Cookie Week is Back!

With apologies to Emma Lazarus:

Give me your Chocolate, Oatmeal raisin and sugar
Your Nut-Filled recipes yearning to be eaten
The glorious overflow from your oven.
Send these tasty, golden brown, crispy and chewy confections.
A table will be ready to display their wonder.


Please bring a dozen homemade or store-bought cookies to share with your classmates on Oct. 13, 14, 15. Please use a disposable tray, plate or box to put them on, and label your cookie and your name (if you’d like).



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Join Us at Boom! this Sat. Register Now!

BOOM! Flyer with Break-outs--09-18-15The Academy helped host Boom!, a day dedicated to the the upside of aging. We sponsored a few booths and took our experts to this roadshow.


Judith Viorst, Best Selling Author, lunchtime speaker, Noon
Ashton Applewhite, Aging Activist, 4 p.m.

Special Guest Stars:

Woody Emlen, Panelist for Lifelong Learning, Board Member, The Academy, a.m.
Patricia Cox, “Write to Save Your Life,” Course Leader, The Academy, p.m.

Aging is Optional, Finding Purpose, Brain Health, Creativity, Lifelong Learning, Encore Movement, Meditation, Conscious Aging, Financial Gerontology, Caring for Caregivers, Life Reimagined, Volunteering/National Service, Social Enterprise, Technology, Embracing Aging, Philanthropy, Cannibus, Entrepreneurship.

Here’s Who We Brought

Woody Emlen, Board Member, organizer of Cutting Edge Research from the Anschutz Campus
Emlen Woody

Patricia Cox, Course Leader, Write to Save Your Life2-Cox-Patricia


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Profile: Thoroughly Modern Ellie

We are so proud to have had Ellie Greenberg serve as Social Science Chair on The Academy’s Curriculum Committee. Ellie has brought us Academy classics like “All Rise! Our Courts” and Steve Bernard’s courses over the past three years.

Her most recent contribution was coordinating the NEW Academy course this fall: “Modern Family: 21st Century Issues” being presented by various attorney at Gutterman Griffiths PC Family Law. The course starts Oct. 29 and runs for four weeks. Topic areas covered are: Anatomy of a Divorce, types of Colorado marriages, Low Impact Divorce, and marijuana and the legal matters relating to the drug’s place in divorce. Read More about the Modern Family Class by clicking here

A life of learning and social change

Printed on: 

Centennial’s Ellie Greenberg helped organize Martin Luther King’s visit to Littleton in 1964. Photos by Peter Jones

Centennial’s Ellie Greenberg helped organize Martin Luther King’s visit to Littleton in 1964. Photos by Peter Jones

At 82, Centennial’s Ellie Greenberg isn’t done yet


Elinor Greenberg – known as Ellie to her friends – was a strange neighbor when her family built a house in what was then greater Littleton in the late 1950s.

Having received her master’s degree in speech pathology in 1954, she was on the faculties of the University of Colorado and Loretto Heights College at a time when many women were attending the June Cleaver school of stay-at-home moms.

Greenberg and her late husband Manny were also Democrats during a period when the south suburbs were strongly dominated by Republicans.

What’s more, the Greenbergs were outspoken civil-rights activists, even as segregation and white flight to the suburbs were playing out in Arapahoe County.

Last but not least, the family was Jewish.

“One of my motivations for moving out here is I wanted my children to grow up knowing what it is like to be a minority,” Greenberg said. “I felt that was a much better preparation for life.”

As the mother of three continued her career and education for decades, eventually receiving her doctorate in 1981, Greenberg found time to take a leadership role in Littleton’s small, but passionate, civil-rights movement, eventually welcoming an unlikely visit from Martin Luther King Jr.

“My career was in higher education, but it was about creating access to opportunity,” Greenberg said.

Decades later, the activist-educator would travel to Germany’s Dachau concentration camp as part of a high-profile delegation that would be the basis for a local television documentary called Journey for Justice.

Over the years, Greenberg would author nine books, including 2008’s critically popular A Time of Our Own: In Celebration of Women Over Sixty….

Full article here
Ellie Greenberg in The Villager






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Academy hosts own Firework Superstars!

Congratulations to newly appointed Colo. Supreme Court Justice Rich Gabriel and Academy Board member Dr. Toni Larson!

Justice Rich Gabriel served as one of the Academy’s speakers in the Academy’s “All Rise! Our Courts” class, most recently in Spring 2015. He usually gave the module regarding civil cases. The course, which has been going on for about five years, features attorneys and judges with first-hand courtroom experience and was designed by the Colorado Bar Association and the Colorado Judicial Institute’s Our Courts program to explain how State and Federal courts actually work—and how judicial procedures help keep the law fair and impartial. Topics have included:  The selection and evaluation of federal and state judges, differences between practices followed in criminal and civil cases, bankruptcy basics, divorce and family law, our rapidly changing immigration law, and how Abraham Lincoln’s commitment to equality and liberty transformed our system. For more on Our Courts:


Follow the link to the formal announcement on the Colorado Courts webpage: Colo Supreme Court gets new Justice-court


Toni Larson

One June 25, 2015, Lt. Governor Joe Garcia declared it “Dr. Toni Larson Day,” for her unrelenting volunteer efforts for the state of Colorado and the National League of Women’s Voters. At the Academy Larson has been sparring on and off with Jim Kneser in some of his Critical Economics courses over the years and hosted last summer’s “Academy Voter Update.” As of July 1, The Academy is thrilled to have her on its Board of Directors.

Dr. Toni Larson served as executive director of Independent Higher Education of Colorado, a nonprofit organization that conducts the government relations work for Colorado College, Regis University, and the University of Denver.  Prior to this position she served in several capacities in the League of Women Voters. Currently, her main volunteer activities include the League of Women Voters of the United States (Vice President), Colorado Association of Nonprofit Organizations (co-chair, Public Policy Committee), and homeowners’ association board (President). She has been an affiliated faculty member at Regis University and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Denver.  Dr. Larson received a B.A. from Colorado College where she majored in English and minored in Zoology.  Her Master’s in Nonprofit Management is from Regis University, and she has a Ph.D. in Higher Education with an emphasis on policy studies from the University of Denver.

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Back to School: Sept. 10 Health Insurance Commentary

The American Healthcare System:  the Present and the Future

Back to School Presentation and Registration Event

Thursday, September 10, 1- 3 p.m.

 Join us on Thursday, Sept. 10, as we hear from Bill Wright, Executive Medical Director and President of CPMG (Colorado Permanente Medical Group), who will provide a candid discussion of what some call “an ideal healthcare system,” vis-à-vis the Kaiser model and the Affordable Care Act. How does prevention and chronic care management fit into improved patient outcomes? Wright will give a balanced discussion and educate us on the different models of healthhealthcare and what the future may look like.

Dr. Bill Wright, Executive Medical Director and President has served in a variety of administrative positions during his 21 year career including physician-in-charge of the Kaiser Permanente Smoky Hill Medical Offices, regional department chief for Family Practice, chief of Primary Care Departments, associate medical director for Primary Care and Quality, associate medical director for Primary Care Operations and associate medical director for external relations.  Dr. Wright was CPMG’s associate medical director of market and networks charged with assessing and developing community network relationships with the medical group in partnership with Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado.

***Feel free to fill out or leave your Academy Fall 2015 registration form before or after this event!***

Program takes place at 8081 E. Orchard Road, Greenwood Village – Auditorium, 2nd floor


To learn more, visit or call (303) 770-0786 


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We’re Listening & We Didn’t Make This Up

Evaluations and Comments:

If you’re finishing up a course at The Academy and have any feedback for your course leaders, board of directors or staff, we would love to hear it!

Here is something you can print and send or bring in. Course Evaluation Forms 2018

EASIEST: Or, click on this link, fill out the electronic form and be done! Academy Evaluation Spring 2018


Here’s just some of what we’ve heard so far:

“Macbeth: I especially liked the comparison with Hamlet such as the global effect and the internal effect of power.  Paul Turelli was able to communicate big themes and relate them to current day.  The Tempest is greatly anticipated!”  

“Jazz of the 50s: The Singers:  Lorenz Rychner continues to be an awesome presenter – personally, and with stellar command of video, etc.”

“I have been taking Bob Contiguglia’s class on SPORTS IN SOCIETY. Bob is an exceptional lecturer with such an immense knowledge of the world of sports. Please let him know how much I enjoyed his class.”

“The Hamilton course gave me a leg up on the DCPA performance. I could enjoy the lyrics because I already knew the history!”

Thanks everyone and please keep it coming (we like gentle critiques, too!)

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‘Bird’ on the Street from George Ho

See more of George’s bird photos in his two classes:

‘Make Your Own Photo Book’ on Thursdays from 1 am-3 pm,
and ‘Making and Sharing End-of-Life Choices’ on Thursdays from 10 am-Noon.


Since his retirement two years ago as a practicing physician, George Ho., Jr. is now “For the Birds.”

Blue Grosbeak 01
Blue Grosbeak by George Ho, Jr.

As a rheumatologist with training in hospice and palliative care medicine for 40 years, he celebrates his retirement by teaching his course at The Academy and taking photos.

“I combine my interests in wildlife, photography and hiking into these bird photos,” says Dr. Ho.

He prints them on different types of media: canvas, metal, acrylic and glass. “It adds a dimension in presenting and enjoying them.” He also enjoys making photo books (albums) and giving them to family and friends.

George volunteers at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge where he leads “the bike the refuge” nature program in the Spring and Fall and takes photos of special events at the RMANWR. His work appeared there in March 2015.

American Kestrel by George Ho, Jr.
American Kestrel by George Ho, Jr.


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by Kathlene Sutton

With Jane Yoder’s recent death, The Academy has lost one of its gentlest souls, one of its most avid learners, and one of its most enthusiastic champions of lifelong learning.

In 2003, after Jane retired from teaching, she plunged into The Academy’s programs with a passion. In her very first term, she enrolled in six Academy courses. Ranging from beginner’s Bridge to Mozart’s The Magic Flute, The Economics of Globalization, The Trial of Socrates, Architecture as Art and Maslow: On Effective Relationships, her classes echoed the unusual breadth and depth of her interests.

Enthralled with those first courses, Jane initiated what was to become The Academy’s first series, Cities of Destiny, based on the book of the same name by renowned historian Arnold Toynbee. Reflecting her twin fascinations with “armchair travel” and the world’s cultural epicenters, the enormously popular series focused on how historic cities have shaped our major civilizations.

For the last decade, Jane continued to participate in four, five or six classes almost every term, recruiting others to join her along the way, including her daughter Connie Renner, an award-winning artist. After Jane and Connie took Sally Kneser’s two-term course on the Impressionists, Connie was inspired to offer Studio Art Basics at The Academy. Jane often had that effect on people–her passions subtly but significantly influencing those around her and moving them to enrich others’ lives as she did.

In at least one way, she has enriched everyone who has attended The Academy: early on, Jane surprised The Academy by becoming its first major donor, when she unexpectedly mailed in a substantial gift. She went on to make her gifts an annual tradition.

Continuing that tradition and honoring her extraordinary devotion to lifelong learning, her family has asked that memorial donations be sent in her name to:  The Academy, c/o Karen Long, Executive Director, 3667 S. Newport Way, Denver, CO 80237. Please email or call (303) 770-0786 with questions.


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Twelve years ago, the Colorado Academy for Lifelong Learning joined several nonprofit organizations offering Printnon-credit adult learning opportunities in Denver. However, the Academy is unique among such organizations in offering superb classes in an ongoing program without a university connection (or obligation) or grants, distinguishing itself from both Osher Foundation programs and Road Scholars’ intermittent Denver events.

The Academy’s independence fosters flexibility and nimbleness in creating a curriculum constantly revised and custom-tailored to its participants’ ever-changing needs and interests. Issues-oriented classes, for example, typically tackle local ballot initiatives, the impact of the national economy on Colorado, and Denver-specific educational issues, unfettered by the concerns of an overarching institution or grant-funding requirements.


Instead, the Academy’s independence frees it to partner with organizations of every stripe—from small businesses to major cultural institutions and multiple universities. During the same term, for instance, the University of Colorado at Boulder will sponsor one of its regular Academy series on cutting-edge scientific research and the Denver Art Museum will host yet another of its “DAM Great Art” courses, featuring current and permanent exhibits. The University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music regularly offers free concerts to Academy members and their guests, as well as supplying course leaders for a rich array of music courses, such as the debut of an Academy music-composition course in 2012, which will be repeated in spring 2014 by popular demand.

One of the Academy’s biggest attractions is its affordable tuition, made possible in large part by an all-volunteer faculty. Volunteer course leaders combine a passion for their subjects with strong professional credentials and/or substantial independent research. Academy faculty in 2013 range from physicians and judges, to a retired brain surgeon, an astrophysicist, a legal expert on First Amendment issues, an independent scholar of comparative religions, a financial planner honored in 2010 as one of the top fifty women nationally in wealth management, and numerous professors and teachers of literature, history and an array of scientific disciplines.

Follow your lifelong passions, and discover brand-new ones at the Academy. “This could be page one of the best chapter in your life,” advises Academy board member Bil Buhler.

Browse the website for information about the Academy’s past, current, and future terms.

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