All driving lessons, music lessons, and Community Education classes are canceled through May 4th. We appreciate your understanding. Please reach out to us with any questions or concerns.

Village University Winter 2020

Registration is OPEN for Winter courses!

Rwanda: A History of Genocide, Reconciliation, Reconstruction and Continuing Challenges with Carl Hobert
In this exciting three session winter term class, participants will begin by learning about the root causes of Rwanda’s 100 days of genocide in 1994, during which time over 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed. Second, they will learn about post-genocide Rwanda, including foreign aid from China, India, Russia, the EU and the United States, and President Paul Kagame‘s national reconciliation and reconstruction program. Third, participants will play the roles of six characters, each representing a different set of interests, ideas and values in post-genocide Rwanda. In playing these different roles, participants will debate about, negotiate over and learn about the incredible accomplishments and continuing challenges that Rwanda under the leadership of President Kagame faces today, 25 years after the height of the genocide. Accomplishments include the country’s impressive strides in economic reform, the establishment of a national healthcare program, and vastly improved nursery – grade 12 and university education. Continuing challenges include President Kagame’s tight control over freedom of the press and freedom of speech, and regional security threats, including the Ebola outbreak in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, and a rise in Muslim extremism in Rwanda and in the surrounding countries of Africa’s Great Lakes Region.
New date: 3 Fridays, January 31st – February 14th, 10-11:30 am at Newbury Court


Buddy Holly: An Appreciation with Ronald Bernard
Buddy Holly became known to American Teenagers in the middle of 1957 with his hit record “That’ll Be The Day”. Eighteen months later, his life ended in a plane crash. Yet, in spite of his brief period of popularity, his legacy lives on: From Lennon and McCartney naming their group in deference to Buddy’s band, The Crickets, to the present day where his songs can be heard on movie sound-tracks and documentaries.
Our discussion group, “Buddy Holly: An Appreciation”, will study Holly’s path to popularity along with the people he was associated with. Using audio and video aids to stimulate memory and inspire conversation, we will come to appreciate why Buddy Holly’s music still attracts aficionados of a certain age to forever rave on and not fade away.
4 Wednesdays, January 29th – February 19th, 9:30-11:30 am at The Commons in Lincoln


Edith Wharton and the Age of Innocence with Diane Proctor
Considered a “realist,” midst turn of the century (the 19th) American writers, Edith Wharton won the Pulitzer Prize for her iconic novel Age of Innocence. Published in 1920 but set in 1870, Wharton poignantly examines the New York City society of her childhood, as her characters struggle with the social complexities that defined that world. We shall undertake a close examination of the text, which means reading 45-50 pages each week, as we gain purchase on the central themes and character development of the novel. Select scenes from a particularly fine movie version of The Age of Innocence will accompany our discussion.
5 Thursdays, February 27th – March 26th, 10-11:30 am at The Commons in Lincoln

Village University Spring 2020

Registration will open on Monday, January 6th.

The Great Symphonies with Keith Daniel
What is a symphony? When did it first appear? Where did it come from? This course will answer all of these questions – and more – before diving deeply into some of the great symphonies written by such composers as Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Stravinsky and Shostakovich. Finally, we will try to answer the question, “Why have no significant symphonies been written in the last 50 years? This is a listening course, and no knowledge of music or music theory is required.
6 Mon, Mar 30 – May 11, 10-11:30 am, Newbury Court

Biblical Narrative with Dale Landis
We may be familiar with these stories from childhood retellings, the movies, or everyday phrases. But the original biblical stories are great literature: generally very compact in form, they engage the reader, include complex characters, and convey deep meanings. This course will begin with a general discussion of narrative: types (such as history, myth, epic), uses (such as cultural identity and narrative therapy), and critical approaches. We will then discuss individual stories from the Hebrew Bible (from the patriarchs to David to Ruth and Jonah) and the New Testament (such as the parables of Jesus). Study will be made of:

  • historical and cultural background
  • language and translation issues
  • classification and technique
  • religious and moral meaning
  • reflections in art, literature, and popular culture

Along the way, we will also see how these stories are embedded in one great “meta-narrative” in which God relates to humans in love, guidance, rebellion, and reconciliation.
6 Wed, Apr 1 – May 13, 10-11:30 am, Location TBD

Authoring a Case Study on an Issue You are Passionate About for Conflict Resolution with Carl Hobert
In his winter course on Rwanda, Professor Hobert discussed the ways in which disparate people worked together to resolve the conflicts in that country. This course takes the next step, with participants formulating their own conflict-resolution case studies on a topic of their choosing. Suggested topics include US gun control; the US border wall debate; healthcare reform; the war in Syria; Global Warming/Climate Change, etc. Working in groups of two or more, participants will learn to identify resources and develop a history and chronology of the conflict, culminating in a final presentation of their new, self-authored case studies.
3 Fri, Apr 3 – 17, 10-11:30 am, Location TBD

Travels in Buddhist China: Yesterday and Today with Tony Fairbank
China is known today for its economic growth and rise to prominence on the global stage. But of course the history of China is characterized by much more than these. In this course, we will look at a sometimes neglected part of China’s history and culture–its two thousand year Buddhist past. Drawing on the theme of pilgrimage and travel, we will look at the culture of Buddhism in China by following the instructor’s one-month pilgrimage to famous Zen Buddhist sites with renowned sinologist and translator, Bill Porter. In addition to readings from Bill’s delightful text on this very trip, Zen Baggage: A Pilgrimage to China, we will discuss some sinological basics like: the pronunciation of Chinese words and names, important features of Chinese geography, and a thumbnail sketch of China’s history over the last four thousand years. Optional reading: Bill Porter, Zen Baggage, (Berkeley: Counterpoint Press, 2009), paperback
6 Tues, Apr 7 – May 19, 10-11:30 am, Location TBD

The Village University, established in 2003, was inspired by Elliot and Alma Ring, and offers courses for mature learners who are seeking stimulating study and conversation about interesting topics. The courses are taught by academics, scholars, and educational leaders who volunteer to share their knowledge and inspire others. The volunteer instructors bring the best university-level learning experiences to Concord and Carlisle. Our dedicated coordinators include Richard Cornell, Nancy Cronin, Gini Goulet, Nancy Hendrie, Bill Koenigsberg, Carol Murphree, Murray Nicolson, Meryl Schwartz, Alma Ring, Phil Stark, Rosalie Weiss, and Win Wilbur.

CCACE is thrilled to be able to offer Village University programs to our community members. We request a donation of $60 for the first course and $30 for each additional Village University course. Adult & Community Education is made possible through student fees, with student financial aid made possible through a grant from the Concord Carlisle Community Chest. The Village University is supported entirely by voluntary donations and your donations help us promote the programs.