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The Southwest Minnesota State University spring session of GOLD College will kick-off on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 2:15 p.m. in Charter Hall 201 on campus.

The entertainment for the kick-off event will be provided by the SMSU Theatre Program. In celebration of Constitution Day on Sept. 17, the SMSU Theatre Program will present songs and scenes celebrating the Constitution, citizenship and our American history.

Registration will be from 2:15-3 p.m. Gold College participants will have the opportunity to pick up class schedules and parking permits while enjoying refreshments.

The kickoff program will begin at 3 p.m. with an overview of the GOLD College spring session, followed by the theatre performance and an opportunity to meet the study group leaders.

GOLD is an acronym for Growth, Opportunity, Learning, Development. Gold College offers non-credit classes with a variety of topics: art, history, computers, current events, music, writing, health, physical well-being and more. Each class is held one day per week for two hours. There are no tests or grades, and it is for people of all educational levels.

Study groups are planned for six weeks, from Sept. 23 through October 31.

Contact the GOLD College office for registration material and more information:  or call 507-537-7164.

Adult classes this session include:


  • Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?, 9-11 a.m., Shirly Anderson-Porisch, instructor. What happens to your ‘non-titled’ personal belongings when you die? Who decides, who gets what? Because of the sentimental value, the transfer of non-titled personal property often creates more challenges for your family than the transfer of titled property. Learn about distribution options and consequences, and how to accomplish what you feel is fair. Books available in class — $10.00
  •  A Diplomat, a Politician, an Evangelist and a Warrior — The Greatest Lakota Leaders, 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m., Steve Linstrom, instructor. Four men led the Lakota Sioux through the 35-year transition from unconquered rulers of the high plains to a people totally subjugated by white America. In this class, the differences and similarities in personality and leadership style between Spotted Tail, Red Cloud, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse are examined and the relevance to historical events will be discussed.
  • Art Nouveau through Art Deco, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Pat Hand, instructor. We will look at the opulent late 19th century Art Nouveau era through the Art Deco period of the ‘Roaring Twenties’ and 1930s.
  • English Language 101, 2-4 p.m., Mary Toland, instructor. How well do you know the English language? This course explores the different parts of speech, punctuation and mechanics, and foundational sentence construction. You will learn about different word spellings, phrases, clauses, idiomatic expressions, common grammar mistakes, and common English cultural slang through practical, fun, hands-on exercises. We will also look at the history of the English language and the cultural evolution of words.
  • Connecting with Vitamin “N” (Nature), 2-4 p.m., Kandy Noles Stevens, instructor. This course is designed to reconnect individuals with the natural world through sensory observation and to explore the role nature plays in the human story. The course will cover the topics of phenology, weather, nature explorations, moon cycles, citizen science investigations and much more. Journals will be provided for each participant for logging observations. A comfortable pair of walking shoes is recommended along with a healthy spirit of curiosity and adventure.


  • World War II, 9-11 a.m., Dr. Lloyd C. Petersen, instructor. There are ‘tidewater’ events in history and World War II is one of them. Join us as we search for answers about the war that had such a huge influence on us, our parents and our grandparents.
  • Step-by-Step Card Making, 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m., Treasured Times staff, instructors. Nothing is more meaningful and personal than a handmade card. Each week you will learn a different technique to make creative and unique cards. You will take home 2 cards each week, which are perfect for many different occasions. Supply cost-$25.
  •  The U.S. War in Vietnam, 2-4 p.m., Bill Palmer, instructor. We will tap our personal experiences, oral and written history, and multi-media learning to explore the impacts of the War in Vietnam. We will explore the events that led to U.S. involvement in Vietnam and the key events, decisions, and persons involved in the US role in the Vietnam War.
  • Painting, 2-4 p.m., Dale Hiland, instructor. Learn a new hobby and enjoy the company of other painters. We will paint on a 12”x16” wrapped canvas or canvas using liquid acrylic paints. During this session we will practice shading, highlighting and learn how to keep colors from getting muddy. Information on brushes and painting equipment will be shared. There will be paint available for your use if you want to explore painting with no investment in tools. The paint fee is $ 5.00 and is due the first class day and will be for all painting activities.


  • Wood Carving, 9-11 a.m., Don Fischer, instructor. Discover the world of wood carving. This class will challenge the experienced carvers, yet is perfect for beginners. You will master basic wood carving cuts. The only carving tools that are necessary are a sharp carving knife, safety glove and lots of sandpaper.
  • Staying Healthy Takes Work, But You Should Have Fun Doing It, 9-10 a.m., Chad Conway, instructor. A low-impact, dance-inspired workout set to energetic music. Great for any age, fitness or experience level.
  • Contemporary Law Enforcement, 11:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m., Brian West, instructor. Feel a personal connection to some of the most knowledgeable public safety and private sector speakers from our area. You’ll learn about the changing methodologies used to keep us safe, how current security problems are being addressed, and the ever-expanding role of law enforcement in our region.
  • Our Distant Neighbor-Mexico, 11:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m., Dr. Michael Kopp, instructor. Understanding and appreciating our neighbor to the south, Mexico. This course will look at Mexico’s unique history and also its close, but troubled relationship with the United States.
  • Fascism, Communism, and Democracy, 2-4 p.m., Dr. Tom Williford, instructor. This course will examine how the struggle over fascism, communism and democracy played out in Germany, Spain, and the rest of Europe, in the United States, in Japan, and in other parts of the world in the 1930s.
  • World Food & You, 2-4 p.m., Dereck Deutz, Columbia Imports, instructor. Study the historical origin, emergence and development of our food systems. See the transition from hunting and gathering, to the domestication concepts surrounding today’s human interaction with crop plants. We will also look at the challenges and improvements in today’s nutrition and sustainability.


  • Bob Dylan, 9-11 a.m., Dr. David Pichaske, instructor. In 2016, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his song-poems. With an eye toward his Minnesota roots, we’ll track Dylan’s achievements through various stages of his career (folk, rock, country, postmodern, born-again Christian, retro-gazing), looking at song lyrics, listening to songs, watching documentary films, examining a little bit of the voluminous but interesting criticism on the singer many have called “the soul of the sixties generation.”
  • Pottery — Get your Hands Dirty, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Pat Hand, instructor. Students work at their own pace to crate and glaze hand-built pottery out of clay. Each participant gets to try out a potter’s wheel, get his or her hands dirty and actually create a pot that will certainly be one-of-a-kind. This is a great class for all skill levels. (BA 101).
  • Books and Board, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Deb Ahmann, instructor. This will be a fun-filled session of sharing books and playing games. We will start with ‘BS’ (book share) about books we have individually read or are currently reading. NOTE: We will not all be reading the same book. Then we will set-up different board games (checkers, cribbage, Pictionary, Scrabble, Sequence, Upwards, and many others) and play until the custodians shoo us out of the room!
  • Tai Chi, 2-4 p.m., Sue Morton instructor. Tai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that, today, is practiced as a graceful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing. It is a noncompetitive, low impact, self-paced gentle physical exercise and stretching that may be done standing or sitting.

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