The mission of Senior College is to provide high-quality educational opportunities for seniors. Courses cover a wide variety of topics in the humanities, sciences, and the arts and are taught by emeritus and current University of Iowa faculty members and others.

Senior College is run by a committee of retired UI faculty and staff members. The volunteer committee works in cooperation with the Association of Emeritus Faculty and the University of Iowa Retirees Association and contracts with the Center for Advancement to host this webpage and handle registration.


Nine different courses are being offered from August through early December. Some courses have more than the traditional four sessions, and some meet for less than two hours. The fee for each course is $30. Please review all courses before registering. Detailed information about each course and instructor can be found by clicking on the "More" arrow in the gray box and is also available in the course catalog (PDF) below.

Two of this fall's classes will meet in person, and the others will be offered by videoconferencing, using Zoom. Information on Zoom can be found in the Zoom Guide (PDF) below.

Once you have made your selections, use the "Register Now" button below. After you register, you will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours.

If you have questions about course registration or would like to receive email updates for future sessions of Senior College, please contact the UI Center for Advancement at 319-467-3893 or via email at

Course 1

Frank Sinatra

INSTRUCTOR: Timothy Hankewich

Dates: Thursdays, August 19, 26; September 2, 9

Time: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Location: Zoom

Registration Deadline: Registration is now closed

Ring-a-ding-ding! Join us for an overview of the music and career of Frank Sinatra. Discussions will include his early, formative years with Tommy Dorsey, his artistic development during World War II, his cinematic achievements, and finally the pinnacle of his career during his years in Las Vegas with the Rat Pack.

INSTRUCTOR: The 2021-2022 season marks Timothy Hankewich's 16th year as music director of Orchestra Iowa. Recent guest appearances have included performances with the Victoria Symphony as well as a tour throughout the Czech Republic and Slovakia with the Moravian Philharmonic and the Slovak State Orchestra. Previously Hankewich was the resident conductor of the Kansas City Symphony.

Registration for Course 1 is now closed.

Course 2

Dostoevsky at 200 and the Enduring Legacy of The Brothers Karamazov


Dates: Wednesdays, September 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Time: 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Location: Zoom

Registration Deadline: Registration is now closed

The 200th anniversary of Fyodor Dostoevsky's birth will be the focus of this fall's UI Main Library Gallery exhibition "From Revolutionary Outcast to a Man of God: Dostoevsky at 200" curated by Anna Barker. This five-week course will complement the exhibition and offer an in-depth reading of Dostoevsky's final masterpiece, The Brothers Karamazov. We will consider Dostoevsky's life, including his imprisonment and years of hard labor in Siberia, his gambling addiction, and his marriages, and will follow his literary development from early publications, Poor Folk and The Double, to Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and Demons. For our reading of The Brothers Karamazov, the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation is recommended.

INSTRUCTOR: Anna Barker is an adjunct assistant professor of Russian and comparative literature at the UI. Her interests include Russian cultural history, Russian literature, and 19th-century European literature, art, and music. She has organized several literary celebrations, including public readings of Don Quixote, Moby-Dick, and War and Peace.

Registration for Course 2 is now closed.

Course 3

Saturday Showdowns: Understanding Big Ten Football

INSTRUCTOR: Don Patterson

Dates: Thursdays, September 23, 30; October 7, 21

Time: For details, click on "More."

Location: For details, click on

Registration Deadline: Registration is now closed

Class Limit: 175

Times & Locations:

  • September 23, 30; October 7: 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, 1301 Fifth Street, Coralville
  • October 21: 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., Stew and LeNore Hansen Football Performance Center, 992 Evashevski Drive, Iowa City

This course is designed to enhance students' appreciation for and understanding of Big Ten football. The evolution of this ultimate team sport will be addressed, but more time will be dedicated to how the game is organized and played. Terminology will be explained, and students will learn about game strategy and the development of specific game plans. A look at the world of analytics will offer valuable insights, rarely available to fans, into the science of winning. Finally, analysis of selected video from the previous Hawkeye game and a brief preview of the upcoming game will be provided.

INSTRUCTOR: Don Patterson, the only assistant coach who was at the UI for all of Hayden Fry's 20 legendary years, coached Division I football for 37 years. As head coach at Western Illinois University, he led the Leathernecks to their only #1 national ranking. He is now a radio and TV analyst for college football.

Registration for Course 3 is now closed.

Course 4

Building Broadway

INSTRUCTOR: Evan Hilsabeck

Dates: Mondays, October 4, 11, 18, 25

Time: 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Location: Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, 1301 Fifth Street, Coralville

Registration Deadline: Registration is now closed

Class Limit: 150

During the first decades of the 20th century, new, stunningly beautiful theaters—including most of the 41 houses that shimmer near Times Square today—were rising almost monthly in New York City. This course will unravel Broadway's little-known history, including the now-lost theaters and early entrepreneurs of the 19th century, the development of vaudeville, the rise of powerful theatrical promoters such as the Shubert brothers, and the 50-year life of one of Broadway's grandest theaters, the Casino. The pre-1940 first Golden Age of Broadway, when promoters engaged in a battle for bigger houses, brighter stars, and more captivating shows, will also be explored.

INSTRUCTOR: Evan Hilsabeck, managing director at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, is a lifelong collector of artifacts related to Broadway's forgotten history. He is passionate about the stories hidden in the dusty playbills, photographs, faded press clippings, and archival documents of New York's early Broadway theaters.

Registration for Course 4 is now closed.

Course 5

Public Health: History, the College, COVID-19, and Beyond

INSTRUCTOR: Jeffrey Dawson

Dates: Wednesdays, October 6, 13, 20, 27

Time: 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Location: Zoom

Registration Deadline: Registration is now closed

Although public health principles and initiatives have existed for centuries, the COVID-19 pandemic has recently raised interest in public health as a field. In this course, we will briefly review the history of public health and then highlight several significant activities in the five departments of the UI College of Public Health: Community and Behavioral Health, Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Health Management and Policy, and Occupational and Environmental Health. We will show how multidisciplinary approaches are used to address important health issues such as COVID-19, other infectious diseases, cancer, cardiovascular disease, rural health, aging, and driver safety.

INSTRUCTOR: Jeffrey Dawson, associate dean for faculty affairs and professor of biostatistics in the UI College of Public Health, received his doctoral degree from Harvard University. He has collaborated with UI faculty members across the health sciences and in engineering, education, law, and business.

Registration for Course 5 is now closed.

Course 6

The Senses: Our Windows on the World

INSTRUCTOR: Carol Scott-Conner

Dates: Fridays, October 8, 15, 22, 29

Time: 10:00 a.m. - noon

Location: Zoom

Registration Deadline: Registration is now closed

The senses of sight, hearing and balance, taste, smell, and touch, along with other senses of the skin and joints, are vital windows on our world. Each session will begin with a detailed discussion of the anatomy (structure) and physiology (how things work) of a particular sense organ, offering information that is not only inherently fascinating but clinically relevant. Comparative anatomy will be used to show examples of adaptation to varied environments. We will also discuss how things can go wrong and how disorders are treated.

INSTRUCTOR: Carol Scott-Conner, MD PhD, is professor emeritus of surgery at the University of Iowa. She is a recipient of the Honored Member award from the American Association of Clinical Anatomy and is a founding member of the American College of Surgeons Academy of Master Surgeon Educators.

Registration for Course 6 is now closed.

Course 7

Rivers Run Through It: Iowa Agriculture, Hydrology, and Water Quality


Dates: Tuesdays, October 19, 26; November 2, 9

Time: 10:00 a.m. - noon

Location: Zoom

Registration Deadline: Registration is now closed

This interactive course will focus on watershed science, water-quality monitoring, and factors important for Iowa, the Corn Belt, and the Gulf of Mexico dead zone. A geologic history of Iowa and its landscapes will lay the groundwork for a discussion about how Iowa was transformed to a working landscape since 1840. Issues related to municipal drinking water, such as nitrate impairments in the Des Moines River, biodiversity of streams, and rural groundwater will be covered. Students will learn how scientists delineate a watershed, techniques for water monitoring, and the water-quality parameters that are important for the integrity of surface water and groundwater.

INSTRUCTOR: Chris Jones is a research engineer with IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering at the University of Iowa. He manages IIHR’s water-quality sensor network, deployed at 60 Iowa sites. He holds a PhD in chemistry from Montana State University and previously worked at the Des Moines Water Works and the Iowa Soybean Association.

Registration for Course 7 is now closed.

Course 8

Paradigm Shift: How Innovations in Science and Technology Shaped the History of Art

INSTRUCTOR: Lauren Lessing

Dates: Mondays/Wednesdays, October 25, 27; November 1, 3, 8, 10, 15, 17

Time: 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Location: Zoom

Registration Deadline: Registration is now closed

Although frequently characterized as polar opposites, art and science are bound together. We will focus on artworks from the collection of the UI's Stanley Museum of Art ranging from the Neolithic period to the 20th century to uncover how artists, like scientists, use investigation and experimentation to innovate and discover; how technological innovations have made new forms of art possible; and how scientific discoveries have changed the ways that we see and represent the world around us. From the development of ceramic and bronze to the invention of photography and electric power to cosmologies stemming from physics and psychology, science has driven the history of art.

INSTRUCTOR: Lauren Lessing, the director of the UI Stanley Museum of Art, holds a PhD in art history from Indiana University and has taught and published on a wide range of subjects related to the art and material culture of the United States from the 17th century to the present.

Course 9

Electric Cars, Trucks, and Buses: State of the Art and Future Vision

INSTRUCTOR: Kelley Donham, Thomas Toms, David Osterberg, Robert Mutel, Joel Donham

Dates: Mondays, November 15, 22, 29; December 6

Time: 10:00 a.m. - noon

Location: Zoom

Registration Deadline: Monday, October 25

Electric vehicles are here! What kinds are there, and how do they work? How does a consumer choose one, and what are the negatives and positives of owning and living with them? Are they a solution to our climate-change crisis? In addition to learning about electric cars for personal use, students will learn about other electric vehicles used for public and private transportation systems, such as buses, garbage trucks, and delivery vehicles.

INSTRUCTORS: Kelley Donham is professor emeritus in the UI College of Public Health. Thomas Toms is a retired electrical engineer who has worked in the energy production and transmission systems industry. David Osterberg is an environmental public policy specialist and professor emeritus in the UI College of Public Health. Robert Mutel is professor emeritus in the UI Department of Physics and Astronomy. Joel Donham is an environmental engineer and planner for the nonprofit company the Center for Transportation and the Environment.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the UI Center for Advancement in advance at 319-335-3305 or 800-648-6973.

Senior College Committee

Emil Rinderspacher, Chair 
Tom Rocklin, Vice Chair 
Warren Boe 
Gayle Bray 
Holly Carver 
Kelley Donham 
Lesanne Fliehler 

H. Dee Hoover 
George Johnson 
Frank Mitros 
Mary New 
Pam Willard 
Nancy Williams 

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A four-generation connection to the University of Iowa?spanning 101 years?is bringing the Frohwein-Parsons Family to Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 16, to receive the UI Family Spirit Award Members of the Frohwein-Parsons family at a 2015 Iowa football game. Front row, from left: LuAnn Reynolds, Cindy Parsons, and Kelli Parsons. Back row: Dave Parsons, Gary Klinefelter, Connie Parsons, Doug Parsons, and Max Parsons. Monona, Iowa, native George Frohwein, Sr. came to the University of Iowa in 1918 to chase his academic and athletic ambitions. While he earned three letters with the UI baseball and men's basketball teams, George Sr. left Iowa one class short of graduating to pursue an Iowa City business venture that lives on today. This young entrepreneur started what is now known as Tallgrass Business Resources, a well-known source for office furniture, design, and office supplies, with five locations in Eastern Iowa. An enduring Iowa legacy also began at the same time for George Sr. and his wife, Constance Evans Frohwein (26BA). Now, four generations of the Frohwein-Parsons family have amassed 21 Iowa degrees over the past century, and in turn, remain strongly connected to their Iowa City and UI roots. On Saturday, Nov. 16, the Frohwein-Parsons family will be recognized as the recipients of the University of Iowa's Family Spirit Award during the Iowa-Minnesota football game. The award recognizes a Hawkeye family?spanning at least three generations?that supports the University of Iowa and personally or professionally contributes toward bettering the state of Iowa and its communities. George Frohwein Sr. was a three-year letterwinner for the UI's baseball and basketball teams. "We're proud to recognize and celebrate the Frohwein-Parsons family and their more than a century of dedication to the University of Iowa and the greater Iowa City community," says Lynette Marshall, president and CEO of the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. "The Frohwein-Parsons family epitomizes what it means to be a Hawkeye, and I'm excited for them to receive the Family Spirit Award this weekend." As a kid in Iowa City, George Frohwein Jr. (61BA), George Sr. and Constance's son, was fascinated with electronics. His time at Iowa?which included working as a project engineer for a series of Earth magnetosphere satellites designed for NASA in the early 1960s?was shaped in the physics lab by James Van Allen (36MS, 39PhD) and Donald Gurnett (62BSEE, 63MS, 65PhD). George Jr. would go on to work his entire career in their aerospace industry. "Iowa was one of the first places that was sending satellites to space," says George, who was also a letterwinner for the UI men's track and field team. "I just loved working in early aerospace exploration; I have a lot of great memories from my time at Iowa." Joan Frohwein Parsons (51BA), who is George Jr.'s sister, also has a fond spot in her heart for the UI, because it's where she met her late husband, C.H. "Larry" Parsons (50BA). "Because I met Larry on a blind date in Iowa City, the University of Iowa will always mean a lot to me," says Joan. "It's practically been part of every member of our family." All three of Joan and Larry's children?Cindy Parsons (73BS, 76JD), Dave Parsons (75BBA), and Doug Parsons (79BS, 81MA)?are Iowa graduates and have fond memories of growing up on Melrose Avenue in Iowa City. "Because the UI Field House was across the street from our home, we were immersed in university life," says Cindy, whose husband, Gary Klinefelter (76BGS), and two daughters?Emily Klinefelter (06BBA, 06BA, 09MAc) and Katy Klinefelter (11BA, 15PharmD, 15MPH)?all have degrees from Iowa. "I remember eating at the Quadrangle cafeteria, having students live with us during the school year, and selling candy bars and apples before football games. It was such an idyllic neighborhood to grow up in." Lasting impressions of their time in Iowa City extend to their professional connections to Iowa. Countless students, employees, and visitors have utilized the furniture Tallgrass Business Resources has installed in UI offices, hospital clinics, sports facilities, and dormitories. While the entire Frohwein-Parsons family is incredibly civic minded as active members in community nonprofits and county elected offices?as well as serving on numerous Iowa City area boards?their 99-year-old family business has been a generous supporter of Hawkeye athletics and Hancher Auditorium. Members of the Frohwein-Parsons family at a 1984 get-together. Front row, from left: Cindy Parsons, Constance Frohwein, and George Frohwein Sr. Back row: Gary Klinefelter holding Emily Klinefelter, Larry Parsons, Joan Parsons, Dave Parsons, Connie Parsons, and Doug Parsons. "The university gives as much to us as we give back," says Doug, who is the third-generation president and CEO of the family business and whose wife, Connie Parsons (79BS), and two children?Max Parsons (09BBA) and Kelli Parsons (11BS, 18MS)?also have degrees from Iowa. "It's a wonderful resource to have the university in town?whether it's first-rate arts, sports, health care, or music." The entire Frohwein-Parsons family is grateful to receive this UI honor. "One thing the Family Spirit Award has done for our family is to make us stop and contemplate how important the university has been, and continues to be, in our lives," says Dave, who will be accompanied on Saturday by his partner, LuAnn Reynolds. "There are so many Hawkeye families that have credentials every bit as good as ours. The fact that we are the recipients is really special." Find out how you and your family can stay connected and get involved with the University of Iowa at

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