About Senior College at USM
Our mission is to provide a curriculum of intellectually stimulating learing opportunities and special events for persons 50 years of age or older. Senior College is an affiliate of the Ederhostel Institute Network, is one of 17 Senior Colleges throughout Maine and part of the Maine Senior College Network (MSCN)
In 1997 the Portland area established a senior college organized by Rabbi Harry Skye. In Lewiston an advisory board was established in 2000 with Bethel Shields as the first chair. That year four courses were offered. There were no entrance requirements, grades or tests. The courses were for people over 50, and the volunteer teachers had to be over 50.
Bethel Shields brought in Barbara Randall, Madeline Giguere, Sally Belisle, Mildred Bickford and Pat Lamaire. This became the first advisory board for Senior College courses at the Lewiston-Auburn campus of the University of Southern Maine. Terri Pelletier and Sandi Croft from the USM staff were the liaisons with the new Senior College.
The new program, “Food for Thought”, was established as a monthly luncheon series of diverse presenters and subjects. This program is now held on the second Friday of each month of the school year. The Board of Directors established by-laws and written policies to ensure a well-run organization. Sandi Croft is now the lone liaison with the Senior College, but most of the activities are run by volunteers.
The Board of Directors has established yearly membership meetings, and scholarships are offered to the students at USM. It is a unique organization in that volunteers devise the curriculum and recruit instructors.
Membership and Course Fees
Annual membership fees are $25 (September 1- August 31) and offer you a variety of benefits.
Course fees, which include the cost of most books and materials, are set at $25 each for the first two courses and $10 for each additional course.
During Senior College classes and events, photographs may be taken for publicity purposes. If you do not wish to have your picture taken, inform the photographer.