Community Education

Speaker Series

Join us for our Speaker Series at Desmond Campus

Hidden Treasures of the Hudson Valley Three

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 represent all facets of the history of this region.

Monday, March 25

10-11:30 am

A. Musso

$15.00

 

The Revolution's Last Men: The Soldiers Behind the Photographs

During a Civil War that threatened to tear the United States apart came the realization that only a handful of veterans of the American Revolution still survived – men who had fought the war that created the nation. Six of these men were photographed and interviewed for a book that appeared late in 1864. Their images have captivated generations since then, but, through a combination of faded memories and the interviewer’s patriotic agenda, the biographies accompanying these amazing photographs were garbled and distorted, containing information that ranged from inaccurate to implausible. Now for the first time, the military careers of these men have been researched in detail using a wide range of primary sources. The result is a new perspective on the actual service of these soldiers, from enlistment to discharge, along with new details of their relatively quiet post-war lives.

Monday, March 25

1-2:30 pm

D. Hagist

$15.00

 

American Bald Eagle's Photo Journey

Join Dan Tooker on his photograph adventure with “George and Martha,” two American Bald Eagles who took up residence last spring on the campus of Mount Saint Mary College as they raised a family of eaglets.

Tuesday, March 26

6:30-8 pm

D. Tooker

$15.00

 

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, March 27

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, April 4

6:30-8 pm

E. Rolle

$15.00

 

The Educational Value of Collecting Autographed First Day Covers

The research required to identify and subsequently acquire the autograph of an appropriate personality on a first day cover (commemorative envelope) issued to commemorate a specific historical event is a unique way to gain knowledge about a wide variety of topics. Join author Tony Musso as he displays and speaks about autographed first day covers from his personal collection that highlight figures associated with topics such as World War ll, the JFK Assassination, Watergate, and other historic events. Leading figures in American history and the events that made them famous come alive in this informative presentation.

Monday, April 8

10 am-Noon

A. Musso

$15.00

 

Bear Talk

Black bears live here; this is their domain, and we are the visitors. How do we co-exist? How do we keep them out of our kitchens? Our garbage cans? Join Doc Bayne for a fascinating look at these magnificent native animals.

Tuesday, April 9

6:30-8 pm

D. Bayne

$15.00

 

Theodore Roosevelt: Police Commissioner

Theodore Roosevelt spent less than two years as police commissioner in New York City in the years 1897-1898. Learn about crime and the impact that this future hero and president would have on crime, the New York City Police Department, and the beginnings of modern progressive politics at a historically critical time in New York City.

Monday, April 15

10 am-Noon

L. DiMartino

$15.00

 

The Photo Collection of Edward J. Crist and John Krause: 1940's through the 1960's

Come and explore America's rich railroading history through the eyes of the photo collections of noted photographer and authors John Krause and Edward J. Crist.

Thursday, April 25

1-2:30 pm

B. McCue

$15.00

 

Edgar Allan Poe and The Case of the Beautiful Cigar Girl Murder

Edgar Allan Poe is considered the father of the American detective story, as well as the author of horror stories and poetry. Learn about his involvement in the New York City Cigar Girl Murder, that almost got him arrested and lead him to writing one of his most popular serial murder mysteries.

Monday, April 29

10 am-Noon

L. DiMartino

$15.00

 

Researching Newburgh's Historic Buildings: Tools, Methods, and Resources

In this lecture, we will discuss how to discover information regarding Newburgh's historic buildings from both: architectural history and residential genealogy perspectives. Discover how individual buildings fit in to Newburgh's rich architectural lineage, how buildings evolved to meet changing tastes and needs, and how to gather information about the people who lived and worked in our historic buildings.

Monday, May 6

6-7:30 pm

J. Kelly

$15.00

 

Everything Mushrooms: An Introduction to Fungi

From the largest living organism on the planet to the first life on land, fungi are essential to life as we know it. This lecture will cover the life cycle of fungi, the functions they serve in our environment, their uses throughout history, cultivation of mushrooms, medicinal potentials, and present day innovations which utilize fungi to solve problems we face today. Join John Michelotti of Catskill Fungi to get your questions answered and explore the fantastic Kingdom of Fungi.

Thursday, May 9

1-3 pm

J. Michelotti

$15.00

 

Antigone on Robben Island: Mandela Takes the Stage

Antigone on Robben Islandis based on the true story of Nelson Mandela and other apartheid era political prisoners’ extraordinary production of Sophocles’ play, Antigone, while incarcerated in the notorious South African prison, Robben Island. The play explores how humans, in the most difficult circumstances, reconcile fidelity to self, family, government, and social justice movements. During his research, playwright Samuel Harps realized that despite his initial surprise about the anti-apartheid activists’ choice of Antigone, it was the perfect play to be staged on Robben Island because of its themes of political struggle and loyalty to country. Join Mr. Harp as he reads from the play and follows with a participatory exchange of thoughts on how it relates to the current times we are now living in.

Monday, May 20

11-12:30 pm

S. Harps

$15.00

 

Faith Before Creed: The Private and Public Religion of George Washington

George Washington's personal religious beliefs have been hotly debated. Some have claimed he was a devout Christian, while others have suggested that he was a Deist. There has been little consensus on this subject because Washington seldom spoke of what he believed, and his outward actions were seemingly contradictory. In this lecture, learn a new interpretation of Washington and religion, which helps illustrate both his personal and public religious beliefs.

Tuesday, May 21

11-12:30 pm

K. O'Keefe

$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.

Tuesday, May 21

1:30-3 pm

S. Wassberg Johnson

$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, May 22

10-11:30 am

D. Rocco

$15.00

 

Newburgh, 1783: George Washington and the Eloquence of Character

An examination of Washington's famous Newburgh Address and what it might teach us about the politics of character in times of crisis.

Wednesday, May 22

1-3 pm

S. Browne

$15.00

 

Tunneling Around Us

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection operates the largest drinking water supply in the United States. Its network of reservoirs, dams, and aqueducts that deliver water to 9.6 million people every day is considered a marvel of modern engineering. Adam Bosch will talk about the City’s work to operate, maintain, and protect its vast water supply. He will also share information about the Delaware Aqueduct Bypass Tunnel project — the largest repair project in the 176-year history of the water supply. It involved building a 2.5 mile-long tunnel 600 feet under the Hudson River from Newburgh to Wappinger. He will share images from the project and talk about Newburgh’s vital role in fixing the longest tunnel in the world.

Monday, June 3

1-2:30 pm

A. Bosch

$15.00

 

Hudson Valley Homicides

What do you get when you take the tranquil Hudson Valley and add four serial killers, a mass murderer, and a handful of other men and women with guns, knives, and axes, who have homicidal tendencies? You get a fascinating history of unthinkable criminal acts perpetrated against spouses, family members, and complete strangers in a region where, still to this day, some people don't even lock their doors. Join Linda Zimmermann as she presents her new book Hudson Valley Homicides and discusses cases in this book that span over a century and occur in quiet, rural areas and in bustling town centers. The next murderer or serial killer could be anyone: your boss, your neighbor, your brother, your best friend, or your wife. Perhaps after reading this book, you'll make sure all of your doors are locked.

Friday, June 7

1-3 pm

L. Zimmermann

$15.00

 

The Quarry Fox and Other Critters of the Wild Catskills

Join us for a talk (bring your own wildlife tales to share!) and book signing with naturalist and author Leslie T. Sharpe, who will discuss her award-winning book, The Quarry Fox: And Other Critters of the Wild Catskills. Perfect for hikers, bird watchers, and lovers of all things nature, The Quarry Fox is the first in-depth study of Catskill wildlife since legendary nature writer John Burroughs first chronicled the area in the 19th century. Through her lyrical prose, Sharpe weaves her experiences with the seasons, plants, and creatures with their natural history, revealing their sensitivity to and resilience against the splendor and cruelty of nature. Sharpe will sign copies of The Quarry Fox, which will be offered for sale at the event.

Saturday, June 8

1-2:30 pm

L. Sharpe

$15.00

 

Mysterious Monuments of the Hudson Valley

  1. Hudson Valley contains numerous extraordinary structures that reflect spiritual consciousness and mystical understanding. We shall examine these monuments and their symbolism and how it connects to the history of the valley. Discover the extraordinary energies that come from these locations and how to experience them yourself.

Wednesday, June 12

2-4 pm

N. Rosenblum

$15.00

 

Faces of Rembrandt

Rembrandt Van Rijn is known today as one of the great oil painting masters of the Dutch Golden Age. Over the course of his life, he painted about 80 known self-portraits, which is the most self-portraits produced by one artist. Each one is masterfully painted with the colors reflecting the state of his glorious and tragic life. In this class, you will learn about the life of Rembrandt through the analysis of his self-portraits.

Thursday, June 13

10-11:30 am

M. Soltis

$15.00

 

Journey on the Nile

On our journey on the Nile River in Egypt, we will visit the famous and awesome ruins of ancient Egypt, including the pyramids and sphinx at Giza, the ruins of ancient Memphis, where a huge statue of Ramses II is well preserved; the earliest of the monumental Egyptian pyramids, the step pyramid at Saqqara; the massive temples of Karnak and Luxor; the temple of Kon Ombo, devoted to the crocodile god Sobek; the burial grounds of the pharaohs located in the Valley of the Kings; the reconstructed temple of Abu Simbel; and the beautiful temple of the goddess Isis located at Aswan. A highlight of the presentation will be a visit to the famous tomb of King Tut, excavated by the archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922.

Monday, June 17

1-2:30 pm

B. Kass

$15.00

 

Hiking in the Hudson Valley

Storm King Mountain, The Catskills, and Mount Beacon are some beautiful and challenging hiking trails in the Hudson Valley. These are just a handful of areas rich with local history and wildlife. In this class, we will discuss the types of birds and other animals that fly over and slither under the historic ruins left on these trails.

Wednesday, June 19

Noon-1:30 pm

J. Matsler

$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, 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 desmondcampus@msmc.edu or call 845-565-2076.

Desmond Catalog Spring 2019 cover

COMMUNITY EDUCATION

Desmond Campus
6 Albany Post Rd, Balmville, NY
desmondcampus@msmc.edu
Phone: 845-565-2076

 

Snow Line: 845-569-3500