Lifelong Learning Courses

Mayborn Museum

Lifelong Learning Courses

Bob Anne’s Book Club - “That’s What Friends Are For”

Thursdays, 10:30 - Noon - Sep. 1, 8, 15, 22
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

Bob Anne Senter’s Book Club returns with four books about friendships. We are all indebted to our circle of friends and know the joys they bring to our lives. These books describe different avenues of friendship and also the circumstances that unite them: 12 Mighty Orphans by Jim Dent; Patsy and Me by Loretta Lynn; The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King, and A Dog Called Hope by Jason Morgan and Damien Lewis.

Bob Anne Senter was born in Amarillo, Texas, and graduated from Baylor University. She was an executive secretary at Republic National Bank in Dallas before she married, and later worked as a secretary for the Superintendent of the Methodist Home, volunteered in several areas, served on the Midway School Board for 9 years, and was President of the Baylor Alumni Association. Later she took a part-time position as Director of Travel for the BAA that led to representing Lifelong Learning. She retired in 2016.

Better Photography through Storytelling

Thursdays, 2:00 - 3:30 pm - Sep. 1, 8, 15, 22
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

Photographer Sam Wilson will cover ways a photographer can connect with viewers by telling stories through, and by eliciting emotional responses to, photographic images. Students will take photographs in specific genre (portraits, nature, still life and so forth). Samples will be anonymously displayed for gentle critiques and discussions, leading to improving one’s photos. Students will need access to a camera or phone camera. This course will not cover technical details of photography.

Sam is a former president of Plano Photography Club where he also achieved a Master photographer rating. He is also a member of the Photographic Society of America, and he has been certified by PSA as a photography contest judge. He retired from a career as an engineer in 2019. Following retirement, he and his wife Barbara moved to Waco to be closer to their children and grandchildren. He’s a graduate of Baylor, class of 1978.

Cybersecurity and You

Fridays, 1:30 - 3:30 pm - Sep. 9, 16, 23
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

Our connected digital world is becoming increasingly complicated and dangerous. Everything and everyone depends on technology that is interconnected to the world, either directly or indirectly. What can the average person do to protect themselves from cyber-attacks, loss of personally identifiable information (PII), and other exposures in our modern digital world? Keith Kooyman presents multiple ways to protect yourself.

Mr. Kooyman began his technical career in the early days of computing. He has worked as a systems administrator, Microsoft and Novell Systems Engineer, IT Manager, IT Director, IT contractor and consultant. His interests and focus have always been security, even before IT security was a field of study. He has been teaching Cybersecurity at TSTC for 10 years.

Authentic Connections: Understand Your Communication Style to Build Healthy Relationships

Wednesdays, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm - Sep. 7, 14, 21, 28
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

Unfortunately, this class has been canceled.

Fascinating Facts about the U.S. Supreme Court

Wednesdays, 2:00 - 3:30 pm - Sep. 7, 14, 21, 28
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

Join Waco attorney Wesley J. Filer to learn generally about the judicial branch of the federal government and in particular about the U.S. Supreme Court. While most of the decisions by the Supreme Court are routine and attract little attention other than from the participants in the litigation, some are very controversial, have large impacts, and are politically charged. A better understanding of the Court is not only fascinating, but crucial to being a well-informed citizen.

Wesley Filer is an experienced attorney certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and the Texas Bar Association in estate planning and probate law. A graduate of the University of Texas, Baylor University School of Law, and The George Washington University Law School, West has been a partner for many years at Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee in Waco.

Faith of the Presidents

Mondays, 1:00 - 2:30 pm - Sep. 12, 19, 25 and Oct. 3
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

Who said this? “The defense of religion, of democracy, and of good faith among nations is all the same fight.” Or, how about this? “Our government makes no sense unless it is founded in a deeply felt religious faith, and I don’t care what it is.” Both are quotes from American presidents, who often play the role of preacher, pastor, and priest to the American people. Barry Hankins will discuss the faith of some of our presidents and how they deployed that faith both privately and publicly.

Barry Hankins is Professor of History as well as Department Chair. He is also Resident Scholar with the Institute for Studies of Religion. His specialties are Religion of American Culture, Protestant Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism, as well as Church and State in American History. He came to Baylor because he wanted to be at an university that takes both teaching and research seriously and also promotes scholarship from a Christian perspective.

Stargazing: An Intro to our Night Sky

Mondays, 10:00 - 11:30 am - Sep. 26 and Oct. 3, 10, 17
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

With new planets, stars and galaxies being discovered, the wonders of our Universe are at an all-time high. New telescopes and space vehicles are revealing mysteries never seen by mankind. Students will learn how the universe works as well as identify major constellations, nebulae, and black holes. Taught by Larry Smith, retired National Park Astronomy Ranger, the course will provide hands-on activities so that students may understand the “workings” of our Universe.

Larry Smith is a retired National Park Service astronomer, science teacher, and university administrator. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Baylor University and a Master of Science degree from TCU. He has given over 200 public “Night Sky” presentations at the Badlands National Park; conducted monthly “Star Parties” at the Waco Mammoth Site and Lake Whitney State Park; and is co-founder of 3 Rivers Foundation ( He holds NASA teacher certification.

The Crusades

Tuesdays, 10:00 - 11:30 am - Sep. 27 and Oct. 4, 11, 18
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

This class, led by Bill Pitts, is an introduction to the era of the eight classic Crusades in the Near East, 1095-1291, involving conflicts among the Islamic, Byzantine (East Roman), and Western European cultures. Jerusalem, taken by the Franks (first Crusade), was eventually lost to Saladin, prompting a crusade, led by Richard the Lionhearted. The fourth crusade seriously strained relations between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. Attention will also be given to the crusades in Spain, the role of the papacy, and consequences of the crusades.

Dr. Bill Pitts is Retired Professor Emeritus, Department of Religion, Baylor University. He earned his BA at Baylor in history and religion, his MDiv at Vanderbilt Divinity School, and his PhD in Church History at Vanderbilt University. His 52-year teaching career included Mercer University, Houston Baptist University, Dallas Baptist University, and 43 years at Baylor University.

Financial Planning for Seniors

Thursdays, 9:30 - 11:00 am, Sep. 29 and Oct. 6, 13, 20
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

These sessions, taught by Al Childs, will focus on topics particularly relevant for mature adults such as investments, budgeting, gifting, and handling broader family financial issues. Topics will include gifting to children (pre- and post-mortem), treating children equitably, and charitable giving. Final planning issues, such as durable powers of attorney, medical directives, organizing financial affairs, and distributing assets tax effectively and in consideration of family priorities will be discussed. Other issues will be covered that are relevant to the attendees.

Al Childs is a 1976 graduate of Baylor University. He majored in finance with a BBA degree. Al spent the better part of 4 decades as a banker. The last 25 years, he was a leader in the wealth management area with 20 years at US Trust and 5 years at Comerica Bank. He began the private banking business for U S Trust in Texas and led the wealth management efforts for Comerica in North Texas. Al has been a CFP professional and was licensed with a series 7, 66 and a Texas Life and Health license. Al has been a national Trustee for the March of Dimes, chairman of the Board of Habitat for Humanity in Dallas, on the Advisory Board of Hankamer School of Business, and Chairman of the Deacons at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas. He is married to Beverly and has 2 sons and 5 (precious) grandchildren.

WWII and the Road to V-J Day: 1945

Wednesdays, 4:00 - 5:30 pm - Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

This course, taught by Brad Livingstone, will concentrate on the Pacific Theater portion of WWII, particularly those events that occurred in 1945. Featured topics will include the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, the use of the “kamikaze,” the development of the Atomic Bomb and its use on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the (almost) unconditional surrender of the Japanese Empire to end WWII. The significance of these major war efforts led to the end of WWII after four years of bloody battles and millions of deaths of both military personnel and civilians.

Brad Livingstone received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Oklahoma State while also playing basketball for the Cowboys. He has been an educator at Oaks Christian High School in southern California, served as Dean of Students, Principal and history teacher at Trinity Christian School in Fairfax, VA, and taught at Vanguard in Waco in the mid-1990s, returning in 2017 to continue teaching history with a specialty in WWII.

Israelis and Palestinians: Living in a Tough Neighborhood and Trying to Forge a Future

Mondays, 4:00 - 5:30 pm - Oct. 10, 17, 24, 31
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

Dr. Lynn Tatum, during the summer of 2022, is attending an intensive seminar centered in Israel. He is meeting with security officials, diplomatic officials, military leaders, Palestinian leaders, religious leaders, fellow academics, and Israeli and Palestinian politicians. His experiences are “up to date” and from “on-the-ground.” The course will cover the history of modern Israel, its politics, its problems, its challenges, and its hopes. There will be lots of discussion, a great deal of laughter, some good-natured arguing, and a learning experience for everyone!

Dr. Tatum holds a PhD in Religion from Duke University, and he teaches courses on Bible, archeaology, and the Middle East in Baylor’s religion department and in its honors college. He recently received a grant from Brandeis University to study in Israel. He has almost forty years of experience travelling to and living in Israel. He has also travelled and studied extensively throughout the Middle East and the Arab World.

The Classics of Children’s Literature

Tuesdays, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm - Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, 8, 15
Location: Online via ZOOM $20 per person

This course taught by Dr. Tom Hanks and Professor Betsy Vardaman touches lightly upon the history of literature intended for children: Aesop's Fables, Mother Goose Rhymes, John Newbery's little books for children, the Volksmärchen (folk tales) of the Brothers Grimm, Perrault's stories intended for adults and adopted by children, 19th century dreadfully moralizing stories intended to regulate children's behavior in strict conformity to adult comfort (some of these are now comic), and modern fiction and poetry for children (and adults). Along with brief histories, the instructors will focus on delight.

Tom Hanks joined the English Department in 1976, having earned an MA from Washington University, St. Louis, and his PhD from the University of Minnesota. His teaching and research have focused primarily on Medieval English literature. Dr. Hanks has garnered many awards for teaching at Baylor, including Collins Outstanding Professor Award, 1998; Baylor Centennial Professor, 1998-1999; Outstanding Faculty Award, 2001; Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year Award, 2004; and the Master Teacher designation, 2005. He retired in 2017.

Using the Enneagram to Become Our Best Selves

Thursdays, 2:00 - 4:00 pm - Nov. 3, 10, 17
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

Back by popular demand! Jon Singletary takes the Enneagram and breaks it down in ways that help us as individuals to recognize our personality type and hidden potential. You are not defined by your “number,” but it is helpful information for understanding yourself and others. For both newcomers to the subject and those who took the introductory course last fall, knowing more about your Enneagram number can lead to stronger relationships, reduced stress, and more productivity.

Dr. Singletary is dean and professor of the Garland School of Social Work and has served on the faculty for 20 years. He has led the Center for Family and Community Ministries in the GSSW studying congregations and how they engage in service.

The Story of Christian Worship

Wednesdays, 10:00 - 11:30 am - Oct. 26 and Nov. 2, 9, 16
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

David W. Music will lead a survey of worship practices from the New Testament through the Medieval and Reformation churches, with consideration of the Old Testament background and recent worship forms.

David W. Music is Professor Emeritus of Church Music at Baylor University. He is the author of numerous books and articles on Christian worship and church music, including, most recently, “A Noble Theme, a Skillful Writer: Timothy Dudley-Smith and Christian Hymnody.” (2021)

Historic Buildings of Waco

Thursdays, 9:30 - 11:00 am - Oct. 27 and Nov. 3, 10, 17
Location: Mayborn Museum $20 per person

Architectural historian Kenneth Hafertepe will discuss historic Waco buildings, analyzing the evolution of these buildings for religion, commerce, industry, education, and government over the years. As the award-winning author of numerous books on architecture, he is known for digging deep into the details of each structure to find the unique stories he shares with his readers and students. His previously published book, Historic Homes of Waco, Texas has received the Ron Tyler Award for Best Illustrated Book on Texas History and Culture from the Texas State Historical Association.

Kenneth Hafetepe is a professor of museum studies at Baylor University and an award-winning author on American and Texas architecture and material culture. His subjects have included the Smithsonian Castle, the French Legation and Governor’s Mansion in Austin, Ashton Villa in Galveston, and the Spanish Governor’s Palace in San Antonio. His books on The Material Culture of German Texans and Historic Homes of Waco, Texas both won the Ron Tyler Award from the Texas State Historical Association. He has spoken at many museums, including the Alamo, the Amon Carter Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Witte Museum.