Selim Center Expands Programming for Those 50 and Older

The University of St. Thomas Selim Center for Learning in Later Year has a new name and an expanded schedule of programs and short courses this fall that are tailored for those 50 and older.

Formerly the Center for Senior Citizens’ Education, the center was renamed recently in honor of its retired founder, Dr. Mohamed “Mo” Selim.

The center has planned 15 educational programs ranging from one-time luncheon and dinner discussions to six-session short courses that meet weekly. The courses are designed to be affordable, with fees ranging from $15 to $70.

Here’s an overview of the fall-semester offerings:

Lectures: These popular short courses are taught by faculty and community experts; most begin in September and run through October. Topics are: “The Civil War: The First Year (1861)” with Dr. Joseph Fitzharris; “Painting in the United States” with Dr. Craig Eliason; “The Former Soviet Union After 20 Years” with Dr. John Patrick Dale; “Novel to Film: The Art of Adaption” with Daniel Jones; “God and Suffering” with Dr. Joseph Hallman;  and “Hymns and Hymnwriters of the Christian Tradition” with Father Jan Michael Joncas.

A Night of Stars: This Sept. 15 program features an evening lecture by Dr. Gerald Ruch and a visit to St. Thomas’ new observatory.

Saturday Seek ’n’ Stretch: This daylong program Sept. 17 includes a lecture on “The Psychology of Winning” by St. Thomas basketball coach and psychology professor Dr. John Tauer, an outdoor lunch “on the quad,” and a St. Thomas-St. Olaf varsity football game.

Learning for Life: This evening series on Sept. 27 and Nov. 15 (plus two more in the spring) features St. Thomas professors Dr. Carol Bruess and Dr. Anna Kudak, authors of three books about healthy relationships, and noted Penn State author and speaker Dr. Jon Nussbaum.

Music’s in the Air: This interactive two-part afternoon series Sept. 29 and Dec. 1 with music teacher Susan Anderson-Benson will be held at the Catholic Eldercare at RiverVillage East in Minneapolis.

Lunch ’n’ Explore: These two luncheon programs will feature lectures on Irish literature by Dr. Thomas Dillon Redshaw on Sept. 23 and on Africa by Dr. Robert Werner on Nov. 10.

Dinner Discourse: This Oct. 13 dinner will include a discussion about economic inequality in America. The speaker is Dr. Jay Coggins of the University of Minnesota.

Other Programs: The Selim Center also offers one-to-one peer consultation services and a program that allows those 50 and older 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 at (651) 962-5188 for a booklet on the fall-semester programs or visit the center's website.