Western Carolina University’s new lifelong learning institute, LIFE@WesternCarolina, is off to a strong start with 87 individuals now registered to attend institute seminars this academic year in Cullowhee and Biltmore Park, says WCU Provost Alison Morrison-Shetlar.
Designed for Western North Carolina residents age 50 and older, the institute features weekly interactive sessions in Cullowhee and Biltmore Park that focus on a variety of topics such as business, history, science, literature, politics and personal development.
Participants can register for sessions being held at one of the two sites. Seminars are held Tuesdays at the N.C. Center for the Advancement of Teaching in Cullowhee, located across N.C. Highway 107 from WCU’s main Cullowhee campus, and on Wednesdays at the university’s instructional site at Biltmore Park Town Square, located at 28 Schenck Parkway in Asheville. Sessions at both sites begin at 10 a.m. and end at noon.
The institute’s first seminar week featured Sylva storyteller Gary Carden addressing the topic “Folklore Becoming History” on Sept. 9 in Cullowhee and on Sept. 10 at Biltmore Park. The second week is featuring Jim Costa, WCU professor of biology and executive director of the Highlands Biological Station, speaking on “It’s Evolutionary, My Dear Watson” in Cullowhee on Tuesday, Sept. 16, and Chris Cooper, professor and head of WCU’s Department of Political Science and Public Affairs, presenting a session titled “Election 2014” at Biltmore Park on Wednesday, Sept. 17.
Ten additional weekly sessions will be held at both locations this fall semester, and another 12 sessions will be scheduled for the spring semester, Morrison-Shetlar said. There is still room for a few new participants at both locations, she said. “We are excited about the interest in this new initiative, and it seems that residents across the region are excited, also,” she said.
The cost of membership in LIFE@WesternCarolina is $125 for the academic year.
“Participating in the institute is a great way to learn, network, meet new friends and join a community of learners,” Morrison-Shetlar said.