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Lifelong Learning program to open spring semester with February 22 virtual preview event

ISSUED: 11 February 2021
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University’s Lifelong Learning program kicks off its spring semester March 15 with a series of classes and brown bag lectures that run through May 7. Due to COVID-19 health concerns, all classes and lectures will occur online using the Zoom platform. A course preview event will take place on Zoom on Monday, February 22, at 4 p.m.

The spring semester will include a class taught by Dr. Ray Smock titled “Styles of African American Leadership” that will examine the rise of leaders within institutions and movements in the 19th and 20th centuries. Another class will explore the music and lyrics of Nobel Prize for Literature winner, singer/songwriter Bob Dylan. There is also a course on horses that will examine the rich history of equine sports in the local area, including dressage, polo, and steeplechase.

The cultural offerings this semester include reading and analyzing Tom Stoppard’s play “Arcadia” and an insider’s view of the pandemic journey to the upcoming Contemporary American Theater Festival season. The ongoing focus on literature includes courses on nature writers and deep impressions from short stories and poems by a different author each week. The creative writing seminar returns and for movie lovers, there is a class on underappreciated women directors that includes viewing four films. Among the courses for music lovers is a class on Baroque opera.

Other classes will be offered on the seductive power of the internet and podcasts as a vehicle for exploring ideas. Current affairs and politics will be covered with the annual foreign affairs seminar course, Great Decisions, that compares labor laws in North American countries and a new course on political power.

Lifelong Learning will reprise a few previously popular classes this semester, some with added material, including Alexander Hamilton, 21st century wonders in science, and enjoying a fulfilling retirement. A wide variety of Brown Bag lectures will be available, including talks on resuming travel, improving a pet dog’s behavior, and how to make government better.

Lifelong Learning is continuing its collaboration with the Shepherd Fine Arts, Science, Technology, Engineering, Educational Resource (FASTEnER) Lab to offer remote and virtual instruction on state-of-the-art design and fabrication equipment. Classes cover lamp and furniture fabrication, artisanal soap and wax making, and photogrammetry.

The Lifelong Learning program also facilitates national and international tours in 2021 including trips Ecuador and Galapagos Island Cruise and Costa Rica Yoga Tour, and in 2022 Greece: In the Footsteps of Paul the Apostle.

Course offerings are generally six-weeks long; however, some classes are shorter or longer. Although some events are free, attendance generally requires an annual membership starting at $85 plus class fees, which also includes free Brown Bag Lectures.

Lifelong Learning is a volunteer, member-driven program dedicated to offering stimulating academic courses and activities to the community. For additional information, visit and to register contact Karen Rice, director, at or 304-876-5135.

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