Issue No. 57
February 2015
The MSCN Newsletter

Snow and Sea Spray at Portland Head Light
Welcome to Your February Newsletter!

I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.
~Andrew Wyeth 

Its hard to convey the whole story of the Maine Senior College Network to those who are not in the know! However rest assured all across the state senior college members are putting on their snow boots and woolly hats and heading out into the Arctic landscape to reach their classes! It must also be said that the state's Senior Colleges deeply appreciate those who do recognize the value of MSCN's lifelong learning activities. As you can read below, Augusta Senior College has found a strong supporter and advocate in UMA's Interim President, Dr. Glenn Cummings.

This month's newsletter also gives a glimpse of some of the extraordinary people who contribute to senior college classes. Meet Robert Evans instructor of "King Arthur: Man or Myth" at Acadia Senior College and Dr. Edward Zinsser Walworth presenter of this month's USM Lewiston Auburn "Food for Thought" Lecture with "A retired surgeon gets back to basics in Africa with Medecins Sans Frontieres."
Read on to see how members are rewarded for their treks through the snow as they keep warm with music at Augusta Senior College, wine at the University of Maine in Presque Isle and Gold Leaf members gather together with their popcorn to watch Robin William's movies. 

Don't forget MSCN Spring classes are just around the corner!
Spotlight on Acadia Senior College Faculty: Robert Evans teaches "King Arthur: Man or Myth"
Illustration above by NC Wyeth for The Boy's King Arthur: Sir Thomas Malory's History of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table, Edited for Boys by Sidney Lanier
Robert Evans
In 1978, Robert Evans moved from London to MDI with his family to take a research position at Jackson Laboratory. There, he worked as a full professor in the field of immunology, searching for cures for cancer. Little did he imagine that some three decades later he would be teaching at Acadia Senior College - not about genetic research or DNA, but: "King Arthur, Man or Myth?" 

With roots in Wales, it is perhaps not surprising that Robert might become fascinated with the Arthurian Legend. Robert says he was raised "proud of being Welsh." It is basic to his identity, especially within the rivalries of the nationalities of the United Kingdom. Then, in middle age, he began to wonder: Why am I "proud to be Welsh? What does being Welsh mean?" And he delved into the history of his native land and culture.

Knights of the Round Table & the Holy Grail (15th Century)

"Of course I knew the stories, the Arthurian legends. Everyone knows they are fictional. But as I read Welsh history and got into the 4th and 5th centuries, the resistance of the Britons against the invading Saxons, the name "Arthur" kept coming up. I wondered: Could this warrior chieftain be the real man behind the legends?" 

His interest became a passion. One look at his study, where the shelves are filled with hundreds of books on the topic, testifies to that. Eventually, he undertook some primary research of his own - A study of the Llandaff Charters, a collection of centuries-old land transfer documents archived at the University of Wales, and accessible on the internet! 

With a knowledge of Latin, Robert has painstakingly searched through the puzzle of the Charters, constructing genealogies of the Welsh clan 'Silures'. He has concluded that a Dark Ages warrior with the nom de guerre of "Arthur" (meaning Bear Man) was the figure Athrwys, a prince, a real person - and very possibly the historical core of the mythological King Arthur.

After retiring from his work at "the lab," Robert became involved with Acadia Senior College. One day in 2001, while hiking with a group, he was chatting about his study of King Arthur. A friend suggested that he teach a class on the topic at the Senior College. Since then, College members have been privileged to participate in such a class six times, most recently this past fall. 

Please download the pdf of this article to read more about Robert's 10 hour class on "King Arthur: Man or Myth"

Interview by Ann Caswell. Acadia Senior College

Augusta Senior College Invites You to Meet Dr. Glenn Cummings!
Dr. Glenn Cummings

 Dr. Glenn Cummings, newly selected interim President of UMA, met with members of the Augusta Senior College board of directors last October. Topics discussed included the establishment of the Maine Senior College Network by the Legislature in 1999, the growth of its membership over the years, current enrollment, its association with Granite Hill, and the current course schedule. Additionally, Chairman Tom Feagin provided an overview of the SC budget. Another topic touched on was the possibility of offering credit for one or more senior college courses. 


Dr. Cummings was especially interested in learning about the work of the instructors at Augusta Senior College, having himself begun his career as a teacher at Gorham High School where he served as a department head. He later taught micro and macroeconomics at the University of Southern Maine and still later served as Speaker in the Maine House of Representatives where he sponsored a bill to create the state community college system. He went on serve as President Obama's Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U. S. Department of Education and was part of the team that designed the President's plan to boost America's graduation rate by 2020. Cummings also chaired the Department's Green Initiative which focused on increasing teaching and learning sustainability principles in American education. Prior to his appointment as interim President of UMA, Dr. Cummings served as President and Executive Director of Good Will-Hinckley, which, under his leadership, became known as the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences

At the conclusion of the meeting, it was clear that a mutual admiration society had formed between Dr. Cummings and board members. His parting comment to me was "It's been wonderful to learn about the enormous asset that Senior College is to the area and to UMA. The quality of the instructors and richness of the curriculum is extraordinary and provides seniors in the area with an invaluable opportunity to enhance their knowledge in a variety of fields. " 


Submitted by Ann Sullivan: Article written by Marilyn Canavan- Augusta Senior College
USM Lewiston-Auburn Senior College "Food for Thought" Lecture: 
"A retired surgeon gets back to basics in Africa with Medecins Sans Frontieres."
Dr. Edward Zinsser Walworth of Lewiston will be the presenter at the USM Lewiston-Auburn Senior College "Food for Thought" 11:30 luncheon on Friday, February 13.

Since retiring in 2010, Dr. Walworth became interested in doing Third World Surgery and became very active in Doctors without Borders. He served three missions in Africa: Cote d'Ivoire, West Africa - July 2011; Central African Republic - December 2013; Democratic Republic Congo - November 2014 and a fourth mission in Haiti in October 2012. His topic is entitled "A retired surgeon gets back to basics in Africa with Medecins Sans Frontieres."

Dr. Walworth will expand on what Third World Surgery is, how and why he is interested, how satisfying it is and why not enough surgery is performed. He will describe Doctors without Borders as an organization and show Africa as a tourist destination as well as a place where he did his three surgical missions. He will also touch on Ebola, in regard to DWB and its threat elsewhere. A time for questions will follow.

Dr. Walworth
was affiliated with St. Mary's Regional Medical Center and Central Maine Medical Center. Throughout his career, his resume of continued education and accomplishments are noteworthy and impressive. Suffice to say he served on the boards of several medical organizations and public health organizations. He held teaching positions while in clinical practice. He co-authored "Angiographic Demonstration of an Aortoduodenal Fistula Caused by Metastatic Cervical Carcinoma." He was active in several state and community organizations, holding leadership positions.  Last but by no means least his musical talents have are enjoyed by patrons of several orchestras in the state. 

The public are cordially invited to join the LASC at this event.
Friday, February 13.
11:30 - "Food for Thought Luncheon"
Location: USM LAC Campus: The Function Room - 170

The cost, which includes luncheon, $7 with advance reservation or $8 at the door.

Reservations must be made by noon on Wednesday, February 11, by calling 753-6510. Any late callers will be considered "at the door."

Submitted by - Rachel Morin, Lewiston-Auburn Senior College
Augusta Senior College:
Concerts at Jewett Auditorium


The purpose of the concert series is to provide high quality music programs for the enjoyment of the Senior College membership and the community at large and to support the arts - Maine artists in particular.

Proceeds will be used for future lecture/concert series to benefit our community.  

Sunday, Feb. 8, 2 P.M. (snow date Feb 22). Sing Acappella, presented by Maine-ly Harmony, along with a men's barbershop group to be announced. Both groups are non-professional singers who harmonize for fun and compete successfully nationally. 

Sunday, March 15, 2 P.M. (snow date Mar. 22). Ladies of the Lake: A St. Paddy's Day Special. A lively celebration of traditional Irish music by this popular Celtic group. 

Sunday, April 19, 2 P.M. Masanobu Ikemiya, pianist
Known internationally, Mr. Ikemiya received an award from the UN for promoting world peace through music. This is a return visit from this charismatic musician who currently calls Mount Desert Island home. 



Tickets are available at the door, 

By phone (621-3551), 

By email , 

Tickets are also available at:  Pat's Pizza - Augusta &  Apple Valley Books in Winthrop 


Adults $10,  Students $5** , Age 12 and under FREE 

**UMA students - Visit your Student Life office for FREE tickets provided by UMA. 


Google Maps Guide to location: Jewett Auditorium, Augusta


Submitted by - Ann Sullivan, Augusta Senior College
Pass the Popcorn at Gold LEAF Institute

Robin Williams in "Good Morning, Vietnam"

What better time to watch a series of films than on frosty Wednesday afternoons in January and February? That's exactly what Gold LEAF's Curriculum Chair Susan Wahlstrom had in mind when she and committee member Ray Stillman planned the Tribute to Robin Williams for this current term.

It seemed fitting to honor the legacy of Robin Williams and thus a group of nearly forty members meets weekly to watch the films (which are shown in the order of production) and then to go off to dinner at a local restaurant (optional) to continue the discussion of the film. Williams had a phenomenal and productive career, going from the days of "Mork and Mindy" through to the more recent Patch Adams.

Yet, the focus of this story should really be on our Curriculum Chair, who we would like to honor as well. It is a stroke of genius to be so aware that such a program could "fly" and that really only a few of our Gold LEAF Institute members are actually snowbirds. It is critical that ongoing events keep us focused and with "plans" of how to get through the winter. Thanks to Susan's ingenuity, participants have this to look forward to each week.

Of course, there is often another side to the coin. Along with the great idea comes the nitty-gritty of getting the films, running the equipment, and organizing the reserved tables at the local restaurant. Thanks to Susan all this is accomplished behind the scenes.

I leave you with this one last "proof of cleverness" on Susan's part. Having purchased the films Susan was left with the problem of what to do with the movies at the end of the series? Susan's solution: On the last Wednesday, raffle tickets will be distributed to all, and the DVD's will be raffled off to the lucky winners. Yet one more thing to look forward to, just as mud season rolls in. So clutch that raffle ticket and pass the popcorn.
Submitted by - Eileen Kreutz, MSCN Liaison, Gold LEAF Institute
Making Wine 101 at SAGE


SAGE has twice hosted a course called Making Wine 101.  This past fall it was taught by Greg Daniels (a retired public safety professional who has been making wine from kits and fruit for 19 years) and Gene Ouellette (owner of Fine Wines in Madawaska ME, who has been making wine for 11 years). 

Photographs of "Making Wine 101" by Sharon Lester
The "Making Wine 101" Class
(Photographer Sharon Lester is front row third from the left.)
Wine Making Student Helen McConnell

Assessing Student's Work:

Wine tasters Mary Lawrence, UMPI's Coordinator of Conferences and Special Programs (and therefore SAGE's long time coordinator) and Candace Roy, the Campus Branch Manager of the University Credit Union at UMPI.

Submitted by - Pam Crawford, PR Volunteer, SAGE at University of Maine at Presque Isle
Like MSCN on Facebook

Facebook logo Now you can "like" Maine Senior College Network on Facebook. We've created an MSCN page on Facebook, so please visit it to share experiences, ideas, photos, and information about upcoming Maine Senior College happenings. We'll also post links to articles about lifelong learning and other topics relevant to senior college members.


Picture Credits

Intro Photo: Snow and Sea Spray at Portland Headlight (
Fort Williams Park) by Anne Cardale

N.C. Wyeth - The Boy's King Arthur: Sir Thomas Malory's History of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table, Edited for Boys by Sidney Lanier  (New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1922). Scanned by Dave Pape. (Courtesy of Wikimedia)

Knights of the Round Table & the Holy Grail (15th Century). (Courtesy of Wikimedia)

The Maine Senior College Network is a program of the  
In This Issue
Don't forget to go to the Maine Senior College Network website to find out what is happening around the state!

Maine Senior College Network

Acadia Senior College

Augusta Senior College
Coastal Senior College

Downeast Senior College

Gold LEAF Institute

South Coast Senior College

Midcoast Senior College

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Penobscot Valley Senior College


Senior College at Belfast

St. John Valley Senior College

Sunrise Senior College 
Western Mountains Senior College

York County Senior College
MSCN Promotional Videos

Maine Senior Guide is a comprehensive web resource about all things senior that provides "one stop shopping" for Maine's seniors at the link below: 

Contact Information
Maine Senior College Network 
P.O. Box 9300 
Portland, Maine 04104-9300 
(207) 228-4128
(207) 780-4317 (fax)

Trouble opening our pdfs?

Adobe Reader Icon

Download Adobe Reader by clicking the button above.
Please submit your articles and photographs to
Anne Cardale at

Deadline:  Third week of each month for the following month's edition