedicated to providing continuing education and housing opportunities to the 55+ generation. On June 5, 1976 the Teton Earthen Dam ruptured flooding up to 15 miles out including the city of Rexburg and Ricks College where the Sunbird program was hosted. Due to the destruction of student housing and facilities on the Ricks College campus, the Sunbirds were without a summer residence.
Utah State University opened its doors to the displaced Sunbirds. The Ricks College Sunbirds found both the university and the community so welcoming and friendly that plans were made to return to Logan the following summer of 1977.
Rebuilding Ricks College was a lengthy process and housing and educational opportunities for Sunbird senior citizens dwindled until the program eventually ceased to operate. Meanwhile, the Logan Utah housing opportunity included 12 properties for this displaced group of seniors seeking a summer retreat with an enhanced experience. The Summer Citizens Program was born due to this unfortunate set of circumstances which resulted in the development of a lifelong continuing learning program or summer camp for seniors in Logan Utah.
During the development process of the Summer Citizens Program at Utah State University a partnership was formed with Logan City, the Cache Chamber of Commerce, and to promote Cache Valley/Logan Utah as a summer destination for seniors seeking moderate summer climate, as well as an environment that provides cultural and educational experiences. Logan, UT and Utah State University developed a partnership that provided exactly that opportunity.
USU and community leaders began a recruiting trip each January traveling to Arizona retirement communities to promote both the program and housing options to a captive audience of retired 55+ generation. That recruiting partnership continues through today. The week of January 9 through 13, 2017 a team coordinated by Linda D'Addabbo, Summer Citizens Program Coordinator, will offer presentations in 12 locations through retirement communities in southern Arizona. Apartment sponsors, Cache Valley Visitors Bureau Director, Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theater GM, Lyric Repertory Company, and apartment owners will be among this team of presenters. Beginning in 2009 that recruiting trip expanded to Palm Spring & Palm Desert, CA and in 2012 to Georgetown and San Antonio, TX. The week of January 22 - 25, 2017 the recruiting team is hosting 4 presentations in Texas communities.
With a thriving performing arts district, Logan UT is a cultural hub for entertainment through live theater, first class opera, and a daily free noon concert in the Logan Tabernacle.
The Summer Citizens Program is to successfully support the interests of Utah State University by providing continuing education opportunities for our local and visiting active adult residents. In doing so, the program builds and strengthens relationships between the Summer Citizens, Utah State University, students and the Logan community.