Senior Scholars

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Registration for the Fall 2022 Semester is Now Open!

Senior Scholars is a continuing education program for senior adults hosted by Oak Hill & the Martha Berry Museum. The program offers a wide variety of classes and social programs with learning opportunities designed for adults 55 and older. Instructors include both Berry College faculty members and members of the Rome community. Join our program to build friendships and community while participating in lifelong learning and growth!

Click here to Register

Frequently Asked Questions

Senior Scholars offers a wide variety of classes every year to fit all interests, including courses in: history, studio arts & handicrafts, recreation & leisure, health & wellness, languages & writing, and much more! While we will have some reoccurring classes, others are only offered one time.

For a detailed list of our current offerings, please scroll to the bottom of this page.

Like Berry College, Senior Scholars offers two semesters of courses every year. For the 2022-2023 year, the Fall Semester courses will begin the week of September 19th and the Spring Semester courses will begin the week of February 13. Most courses are between four and eight weeks in length. We also offer single-day courses and travel opportunities throughout the entire year!

Registration for each semester will open one month before the start of classes. 

For a detailed list of our current class times and offerings, please scroll to the bottom of this page.

Senior Scholars courses take place at Oak Hill & the Martha Berry Museum, the Spires at Berry College, or on the Berry College Campus. See below for maps of each location.

If your class is in the Oak Hill Garden Room or Martha Berry Museum Auditorium, click here.

If your class is at the Spires at Berry College, click here.

If your class is at the Berry College Pickleball Courts, click here.

Do you have a special skill or expertise that you would like to share as part of a Senior Scholars course? We are always looking for new instructors! Please email us at seniorscholars@berry.edu for more information.

Do you have a question that wasn't answered here? Call Oak Hill & the Martha Berry Museum at 706.368.6789 or email us at seniorscholars@berry.edu for more information.

Fall 2022 Course Information

History

This course is currently sold out. Please email seniorscholars@berry.edu to be added to the waitlist.

Instructor: Dan Roper

Course Description: Georgia Backroads editor and publisher Dan Roper will share some of his favorite stories from Georgia history and natural history.  He’ll select from articles he’s written about the Civil War, the Cherokee and Creek Nations, and major events and personalities from around the state, while also mixing in thoughts, poems and photographs devoted to the lovely northwest Georgia countryside.

Dates: September 20 – November 8 (8 weeks)
Time and Location: Tuesdays 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.; Martha Berry Museum Auditorium
Cost: $80

Instructor: Eric Sands

Course Description: Have you ever wanted to learn more about the Supreme Court and how it has shaped American politics? This course will look at several landmark Supreme Court cases to try and explain the impact of constitutional law throughout history on the United States today.

Dates: September 22 – November 10 (8 weeks)
Time and Location: Thursdays 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.; Martha Berry Museum Auditorium
Cost: $80

Creative Arts & Leisure

Instructor: Ellen Glass

Course Description: Writing, for people who draw; graphics, for people who write; page design and lettering for all! Retired graphic designer and art instructor Ellen Glass uses her journals to practice paying attention to her life, when traveling and at home. In this course, you will learn to create your own illustrated journal, using everyday writing prompts, adding graphic elements, and designing page layouts. You will learn basic contour drawing, lettering, how to modify your handwriting, and much more! Basic supplies are included in the cost of the course.

Dates: October 4 – October 25 (4 weeks)
Time and Location: Tuesdays 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; Oak Hill Garden Room
Cost: $80

Instructor: Val Featherston

Course Description: Learn the basics of clay hand building with experienced art teacher Val Featherston. In the course, you will create several different pieces while experimenting with a variety of hand-building techniques. You will also learn about the glazing and firing pottery. The cost of materials is included in the registration fee.  

Dates: September 21 – November 9 (8 weeks)
Time and Location: Wednesdays 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; The Spires at Berry College Art Room
Cost: $100

Important Note: To participate in this course, and any course that occurs at the Spires at Berry College, you must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Instructor: Cheryl Hodge

Course Description: This class is for those who are new to watercolor or those who need a refresher course to get them painting again. We will set up your palettes, discuss tools and materials, learn the basic washes and brush strokes, and practice each step of the way. We will learn and practice techniques to develop a better understanding of the exciting medium of watercolor. Subject matter will be geared to student's interests as much as possible, and yes, we will paint pictures. Please feel free to bring in photographs or other images that interest you. Personal instruction and critique (helpful hints) will be a part of each lesson. Participants are responsible for purchasing supplies for this course. The supply list is available here: oakhill/_assets/Watercolor-Supply-List.pdf

Dates: September 21 – October 12 (4 weeks)
Time and Location: Wednesdays 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.; Oak Hill Garden Room
Cost: $60

Looking for more advanced instruction? Cheryl Hodge will be teaching the next level of watercolors in the Spring 2023 semester.

Health & Wellness

Instructor: Jeffery Lidke

Course Description: Berry College Professor of Religion Dr. Jeff Lidke will lead a practicum-based examination of the centrality of meditation to Buddhist philosophy and practice. Course includes an historical overview of the Buddhist tradition with a focus on the Vajrayana and Zen traditions and discussion of the increased interest in mindfulness practice in western society.

Dates: September 19 – November 7 (8 weeks)
Time and Location: Mondays 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.; Oak Hill Garden Room
Cost: $80

This course is currently sold out. Please contact seniorscholars@berry.eduto be added to the waitlist.

Instructor: Jennifer Bressette

Course Description: Experience hatha yoga at a slower and less intense pace while learning how to use props (blocks, straps, chairs) to build your personal practice. Veteran yoga instructor Jennifer Bressette invites students of all levels to join her for a meditative hour of peaceful and restorative practice.

Dates: September 19 – November 7 (8 weeks)
Time and Location: Mondays 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.; The Spires at Berry College Athletic Center
Cost: $80

Important Note: To participate in this course, and any course that occurs at the Spires at Berry College, you must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

This course is currently sold out. Please contact seniorscholars@berry.eduto be added to the waitlist.

Instructor: Mark Woods

Course Description: As one of the fastest growing sports in the country, Pickleball is a sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. This class will be small group coaching sessions intended for beginners interested in learning the basic rules and skills needed to play Pickleball. The course will cover the history of the sport, basic rules and equipment, serving and returning, forehand and backhand swings, and overhead smashing and spins – all concluding with a tournament on the last day of class! Courts will be open for students to practice for an additional hour after each class. Students will need to come dressed in athletic shoes and clothing that allows for free range of motion. Pickleball paddles will be available to borrow during class, but you may also bring your own or purchase one for $20 during the first class.

Dates: September 21 – November 9 (8 weeks)
Session 1: Wednesdays 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Session 2: Wednesdays 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location: Berry College Pickleball Courts
Cost: $80

Languages & Writing

Instructor: Cheryl Huffman

Course Description: Set in 1954 Nebraska, The Lincoln Highway tells the story of three juvenile convicts and a young boy on a journey to carve out a new future for themselves while traveling to New York. Spanning ten days and told from multiple points of view, Amor Towles’s third novel is a multilayered tale of misadventure and self-discovery, populated by an eclectic cast of characters, from drifters who make their home riding the rails and larger-than-life vaudevillians to the aristocrats of the Upper East Side. Discussions, led by avid reader Cheryl Huffman, will explore the many perspectives and stories portrayed throughout the novel.

Dates: September 19 – November 7 (8 weeks)
Time and Location: Mondays 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.; Oak Hill Garden Room
Cost: $80

Instructor: Cheryl Fitzner

Course Description: Know a little Spanish yet still need to develop your solo speaking/understanding? Join Very Veteran Spanish Teacher Cheryl Fitzner in a course designed to help close that gap. Students will build on their basic knowledge through conversation starters developed with fellow students, authentic reading opportunities, and a minimal amount of essential grammar instruction designed solely to enhance verbal interactions.

Dates: September 22 – November 3; No class on 10/13 (6 weeks)
Time and Location: Thursdays 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.; Oak Hill Garden Room
Cost: $80

Are you a Spanish novice? Cheryl Fitzner will be teaching an introduction course in Spring 2023.

This course is currently sold out. Please contact seniorscholars@berry.eduto be added to the waitlist.

Instructor: Melissa King

Course Description: The Moth Story Hour started with friends gathering on a porch around a fire at someone's beach house in South Carolina. Since then, it's developed into a live event in cities around the country and into a podcast. It focuses on the value of sharing our experiences both as a way to preserve our memories for our loved ones and also to help cultivate connection and understanding amongst all people. Using The Moth's How to Tell a Story and a selection of recorded Moth stories from the podcast, we will work on developing memorable, well-crafted stories out of our real life experiences.

Dates: September 22 – November 10 (8 weeks)
Times and Location: Thursdays 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.; Oak Hill Garden Room
Cost: $80

Events & Travel

This offering is currently sold out. Please contact seniorscholars@berry.eduto be added to the waitlist.

From the origins of the Green Lady ghost to the eerie, Appalachian folklore of the Southern Highlanders who inhabited the area in the late 19th century, Oak Hill’s Haunted History Tours will take you through Berry College’s main and mountain campuses to uncover the truth of Berry’s haunted past. Join your fellow Senior Scholars for this exclusive tour time led by a Berry College student.

Date: Sunday, October 23 from 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Location: The tour will begin outside of Memorial Chapel on the Berry College Campus
Cost: $10

The experience is a guided walking tour along uneven pathways and through wooded trails. Oak Hill recommends dressing warm, wearing comfortable shoes, and bringing a flashlight. The Haunted History Tour is subject to cancellation due to weather conditions.

Come celebrate the end of the baseball season with us by learning a little more about the history of the sport. Dr. Brian Carroll, Berry College Professor of Communication, will speak about his book, The Black Press and Black Baseball, 1915-1955. His presentation will discuss the dilemma faced by the Black press who, after building up Black baseball leagues and campaigning for the sport's integration, ultimately aided the demise of the leagues they helped to build. Dr. Carroll's lecture will pique the interest of lovers of sports, history, journalism, or all of the above! Lunch is included in the cost of registration.

Date: Friday, November 4 from 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Location: Oak Hill Garden Room
Cost: $15

Enjoy the holiday season at Oak Hill! The Oak Hill mansion's holiday decorations of greenery and ribbons reflect Martha Berry's childhood memories and the Victorian era's traditions and tastes. Our Victorian Christmas tour will highlight the customs that would have been familiar to Berry and her family. Join your fellow Senior Scholars for this exclusive tour time led by a Berry College student, and hear how Christmas came to be celebrated in the United States and learn about the unique customs found in Southern households of the time.

Date: Thursday, December 1 from 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Location: The Martha Berry Museum
Cost: $10

Explore Cartersville's newest attraction with your fellow Senior Scholars! The Savoy Automobile Museum, which opened last spring, connects people to the cultural diversity of the automobile. So, whether you are a serious car collector, an automobile enthusiast, or someone just curious about cars, you are invited to pause for a moment and take in the artistic beauty of the magnificent machines found inside. The cost of registration includes: transportation, lunch in Cartersville, and admission to the Savoy Museum.

Date: Wednesday, December 14 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Location: Meet outside the Martha Berry Museum
Cost: $45

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