August 20, 2009


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By Tom Evelyn

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Mature learners in the Central Susquehanna Valley can explore a range of topics from art to Shakespeare to "Singing Neanderthals" in classes that will be offered this fall in the new Bucknell Institute for Lifelong Learning.

The institute will debut with a pilot group of eight courses beginning in October that will meet for one and a half hours each week for six weeks in locations throughout the community, including the Union County Public Library and RiverWoods Senior Living Community.

"The Bucknell Institute for Lifelong Learning will offer a broad range of creative, educational and intellectual opportunities in a stimulating, cooperative and supportive environment," said Bucknell Provost Mick Smyer. "Older learners of any educational background will explore a variety of topics developed and presented by retired faculty and other members of the community."

Registration open house
The institute will hold an information and registration open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, at The Village Common at Buffalo Valley Lutheran Village at Tressler and Reitz boulevards in Lewisburg.

The fall term will run from the week of Oct. 4 to the week of Nov. 8. Registration should be completed by Sept. 21. Courses cost $35 each.

"The Central Susquehanna Valley has a wealth of older citizens who will benefit from and gladly contribute time and effort to these excellent opportunities for lifelong learning," said Farida Zaid, a specialist in community development and planning with the Union-Snyder Agency on Aging.

Fall courses
The courses planned this fall are "Taste in Art," "The Grandmother Hypothesis," "Brush Up Your Shakespeare," "The Singing Neanderthals," "DUI and Alcohol Metabolism," "Color and Light in Nature," "The Role of Mass Extinctions in Life History" and "The Great Depression: Keynes, Roosevelt and Obama."

As the institute grows, it will develop a greater diversity of offerings and activities, with area residents taking the lead on organizing and leading many of them, Smyer said.

"As a psychologist who has worked extensively on issues of aging, I know the importance of mental activity to long-term well-being," Smyer said. "So, while I encourage you to become a member of the institute and take a course or two, I also urge you to become more actively involved by offering to lead a course, make a presentation, organize a study group, help with program administration or other volunteer roles."

Institute membership
Participants may purchase an institute membership for $35 a year (July 1 to June 30) or for $20 for a half-year. Besides taking a role in the institute - from organizing to teaching to volunteering - members receive several benefits, including being able to register for up to two institute courses each term; receiving course catalogs as soon as they are available; receiving invitations to special campus events, lectures and activities; and receiving full, free access to the Bucknell Library. Members also will be eligible for a $10 discount off the reserved seat full-admission price for two tickets to any evening event in the Weis Center Series of professional arts performances.

For more information, including the fall 2009 schedule of courses and scholarship opportunities, e-mail the institute or call institute chair Edward Cotter or coordinator Ruth Burnham at 570-577-7006.

Complete details of the institute, including full descriptions of courses and registration forms, can be found at the institute's website.

Contact: Division of Communications

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