Fundraising Campaign to Support Sustainability and Growth

In order to support the continued interest and growth of LLI, October kicks off our first fundraising campaign. As we all know, there are a number of volunteers who spend an incredible number of hours behind the scenes organizing class schedules, recruiting instructors and class assistants, and reserving classrooms, as well as untold hours of administrative matters. However, LLI interest and participation has reached a level that necessitates sustained additional administrative support. Growth is a good problem to have!


According to fundraising committee members Candi Kelly and Diane Akers, LLI is now in need of a designated paid staff member to take over the increasing responsibilities that have been handled by volunteers to this point. In order to accommodate the staffing needs and costs of classroom space for LLI, member contributions are needed.  


As of October 21, we received nearly $18,000 in donations from 47 members. We are now well on our way to help fund a new part-time position for LLI. Thanks to every one of you! Your support of LLI is so appreciated. If you have not yet contributed, small donations are welcomed, as well as regular gifts. Through the Virginia Tech Foundation, members also have the opportunity to contribute estate gifts or distributions directly from an IRA.


For more information on tax-deductible contribution options or donate online, visit LLI’s Donation Page at https://www.cpe.vt.edu/lifelonglearning/donations.html



We are deep into our spring term planning and the subcommittees have a variety of new classes to offer as well as on-going favorites. If you have a passion you want to share, there is still time to submit a course or event proposal before the end of October, contact Pat Hyer (hyerp@vt.edu). 


We are planning both in-person and online learning experiences for spring. And we’ll feature some outstanding lectures in our Free Friday series. There’s a lot to look forward to! Details will be available in January.

  • The spring preview will be in late January.
  • Registration will begin February 7.
  • Classes will begin the week of February 21.


Meantime, be sure to give us feedback on your Fall term classes – we read those comments and suggestions for future courses carefully. You should be getting the link to your course feedback form from your class assistant.



Appalachian Foodways


Beyond the beautiful mountain vistas, the diverse culture, traditional music, richly flavorful food draw visitors from around the US and world to Appalachia. Adding to that the changing leaves, sounds of back porch acoustic jam sessions, and fresh cooked apple butter, Autumn is the perfect time to celebrate Appalachia.  Join Jean Haskell, Danielle Christensen, Rosemary Goss, and Katie Hoffman to learn more about coal country Appalachian food traditions and culinary arts,

the role of home canning, and the ties between 

the region’s food and music. This three-week course is a great opportunity to learn more about the cast iron and creative cooking of Appalachia.


Thursdays, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. 3 weeks: Oct 28, Nov 4, 11 Blacksburg Community Center, Community Room Class limit: $35 Course fee for members


Jean Haskell is a retired professor in Appalachian Studies from Virginia Tech and East Tennessee State University and co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Appalachia.
Danille Christensen is assistant professor of Public Humanities at Virginia Tech and completing a book on home canning.
Rosemary Goss is Professor Emerita from Virginia Tech, grew up in the coalfields of West Virginia, and has taught courses on the Appalachian family.
Katie Hoffman is Executive Director of Create Appalachia, a non-profit assisting and advocating for artists in the region.



Pat Artis


Joining this Spring as one of LLI’s newest instructors, Pat Artis weaves demographics, economics, and geopolitics into an engaging exploration of the next 100 years with his new course, Futurism. Using George Friedman’s book The Next 100 Years, participants will learn about what their children and grandchildren will likely face in the 21st Century. Written in 2008, you will be surprised to learn how accurate Friedman’s forecast has been thus far. Will the United States remain the leading global superpower? Will Japan rise as a force to be reckoned with? Will the political center of North America be Washington, D.C., or Mexico City at the end of the century? With his skilled storytelling, Pat’s insight will have you captivated as you peek into the future.


Outside the classroom, Pat enjoy’s flying, skiing, photography, and travel. His favorite destinations include Belize, Australia, and brown bear watching in Alaska (from which he just recently returned). He is also a professor of aerospace engineering at Virginia Tech.


We are excited to have Pat join us for Spring. Be sure to check out the Spring registration calendar coming out soon for times and location details.



There’s still time to sign up for several free special events. You can add these to your schedule by going to your CPE account or calling 231-5182 and speaking to a registrar.


Oct 29, 1:30-3:00 p.m. Zoom. Science and Cultural Heritage: From Michelangelo to Maya Blue with Giacomo Chiari

Giacomo Chiari's work is at the nexus of science, art, history, and culture. It has taken him around

the world to explore and preserve some of its most important cultural artifacts, from inside newly 

discovered pyramids in Mexico, to the intimacy of the Sistine Chapel Last Judgment. Join us to     

learn how he applies his scientific expertise to analyze and preserve ancient and valuable        



Nov 5, 1:30-3:00 Zoom. Virginia’s Quilts with Paula Golden

Follow the steps of Virginia quilt makers as we tour through the mountains, valleys and the 

Eastern Shore while viewing a sampling of the quilts and learning a little history along the way. 

This talk and the quilt images were derived from the study of more than 4,500 Virginia quilts, 

meticulously examined by the Virginia Consortium of Quilters' Documentation Project and 

published in Golden’s co-authored book, Quilts of Virginia... Learn about quilted armor of the 17th 

century and crazy quilts of the 19th century; and see images of personal family and museum 



Nov 10, 1:30-3:00, in-person, Warm Hearth Village Center. A few seats remain. From VAMC to VPI&SU: Transformative Presidents and Moments in Virginia Tech History with Hugh Campbell

For nearly 150 years, Blacksburg history has been closely intertwined with the growth and development of its fledging college, the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (VAMC), into a major research university. This talk will focus on a period of transformation of VAMC under President McBryde (1891–1907) through two world wars and eventually a second period of transformation under President T. Marshall Hahn in the 1960s. Hear stories of how VT got its iconic collegiate gothic architecture, how land near the Duck Pond and Stadium Woods turned into trailer parks to house returning veterans, and how Hahn’s vision created a path for VPI to become a large, modern, coeducational, racially diverse research institution with a full range of curricula.




Passionate Painters Present at Exhibit


The Passionate Painters art exhibit and reception was held on September 17, at the Blacksburg Library. At the engaging and well attended event, members and guests enjoyed a diverse collection of artworks from participating artists while socializing with old and new LLI friends. Attendees were treated to different approaches and a show of stunning talent displayed by creative artists as a culmination of their hard work participating in the Passionate Painters course.


Hokie Hike


The College of Natural Resources and Environment invites LLI members and interested others to participate in faculty-led webinars and hikes. Register as requested and enjoy walking at Pandapas Pond with one of our faculty favorites, Professor John Seiler, on Nov 6.


Hokie Hike: Pandapas Pond with John Seiler, Virginia Tech’s Dr. Dendro

Date/time: Saturday, November 6 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.


Description: Join the College of Natural Resources and Environment’s Dr. Dendro (John Seiler, tree physiology specialist) at Pandapas Pond, one of the U.S. Forest Service’s most popular recreational areas, for a casual walk on easy trails. 

Seiler will discuss ecological processes that are driving ecosystem changes around the pond, and hikers will be able to discuss—and taste!—common and unique tree species found in the area.


Registration Link: https://aimsbbis.vt.edu/HokieHikePandapas





Submission Information

LLI members are invited to submit articles, announcements, photos, or other items that may be of interest to the LLI community. Submissions must be received by the 15th of the month for consideration in the next month's newsletter. For more information or to submit an item: Newsletter Editor, Cris Thompson, Ph.D. Student / Graduate Assistant, Office of Outreach and International Affairs, cristhomp89@vt.edu. Please limit to 300 words.




Many thanks to our corporate sponsors for their generous support of the Lifelong Learning Institute.


Virginia Tech Lifelong Learning Institute
Virginia Tech Continuing & Professional Development | Virginia Tech, Mail Code 0272 702 University Blvd., Blacksburg, Virginia 24061 | 540-231-4364