July 23, 2013

Alumni Summer College Attendees Cross-Trained Their Brains

With a curriculum that ranged from aerodynamics and literature to psychology, the sociology of buying habits, and mathematics in the work of M.C. Escher, alumni and friends spent July 18-21 cross-training their brains at the fourth annual Alumni Summer College. Some have attended all four years, citing intellectual engagement as key.

“The lectures are engaging and led by incredibly enthusiastic professors who obviously enjoyed the experience as much as the alumni students,” says Colin Roosma ’01. “The opportunity to reconnect with former professors and get to know new alumni classmates is such a treat, especially with a diverse group spread across a variety of ages, majors, and life experiences. Thumbs up for Alumni Summer College.”

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Another attendee described the program as a “wonderful, out-of-the-box time,” noting that it went far beyond expectations.

“The classes are the best part,” says Jesse Larrimer ’72, “especially the student participation and discussion. This rewarding three days provided intellectual stimulation and the opportunity to meet or get re-acquainted with fellow alumni.”

The intensive schedule of 10 courses over three days began Thursday afternoon followed by a reception and dinner that evening.

Classes were held in Kirby Hall of Civil Rights and on Friday and Saturday began at 8:30 a.m. and ended at 6 p.m. During breaks, attendees enjoyed campus tours led by students, met with friends in the lounge area, stopped by the College Store, or exercised at Kirby Sports Center. President Alison Byerly gave the keynote address at Saturday’s farewell dinner.

“I looked forward to summer college all year,” says second-time attendee Mark Goldstone ’81. “Last year I called the experience ‘fertilizer for the brain’. This year I feel that it exercised all regions of my brain and helps us become lifelong learners.”

The Class of 1981 attendees at Alumni Summer College with President Alison Byerly: Christopher Thomas, Janet Edelstein, Mark Goldstone, and Laurie Bell

The Class of 1981 has increased participation each year. This year’s group with President Alison Byerly (third from right) includes Christopher Thomas (L-R), Daniel Rockafellow ’81, Janet Edelstein, Mark Goldstone, and Laurie Bell.










Sponsored by Alumni Relations, the program provides alumni and their friends a way to step back into the life of the College for a few days.


Corporate Governance and Business Ethics: The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same, Part I and II—Rose Marie Bukics, Jones Professor of Economics

What Do Children Know?—Lauren Myers, assistant professor of psychology

Hey You!: When Fiction Calls, Part I and II—Ian Smith, professor of English

How Lying Works—David Shulman, professor of sociology

The Mathematics Behind the Art of M.C. Escher—Gary Gordon, professor of mathematics

How Sociology Applies to Understanding Why People Buy—David Shulman, professor of sociology

The Case for Oral History: The Jews of France—Robert Weiner, Jones Professor of History

Introduction to Aerodynamics: Should I Dimple My Car?—Daniel Sabatino, assistant professor of mechanical engineering

Read more about the program and view videos of lectures from past years

posted in Alumni, News and Features


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