Exemplifying true “lifelong learning,” the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies celebrated five years of offering an academic lecture series for the residents of The Hallmark Retirement Community near the Galleria.
Residents and school representatives commemorated the milestone at a reception held recently at The Hallmark.
The “Rice University Lecture Series at The Hallmark” has been offered each fall and spring since the fall of 2006. Lectures are given by Rice faculty, faculty from other local universities, or other local experts.
The idea for the series came from the residents themselves, many of whom are Rice alumni or retired faculty. Funding to pilot the series was provided by resident Ray Hoagland Strange, a 1936 Rice graduate whose father, William Ward Watkin, served as supervising architect during construction of the original Rice campus and later as head of the architecture department.
Steve Garfinkel, director of community programs for Continuing Studies, said the residents requested a broad spectrum of lecture topics, “from world and U.S. history to art and art history to religion to music to world cultures.” As a result, he said, “we strive to offer a balanced smorgasbord of offerings in each six-lecture series.” Topics from the spring program included the Cern supercollider, Vincent Van Gogh, Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, Somalian piracy, Socrates and the Kinder Houston Area Survey.
Hallmark resident Evelyn Howell, whose husband Paul served on the Rice Board of Trustees, said that even before she moved to The Hallmark three years ago she was “delighted that they offered this very stimulating and wonderful opportunity.”
She has attended each lecture since moving to the building. “Every one that I have attended, I have learned from, even the ones that didn’t sound so interesting!”
Josephine Rogers, former director of language programs at Continuing Studies, took many of the school’s courses on campus over the past few decades and now, as a resident attends the lectures at The Hallmark. A major advantage of lectures at The Hallmark, she says, is that “we are a group of attendees who know each other – we are part of a community. This means that after a lecture we have friends with whom we can discuss what has just been presented, which is both pleasant and enriching.”
Janet Hoagland-Sorensen, great niece of Ray Hoagland Strange, attended the five-year celebration and was pleased to hear her great aunt’s name mentioned as one of the catalysts of the now-successful program. Strange died in 2010 at the age of 95. “She would have been so proud, and so pleased that the lectures will go on,” Hoagland-Sorensen said.
Bonus: Nancy Akers, a Hallmark resident and regular participant in the lecture series, took “notes” at a recent lecture on birds given by Glenn Olsen. Her drawings were so beautiful we had to share. Click on the photo to see the full page.