News Releases

March 15 , 2013
For Immediate Release
For additional information: 

Tracy Reilly Kelly
Clark College Corporate and Continuing Education

Telephone: 360-992-2163


Mature Learning throws itself a "Fabulous 40" birthday party on March 29

Clark College Mature Learners

Clark College’s Mature Learning program celebrates its fortieth
anniversary with free classes and a guest lecture by
nationally recognized neuroscientist

VANCOUVER, Wash. – At 40 years old, Clark College’s Mature Learning Program is young compared to its many students, all of whom are age 55 or older. Yet it is one of the oldest senior studies programs in the nation, now celebrating four decades of providing seniors of Southwest Washington with a wide array of opportunities for lifelong learning. To honor this milestone, Clark College’s Mature Learning program is throwing itself a “Fabulous 40” birthday party on Friday, March 29, 2013, with a full day of free classes, presentations and a guest lecture by nationally recognized neuroscientist Dr. Larry Sherman.

The half-day event will be held at Clark College at Columbia Tech Center. It will include a full roster of “mini-classes” from which attendees can choose topics as diverse as Belle Epoque Paris and T’ai Chi, to Drawing and The Future of Science.  The entire event is free and open to the public of all ages.

“Mature Learning offers seniors the chance to take fascinating classes taught by brilliant instructors,” said Mature Learning Program Manager Tracy Reilly Kelly. “We have a long legacy of excellence to celebrate. We also want to give thanks to the outstanding contributions of volunteers and the Clark College Foundation donors, without whom we could not offer our programming.”

Mature Learning “Fabulous 40” Anniversary Event

Friday, March 29, 2013 – 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

Clark College at Columbia Tech Center
18700 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver, WA

Contact information:  Program Manager Tracy Reilly Kelly

360-992-2163 or visit

 Schedule of Events

9:00 a.m. –
9:15 a.m:
9:15 a.m. –
9:45 a.m.:
Mini-class session #1
  Classes offered:
  • T’ai Chi and Qi Gong for Life
  • Anyone Can Be an Artist
  • Benjamin Franklin and the Women in his Life
  • Why is there Sex? DNA and Human Evolution
  • Email: You Are its Master
  • Advocating in the Eldercare System
10:00 a.m. –
10:45 a.m.:
Mini-class session #2
  Classes offered:
  • Fit for the Links: Improve Your Golf Fame with Muscular Conditioning
  • Drawing: It’s All about Perspective
  • Camelot 1960: Memories of Jack Kennedy’s Campaign
  • Paris in its Glory Days: 1850-1914
  • The Future of Science Starts Now
  • Computer Demonstration
  • What do the “War on Terror” and the “War on Women” Have in Common?
11:00 a.m.: Presentation of the Don Mattison Award for Exceptional Service by Clark College President Robert K. Knight to Dr. Cleo Pass
11:10 a.m.: Keynote lecture by Dr. Larry Sherman of the OHSU Primate Research Center: “Recent Advances in Repairing the Damaged and Aging Brain”
12:15 p.m.: Tribute to Mature Learning founder Dr. Alfred Apsler
12:30 p.m. –
1:15 p.m.:
Light lunch served
1:15 p.m. –
1:45 p.m.:
Mini-class session #3
  Classes offered:
  • T’ai Chi and Qi Gong for Life
  • Reiki: Energetic Healing
  • Elderberry Wine Author Readings
  • Pacific Northwest Plants and Gardening
  • City Reads “Program or Be Programed: Ten
  • Commandments for the Digital Age”
  • The Story Behind Redheart’s Farewell Ceremony at Fort Vancouver


Dr. Larry Sherman
Photo courtesy OHSU Strategic Communications

About Dr. Larry Sherman

Dr. Larry Sherman is a professor in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and in the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine. He is also president of the Oregon Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience. His research focuses on treating neurodegenerative conditions that result from traumatic injury to the brain or spinal cord, stroke or diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Sherman’s lab also researches neural stem cells and their potential effects on a damaged nervous system. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and Portland Monthly magazine recognized Dr. Sherman as one of the most innovative people in the State of Oregon. He was also the 2012 Teacher of the Year at the OHSU School of Medicine.

About Clark College’s Mature Learning Program

Begun in 1972 by retired Clark professor Dr. Alfred Apsler, Clark College’s Mature Learning program has been recognized by the American Association of Community Colleges for its pioneering status in the development of lifelong learning programs for older Americans. Today the program offers almost 30 non-credit courses each quarter at three campus locations to more than 500 Southwest Washington residents age 55 or older. Course topics include fitness, art, writing, computers, science, history, creative writing, and health. Students also travel by coach to opera, theater, symphonies, art galleries, ballet and lectures in the Portland/Vancouver metro area.