The University of St. Thomas Center for Senior Citizens' Education has announced its spring schedule of short courses, lunch and dinner discussions, and dancing and music programs.
On July 1 the center will change its name to The Selim Center for Learning in Later Years. The new name honors the now-retired founder of the popular center, Dr. Mohamed Selim of Edina. At the time of his 2004 retirement from St. Thomas, his 45 years of service was longest of any lay St. Thomas faculty member.
The center’s short courses, offered by the university since 1973, are designed especially for those 50 and older and are taught by faculty members and experts from the community. Course fees range from $15 to $70. Scheduled this spring are:
Lecture, Dance and Music Programs
“Introduction to Ballroom Dancing II” will be offered from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, March 1, 8 and 15, in the third-floor lounge of Murray-Herrick Campus Center on the university’s St. Paul campus. The course will be taught by Dick and Dixie Rinehart, who met 53 years ago at an Arthur Murray Dance Studio. Participants will learn two or three “magic” dance steps that can be used with any music. This course is open to adults of all ages; a partner is not required. The fee is $35.
"Churches and Mosques of the First Millennium" will be offered from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Mondays, March 28 to May 9, in the O'Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the university's St. Paul campus. Dr. Michelle Nordtorp-Madsen, chief curator for St. Thomas’ Art History Department, will address the artistic expressions that arose in the wake of monotheism’s rapid spread. The fee is $70.
"A Spirituality Spa: Refreshing MindBodySpirit” will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. Mondays from March 28 to May 9 in O'Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the St. Paul campus. Seven members of the university’s School of Social Work will use a mix of scholarly work and participatory experiences to explore spiritual and religious topics. The fee is $70.
"Japan and the West: Key Points of Interaction" will be offered from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays, March 29 to May 3, in Thornton Auditorium on the university's downtown Minneapolis campus. Dr. Scott Wright of the St. Thomas History Department will lead the course; he has visited, taught and written about Japan for three decades. The fee is $70.
"World Cinema: Understanding Culture Through Film" will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, March 29 to May 3, in Thornton Auditorium on the university's downtown Minneapolis campus. Film director James Snapko, who teaches film studies at St. Thomas, will examine major filmmakers and movements from around the world. The fee is $70.
"Minnesota History: The Twin Cities" will be offered from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays, March 30 to May 4, in O'Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the St. Paul campus. Dr. Annette Atkins, an author of Minnesota history books and member of the history faculty at St. John’s University, and Brian Horrigan, a historian and museum curator, will look at our immediate surroundings and what they tell us. The fee is $70.
"From Spice Routes to Space Age: Patterns of Living in Ancient and Modern Middle East" will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays, from March 30 to May 4, in O'Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the St. Paul campus. Dr. Steven Derfler, an international historian, author and archaeologist, will examine the historical and archaeological heritage of the Middle East. The fee is $70.
“Singing New Songs to the Lord: An Evening With Father Michael Joncas” will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 12, in the auditorium of O’Shaughnessy Educational Center on the St. Paul campus. Joncas is on the Catholic studies faculty at St. Thomas and the theology faculty at St. John’s University in Collegeville. He is the composer and arranger of about 300 liturgical compositions, including the widely used “On Eagles Wings.” He will present an informal review of his compositions and offer stories behind their creation. Participants can expect to join in the music making, and to hear some new compositions. The evening will include a brief ceremony honoring the center’s new name, and a dessert reception. The fee is $20.
“Death and Afterlife” will be offered from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 10 to March 17, at Lumen Christi Catholic Community in St. Paul. Dr. Terence Nichols, of the St. Thomas Theology Department, will explore dying in America, Christian and non-Christian beliefs about death and afterlife, and what it means to die well. The fee is $70.
“Ireland’s Creative Migrants: Three Centuries of Immigration” will be offered from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, March 14, at the Church of St. Patrick in Edina. James Rogers, managing director of St. Thomas’ Center for Irish Studies and president of the American Conference for Irish Studies, will survey the Irish legacy created in centuries of immigration. The fee is $15.
“Mary, Mother of Jesus: Images From Art, Music and Theology” will be offered from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on three Thursdays from April 28 to May 12 at Catholic Eldercare at RiverVillage East in Minneapolis. Dr. Joseph Hallman, who retired from the St. Thomas theology faculty after a 40-year teaching career, will examine how various images of Mary – such as the Annunciation and Assumption – have inspired great art throughout the ages. The fee is $35.
"Lunch 'n’ Explore"
Returning to downtown Minneapolis this spring are two "Lunch 'n Explore" programs.
- Steven Maloney, who teaches political theory at St. Thomas, will discuss “Are the Social Sciences Converging” on Friday, April 8.
- Biloine “Billie” Young, a Minnesota author and educator, will discuss “The Dutiful Son – Louis Warren Hill: Life in the Shadow of the Empire Builder” on Friday, May 6.
Each luncheon program runs from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Room 201 (the Great Hall) of Opus Hall on the university's Minneapolis campus. Cost of each lunch and talk is $25.
Dinner Discourses feature a simple meal, table conversation and a presentation and dialogue with prominent speakers. “Divine Kingship and Eternal Life: Egyptian Royal Burials From Dynasty O to King Tut” will be held from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m. Thursday, April 28, in the third-floor lounge of Murray-Herrick Campus Center on the St. Paul campus. Dr. Ivancia (Vanca) Schrunk, an archaeologist who teaches history at St. Thomas, will present an illustrated overview of the burial rites of ancient Egypt. The program is open to those of all ages. The fee for the dinner and program is $29.
The Center for Senior Citizens' Education also offers one-to-one peer consultation services and a program that allows senior citizens to attend regular undergraduate academic courses on a space-available basis. The fee is $35 per course.
For more information about the short courses or other programs, call the center, (651) 962-5188, or visit the center's website.