Community Education

Speaker Series

Join us for our Speaker Series at Desmond Campus

The Hudson Highlands
In 1775, the Continental Congress decided that New York needed to fortify the Hudson Highlands and protect the river used to transport troops and supplies. Had the British been successful in gaining control, it might have broken New England apart from the Middle Atlantic states. Our area is steeped in history. Learn more about the American Revolution, Fortress West Point, and Fort Constitution.
Tuesday, February 7 (Snowdate: February 9), 1-2:30 pm, $15

The Panama Canal: A Marvel of Ingenuity
Named one of the seven wonders of the modern world, the Panama Canal was considered an ingenious feat of man-made construction when the United States assumed control of its 48-mile span in 1904. A U.S. commission was appointed in 1905 to oversee the canal’s design, which at that point was still not complete. Its goal - to provide a passageway for water vessels across the Isthmus of Panama - and connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the canal bypass greatly reduced the time and miles ships had to navigate between the two oceans. While other countries attempted to tackle the massive project as early as the 1880s, they eventually abandoned it due to endless engineering issues as well as the mortality rate of employees working there. The United States finally opened the Panama Canal on August 15, 1914 and through a series of locks that lifted ships up to the level of Gatun Lake, accomplished what many saw as an impossible feat. Learn about the multiple attempts to build the canal, its evolution through the years, and a new and larger canal that is currently being built to handle larger vessels. From its initial 1,000 ships handled in 1914, the passageway handles more than 15,000 ships annually today.
Wednesday, February 15, 1-3 pm, $15

The Roots of Muslim Rage
Islam, like other religions, has known periods when it inspired in some of its followers a mood of hatred and violence. However, the Muslim world is far from unanimous in its rejection of Western civilization. What is the history of the principles and values that it professes and how have some come to interpret them so radically?
Friday, February 17 (Snowdate: February 24), 10-11:30 am, $15

The Top 10 Most Embarrassing Things about George Washington
George Washington was the Commanding General of the Revolutionary Army and our First President. But did you know he didn't win that many battles and that he had a strange relationship with his mother? Learn 10 things you don't know about this formidable leader that will remind you he was a real human being.
Wednesday, February 22 (Snowdate: February 28), 10-11:30 am, $15

Eco-lutionary: Unintentionally "Green" in the 1700's
Discover some of the surprisingly innovative ways our colonial ancestors reduced, reused, and recycled. During this slide lecture and artifact "show and tell," you will learn how the colonials were on the cutting edge of many of today's fashionable "green" practices.
Thursday, February 23, 1-2:30 pm, $15


The Desmond Campus for Adult Enrichment offers non-credit, life-enriching education geared toward the adult learner. Browse our website to learn more about our Community Education, Day Trips, Speaker Series, Road Scholars, and L.I.F.E. programs (for 55+). You can register online, mail in the registration form from the catalog, or call us to register at 845-565-2076. For more information, please email desmondcampus@msmc.edu or call 845-565-2076.

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