Lifelong University - Just for the fun of it!

See registration link at the bottom of this page to sign up for our VIRTUAL CLASSES.

A email will be send out a week prior to each class with zoom link to connect for each class.

Are you looking to expand your knowledge on a variety of different topics that you might find interesting from the comfort of your own home. Then UNI's Lifelong University is the program for you. Course formats include four-week, 1 hour VIRTUAL workshops.

UNI’s Lifelong University is one example of our commitment to serving Iowans of all ages. The program, geared toward the lifelong learner, will offer noncredit courses taught by retired and current UNI faculty and staff. The courses will be taught on zoom (a link will be provided) 1 week prior to the beginning of the class.

UNI offers a world-class university education, providing personalized experiences and creating a lifetime of opportunities. So come join us for the adventure, and take a class just for the fun of it!

Try the first class for FREE before deciding if you would like to continue with the rest of the classes. PLEASE still register to attend prior to the first class.

 Spring 2021 Virtual Lifelong University Courses

Tales from the Silk Road

(The Silk Road is the name given to the complex and complicated routes that have tied Europe and Asia together since ancient times.  It’s always been a global world!)

Week One:  Blame It All on Alexander:  East and West in the Hellenistic Age - We’ll trace Alexander the Great’s conquests in Central Asia and examine the Greco-Indian culture that evolved in that area as a result.

Week Two:  Gold, Silk, and Cinnamon:  the Roman Spice Trade and Han China. - We will examine Rome’s contracts with Asia, in particular its extensive trade with China through the Indian Ocean.

Week Three:  Wanderers Eastward, Wanderers West:  Europe and Asia in the Middle Ages. - We’ll follow in the footsteps of Medieval East-West travelers, featuring Marco Polo, the Muslim adventurer ibn Batuta, and Chinese voyages of exploration in the early fifteenth century.

Week Four:  The Other Silk Road - Here we’ll take a look at the European quest to create a new Silk Road to Asia by sailing west.  Focus will be on how European perceptions of the people they encountered in America and Asia were shaped by the stories that had earlier found their way west along the Silk Road.

Instructor:  Charlotte Wells, Professor Emerita of History
Date:  Tuesday, February 2, 9, 16, 23
Time:  1:00 to 2:00 pm
Cost:  $25.00


Mindful Mandalas

Mandala is a Sanskrit word for “circle”.  Mandalas can be found in nature as well as being created by humans.  Creating mandalas can help release tension and bring a sense of calm.  We can also express our joys and have fun!  Mandalas can reveal wisdom for our journey.  

During this course we will explore several different ways to create our own mandalas using paper, pen, markers and colored pencils.  The focus is on the creative process, and not on creating a final product. 

Anyone can create a mandala.  NO experience is necessary! 

Feel intimidated about creating a perfect mandala?  Remember that in nature many things are perfectly imperfect. 

A list of recommended supplies will be provided a couple weeks prior to the start of the course.  They can be purchased at local craft stores or online.

Instructor:  Evie Waack 
Date:  Tuesday, March 2, 9, 16, and 23
Time:  10:00 to 11:00 am
Cost:  $25.00

Science Fiction in Print, Film & Television

While the advancements in technology in the 20th and 21st Centuries placed travel to the moon and planets into the realm of science facts; advances in special effects in movie making have allowed the production of fantastic/futuristic films.

This course is designed to offer an overview of this form of fiction filtered through the brain of an avid reader and viewer’s experience of six decades.

Week One:  Historical Science Fiction - Through dialogue and class discussion we will assess the reading and viewing experiences of class members (in a typical group we will have a wide spectrum of experience.  Then we will explore the beginnings of the genre:  Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Poe and others including the great-grandparent of Science Fiction – Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Week Two:  Science Fiction Movies & Television Programs through the Years - We will explore the history of the genre of the silver screen and television

Week Three:  The Sub-Genres - Here we will address the explosion of the type and its various sub-categories such as:  First Contact, Time Travel, Cloning, Space Opera, etc.  One specific area that we will concentrate upon will be the Dystopia.

Week Four: Palmquist’s All Time Picks - An extensive list of my favorites through the years, their brief synopses and the reasons for their inclusion.  This list will also be distributed as a hand-out so that class members may pursue further reading and viewing on their own.  We will also discuss World Science Fiction Conventions, other celebrations and science fiction awards.

Video clips from significant films, and brief readings from favorite works will also be included in the four weekly lessons.

As a lifelong science fiction enthusiast, I will share the highs and lows that I experiences as a consumer.  I also had the opportunity to teach several science fiction titles through my classroom career and a few of those are included on my list of recommendations.  Several times students sought further instructions in the area and I developed an independent study in Science Fiction for those young learners.

Instructor:  Steve Palmquist, 
Date:  Tuesday, April 6, 13, 20, 27
Time:  10:00 to 11:00 am
Cost:  $25.00

Registration Policies

Full refunds will be granted prior to the first day of each class. No refunds are allowed once the class has begun.

Minimum class size must be attained to hold class. If a class is canceled because of low enrollment, a refund will be granted. You will receive a letter indicating which class(es) you are enrolled in. The letter will verify your registration and remind you of the day, time and location of your class.

Spring 2021 Virtual Courses Registration Webform

For More Information

Call University Events Coordination at 319-273-5141.

The University of Northern Iowa is an equal opportunity employer and educator. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Office of Compliance and Equity Management, 319-273-2846 or