The University of St. Thomas Selim Center for Learning in Later Years has announced its spring schedule of educational programs and short courses that are tailored for those 50 and older.

Waiting for a Selim Center program to begin.

Waiting for a Selim Center program to begin.

The programs range from lunch discussions to six-session short courses. The programs are designed to be affordable, with fees ranging from $15 to $80.

Details about the programs are available on the center’s website.

The center first began offering programs in fall 1973. Here’s an overview of the offerings for spring 2014:

Jazz programs: Jazz musician and St. Thomas faculty member Joan Griffith will lead two sessions on the invention and evolution of jazz March 27 and April 3. A “jazz club night” on April 10 will feature Griffith, saxophonist Steve Cole and a small combo.

Short Courses: These lecture programs begin either in February, late March or early April. Most meet once a week for six weeks; they are taught by faculty and community experts. Topics and speakers are:

  • “Murder and Love: Shakespeare as Storyteller” with Gordon Grice.
  • “The Prophet Isaiah” with Dr. Paul Niskanen.
  • “Theology and Beauty” with Dr. Mark McInroy.
  • “Theology and Morality Through the Lens of C.S. Lewis” with Dr. Philip Rolnick.
  • “The American Constitution and America Today” with Dr. Steven Maloney.
  • “A Century of Total War, 1914-2014” with Dr. Nicholas Hayes.
  • “20th Century Presidential Decisions: Good, Bad, Debatable” with Dr. George Woytanowitz.
  • “Unlocking Latin America Culture” with Dr. Paola Ehrmantraut
  • “The Search for God in 20th and 21st Century Film” with Father Michael Joncas.

Lunch’n Explore: Minnesota Monthly’s Sue Zelickson will lead a March 21 discussion on “What’s Cooking” and St. Thomas’ Dr. John Abraham will speak on “Climate Change: What Do We Really Know?” on May 2.

Single Sessions: The University of Minnesota’s Dr. Tom Misa will discuss “Minnesota as a ‘Digital State’: Or, How the Nation’s First Computer Industry was Born in a St. Paul Radiator Shop” on March 11; the 2014 O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award winner Catherine-Phil MacCarthy will talk about writing April 8; and attorneys Janeen Massaros and John Lundblad will discuss “Difficult Conversations: Addressing Issues Affecting Aging Parents” on April 30.

Go-to-College program: The Selim Center coordinates a program that allows those 50 and older to attend regular undergraduate academic courses on a space-available basis.  The fee is $80 per course.

Participants at a Selim Center program.

Participants at a Selim Center program.