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Lifelong Learning to begin March 11, reception planned February 28

ISSUED: 5 February 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Shepherd University Lifelong Learning program announces a diverse course lineup for the spring semester. Although the majority of classes start the week of March 11, FASTEnER (Fine Art, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Educational Resource) Lab courses begin as soon as Monday, February 11. A reception to discuss the new semester will take place Thursday, February 28, at 5 p.m. in the Erma Ora Byrd Hall lobby.

Lifelong Learning has several courses this semester in areas that have long been requested, including Operas of Giuseppe Verdi, Trends in French Cinema, Art History: From Cimabue to Christo, Baby Boomer History: The ’60s, Songwriting 101, Intro to Monsoon Asia, and Understanding Twitter.

Lifelong Learning continues its robust offerings in literature with courses on the impacts of poetry and short stories, a fiction writer’s retreat, and a class on William Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed. Two popular courses return—The Bible through Darwin’s Eyes and the Contemporary American Theater Festival 2019 Season in Context.

Courses on current events include seminar discussions of foreign policy issues, the implications of Brexit to Ireland, political ethics, historical causes of inequality, and the return of Susan Strasser to discuss the history of residential segregation. History courses include an examination of patterns in human history, West Virginia mine wars, Quebec City: the French Period, little known facts about the American Civil War, and the Temples of Angkor. Dr. Ray Smock, former Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education director, will offer a new course that examines forgotten stories and the implications for the future.

Self-improvement courses continue to be an important part of the Lifelong Learning program, with new and ongoing courses in dealing with mortality, understanding our place in the universe, retirement planning, Medicare, and de-cluttering your home. Science-focused courses include psychology for today, studies of wielding power, and understanding drones.

Returning this semester are popular hands-on workshops in the FASTEnER Lab, including digital fabrication, metalworking, 3-D printing, MIG welding, wax casting, 3-D self-portrait, glass fusing, making paper, woodworking, constructing Nantucket baskets, and constructing nesting Shaker boxes.

Lifelong Learning continues its partnership with the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education with screenings and discussions of two films that focus on socially and historically relevant issues and also continues support of the President’s Lecture series by coordinating presentations on cultural, financial, and scientific topics from leaders in those fields.

Day and overnight excursions offer a wide range of cultural and historical experiences along the eastern seaboard and beyond. Trips offered this semester include the Lorton Workhouse; Glenstone Museum; Great Falls Canal Boat; West Virginia Mine Wars; Chicago Art, Architecture, and Theater; Old Quebec; and tours to Australia and New Zealand; Iceland; San Antonio; and a Danube River Cruise.

Shepherd University’s Lifelong Learning program is volunteer and member-driven and dedicated to offering stimulating academic courses and activities to the community. Classroom/lab offerings consist of six-week courses and one-time Brown Bag Lectures, although there are some classes that are shorter and longer duration. Although some items are free, attendance generally requires an annual membership starting at $85 annually plus class fees, which includes discounts for day excursions and free Brown Bag Lectures.

For additional information and to register, go to or contact Karen Rice at or 304-876-5135.

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