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Lifelong Learning – Bishop Gadsden University

By: Lynn Conley

BGU class on Sociology

Since April 2023, Bishop Gadsden residents have had a unique opportunity to listen and learn from experts on a wide range of subjects. The establishment of Bishop Gadsden University supports the belief that learning should never end, whether one wishes to pursue a passion or a hobby, master a skill, or stay engaged in the educational community. BGU’s goal is to offer a lifelong learning program with courses, lectures, and activities across a broad range of interesting disciplines. To this end, since last spring BGU has hosted 15 courses, most consisting of four classes each.

To date, the courses have included the following topics: Dinosaurs and Mass Extinctions; The British Civil War; Banned Books and Censorship; Charleston During the Revolutionary War; Charleston in the 20th Century and Today; Epidemics and Revolutions; Mapping of Jewish History; Applications of AI; The History of Medicine and Disease in Charleston; Death and Dying; Art History: Renaissance through Modern; History of the Earth; Bone Wars; Physics for All; and The Intelligence Community. Many more amazing courses are planned and on the schedule. Be sure to check out the latest offerings online and in the yellow sheet. Recently, BGU has expanded into the arts with an offering entitled Find the Artist in You taught by our very own Art Teacher, Martha McLeod.

To make this wide range of courses/classes possible, BG’s Event Coordinator Britt Lock conducted extensive research and outreach within the Charleston area. One important contact was with the Charleston Academy for Lifelong Learning (C.A.L.L.), a peer-to-peer volunteer lifelong learning program administered by members of the Center for Creative Retirement, which operates under the auspices of the College of Charleston. C.A.L.L. has approximately 250 retiree members including former teachers, professors, lawyers, and others who are willing to share their expertise. In addition, Britt has been in contact with various local institutions of higher learning in the Charleston area such as The Citadel, for its expertise in topics focused on leadership, engineering, and homeland security, The College of Charleston for its focus on the arts, social sciences, mathematics, and natural sciences, the Medical University of South Carolina for topics related to local, national, and global population health initiatives, clinical research, emergent biomedical technology, and contemporary challenges in healthcare delivery, and Trident Tech for its focus on hospitality and health care. As a result of hard work and diligent outreach efforts, Britt has amassed an impressive network of college professors and other subject matter experts who are willing to come to BG to offer various classes.

BGU class on Art History

All of the classes have been taught or are presently being taught by experienced professionals; most are educationally prepared on the doctoral level. The majority of courses are offered in four parts with a cost of $25.00 for each class, or $100.00 for the series. There is a fee for the BGU classes to help compensate for the professional’s time, preparation and effort. Each class is created specifically for Bishop Gadsden’s audience. Given the knowledge, expertise, quality, and credentials of the speakers, this cost is very reasonable, considering what one would pay for a similar college course taught by these experienced professionals. Feedback from attendees at BGU classes has been very positive, and resident attendees eagerly anticipate what will be offered next to provide them an opportunity to continue to expand their knowledge. Bishop Gadsden residents who have topics of particular interest for a BGU class should send their suggestions along to Britt Lock or Savannah Saunders, Event Assistant, who will gladly consider ideas for future BGU lectures and classes. Britt and Savannah have put a great deal of work into developing BGU, and they wish to make all of the offerings as interesting and pleasing as possible to Bishop Gadsden residents. The ongoing goal for class offerings is to keep them contemporary, stimulating, and relevant for all BG residents.