Newport/Derby/Stanstead Lecture Series

Fall 2016

Lectures are scheduled for Wednesdays beginning promptly at 1:00 p.m. Lectures will be in the Conference Room at the Hebard State Office Building 2nd Floor, 100 Main Street in Newport, VT. Site is handicap accessible with ample parking.


The Life & Times of Jane Austen; Or, 10 Reasons We Are Still Reading Her 200 Years Later…
September 14, 2016
Deborah Barnum
Do you wonder why after 200 years, we are still so very interested in Jane Austen? She may have only written six novels, but we remain endlessly fascinated by her life, her story-telling, her characters, the many modern adaptations, and the Regency Period she lived in and wrote about.  Join us for a visual journey through ‘All Things Austen,’ and you may discover why it is never too late to start reading (or re-reading!) everything she created with her witty pen. For those well-versed in their Jane Austen, as well as those just curious about what they have been missing…


Rock Music from the 1950’s to the present.
September 21, 2016
Terry Difazio
Terry is the current program manager at NEK-TV who likes to show videos from bands that wouldn’t normally get a lot of air time. A former drummer and musician, Terry will be taking you through time from the music of each decade from the 1950’s to the present focusing on how each band changed the landscape of rock music.


The Owl, Silent Predator of the Night
September 28, 2016
Kurt Valenta
Another in the Exordium Nature Series, this presentation takes a close-up look at one of the most relentless predators of the skies. The owl, imbued with a mystical reputation, silent in flight and having unrivalled hearing and sight, can hunt in total darkness, catching prey with uncanny consistency. From very small to quite large, owls live from the northern climates of the Arctic and the heat of deserts to the shadows of the great forests.  We will parse fact from fantasy as we gain a better understanding of this majestic bird.


From Russia with Love!  PART 1
October 5, 2016
From Russia with Love!  PART 2
October 12, 2016
William Cotte
“Nationalism” as a powerful movement during the late 19th Century “Romantic Era” took deep hold in the minds and hearts of the Russian composers.  The result was a body of great music that speaks the very “soul” of the Russian people.  From the “romanticism” of Tchaikovsky to the stark and bold revelations of Shostakovich, this music of Russia touches us in a way unique to any other!  Come adventure with us as we explore these masterpieces in sight and sound through the mind and heart of its greatest interpreters!


The history and meaning of landscape art in the Western World and how it influences our understanding of the natural world
October 19, 2016
Dominique Gagnon
This talk will present the history and meaning of landscape art in the Western world since the 16th century, and how the idea of landscape evolved from the Renaissance to the present. The invention of perspective by 16th century artists has initiated a new conception of the place of human beings in the world. Simultaneously, the invention of landscape painting has had a significant influence on our relationship with our environment. This cultural background explains partially our fascination for scenic views and picturesque surroundings, which are found everywhere in Vermont and the Eastern Townships.


From Martha to Michelle: The Changing Role of First Ladies
October 26, 2016
Cynthia D. Bittinger
Presidential spouses influence politics, the public and the private lives of their mates. Bittinger, a contributor to the CSPAN series, First Ladies: Influence and Image, aired for a year from 2013 to 2014, will explain how Martha Washington set the standards for first ladies for a century, how Edith Wilson, Florence Harding, and Nancy Reagan had such a powerful influence over their husbands, how Eleanor Roosevelt changed the office forever, and who had charm and activism in the modern era. Join us to look at the history of these fascinating women who left letters and diaries for us to see how they changed history and supported the efforts of their spouses.


The Martians have landed! Why humans are fascinated with the Red Planet!
November 2 2016
Bobby Farlice Rubio
No planet has captured the imaginations of Earthlings quite like Mars has. Why do some people expect to find Martians? Why have we sent so many robots to the Red Planet? What are we actually looking for? Did people once believe Martians had landed in New Jersey? Will we humans become the Martians in the future? This presentation will explore the various ways in which Mars has influenced humanity: from being an avatar for the God of War, ato the set of Matt Damon’s latest blockbuster, to perhaps being the future home of our species. Will we see humans on Mars in our lifetime?


November 9 2016
Ice Cider Tasting at the Newport Tasting Centre 150 Main Street, Newport, Vermont
A brief presentation on the history of hard cider and ice cider, by the Eden Ice Cider Company.  We will be tasting examples of the heirloom and cider variety apples used in ciders and a discussion of how they are different and what they each bring to the cider.  We will learn the background of different methods of cider production and tasting of different styles of cider – sparkling, aperitif and ice ciders and discuss pairing with food.


November 16, 2016
Looking Back at the election of 2016
Eric Davis
What were the major factors – the economy, global affairs, issues, debates, news coverage, advertising, social media, third-party candidates – that affected the outcome of the campaign between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for President?  What happened in the races for the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate?  Were Vermont’s elections influenced by national factors, or decided on the basis of local candidates and issues?


Membership Information

Membership dues will support the development of the Institute’s future programs, which are shaped by the interests of our members. Payment of membership dues entitles subscribers to attend all 10 sessions in Newport as well as at the seven other Osher sites in Vermont during the Spring 2016 semester. Your active membership also entitles you to the discounted member rate for the new OLLI program on the UVM campus. Complete the membership form and send with your check for $40 USD (individual) or $70 USD (couple). Any two people who sign up for the semester as a team are considered a couple. Non-members may attend individual sessions for $5 per session.

To download the membership form click here.

Please make check payable to “The University of Vermont” and mail to:

UVM OLLI Registration Office
322 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05401

CONTACT MEMBERS (for information on the Osher Institute or the upcoming semesters lectures.)

John Logan 819-876-5026
Ann Montgomery 819-876-7837
Marvelene & Keith Richards 802-334-1254
Christine Gautier 819-843-4292
Annemarie Schadinger 802-334-0544
Dorothy Willard 802-754-2366
Suzi Dix 819-838-5131
Page Fairchild 802-843-6335

Become a member today!

Membership in the Newport Osher Lifelong Learning Institute entitles members to attend programs in other Osher Institutes established in seven other locations throughout Vermont, as well as EEE-Burlington (Elder Education Enrichment). Your active OLLI membership also entitles you to the discounted member rate for the OLLI on UVM campus programs. Simply present your membership card during the corresponding semester.

Special thank you to our community contributors:

  • Community National Bank
  • CCV – Newport
  • Goodrich Memorial Library
  • Green Mountain Coffee
  • Newport Natural Market & Cafe
  • NEK-TV
  • Vista

For a complete listing of all programs, see our listing as a pdf

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