Moving Forward:

As we say farewell and thanks to Ruth Burnham who retired this year as volunteer Director of BILL, we look to yet another beginning. Someone recently pointed out to me that we have had three eras if you will, the Ed Cotter era followed by Ruth's term and now it feels as if we are in a more member-driven era with me at the rudder. This is healthy and as it should be. Under the guidance of the office of the Provost who oversees our program, I shall endeavor to continue to give you my best.

It is an exciting time, having moved into our new space, which has been custom fitted with almost everything we need to host courses in two classrooms. Our landlord, Chris Baylor has been incredibly generous, moving walls and retrofitting doors. Limitless creativity has gone into turning our new home into the right kind of space for us.

A brand new idea has surfaced and we are now delighted to offer lifetime memberships for $500. As we had this conversation we felt rather like insurance agents pouring over actuarial tables to see the true benefits of such an investment and we think if you plan on living another nine's a good one! Please call the office so that we can talk about it.

I want to thank all our course leaders, our newsletter team, the curriculum committee and our advisory board, they put a great deal of thought and work into making this all look easy. Sue Travis who compiles the course catalog for us is a treasure, please thank her when you see her. We are nothing without our volunteers. We are growing in healthy ways, expanding gently into new ideas and working through growing pains as all organizations do. Pease know that we have the full support of Bucknell University behind us too. A world class institution without which we wouldn't look or feel like the first class program we are.

Thanks for your support, keep in touch.

Annie P. Smith,  Coordinator

Photography by BILL member Janice Pearson

Message from the Provost

Dear fans of BILL,

Happy New Year! As we move into spring semester, BILL is BILLding, if you'll allow a bad pun, with much to be proud of and to offer. Among recent accomplishments are new, bigger facilities, with two classrooms, and a slate of 24 courses with six new course leaders this year. Needless to say, one of the biggest changes and transitions is the retirement of Director Ruth Burnham. Ruth has stepped out after many years of service as a volunteer, as coordinator, and then as director. I'm happy to say that Ruth won't be leaving altogether -- she will continue to support BILL as a volunteer in this new phase of her life. I congratulate Ruth on bringing BILL a long way through her tireless advocacy and work on behalf of this program. My own introduction to BILL came from Ruth, who found me very soon after I arrived at Bucknell to tell me with real passion about what BILL does and what it represents in our larger community. As you may know, one of the ways we are honoring Ruth's service to BILL is through a gift campaign in her name, to help fund the furnishings of the new offices and classrooms. So far, gifts in Ruth's honor have contributed almost $11,000 to the necessary equipment and furnishings. Please join me in celebrating Ruth's many years of service and wishing her well. I'm sure you have great stories to tell her about giving or taking BILL classes, and what an impact those opportunities have had on you. In my own household, my husband has found his voice as a poet thanks to BILL classes, and the people he has met through BILL have quickly become valued friends.

My colleague Associate Provost Robert Midkiff continues to work closely with BILL leadership on operations and programming. Robert and I consider BILL a vital part of Bucknell's programming and integration with the communities around and near campus. We invite you to participate in courses and events that speak to your abiding interests, and also to consider stretching into new areas that might feed your intellectual curiosity. Long live lifelong learning!

Barbara K. Altmann, Ph.D.
Provost and Professor of French


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