LIFE@WesternCarolina starting its second year of programs

LIFE@WesternCarolina, Western Carolina University’s lifelong learning institute, is beginning its second year with a series of educational sessions for Western North Carolina residents 50 and older who are interested in enriching their lives through the pursuit of knowledge.

LIFE@WesternCarolina offers weekly sessions in both Cullowhee and Asheville focusing on a variety of topics including business, history, science, literature, politics and personal development.

“What a thrill to see our program grow and develop as we begin our second year with the corroboration of the university, the board and the community membership. LIFE has evolved into a rich and rewarding experience for the community of Western Carolina,” said Kay Wheeler, current president of LIFE@WesternCarolina.

Sessions are offered weekly for 12 weeks during the fall and spring semesters. Fall semester programs will begin Tuesday, Sept. 8, in Cullowhee and Wednesday, Sept. 9, in Asheville.

In addition to lectures, the institute will offer social opportunities and field trips as presenters share expertise from various backgrounds. Presenters include university faculty as well as professionals and community members from throughout the region.

Participants will register for sessions being held at one of two sites. Programs will be held Tuesdays in the ground-floor auditorium of H.F. Robinson Administration Building on the Cullowhee campus, and Wednesdays at the university’s instructional site at Biltmore Park Town Square, located at 28 Schenck Parkway in Asheville. Sessions at both locations will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until noon.

Tony Kiss will open the first sessions with a presentation on “Breweries in Western North Carolina.” Kiss has been writing about craft beer for the Asheville Citizen-Times since 1994, when the region’s first brewery released its first ales. Over the past 21 years, he has watched as craft brewing has grown from a tiny industry into a major economic engine with 40-plus breweries and millions of dollars of investment.

Other speakers and topics for 2015-16 year will include “WCU Students in the Arts” with George Brown, “My Life as a Director of Marching Bands” with Bob Buckner, “Discover Life in America” with Todd Witcher, and more. The full lineup of program topics will be announced soon.

Cost of membership in the institute is $125 per year, including 24 engaged learning experiences with opportunities to take part in additional activities related to some of the topics. Participants may attend all or as many sessions as they like.

For more information or to register for the LIFE@WesternCarolina institute, contact the Division of Educational Outreach at 828-227-7397 or visit