Lifelong Learners Program

Program Description

Enjoy our classes that are designed for anyone 55 years or better, but all adult learners are welcome.

Lifelong learner Fall 2018 Schedule CoverThe Lifelong Learner Lunches are offered during the day at various venues in the Quad-Cities area. Our guest speakers focus on topics of local interest.

Look for the classes marked with the tree icon in the current catalog for the Lifelong Learners offerings.

Browse the Lifelong Learners Program Catalog.

Lifelong Learner Classes

Are you thinking about getting a computer or need to brush up on your Windows skills? Take a look at our computer classes, several which are specifically designed for our Lifelong Learners program. Have you always wanted to learn how to draw or paint or do your skills need some fine-tuning? Then click the button below to read more about the arts and craft class offerings!


  • Getting Started with Your Computer Workshop
  • Windows for Beginners Workshop
  • Organizing Your Files and Folders
  • Cleaning Up Your Computer
  • Moving to Windows 10
  • Facebook Workshop
  • Emailing Workshop
  • Pinterest Workshop
  • Word 101 Workshop
  • Excel 101 Workshop
Full List of Computer Classes »

Arts & Crafts

  • Techniques and Tips in Watercolor for Beginners
  • Techniques and Tips in Watercolor – Intermediate
  • Paint Your Home, Barn or Favorite Building in Watercolor
  • Basics of Drawing for Beginners
  • Drawing Animals and the Birds of Spring
  • Drawing the Face – Creating Self-Portraits/Portraits
Full List of Arts & Crafts Classes »

Spring Seminars

Theodore Roosevelt
Presenter: Dr. Art Pitz

In 1901, after the assassination of President McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt was sworn into the office of President at the age of 42. Having been recognized as a legitimate war hero, served as a New York City Police Commissioner, Governor and Vice President, he had many professional accomplishments. Join us as we discuss his fascinating life including his legacy of the National Parks and how he inspired the Teddy Bear.

1 Wednesday          Jan. 30                             10:00 a.m. – Noon
CRN 11026           Outreach – Rm. 407          Fee $10

A Retrospective on the Vietnam War(s):

Terra Incognita
Presenter: Dr. Art Pitz

What Americans came to know as the Vietnam War had deep historical roots that were virtually unknown to those top American officials charged with making so many complex post-World War II decisions. Few, if any, knew anything of Vietnam’s previous wars, overall history, language and culture. We will delve into that history and uncover those roots that led to tragic misconceptions.

1 Wednesday         Mar. 13                           9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
CRN 11320           Outreach – Rm. 407         Fee $10

Riding the Tiger’s Back
Presenter: Dr. Art Pitz

We’ll explore why the United States chose to support France’s attempted recolonization of Indochina and then to replace the French with an American-created South Vietnam. We’ll discuss the events that led up to the spring of 1965 and South Vietnam collapsing.

1 Wednesday         Mar. 20                           9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
CRN 11321           Outreach – Rm. 407         Fee $10

Tragedy Ensues
Presenter: Dr. Art Pitz

The Vietnam War was the first televised conflict. It was on the evening news almost every night. What role did that play in ultimately bringing down two presidents and to an unplanned, chaotic exit after so many casualties? Could that war have been won? What have been the lasting consequences of the war?

1 Wednesday         Mar. 27                           9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
CRN 11322           Outreach – Rm. 407         Fee $10

George Orwell’s ‘1984’

Join us for this three-part series as we discuss George Orwell’s dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, originally published in 1949 and set in the year 1984.
Book must be read before attending any of the classes below.

The History Behind ‘1984 ‘
Presenter: Dr. Art Pitz

What is the history behind why this book was written? A common question prior to World War II was: Could it happen here? What did it mean? Why did this concern re-emerge after World War II? All attendees are encouraged to read a copy of “1984” prior to attending this session.

1 Wednesday         Apr. 10                            9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
CRN 11323           Outreach – Rm. 407         Fee $10

The Plot, the Characters and is it Reality?
Presenter: Dr. Art Pitz

Let’s explore the plot and characters of “1984.” How much of this plot was based on reality at the time the book was written and how much was speculative? We will view some clips of the classic film “1984” released in 1984 as part of our discussion.

1 Wednesday         Apr. 17                            9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
CRN 11324           Outreach – Rm. 407         Fee $10

Why is this classic still relevant today?
Presenter: Dr. Art Pitz

How relevant is this book to us today? Many phrases and words such as Big Brother, doublethink, thought crime and memory hole have entered into common language since its publication in 1949. The adjective Orwellian, which describes official deception, secret surveillance and manipulation of recorded history by a totalitarian or authoritarian state, was made popular in 1948.

1 Wednesday         Apr. 24                            9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
CRN 11325           Outreach – Rm. 407         Fee $10

Lifelong Learner Lunches:

Abraham Lincoln and Rock Island County
Presenter: Dr. Maryan Wherry

Born in 1809 and famously known for being our nation’s 16th president, most of the attention paid to Abraham Lincoln centers on his life in and near Springfield. He lived a fascinating life that included ties to the Quad Cities. Join us as we celebrate Lincoln’s birthday and discuss his presence, activities and influence in and around Rock Island County.

Date:                  Thursday, February 21
Location:            Quad City Botanical Center, 2525 4th Avenue, Rock Island, IL
Lunch:                11:30 a.m.
Presentation:      12:15 p.m.
Fee:                    $23 (Fee includes admission to the Botanical Center)
CRN:                  11326
(Last day to register or receive a refund: February 14)

Outrageous Women: An Illinois Celebration
Presenter: Dr. Maryan Wherry

In honor of Women’s History Month, we will discuss some of the Illinois women who have been labeled “outrageous” for their accomplishments and influences in improving their lives and ours. A few women from the Civil War era to present day will be discussed, including Albert D.J. Cashier (birth name Jennie Irene Hodgers), an Irish-born immigrant who served in the American Civil War, and Peoria-born Betty Freidan, a leading figure in the women’s movement who is often credited with sparking the second wave of American feminism in the 20th century. These women’s lives, among others, will be explored.

Date:                 Thursday, March 21
Location:            Quad City Botanical Center, 2525 4th Avenue, Rock Island, IL
Lunch:               11:30 a.m.
Presentation:     12:15 p.m.
Fee:                  $23 (Fee includes admission to the Botanical Center)
CRN:                11327
(Last day to register or receive a refund: March 14)

Mr. U. S. GRANT: A Man & A Patriot!
Presenter: Dan Haughey, Actor, Storyteller, and Teaching-Artist

Born in 1822, Ulysses S. Grant held many titles, most notably general and 18th president of the United States. He was one of the most notable military officers during the Civil War and continues to be a figure of great interest. Join us for Dan Haughey’s performance in a first-person, one-act play focusing on Grant’s early years and rise to Civil War fame as general of the Union armies.

Date:                 Wednesday, April 24
Location:            Quad City Botanical Center, 2525 4th Avenue, Rock Island, IL
Lunch:                11:30 a.m.
Presentation:      12:15 p.m.
Fee:                   $23 (Fee includes admission to the Botanical Center)
CRN:                 11328
(Last day to register or receive a refund: April 17)

Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City
Presenter: Kelly Rundle, Documentarian and Filmmaker of 4th Wall Films

Join us as documentarian and filmmaker Kelly Rundle discusses and shows the 20-minute Emmy-nominated film that tells the fascinating and forgotten story of the Blood Run National Historic Landmark as told by a Native American grandfather to his grandchildren. The Good Earth site in Iowa and South Dakota was occupied between 1500 and 1725 by ancestors of the present-day Omaha, Ponca, Ioway and Otoe-Missouria tribes, making it one of the oldest long-term habitation sites in the United States. At its peak around 1650, the site was home to 6,000-10,000 residents – more than Boston (2,000) and New York (New Amsterdam – 1,000) in that same year. The once-vibrant city is an important part of our history.

Date:                 Thursday, May 16
Location:            Quad City Botanical Center, 2525 4th Avenue, Rock Island, IL
Lunch:                11:30 a.m.
Presentation:      12:15 p.m.
Fee:                    $23 (Fee includes admission to the Botanical Center)
CRN:                 50225
(Registration for this class begins April 2. Last day to register or receive a refund: May 9)