The Lifelong Learning lecture series is on hold for the summer semester, but will resume in September. Lectures are held the third Friday of the month. Join us for refreshments at 9:15 a.m. followed by presentations from outstanding speakers from 10–11 a.m. in the Franciscan Center of Lourdes University. Free for members and first-time visitors.

For questions –or to suggest a speaker– please call 419-824-3707 or email


Fall Kickoff: Arrrrghhhhh: A History of Piracy on the Great Lakes

Friday, August 17; presentation at 11 am, lunch at noon, music to follow.
Franciscan Center

Price: $12 per person for lunch, RSVP by Aug. 13

Christopher Gillcrist, Executive Director of the National Museum of the Great Lakes, will lead you on a historical and cultural re-examination of piracy and it implications for understanding Great Lakes history. No parrots or peg legs, but a healthy dose of thievery, mutiny, and other unsavory tales that illustrate why Hollywood should reinvent Jack Sparrow and place him on Lake Michigan in 1880! Christopher Gillcrist is Executive Director of the National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo. He has a BA and MA in History from John Carroll University and is ABD in Social Policy at Case Western Reserve University. Prior to his current duties he served as Executive Director of the Lake County Historical Society.

Lunch: lasagna with garlic bread, salad, and dessert! Vegetarian option available.

The Cake Walkin’ Jass Band will perform the authentic New Orleans jazz Toledoans have been enjoying for 50 years!

It’s the right thing to do
Friday, Sept. 14

Have you ever wondered how people manage to live to a “ripe old age”? This is  a story of a life influenced by many people that in turn benefitted many others. The Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame honored Donelda McWilliams for her volunteer efforts at the local level, such as distributing food to needy people, to the state level, representing AARP for 15 years on the Ohio Advisory Council for Aging, to the national level, including twice serving as a delegate to the White House Conferences on Aging.

Donelda McWilliams worked as a mortician in her own business for 38 years. When she retired in 1987 she dedicated herself to helping others because “It’s the right thing to do.” Hear the story of her productive and satisfactory life.

Tales of Toledo’s Tenderloin
Friday, Oct. 19

Come hear the stories of the colorful characters, the cops, the  controversy and the eventual collapse of Toledo’s notorious “badlands” of downtown Toledo circa 1900. It was an area that was its own “district” of the city where a supermarket of vice was allowed to flourish for decades.

Lou Hebert is a Toledo area native, and long-time radio and TV news broadcaster. His journalism work in Toledo, Detroit, Chicago and Denver earned him several national awards, including a Peabody from the University of Georgia.

Income Inequality
Friday, Nov. 16

In 1965, the CEO to worker pay ratio was 20:1; however today the ratio is nearly 300:1 with many examples of CEOs earning much more. Will income inequality continue to widen or will it narrow? Does inequality serve an economic purpose? Is inequality good or bad? How does inequality affect the economy, society, and individuals? Should inequality be reduced, and if so, can anything be done? These questions are more nuanced than they may first appear. The issue of inequality is politically-charged, but the economic implications remain controversial. These issues and others will be addressed along with consideration of implications associated with widening and narrowing inequality.

Dr. David McClough is the James F. Dicke Associate Professor of Economics at Ohio Northern University.  His research examines observed wage differentials, especially among highly educated workers. In addition to academic publishing, Dr. McClough’s commentaries have appeared in numerous newspapers and he currently serves as editor of the Journal of Economics and Politics.

Bicycling Around the United States for a Cause
Friday, December 14

In August 2015, 68 year old Toledo native and retired Sylvania Schools teacher Alan Thompson began a 12,000 mile bicycle journey along the perimeter of the U.S. His goal was to raise money and awareness for two charities: Habitat For Humanity and Save The Children. He raised over $32,000 for these two worthwhile organizations and volunteered at Habitat For Humanity build sites in 19 cities along the course of his ride. Alan rode 9,000 miles between August, 2015 and May, 2016. In the summer of 2017 he bicycled the final 3,000 miles along the northern perimeter, completing the 12,000 mile circuit of the U.S. perimeter. Come hear his personal stories of this epic ride!

After the lecture, stay for lunch and laughter…

Comedy of Reed K. Steele
Friday, December 14
11:15 am -12:45 pm, includes buffet lunch.

Reed K. Steele is a cross between Red Skelton, Dick Van Dyke and Danny Kaye. As a master of physical comedy, mime, stand-up, and improvisation, Reed combines comedy, music, mime, magic, stunts, sign language, and audience participation to make a memorable comedy variety family fun event that will capture an audience of any age.

As an actor, mime, stuntman, comedian, clown, puppeteer, magician, and director, Reed has performed literally thousands of times on stage, television, and film from Los Angeles to New York. He was the recipient of the 1990 “Hollywood USO Entertainer of the Year” award, working with Bob Hope, Buddy Ebsen, Lee Greenwood and many others. Reed also created sound effects for films, television, and cartoons, working with Mel Blanc, Paul Winchell, and Bruce Willis. He also worked with the puppetry of Jim Henson’s Muppets and performs professionally with his production company, Saturn V Productions, throughout the country as time permits. A delicious hot buffet luncheon is included, so please lunch and laugh with us!