Lifelong Learning Courses

Mayborn Museum

Lifelong Learning Courses

Poets Laureate in the U.S.

Tuesday, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22
Location: ZOOM
Cost: $20 per person, a Lifelong Learning Membership is required for purchase

Dr. Tom Hanks will feature thought-provoking selections from three American Poets Laureate. Robert Frost, whose work centers on rural New England, was the only poet to receive four Pulitzer Prizes for poetry. The New York Times named the second poet, Billy Collins, “The most popular poet in America,” and in 2005, the U.S. magazine Poetry awarded him the Mark Twain Prize for Humor in Poetry. Amanda S. C. Gorman (age 23) is both a poet and an activist on issues of oppression, feminism, race, marginalization, and the African diaspora. She read her poem, “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden in 2021 to international acclaim.

Dr. Tom Hanks joined the English department in 1976, having earned an M.A. from Washington University, St Louis, and his Ph.D. 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.

Daughters Tell Their WWII Stories

Tuesdays, 4:00 - 5:30 pm Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22
Location: Mayborn Museum
Cost: $20 per person, a Lifelong Learning Membership is required for purchase

The stories of WWII are important to remember and share. In this course, Brad Livingstone will interview daughters of veterans who served our country: Nancy Parrish whose mother, Deanie Parrish, served as a WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) flying B-26 bomber planes; sisters Melisa Benham and Marsha Mason whose father, Morris Barker, was a POW in Germany; Susan Pollard, Linda Wilson, and Patricia Walton whose father, Ira Walton, served in the Army in 3 wars: WWII, Korea, and Vietnam; and Stacey Short, whose grandfather, J.C. Alston, was a Pearl Harbor survivor on the USS California.

Brad Livingstone, popular historian and Baylor's First Gent, 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 specialties in WWII and the Vietnam War.

Hymns and the Christian Faith

Wednesdays, 10:00 – 11:30 am Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23
Location: Mayborn Museum
Cost: $20 per person, a Lifelong Learning Membership is required for purchase

Hymns have often been called “the ordinary person’s systematic theology.” With instructor, Dr. David W. Music, this course will cover Christian hymns in their multiple dimensions, including their relationship to the Bible, theology, liturgy and worship, literature, music, and history. Examples of hymns from antiquity to the present, from popular to less well known, will be discussed and sung.

Dr. David W. Music is Professor Emeritus of Church Music at Baylor University, from which he retired in 2020. He is the author or coauthor of several books on hymnody, including “Repeat the Sounding Joy: Reflections on Hymns by Isaac Watts,” “A Survey of Christian Hymnody” and “I Will Sing the Wondrous Story: A History of Baptist Hymnody in North America,” as well as more than 250 articles on church music. He served as a committee chair for two different hymnal projects and is a self-described “hymn lover.”

The Oceans in a Changing Climate System

Thursdays, 9:00 - 10:30 am Feb. 3, 10, 17, 24
Location: Mayborn Museum
Cost: $20 per person, a Lifelong Learning Membership is required for purchase

The oceans are a critical component of Earth’s climate system that effectively transfers heat from the tropics toward the poles and from surface to deep water. It also exchanges dissolved gases with the atmosphere affecting the concentration of greenhouse gases. Dr. James Fulton will provide an introduction to ocean circulation patterns, ocean chemistry, biological processes in the ocean, and coastal processes that influence and are influenced by climate change.

Dr. James Fulton completed his Ph.D. in Geosciences and Biogeochemistry at Penn State University in 2010. He was a Postdoctoral Investigator at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution from 2011-13 where he studied algae-virus interactions and lipid export from surface to deep water masses. He moved to a faculty position and is now an Assistant Professor in the Geosciences Department at Baylor and principle, investigator of the new Microbial Biogeochemistry Lab.

Demystifying the Art Museum: Finding a Foothold in Understanding Visual Art

Mondays 10:00 – 11:30 am Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28
Location: Martin Museum of Art
Cost: $20 per person, a Lifelong Learning Membership is required for purchase

This course seeks to provide participants with the tools to engage works of art in an art museum setting through instruction with the museum’s permanent collection. Unlike other institutions, art museums often have an imposing reputation and are intimidating more often than not. This lecture series with Allison Chew will help make visitors feel more equipped and confident in these types of spaces, as well as help them find new and exciting ways to appreciate visual arts.

For the past six years, Allison Chew has been Director of Baylor’s Martin Museum of Art. She received an M.F.A. in studio art from the University of Texas at Tyler and received certification in education and outreach from the Texas Association of Museums. Prior to coming to Baylor, she served as the Curator of Art for the Pearce Museum as well as the Director of the Pearce Museum in Corsicana, Texas.

The Magic of Migration

Mondays 10:30 am – Noon Mar. 14, 21, 28, and Apr. 4
Location: ZOOM
Cost: $20 per person, a Lifelong Learning Membership is required for purchase

While you sleep, billions of birds and bats fly overhead. In the sea, millions of animals travel thousands of miles every year. In the spring, the butterflies pass your way. This study of nature’s incredible travel schedule for animals that inhabit our world will be led by Larry Smith.

Larry Smith is a Baylor graduate with an M.S. degree from TCU and doctoral studies at OU. Formerly Larry has been a university administrator and a secondary science teacher. He retired after serving as a National Park Astronomy Ranger at Yellowstone and Badlands National Parks. He has traveled extensively in the United States as well as internationally and has taught 10 courses for Baylor Lifelong Learning and Continuing Education since 2018.

Behind the Scenes Tours in Waco

Tuesdays, 10:00 – 11:30 am Mar. 15, 22, 29, and Apr. 5
Location: Various (Registrants will be notified)
Cost: $20 per person, a Lifelong Learning Membership is required for purchase

Dr. Judith Staples has arranged for a variety of experiences at several Waco highlights. Starting with a backstage look at scenery, costumes and props at the Waco Civic Theater, the group will meet the second week at First Baptist Church in Waco to see the beautiful stained-glass windows and learn about their history. The third session will convene at the Methodist Children’s Home, followed by the fourth week at Baylor’s McLane Football Stadium. NOTE: This is considered an extra-curricular activity and participants agree to take personal responsibility for their own transportation to and from each location.

Dr. Judith Staples served four school districts in Western New York as Superintendent of Schools before her retirement after 40 years in public education, starting as an elementary school teacher. Soon after retiring to Waco, she found the Baylor Lifelong Learning program and has been an active participant and a leader in recent years. She and her husband, George, have four children and 10 grandchildren. In addition to LLL, she enjoys writing, scrapbooking, quilting, and baking.

History of Rock & Roll

Tuesdays, 3:00 - 4:30 pm Mar. 15, 22, 29, and Apr. 5
Location: Mayborn Museum
Cost: $20 per person, a Lifelong Learning Membership is required for purchase

Join honky-tonk keyboard extraordinaire, Ralph Sparks, as he leads you through the beginnings of the Rock & Roll era starting in the early 1950s. Rock & Roll had an impact on dancing, clothing, language, and lifestyle. It originated from Black American music such as gospel, rhythm and blues, and country music. With a combination of history, music, singalong, and humor, you’ll enjoy a walk down memory lane featuring Elvis and the Beatles, as well as other teenage favorites of the 50s and 60s.

A piano student from age 5 through two years at Baylor, Ralph Sparks is a lifetime Wacoan who started performing professionally in 1957 in “The Originals.” By 1960, he was doing stage shows at Six Flags Over Texas for a three-year stint. Drafted into the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps, he served in the Vietnam War. Upon his return, he regrouped “The Originals” once again to perform until the 1990s. He has written gospel music, recorded seven music CDs, and, for the past 10 years, he has partnered with three others to start the “Stars Over Texas Jamboree.” He is currently Minister of Music at Crossroads Baptist Church.

Science of Sleep

Thursdays, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm Mar. 17, 24, 31, Apr. 7
Location: Mayborn Museum
Cost: $20 per person, a Lifelong Learning Membership is required for purchase

This course will provide an introduction to what it means to sleep soundly. Covered topics will include the psychological and physiological benefits of good sleep, how sleep loss affects the brain and vice versa, changes in sleep that occur with aging and dementia, the prevalence and causes of sleep disorders in America, and scientifically validated tips for improving your own sleep. Dr Michael Scullin is the Director of the Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory at Baylor.

Dr. Michael Scullin is the Director of the Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory at Baylor University. He completed his Ph.D. at Washington University in St. Louis and a post-doctoral fellowship at Emory University School of Medicine. He has published over 50 articles and received grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and private foundations. In the last three years, Dr. Scullin was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science, the President of the Southern Workers in Memory Society, and Newsmaker of the Year at Baylor University.

Texas in the Civil War Era

Wednesdays 2:30 - 4:00 pm Mar. 30, Apr. 6, Apr. 13, and Apr. 20
** Note Change of Dates and Day of Week from Brochure **
Location: Mayborn Museum
Cost: $20 per person, a Lifelong Learning Membership is required for purchase

This course will address the social, political, economic, and military issues in Texas during the pivotal and controversial years from the 1850s through the 1870s. It will focus on understanding the actions of a broad range of Texans – Anglo, Black, Tejano, and Native Americans – regarding slavery, secession, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and their ramifications to the present. The course, taught by Dr. Michael Parrish, will emphasize the vital importance of Texas during the Civil War Era.

Dr. Michael Parrish is the Bowers Professor of American History at Baylor University where he teaches courses in Texas History, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and Religion and War in U.S. History. He received his Ph.D. from UT Austin. He is the author, co-author, or editor of several books on the Civil War, Southern History, and Texas History. His most recent book co-authored with Thomas Cutrer, is Doris Miller, Pearl Harbor, and the Birth of the Civil Rights Movement.

Inside the McLennan County Sheriff’s Department

Thursdays 3:00 - 4:30 pm Apr. 7, 14, 21, 28
Location: Mayborn Museum
Cost: $20 per person, a Lifelong Learning Membership is required for purchase

Did you ever wonder how the Sheriff’s Department fits into our system of law enforcement? Major Ricky Armstrong will bring you “inside” the department with history and governance on subjects not usually available to or known by the general public. From the constitutional creation to the present, the highlights of this particular unit feature such things as human trafficking sting operations developed locally and replicated all over our nation. The operation of our two county jails includes a distinguished reintegration program to reduce recidivism. Learn fascinating details about the largest law enforcement agency in our county.

Major Ricky Armstrong, McLennan County Jail Administrator, has over 30 years of experience in law enforcement. He is a graduate of the National Jail Leadership Command Academy at Sam Houston State University. He received the 2017 Community Leader of the Year award from the Cenikor Foundation for his efforts to improve reintegration. He is currently President of the Texas Jail Association. He also serves on the Texas Commission on Jail Standards panel to study and evaluate jail standards.

Making Your Memoir Writing Come Alive

Tuesdays, 10:00 - 11:30 am Apr. 12, 19, 26, and May 3
Online via ZOOM
Cost: $20 per person, a Lifelong Learning Membership is required for purchase

Participants will examine samples of memoirs and compose stories about their lives under the leadership of Dr. Elaine White. Classmates will share and workshop those stories with each other in a fun and encouraging way. For those who have taken the course before, advanced techniques such as including conversational quotes will be added to personalize their memoirs. At the end of the course, participants will have begun or added to their memoirs.

Dr. Elaine White is a published author and founding director of the Live Oak Writing Project at The University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast. She has 29 years of experience teaching writing to high school and university students. Elaine is an active member of Baylor Lifelong Learning and Calvary Baptist Church.

Hidden History of Waco

Wednesdays 9:30 - 11:00 am April 13, 20, 27 and May 4
Location: Mayborn Museum
Cost: $20 per person, a Lifelong Learning Membership is required for purchase

Author of the 2016 book Waco, Eric Ames, has dug deeper into some of the lesser-known Waco stories in his most recent book Hidden History of Waco. Enjoy his stories of artesian wells, steamboats on the Brazos, “The Little Rough Riders,” and the invisible empire on Austin Avenue. Explore the book Sironia, Texas by Wacoan Madison Cooper that some feel may really be about Waco. Learn about a 1923 public hanging of a convicted murderer in front of a crowd of nearly 5,000 people that led to significant changes in the way Texas and the nation handled executions.

Eric Ames is Assistant Director for Marketing & Communication for the Baylor University Libraries and ITS and an adjunct lecturer in Baylor’s Department of Museum Studies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Texas Tech University and a Master of Arts in Museum Studies from Baylor University. He has served in leadership positions for the Historic Waco Foundation, the Historic Landmark Preservation Commission for the City of Waco, and the Hewitt Public Library Advisory Board.

Sacred Space: Why a Place is “Holy”

Thursdays 9:30 - 11:00 am Apr. 14, 21, 28 and May 5
Location: Mayborn Museum
Cost: $20 per person, a Lifelong Learning Membership is required for purchase

Every world religion invests certain physical locations with spiritual power. In this course, Dr. Rosalie Beck will help participants learn why the sacred places around the world hold such importance for billions of religious practitioners. It will include history, background, and interpretations of what Christian cathedrals, Buddhist pagodas, Jewish synagogues, and the Muslim holy places can teach us about the faith systems that name these spaces “sacred.”

Dr. Rosalie Beck became the first woman professor in the Baylor Department of Religion in 1984. Her main interest is in teaching church history to help students understand how their belief system took shape, to help them know what they believe, and to enable them to understand how their beliefs apply to daily life.

Unpacking the Complexities of the Vietnam War

Tuesdays 4:00 - 5:30 pm Apr. 19, 26 and May 3, 10
Location: Mayborn Museum
Cost: $20 per person, a Lifelong Learning Membership is required for purchase

The Vietnam War is a very complex and controversial subject. This course will endeavor to navigate the contentious story by presenting perspectives of all sides, including The Cold War, Vietnamese Nationalism, U.S. Presidential Politics, American servicemen and women, Vietnamese civilians as well as the American Home Front. Baylor First Gent Brad Livingstone will also have Vietnam War veteran guest speakers present their personal stories and participate in Q&A.

Brad Livingstone, popular historian and Baylor's First Gent, 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 specialties in WWII and the Vietnam War.
How To Register

You have to become a member of Lifelong Learning in order to register for courses. You may purchase your membership on the website or at the museum’s ticketing desk. After you have purchased a membership, you will need to create an account using the email listed on your membership. To create an account, click on a course you are interested in and click register at the top right-hand corner. Follow the directions to create an account. You will use the same email and password to register for courses in the future.  

Registration will close three days prior to the first-class day.  

Please call (254)710-1110 if assistance is needed. 

LLL Refunds & Credits

A Lifelong Learner may withdraw from a course until one business day before its first meeting. The Mayborn Museum will issue a full refund for the cancellation. Please email MaybornCS@baylor.edu for additional information.