St. Albans Lecture Series

Spring 2015

All lectures will be on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and will be held at the St. Albans Historical Museum, third floor, corner of Church and Bishop Streets in St. Albans. The site is handicap accessible with parking behind the museum.


Circle of Sawdust: The Mud, Myth, Mayhem and Magic of Circus

Presenter:  Mr. Rob Mermin
February 4, 2015

Rob Mermin, founder of Vermont’s own Circus Smirkus, will entertain with personal anecdotes and film clips of wacky characters and wild escapades from his background as a mime/clown in European circuses.


The Four C’s of Madagascar

Presenter: Mr. Hank Kaestner
February 11, 2015

This presentation will be about the island nation of Madagascar, located off the south east coast of Africa, but hardly related to Africa at all.  It was settled by people from Malaysia (the first ‘C’: culture).  It is the world’s major source of vanilla (the second ‘C’: cultivation).  It is one of the most endangered biospheres in the world as it has the highest percentage of endemic wildlife while degradation of its forest continues with now less than 10% remaining (the third ‘C’: Conservation).  Its main export (vanilla) is threatened by the growing use of artificial vanilla flavors (the fourth ‘C’: cheating).


Stuck in Vermont with Eva

Presenter: Ms. Eva Sollberger
February 18, 2015

Get Stuck in Vermont with web video creator, Eva Sollberger. Every week Eva travels around our state meeting artists, farmers, chefs, athletes and quirky characters. Then she produces a web video about the experience which airs on Seven Days every Wednesday and on WCAX every Thursday. Eva has been making ‘Stuck in Vermont’ for the past 7 years and has received almost 3 million views on YouTube. Learn what it takes to produce fresh weekly video content and how an idea becomes a story.


Winter Frost: Five Robert Frost Poems About Winter

Presenter: Mr. Peter Gilbert
February 25, 2015

Join Vermont Humanities Council executive director and executor of the Robert Frost estate, Peter Gilbert, for a discussion of five poems by Robert Frost that are about winter — from the first snowfall to the thawing winds of March.  They are ‘The Onset,’ ‘Storm Fear,’ ‘An Old Man’s Winter Night,’ ‘Dust of Snow,’ and ‘To the Thawing Wind.’


South Africa Wildlife and Plants

Presenter:  Mrs. Sheri Larsen
March 4, 2015

Sheri and Richard Larson will present a slideshow about the wildlife and plants they encountered in South Africa in 2011 during self-drive safaris in several national parks, including Kruger National Park and a visit to the Cape Town region.  In addition, they will offer observations on the political and economic situation they found.


From Skiffs to Sail Ferries, the Small Boat Traditions of Lake Champlain

Presenter:  Mr. Douglas Brooks
March 11, 2015

The stories of Vermont naval history and commercial shipping have been well documented by generations of historians. However, the traditions of small boat building throughout our state have remained untold. The bulk of our historic boatbuilding traditions involves Vermonters building their own boats, whether for pleasure or commercial use. The historical record illuminating this subject resides today mostly in family stories and photo collections. In this slide presentation, Douglas Brooks shares his research on these traditions and his work in recreating some of these historic vessels.


Even Boomers Grow Older – or — It Only Gets Worse

Presenter:  Mr. Scott Funk, Financial Professional and Author
March 18, 2015

An Aging Advocate’s insights on aging, which we all do, and all dread.  But considering the alternative, we might as well embrace the inevitable with laughter.  After all, the best looking wrinkles come from smiling.


The White-tailed Deer – Forest Denizen

Presenter:  Mr. Kurt Valenta
March 25, 2015

As part of the Exordium Nature Series, we take a closer look at the white-tailed deer.  By moving through a variety of habitats through-out the year and taking full advantage of the adaptations with which Mother Nature has endowed it, deer have been able to prosper in the North Country.  They are an important resource for many and bring a sense of beauty to the woods.  The presentation will travel with the deer from spring and birth to the hardships of a cruel winter, allowing participants to appreciate the many challenges it must face.


A Current Assessment of Cold Hardy Grapevines in Northern Vermont

Presenter:  Mr. Erich Marn
April 1, 2015
NOTE: Location for this lecture will be at Due North Winery, Franklin, Vermont

We will talk about the various types of grapes available to the northern grower and the the basics of vineyard establishment. This topic will focus specifically on wine varietals, include an in-winery overview of the winemaking principles, and finally will discuss expectations for future industry growth. NOTE: The lecture will be held at Due North Winery in Franklin.


The St. Albans Boys of WWI: Joseph Evarts and the 103rd Machine Gun Battalion

Presenter:  Mr. Brennan Gauthier
April 8, 2015

A large contingent of  fresh-faced doughboys from Swanton and St. Albans travelled together to the trenches of France as a unified group of machine gunners.  St. Albans’ own Joseph A. Evarts heroically led a company of local men through the gas, mud and rain of France and returned home in 1919.  This presentation will highlight some of the battles and exploits of the St. Albans boys during the First World War and will hopefully shed some light on the “forgotten war.”


Birdscapin: Saving the Bird in the Bush

Presenter:  Ms. Bridget Butler
April 15, 2015

Songbirds in our region are experiencing a number of stresses that impact their populations. Find out how you can provide a backyard haven and beyond for them through gardening and landscaping. Learn about making the most of your property for birds throughout the season and how to find resources in your community.


Inventive Vermonters

Presenter:  Mr. Paul Wood
April 22, 2015

In spite of the state’s small population, there have been a large number of inventive Vermonters – especially for labor-saving agricultural tools and implements.  Paul Wood, agricultural historian, will tell the story of some ingenious and surprising Vermont-invented and Vermont-made farm tools through an illustrated slide show.  He will bring a variety of interesting tools and implements found on a typical Vermont farm and used in the field, barn, workshop and kitchen – from bull staff to sap regulator, ox bow pin to milk tester, and boot dryer to butter worker.


Membership Information

Payment of membership dues entitles subscribers to attend all sessions of the current semester. Lectures are also open to non-members for a fee of $5 per lecture. Semester membership fees are $40 per individual, or $70 per couple.

To download the membership form click here.

Send membership form and dues to:

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

Make checks payable to The University of Vermont.

Become a member today!

Membership in your local OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) entitles you to attend programs at any of the other 7 OLLI sites 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 programs on the UVM campus. Simply present your membership card during the corresponding semester.

For a complete listing of all programs, see our listing in a pdf format.

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