Alumni Summer College

Participants enjoyed lively classes and great company

By Terri Carroll '88

Falcon alumni and friends started their summer fun early at the second annual Bowling Green State University alumni Summer College. On May 10-12, 2017, the University offered more than 30 non-credit courses with titles such as The Hijab Controversy: Oppression or Freedom of Expression, the Art, Science and Business of Beer, and I Love Lucy … and Mary: Legendary Women of Sitcoms.

The fun and educational event was open to anyone interested in learning about almost anything. The hourlong-plus classes included the meaning of life, climate change, soap operas, ways to enhance memory, the Syrian refugee crisis, Wonder Woman, social media, and songs of the World War II era.  

“We wanted to challenge people to get out of their comfort zones and to learn something new,” said Becky Kocher, BGSU’s associate vice president of alumni relations, annual giving, and development operations.  

The courses, which ranged in student size from five to 25, were designed to foster learning, dialogue, and perhaps post-course curiosity to explore the topic beyond the classroom, she said. Participants also had the opportunity for field trips to tour the community's wind farm and landfill as well as see how campus has evolved in recent years. Some even stayed in the residence halls and marveled at how different the experience was from their own collegiate memories.

Alumnus Mike Kuhlin '68, who traveled from Chicago for the event, said, "Alumni Summer College was a fun and an engaging experience. I met new alumni and enjoyed the engaging sessions. It is great to have the opportunity to learn and feel like a college student again."

Chuck Coletta, a lecturer in the department of popular culture taught courses about Archie comics, Wonder Woman, soap operas (along with Stefanie Hunker), and women in sitcoms, said he enjoyed this format and its nontraditional students.

“It’s one of the best experiences I’ve ever had on the campus,” he said. "The people who are there are really engaged. It's educational but something that's casual.”

Plans for the 2018 Alumni Summer College are already underway. Save the dates of June 13-15, 2018, and visit the program's website or details.