Join us for the Life-Long Learning Lecture Series

The Fort Lewis College Life-Long Learning Lecture Program is thrilled to welcome you back to live presentations!

The Life-Long Learning Lecture Series has been active on campus for the past 22 years. Co-sponsored by the President’s Office and the Professional Associates of Fort Lewis College, LLL Series aims to enrich the intellectual life of the College and community by offering free presentations on a wide variety of subjects.

The Thursday evening programs are open to all and run from 7–8:30 p.m. Fall 2022 lectures will be held in Room 130, Noble Hall. Some may also be available via Zoom webinar and recorded for later viewing.

Proof of COVID vaccination is required at the door for all Fall 2022 live performances. Please note the special welcome back dual lectures and picnic will take place at the Old Fort in Hesperus on September 8.

For additional information on the LLL series, please contact Professional Associate Gary Rottman at

Fall 2022 schedule

All lectures will be held on Thursday evenings from 7–8:30 p.m. in Room 130, Noble Hall unless otherwise noted below.

September 8, 3–8 p.m.

You are invited to explore, hear talks, and enjoy a picnic on the grounds of the Old Fort in Hesperus. Gather at 3 p.m. for tours followed by special presentations by Beth LaShell and Dr. Majel Boxer on the Fort’s military history, the Indian School, and current uses of the Old Fort property. Bring your own picnic. Click here for directions, agenda, and details or email Gary Rottman at


September 15
Sunsets, Suburbs, or the Sublime

Which vision of the American West is yours? Explore different perspectives of the West with journalist Judith Reynolds. She will examine the romantic idealism of Ansel Adams, the bleak realism of Richard Misrach, the fantastic imagery of Jerry Uelsmann, and the plainspoken documentary eyes of W. H. Jackson and Frank Gonner. The goal is to examine multiple points of view and possibly reconsider personal preferences.

View recording

September 22
Scientist Marie Curie / Chautauqua presentation

Living history presenter Susan Frontczak will appear as scientist, mother, and teacher Marie Curie, the woman who changed our world through her discovery of radium and radioactivity. Travel back to 1915 to hear her story as an introverted scientist who discovered a new element with compounds that glow in the dark. Learn about Curie’s laboratory work and the path that led to two Nobel Prizes. Frontczak’s presentation will conclude with a Q&A session in character and then as a presenter.

September 23 FRIDAY
Journalist Erma Bombeck / Chautauqua presentation

Living history presenter Susan Frontczak will portray Erma Bombeck, a humorist who chronicled the American housewife’s daily struggles in her column “At Wit’s End” three days a week over several decades. Bombeck brought to American awareness the life of women whose lives otherwise felt invisible. The program consists of a monologue in character followed by a Q&A with Bombeck, then a Q&A with the scholar presenter.

September 29
Bonanza! Music of the American West

Join Linda Mack Berven, artistic director and conductor of the Durango Choral Society and former FLC Music professor, in exploring the sights and sounds of the colorful and exciting American West as portrayed in the movies. Sing along with your favorite themes as she illustrates historical, cultural, and social impacts of music in our understanding and appreciation of the West.

View recording

October 6
Horses, Yahoos, and Failed Prophecies

Join Jim Kimple as he examines how insights from Jonathan Swift, the 18th century’s wicked satirist, smutty poet, and fake news pamphleteer, intuited crucial ideas, like cognitive dissonance, that shape contemporary psychology today. With a Ph.D. in educational psychology, literature degrees from Earlham College and The University of Chicago, plus a long career as an organizational consultant, Kimple will apply humor to suggest ways we can recognize, understand, and address dissonance in ourselves and others.

October 13
Strong Bones for a Healthy Life

Every year in the U.S., there are more than two million broken bones that occur because of osteoporosis. These have significant negative effects on those who suffer them and significant cost to our health care system. Clayton LaBaume, PA-C, is a bone-health expert at Mercy Regional Medical Center and will cover basic bone biology, pathology of osteoporosis, and steps people can take to decrease the risk of sustaining preventable broken bones.

October 20
A Return to Civility: Engaging Differences Constructively

As a nation, we are experiencing one of the most openly divisive times in our country’s history. Laurie Meininger, a retired diplomat and president of the La Plata County Chapter of the League of Women Voters, will ask how we got here, why we seem to be languishing here, and what we, as individuals, can do about it. Meininger suggests we can do more than we think.

October 27
Influential Books

Join us for a discussion of books that have influenced our lives. Shelley Walchak, retired director of Pine River Valley Library, will moderate a panel consisting of Richard Ballantine, CEO of Ballantine Communications; Karen Cheser, superintendent of 9-R; and Cheryl Nixon, provost of FLC. Following the presentations, the panelists will be available for a Q&A session.

November 3
The Force and Beauty of Indigenous Expression

Ethnographer Kathy Fine-Dare, professor emeritus of Anthropology and Gender Studies at FLC, will focus on expressive and educational acts carried out in Quito, Ecuador by members and allies of the Kitu-Kara Indigenous pueblo. These acts include dance, shamanic healing, photography, filmmaking, and organic farming. Rather than view these phenomena merely as “identity” or “tradition,” Fine-Dare suggests that Indigeneity is a complex force pulsating in the global city.

November 10
Become an Umbraphile

Your next opportunity to experience a total eclipse of the Sun will be April 8, 2024. Gary Rottman, a retired solar physicist, will describe this solar phenomenon and encourage you to journey to the Midwest and, centered there in the path of the totality, join other enthusiasts from the world over. Shrouded in darkness, you will experience the breathtaking view of the solar corona, one of the greatest spectacles of our natural world.

November 17
Misconceptions about Homelessness

Durango Mayor Kim Baxter will moderate a panel discussion on homelessness in Durango. Panelists include Caroline Kinser, Board Chair of NINA, Ann Morse, Chair of the Coordinating Council on Homelessness and Kathleen Van Voorhis, Ph.D. Director of Community Strategy Project Moxie. The panelists will discuss homelessness in Durango; the scope and nature of the problem as well as current and future solutions to it. Community input will be welcome and addressed.

December 1
Talking Trash: Updates on the Circular Economy

Michael Rendon, former mayor of Durango and current FLC professor of Sociology and Political Science, will focus on global waste and waste management systems, the promise and implementation of Zero Waste & Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs, the role of informal waste pickers, and why reducing, re-using, and recycling still make the most sense regarding resource management.

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