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.

Spring 2022 Courses

Ten different courses are being offered from January through early May. One course has more than the traditional four sessions and meets 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.

Three of this spring's courses 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 319-335-3305 or 800-648-6973 or via email at

Course 1

West Coast Jazz (1948-1960)

INSTRUCTOR: Craig Kessler

Dates: Wednesdays, January 19, 26; February 2, 9

Time: 10:00 a.m. - noon

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

Registration Deadline: Monday, January 17

Class Limit: 150

This course, previously offered in spring 2020, will survey West Coast jazz, focusing on the Los Angeles and San Francisco jazz scenes from 1948 through 1960. We'll listen to recorded music, view videos of exciting live performances, and learn about the most influential musicians of the day, including Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, and Dave Brubeck. While this course is underway, the instructor will program music and commentary related to each week's course content on his radio show, "Jazz Corner of the World," on KCCK 88.3 and 106.9 FM.

INSTRUCTOR: Craig Kessler has been a jazz radio producer and DJ for over 30 years (over 10,000 hours of jazz radio!). He is also owner/producer of the jazz record label Realtown! Records and has served on the board of directors of the Iowa City Jazz Festival. For many years, he owned the Iowa City store Real Records.

Course 2

Climate Change: Causes, Consequences, and Cures

INSTRUCTOR: Jerald Schnoor

Dates: Tuesdays, January 25; February 1, 8, 15

Time: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Location: Zoom

Registration Deadline: Tuesday, January 18

Devastating floods, massive wildfires, and melting glaciers can all be linked to climate change. This course will look at the human activities that cause climate change and examine the effects of climate change on the world's economies, on humans and other species, and on the environment. We will discuss both technological and nontechnological approaches to dealing with climate change and the prospects for slowing its progress.

INSTRUCTOR: Jerald Schnoor, PhD, professor of civil and environmental engineering and co-director of the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, is internationally recognized for his work on climate change, water quality, environmental health, and sustainable systems. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has served as editor of the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Course 3

The Grieving Process: Minimizing Suffering and Maximizing Benefit


Dates: Mondays, February 7, 14, 21, 28

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

Location: Zoom

Registration Deadline: Monday, January 31

The grieving process is the healthy response to the experience of significant loss. Class participants will explore the dynamics of the grieving process, its characteristics, its relationship to time, its complications, its pain, and its healthy integration. Special attention will be given to the central role of memory work, ways of working with painful emotions, and helpful ways to be of support to those who are grieving. Everyone is welcome, including those who are actively grieving and those who wish to be of support to those who are actively grieving.

INSTRUCTOR: Chris Klug is a grief counselor and educator in private practice in Iowa City and was the bereavement coordinator at Iowa City Hospice from 1997 through 2008. He is a consultant to the palliative care staff at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and teaches mindfulness-based stress reduction at Prairiewoods in Hiawatha.

Course 4

Our National Forests: America's Second Greatest Idea


Dates: Wednesdays, February 16, 23; March 2, 9

Time: 10:00 a.m. - noon

Location: Zoom

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, February 9

How did our national forests come to be part of America's public lands legacy? This course will describe the history of the U.S. Forest Service from early custodial management to the boom years after World War II into the current turbulent era epitomized by the spotted owl crisis in the Pacific Northwest in the 1990s and the increasing scourge of forest fires associated with climate change. Personal anecdotes will offer insights into the impact of the environmental movement that shaped the Forest Service's culture and destiny.

INSTRUCTOR: Jim Furnish retired in 2002 as deputy chief after a 35-year career with the U.S. Forest Service. He is the author of Toward a Natural Forest: The Forest Service in Transition and is an Iowa State University graduate and an Iowa City native.

Course 5

Prairies in Art and Life

INSTRUCTOR: Joni L. Kinsey

Dates: Thursdays, February 17, 24; March 3, 10

Time: 10:00 a.m. - noon

Location: Zoom

Registration Deadline: Thursday, February 10

Since the first European encounters with the central North American grasslands in the mid-16th century, prairies have alternately confused, dismayed, overwhelmed, depressed, and inspired those who contend with their contradictions. A frequent complaint is that they are too plain, a misperception of emptiness that continues to shape human relationships with these rich ecosystems. This course will explore prairies as artistic subject, as biome, and as natural resource, considering especially how the aesthetics of plainness has affected our understandings of these remarkable landscapes.

INSTRUCTOR: Joni L. Kinsey has been professor of American art history at the University of Iowa since 1991. She specializes in the history of landscape art, especially that of Thomas Moran, the first artist of Yellowstone, but writes and teaches on many other subjects, including art of the American West, prairie imagery, popular prints, Grant Wood, women artists, and regionalism.

Course 6

The Broadway Viewing Club

INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Okiishi

Dates: Tuesdays, March 8, 15, 22, 29

Time: Noon - 2:00 p.m.

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

Registration Deadline: Tuesday, March 1

Class Limit: 150

Musical theater delights audiences around the world. What makes a show work? As in last spring's class, each week we will analyze a recent production: Come from Away, Kiss Me Kate, 42nd Street, and Les MisÚrables 25th Anniversary Concert. Each class will be an in-depth discussion of the production's music, theme, stagecraft, acting, direction, design, and story construction and their impact on the overall effect of the show.

All of these shows are currently available for viewing at home through a paid streaming service or for listening on CDs. If any becomes unavailable for streaming by the time the class begins, a substitute production will be chosen.

INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Okiishi is a writer, performer, director, and producer of theater. His work has been seen at City Circle Theatre Company, SPT Theatre, Coe College, Riverside Theatre, Los Angeles's Odyssey Theater, and the New York Film Academy. He has written scores for three theater projects and one award-winning film. He is also a practicing psychiatrist who lectures locally and nationally.

Course 7

Life Design: How to Live a Consequential Life


Dates: Wednesdays, March 23, 30; April 6, 13

Time: 10:00 a.m. - noon

Location: Zoom

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, March 16

While late adulthood is frequently perceived as a time of loss, it can also be a phase of life rich in contemplation, liberation, and meaning. Organized according to Gene Cohen's stages of human potential and delivered through stories, lectures, class guests, and reflective writing, this class will explore what it means to live well, regardless of your age.

INSTRUCTOR: David Gould is a visiting associate professor at the University of Iowa's Public Policy Center. Previously, he served as an administrator at the UI's Belin-Blank Center, as the associate director of professional student development in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and as the first Obermann Center Public Scholar.

Course 8

An Introduction to Wind Instruments


Dates: Thursdays, March 24, 31; April 7, 14

Time: 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Location: Voxman Music Building, Classroom 2, 93 E. Burlington Street, Iowa City

Registration Deadline: Thursday, March 17

Class Limit: 30

The principles by which wind instruments work are a mystery to nonmusicians and even to many wind players themselves. Yet the concepts involved are simple, easily grasped, commonly experienced, and fascinating to study. What is the difference between valves and keys? Why is the trombone the only instrument to use a slide? What is the difference between a single and a double reed? Why do brass instruments have bells? How were the historical antecedents of modern wind instruments able to make music when they lacked keys and valves? All these questions and more will be answered, many with live demonstration.

INSTRUCTOR: Musicologist Ed Kottick is professor emeritus in the University of Iowa School of Music, where he taught from 1968 to 1992. With a specialty in organology, he is an expert on the construction and acoustics of all musical instruments. He plays trombone, euphonium, and recorder.

Course 9

America's Crucible: The Vietnam War

INSTRUCTOR: Jerry Harrington

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

Time: 10:00 a.m. - noon

Location: Zoom

Registration Deadline: Monday, March 28

The Vietnam War divided Americans as no conflict since the Civil War. Grounded in the Cold War ideology of halting communist expansion, the United States' involvement spawned bitter confrontations in Southeast Asia and at home. This course will trace the history of the Vietnam War from shortly after World War II to the final flight of helicopters from the American embassy in Saigon in 1975, examining its impact both foreign and domestic.

INSTRUCTOR: Jerry Harrington retired from a career in marketing communications. He worked at public relations agencies in Cedar Rapids; Rochester, New York; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Most recently he was marketing public relations manager at DuPont Pioneer. He holds a BSS from Cornell College and a master's degree in history from the University of Iowa.

Course 10

Shakespeare's Henry V: War's Glory or War's Horror?

INSTRUCTOR: Miriam Gilbert

Dates: Tuesdays, April 5, 12, 19, 26; May 3

Time: 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.

Location: Zoom

Registration Deadline: Tuesday, March 29

Henry V used to be seen as Shakespeare's glorification of war through his portrayal of the English king who defeated the French at Agincourt in 1415. Contemporary audiences and scholars find a more complex presentation, forcing us to ask what it costs both the country and the human being to achieve military success. In this five-week course, we'll look at the play on the page and at major film/theatre productions, noting how these productions raise compelling interpretative problems. Henry V will be presented this summer at Riverside Theatre's Shakespeare Festival in City Park.

INSTRUCTOR: Miriam Gilbert is professor emerita of English, having taught at Iowa from 1969 to 2013. She still enjoys studying and teaching Shakespeare and going to see Shakespeare in performance, especially in her second home, Stratford-upon-Avon.

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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