The Academy has lost a dear friend, a tireless worker and a relentless Academy supporter with the passing of Lois Martin.
Since the Academy’s inception Lois was always found in numerous classes, taking notes and adding her thoughts and perspective to the discussion. For many years she led the ‘Experts and Entertainers’ class of lunchtime speakers and discussion. She pursued every lead and every speaker suggestion to line up a broad variety of people and topics for our members’ enjoyment over many terms of Academy classes. Her eager mind was limitless in its scope and her choice of classes to participate in was wide ranging. All of us will miss her eagerness to learn, her willingness to help and her always ready smiles and greetings.
Lois Martin came to Denver by way of Philadelphia and Nebraska. She majored in journalism at the University of Nebraska, before she moved to Pennsylvania while her husband was in medical school. She has been editor of internal publications for Campbell Soup Co. and Leeds and Northrup, both in the East. After the arrival of her four children, she founded the Aurora Sun Newspaper where she worked for 20 years as publisher. She was founding moderator of the Aurora Hospital Association, President of the Aurora Hospital District, Business Person of the Year for the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, and elected to the Benson Hall of Fame for Community Leadership.
Why do you love teaching?
I love teaching for the surprises it yields.
What new thing did you learn while preparing for your course?
I learned that rubber cement is a more effective adhesive than double-sided tape for hanging movie posters.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Perfect happiness is sitting stream-side anywhere in the west with my wife watching our daughter cast a fly with either hand to a rising trout.
My greatest fear is using the word “notwithstanding” in public.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I most identify with Emily Dickinson.
Which living person do you most admire?
Barack Obama has more cool than anyone I’ve seen. He has my most admiration.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Honesty is the most overrated value.
What is your favorite journey?
My favorite journey is writing a sonnet.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I would most like to compose or play music.
What is your current state of mind?
Usually, overturned. But I am most comfortable overturned. As Rabelais said, “The mind is never so much itself, as when it has been lately overturned.”
My greatest achievement:
Helping my wife raise a cool, funny, generally well-balanced daughter.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
I would come back as a 12th Century Nomadic Tribesman wandering the steppes of Central Asia.
Flaubert, Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen, Twain, Cather, Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats and about 74 others.
What word might work better here?
Where would you most like to live?
I would most like to live on The Pacific Coast of this continent. Oregon, (where we already do), usually wins my heart.
The Academy is always seeking out the best of the best to teach our courses. This Spring is no exception.
Dr. Beverly Chico was a long-time teacher at some of the best universities in the nation. Her passion lies in Headwear, and she is teaching a course about how hats display culture, starting March 9-April 6.
Just a couple of years ago, the Denver Post interviewed Chico to learn about her studies:
POSTED: 10/31/2013 12:01:00 AM MDTADD A COMMENT| UPDATED: 2 YEARS AGO
Beverly Chico holds one of the many hats in her collection at her home in Greenwood Village, CO on Friday, October 11, 2013. Chico authored the book at right, “Hats and Headwear Around the World.” (Photo By Cyrus McCrimmon/ The Denver Post )
GREENWOOD VILLAGE — If there is such a thing as a thinking cap, it’s somewhere in the collection of more than 600 hats and headwear amassed by Regis University and Metropolitan State University history professor Beverly Chico.
Hats are much more than a superficial accessory, she believes. They signify rank in military and religious orders and provide protection as well as hint at the wearer’s style.
“Four of the five senses are in your head, and it’s through our senses that we interact with the world,” Chico said. “It’s through the face and head that emotions are expressed. So hats are one of the most important artifacts from around the world.”
A silver Miao hat (Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post)
For further evidence, pick up a copy of ” Hats and Headwear Around the World: A Cultural Encyclopedia.” Chico described it as a “summation of my life.” It’s 532 pages long, weighs nearly two and a half pounds, and costs $100, a price point that Chico acknowledges may be daunting.
A French feather Cloche hat from the 1920s (Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post)
Small, with a slash of bright red lipstick and dark hair she wears in a ballet dancer’s bun, Chico began collecting hats in 1955, when she was living in dictator Francisco Franco’s Spain as a college student. Franco’s control of Spain virtually cut it off from the rest of Europe. As a consequence, Spain “had the best flea market in Europe,” offering bargains on historic, collectable hats, she says.
When Chico returned to the U.S., she brought back hats, including a 500-year-old Samurai helmet, and a burgeoning passion for the stories they told.
A Chinese tiger hat (Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post)
“Headwear is like a walking billboard,” she said. It’s very subtle, but hats make you taller. The taller you are, the bigger you seem, a psychological message that announces you are important. Look at the spiked helmets soldiers wore. Look at a Shinto priest’s ceremonial hat. It’s like a pillbox with a tail. But only the emperor can wear the tail standing up, because he’s the intermediary between humans and the gods.”
Chico also sees hats as mileposts, and as talismans.
Here is an autographed golf hat that legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus sent her after she wrote to Nicklaus about her father, a member of Palm Beach’s elite Old Guard Society of golfers.
Here is the military hat that her son, Matthew, grabbed when the family attended the eldest son’s 1982 graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. Chico knew that in the traditional hat tossthe hats are up for grabs. Matthew initially was reluctant.
“Do you want supper?” she asked him. He sprang out and returned with three hats, including the hat of May Holland Johnson, one of the first women to graduate from Annapolis. Today, it’s among the neatly labeled boxes in the Chico home’s Hat Room.
Here is a miner’s helmet with a propane-lit torch (a nod to her husband, Ray Chico, a mining geologist.) And a gaucho hat that represents Ray’s Argentine roots. And a bark-cloth hat acquired in 1987, an Indonesian souvenir with grim ties to Michael de Guzman’s Bre-X gold scam.
Here is her mother’s nurse’s aide cap that dates to her training during World War II.
Here are hats her son Greg brought from Africa and Thailand. Here is a cone-shaped fisherman’s hat, containing a message between the layers of straw, that son Matthew brought back from his Peace Corps service in the South Pacific.
Here is a Bedouin headpiece from a trip to the Sinai desert, and here a head ring from Rwanda, where the rings stabilize the buckets women carry on their heads. Here is a Brownie beret, a nod to daughter Tita’s Girl Scout days.
“People ask me which is my favorite hat,” she says.
“I say, ‘That’s like asking me which is my favorite child.'”
It’s hard to choose a favorite among so many hats with so many compelling stories.
One example: The disconcertingly jaunty masallahceremonial feathered hat worn by a Turkish boy on the day of his circumcision. Finding that hat required seeking out an Istanbul store that specialized in ceremonial circumcision outfits, a quest that earned Chico a few double-takes.
And with so many hundreds of hats and headwear to choose from, guess what kind of hat Chico wears?
She doesn’t. Instead, she wraps colorful ribbons, chosen to complement her outfit, around the bun that sits high on her head, and lets the ribbons trail down her neck.
“I decided that after I turned 50, I shouldn’t wear my hair long,” she said. “So I put it up in a bun, as the Spanish women do, and my sister suggested the ribbons.”
join Beverly in her class on Wednesdays at 1 pm. to learn more. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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
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
BY PETER JONES
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 ATime of Our Own: In Celebration of Women Over Sixty….
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: http://ourcourtscolorado.org/
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.
Long-time Academy course leader Lorraine Sherry is excited for her two new projects. She helped organize “Map Month May” with the Denver Public Library through the Rocky Mountain Map Society and is teaching a course on Baroque Music at The Academy next fall (hint: hidden talent.)
For Map Month May, there are four lectures, three exhibits, and a map fair. Venues are at the Denver Public Library, University of Denver, and CU-Boulder. Please click below to get more info about this event.
While Maps might be her main claim to fame at The Academy, Lorraine spends a lot of time championing Baroque music. Her class, taking place in Fall 2015, takes on this important mussical movement. Over the past 30 years, the Boulder/Denver metro area has become one of the most important centers for the current “Renaissance” of early music.
Six local, world-class musicians who have sung, played, or directed choral and instrumental music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods throughout the USA and Europe will play music and share their experiences with you, including:
Where and how they found early music manuscripts
250 years of vocal music: from rich polyphony to harmony
Musical forms and styles from early Renaissance to late Baroque
The birth of the orchestra and evolution of musical instruments
The development of opera from musical drama
The art and excitement of performing early music.
Lorraine Sherry’s training and experience has been in science, technology, and educational research. However, herpassion in life has always been music – primarily singing – beginning with her first solo in third grade. Although she majored in physics while attending undergraduate and graduate schools, she minored in music at Vassar and took a one-year graduate course in the music of J.S. Bach at M.I.T. from Klaus Liepmann. She studied voice with Albert Van Ackere (formerly of Pro Musica, Brussels), Maria Coffey in Boston, and Rebecca Barker in Florida. At home with her family in New York City, musical training and performance was as valued as higher education. Listening to the Metropolitan Opera performances on the radio was as important as attending church on Sundays. Taking diction training at the Met enabled her to attend the Saturday opera matinees for free. Lorraine sang in school plays and concerts and was selected for Allstate Choir while in high school in Long Island. She was elected president of the Opera Workshop at Vassar. Lorraine has been a member of many choirs including the Gregorian Chant choir at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Poughkeepsie, Vassar Glee Club and Madrigal Group, Radcliffe Choral Society, Masterworks Chorale in Boston, First Presbyterian Church Choir in Winter Haven Florida (choir member & soloist), Boca Magna Cantores in Lakeland Florida (16 voice semi-professional chorus), Central Florida Bach Festival, Central Florida Messiah Chorale, St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral Choir in Denver, Boulder Bach Festival, and Boulder Messiah Chorale. She supported symphonies, choirs, early music societies, and chamber music groups wherever she lived, and she continues to sing with the Boulder Messiah Chorale every Christmas.
Lorraine hails from the east coast (New York, Massachusetts, Florida). She has a B.A. in physics from Vassar, three master’s degrees, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership & Innovation from the University of Colorado. She was a Senior Research Associate at RMC Research Corporation in Larimer Square until she retired in 2005. She has been a member of The Academy since 2006 and has facilitated courses in cartography, music, and historic garden design. She is a Colorado Master Gardener, has sung with many semi-professional and informal choral societies, and is an avid international traveler. She is the Secretary/Webmaster and Director of the Rocky Mountain Map Society (www.RMmaps.org). Her personal collection of antique maps focuses on the geography of Eastern Europe, Lithuania, and Russia in the 15th to 19th centuries.
The Academy is proud to say that Board Treasurer Georgi Contiguglia is being honored with the following prestigious award. Congratulations Georgi!
The Dana Crawford and State Honor Award Celebration is Colorado’s premiere statewide historic preservation awards event honoring the individuals and organizations that have made a significant contribution toward preserving Colorado’s historic resources. The evening’s namesake, Dana Crawford, is a preservation pioneer who proved that saving historic buildings makes sense – both culturally and economically.
Starting in 1988, with the State Honor Awards, and adding the Dana Crawford Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation in 1990, Colorado Preservation, Inc. recognizes accomplishments in the area of preservation, rehabilitation, promotion, philanthropy and leadership.
Dana Crawford Award for Excellence in Preservation
2015 Honoree – Georgianna “Georgi” Contiguglia Presented May 6, 2015 at the History Colorado Center
Colorado Preservation, Inc. will be honoring Georgianna Contiguglia this year with the prestigious Dana Crawford Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation. Georgi’s impressive achievements in historic preservation span 30 years including ten as President and CEO of the Colorado Historical Society, now called History Colorado, and as State Historic Preservation Officer.
Colorado Preservation Inc., invites you to purchase a table so that you and your friends can enjoy this intimate and inspiring gathering of preservation leaders. The Dana Crawford and State Honor Awards event is our premier fundraiser. Individual tickets will be available to the public on April 3rd. For information, call Cindy Nasky, CPI Events & Development Manager at 303.893.4260 (ext. 230) or email email@example.com. We hope to see you for this fun evening!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (303) 770-0786 with questions.
If you see Academy board member Donna Barrow wearing an even bigger smile than usual, there’s a good reason: she recently helped snag a grand piano for The Academy’s music courses and concerts.
Donna happened to be online at the exact moment that Opera Colorado director Greg Carpenter emailed several nonprofits about The Westin Denver Downtown Hotel’s offer to donate a piano bought to celebrate the hotel’s opening 30 years ago. Donna’s instant e-reply led to the piano finding a new home at The Academy, just in time for the Opera Colorado Young Artists’ already-planned performance at The Academy on Feb 27th. (Click here for information on that event!)
Of course, it wasn’t quite as easy or lucky as that news bite sounds. In The Academy’s search for a piano for its new Greenwood Village campus, Donna and Jim Kneser had both asked Greg Carpenter, Opera Colorado’s director and a longtime Academy programming partner, if he could help. And the rest, as they say, is history . . . with a dash of serendipity.
But it isn’t the piano coup that Donna ranks as her most significant contribution to The Academy. “What I’m most proud of,” she says, “is the fan base we’ve got here now [for the CU Science series and other science courses] that wasn’t here before.”
As many Academy science fans know, Donna initiated The Academy’s courses on innovative scientific research at CU and continues to create variations on this theme, such as this spring’s Colorado Science Researchers: At the Cutting Edge class, running for four weeks starting March 26.
Like the piano episode, Donna’s first foray into the CU series was marked by a fortuitous coincidence. After she told the Knesers that she’d like to pursue such a series but questioned how The Academy could find an entrée to scientific experts, she happened to attend a “terrific” science lecture at CU–with lamentably poor attendance. Afterward, she cornered the CU development officer introduced at the lecture, realizing that the officer’s presence signaled CU’s twin needs to reach out to the community and foster public support for research. Donna quickly capitalized on this “wonderful opportunity” for The Academy: “What we can give them is an eager, engaged and sizable audience.”
Her success with CU led her to make similar overtures to Opera Colorado, one of her and her husband Ken’s favorite cultural organizations. Numerous exciting Academy courses featuring Opera Colorado performers and educational staff (and sometimes their Colorado Ballet counterparts) have since attracted The Academy’s many opera aficionados.
Donna notes that, as a course coordinator and board member, “I’ve really enjoyed these relationships with our institutional partners: it’s win-win.” And The Academy’s wins just keep coming, thanks to its good fortune in having Donna herself as one of its most creative and energetic partners.
How does a Realtor leap from writing leases and selling properties to writing music and selling songs? For Jenny James, the catalyst was taking The Academy’s two Writing Music workshops with composer Conrad Kehn—“a genius who’s extraordinary at inspiring people to discover their talents,” she says. Of course, to sell a song, it didn’t hurt that Jenny already had mega-promotional skills that helped open doors in the entertainment world.
In the lead-up to the NFL playoffs, Jenny’s song “Denver Broncos: The Sheriff’s Back in Town” aired on several local TV stations, after she posted it on YouTube. One station prefaced her song with an interview, lengthening the entire segment to about five minutes. You can listen to the song by searching online. It’s also available on iTunes.
“I couldn’t have done the Broncos song if I hadn’t composed my ‘Austria Switzerland’ song in Conrad’s second workshop,” she claims, “and I couldn’t have composed that song if I hadn’t composed my first song in his first workshop.”
Though not required for either workshop, Jenny learned how to use a music-compostion software program, thanks to Conrad’s help and patience. With the Broncos’ playoff win inspiring her, she is now determined to enhance her newest song with both a professional musical notation program and a complementary video, so she can promote this more sophisticated version to local stations that haven’t yet aired it, as well as national early-morning talk shows such as “Good Morning America.”
Mirroring Peyton Manning’s “phenomenally inspiring, unstoppable spirit in facing challenges,” she is also determined to master many more skills than song-writing. During The Academy’s spring term, Jenny is taking her first bridge course ever, plus Drawing (an extension, for her, of an earlier Denver Art Museum class) and Writing Your Life Stories. In Life Stories, she hopes to greatly improve a self-published story written for her grandson and mother-in-law, “Secrets of a Super Hero.”
As a song writer, a storyteller and simply a joyous lifelong learner, Jenny is adamant that “The Academy has changed my life!”