Community Education

Speaker Series

Join us for our Speaker Series at Desmond Campus

The Hudson River from the Adirondacks to the Atlantic

The Hudson River is the defining natural feature of our region, familiar to millions who cross its bridges, admire its grandeur from shore, or sail its waters. Though familiar, the Hudson is more than it seems. For half of its length, it is no mere river but an estuary - an arm of the sea, subject to tides and storm surges, home to seahorses and sturgeon. This presentation will provide an introduction to the Hudson's inhabitants and the ecosystem in which they live.
Wednesday, October 10 • 1-2:30 pm • S. Stanne • $15.00

Underground Railroad

Professor Rolle’s focus is on the Underground Railroad as an outgrowth of an American enterprise – the business of slavery.
Thursday, October 11 • 6:30-8 pm • E. Rolle • $15.00

Sleightsburgh Barge Graveyard: The Changing Mouth of Rondout Creek

This lecture charts the changes to the mouth of Rondout Creek over the course of two centuries, including the construction of three separate lighthouses, breakwater jetties, and the abandonment of two generations of boats to the "graveyard," as well as the ecological repercussions of these human-made changes to the land.
Wednesday, October 17 • 3:30-5 pm • S. Wassberg Johnson • $15.00

Hidden Treasures of the Hudson Valley 3

Read about an opulent mansion that now serves as teachers’ apartments in one of New York’s most exclusive, private schools. Relive the early days of train travel at a 1915 Erie Railroad Station, now a museum that highlights the history of the line. Learn about an innovative vacation home in Orange County and its connection to author, activist, and lecturer Helen Keller. And discover the building erected in the late 19th century by Poughkeepsie's Vassar brothers to bolster cultural pursuits in the Hudson Valley. Included in this volume is the history of the Desmond Campus, former estate of New York State senator Thomas C. Desmond and his wife, photographer and author Alice Curtis Desmond. The sites featured in this book are intriguing and represents all facets of the history of this region.
Monday, October 22 • 10-11:30 am • T. Musso • $15.00

Indestructible Man

Captain Dixie Kiefer was a US naval commander during World War II who saw so much action that his men joked that the ship's compass needle always pointed to him on account of all the shrapnel in his body. He acquired much of that metal during a kamikaze attack on the USS Ticonderoga, when he stayed on the bridge overseeing defenses and damage control for 12 hours despite having sustained 60+ shrapnel wounds and a badly broken arm. He was the last man off the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown when she sank in the Battle of Midway, having previously commanded her in the Battle of the Coral Sea. While awarding him a medal, the Secretary of the Navy dubbed Kiefer "the Indestructible Man." Shortly after the war ended, however, Kiefer perished, along with five other Navy men, in an airplane crash.
Wednesday, October 31 • 10-11:30am • D. Rocco • $15.00

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+). We offer several easy ways to register for courses. For more information or to request a brochure, email or call 845-565-2076.

Desmond Winter Catalog 2018 Cover


Desmond Campus
6 Albany Post Rd, Balmville, NY
Phone: 845-565-2076


Snow Line: 845-569-3550