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Lifelong Learning kicks off fall semester with August 23 reception

ISSUED: 16 August 2018
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Shepherd University Lifelong Learning Program is kicking off the 2018 fall semester with a reception on Thursday, August 23, at 5 p.m. in the Erma Ora Byrd Hall atrium. The reception will offer the chance to meet current members and learn about the educational and social opportunities Lifelong Learning offers retirees. Some courses will begin September 6 and others will start the week of September 10.

Returning this semester are hand-on workshops in digital fabrication, metalworking, 3D printing, glass fusing, and woodworking taught in the Fine Art, Science, Technology, Engineering, Educational Resource (FASTEnER) Lab.

Lifelong Learning is expanding its offerings in literature with courses in post-modern short stories; heartfelt impacts of poetry, short stories, and novels; how to read critically; fiction writer’s retreat; Appalachian culture through the writings of Ron Rash; cowboys, sex, and American values through the writings of Larry McMurtry; and the Bible through Darwin’s eyes.

The lineup of history courses and lectures includes a survey of French history; a concise and unique look at the Civil War; the history of the national park system; the development of the British welfare state; the development of gerrymandering; and the return of John Splaine’s next chapter of exploration of presidents and first ladies—Coolidge through Eisenhower. Music courses will include a look at coal mining songs and a survey of symphonic music.

Self-improvement continues to be an important part of the program, with new and ongoing courses in dealing with mortality, the limitations of intuition, understanding our place in the universe, retirement planning, home healthcare, Medicare, and a German language refresher. Science-focused courses include an exploration of the importance of native bees and an explanation of cat behaviors.

The partnership with the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education continues with showings and discussions of four films that focus on current issues ranging from healthcare to domestic terrorism. Lifelong Learning also continues its support of the President’s Lecture Series by coordinating presentations on environmental and science topics from leaders in their fields.

Day excursions offer a wide range of cultural and historical experiences along the Eastern Seaboard. Trips offered this semester will include the National Book Fair, Flight 93 Memorial, Andy Warhol Museum, American Visionary Museum, and Eisenhower Farm. Lifelong Learning also facilitates national and international tours which include trips to Scandinavia, Iceland, Malta, Sicily, Peru and Machu Picchu, and the Danube River.

Lifelong Learning is a volunteer, member-driven program dedicated to offering stimulating academic courses and activities to the community. There are two levels of membership: gold, which costs $325 a year and $175 for a spouse or partner. It includes all the classes and lectures, discounts on tours, a Shepherd parking sticker, and a library card; and silver, which costs $85 a year and includes event and tour discounts and free lunch lectures. Silver members pay $60 for each class they take.

A one-time introductory offer of $99 per course for the first semester without paying the membership fee is available to those who have not previously taken any lifelong learning courses. This offer is not available to former students.

Lifelong Learning provides a limited number of scholarships to participants who would not otherwise be able to attend. The scholarship is good for one course, except FASTEnER Lab courses, and unlimited brown bag lectures per semester.

For more information, contact Rice at 304-876-5135 or, or visit

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