The University of St. Thomas Center for Senior Citizens’ Education has announced its fall schedule of short courses, lunch and dinner discussions, and for the first time, ballroom dance instruction.

The popular courses, which have been offered by the center since 1973, are designed especially for those 50 and older and are taught by faculty members and experts from the community. The fees range from $15 to $70.  Scheduled this fall are:

Lecture Series

“Page to Stage: How Scripts Become Plays” will be offered from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Mondays, Sept. 20 to Oct. 25, in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the university’s St. Paul campus. Author, theater critic and St. Thomas faculty member Dr. Amy Kritzer will examine the collaborative process that takes plays from the written text to the performed show. The fee is $70.

“Latin American Caudillos: Two Centuries of Latin American History” will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. Mondays from Sept. 27 to Nov. 1 in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the St. Paul campus.  Dr. Patricia Howe of the St. Thomas History Department will discuss the evolution of the modern Latin American dictator. The fee is $70.

“Science of Natural Disasters” will be offered from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays, Sept. 21 to Oct. 26, in Thornton Auditorium on the university’s downtown Minneapolis campus. Dr. Rebecca Clotts of the St. Thomas Geology Department will explore the geological processes that create natural disasters, and how, why and where natural disasters occur. The fee is $70.

“Political Philosophy in the 20th Century: Ideas That Mattered” will be offered 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Sept. 21 to Oct. 26, in Thornton Auditorium on the university’s downtown Minneapolis campus.  Dr. Steven Maloney, who teaches political theory at St. Thomas,  will describe how political philosophy changed in the 20th century and what the newest ideas in political philosophy might mean for the future. The fee is $70.

“Introduction to the Wisdom Books of the Bible” will be offered from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.  Wednesdays, Sept. 22 to Oct. 27, in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the St. Paul campus. Dr. David Penchansky of the St. Thomas Theology Department will examine the books of Job, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Ben Sira and Wisdom of Solomon.  These books, written by Israel’s intellectuals, base their knowledge on careful observation of the world. The fee is $70.

“Meeting Our Friends in the Middle East: Countries, Cultures, Faiths, Hopes and Dreams” will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays, Sept. 22 to Oct. 27,  in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the St. Paul campus. Father David Smith, the founding director of St. Thomas’ Justice and Peace Studies Program and emeritus professor of theology, will discuss the Middle Eastern countries that have either been occupied by, had their borders drawn by, or have their governments overthrown by Western powers. The fee is $70.

“Election Years: Political Turning Points in American History” will be offered from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on three Thursdays from Oct. 21 to Nov. 4 on the St. Paul campus.  Dr. George Woytanowitz of the St. Thomas History Department will examine six turning points in American history.  The fee without meals is $35; the fee with meals is $65.

“What to Do When Your Money Misbehaves: A Message of Hope” will be offered from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Nov. 9 and 16, in the Great Room of McNeely Hall on the St. Paul campus.  Robert Callahan, president of Callahan Financial Planning Inc., is a certified accountant and financial planner. He will review hopeful methods for investing and using money in uncertain times. The fee without meals is $25; the fee with meals is $45.

“Introduction to Ballroom Dancing” will be offered from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Oct. 5 and 12, in the third-floor lounge of Murray Herrick Campus Center on the St. Paul campus.  The course will be taught by Dick and Dixie Rinehart, who met 53 years ago at an Arthur Murray Dance Studio.  Participants will learn two or three “magic” dance steps that can be used with any music.  This course is open to adults of all ages; a partner is not required. The fee is $25.

“Lunch ‘n’ Explore”

Returning to downtown Minneapolis this fall are two “Lunch ‘n Explore” programs sponsored by the Center for Senior Citizens’ Education.

  • Daniel McLaughlin, director of St. Thomas’ Center for Health and Medical Affairs, will discuss “Healthcare Reform – The Challenges and Opportunities” on Friday, Sept. 24.
  • Dr. John Patrick Dale, who grew up in Liverpool, England, and taught at Oberlin College before coming to St. Olaf College in 1988, will discuss “Order and Disorder in the European Union” on Friday, Oct. 29.  

 Each luncheon program runs from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Room 201 (the Great Hall) of Opus Hall on the university’s Minneapolis campus. Cost of each lunch and talk is $25.

Dinner Discourse

Dinner Discourses feature a simple meal, table conversation and a presentation and dialogue with prominent speakers.  The first discourse, “Approaches to Dialogue in an Era of Diversity,” will be held from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, in the third-floor lounge of Murray-Herrick Campus Center on the St. Paul campus. Sister Katarina Schuth, who holds the Endowed Chair for the Social Scientific Study of Religion at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas, will  focus on both principles and practices designed to help when discussing controversial issues.  The program is open to those of all ages. The fee for the dinner and program is $29.

Off-Campus Programs

“The Spanish Tinge: The Popular Music of Latin and South America” will be offered from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursdays, Sept. 23 to Oct. 28 at the University Club on St. Paul’s Summit Avenue.  Joan Griffith, head of jazz studies at St. Thomas as well as a performer and composer, will explore the history, dances and impact of Latin and South American music. Guest performers will be featured at four of the sessions. The fee is $70.

“Magnificent Melodies: The Piano Music of Felix Mendelssohn” will be offered from 1 to 2:3o p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, at Catholic Eldercare at RiverVillage East in Minneapolis.  Dr. Suzanne Schons, of the St. Thomas music faculty, will present an overview of the works of Mendelssohn, including live performances. The fee is $15.

Other Programs

The Center for Senior Citizens’ Education also offers one-to-one peer consultation services and a program that allows senior citizens to attend regular undergraduate academic courses on a space-available basis.  The fee is $35 per course.

For more information about the short courses or other programs, call the center at (651) 962-5188 or visit the center’s Web site at http://www.stthomas.edu/csce/ .