Lifelong Scholar Society keeps everyone educated


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Dinner and social events are part of the Lifelong Scholar Society program.

SENIOR LIFE Courtesy of Lifelong Scholar Society

Education minus the cost of tuition is available through the Lifelong Scholar Society at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne.

Twice each month, professors present thought-provoking information on a variety of disciplines ranging from the arts, literature, science to technology.

“FIT is a great university with so much research,” said program coordinator Mary Sharpe. “Florida Tech is on the cutting edge of all of it.”

Admission is $10 for Lifelong Scholar Society members and $20 for non-members for Thursday night’s sessions. Refreshments are served afterward to allow guests to socialize. Membership costs $35 a year if received by Jan. 31 and $45 after that. It includes three dinners at the Panther Dining Hall and a social. Day trips, such as a recent visit to the Seminole Tribe’s American Indian Arts Celebration in South Florida, also are in the works.

“The goal is to keep our mature population intellectually engaged,” Sharpe said. “A lot of people in Brevard County are highly educated.”

From Kennedy Space Center to major corporations, retired military and many educators, Brevard’s population is rich with “people who have stayed in the know,” Sharpe said.

Now celebrating its fifth year, the society has grown to 125 members.

“Drones” is the subject March 22 presented by Dr. Cliff Bragdon. On April 22, Dr. Nasri Nesnas will present “What Lies Behind the Eyes: From Perception to Cognition.” Other topics include the Indian River Lagoon Restoration Project and genetic engineering. Sessions begin at 6 p.m. at the Center for Aviation & Innovations at 1050 W. NASA Blvd. in Melbourne.

The Lifelong Scholar Society also offers Great Decisions gatherings at 5:30 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month at the Chamber of Commerce Conference Center at The Avenues Viera. These bring-your-own-meal events feature a 30-minute DVD produced by the Foreign Policy Association and a discussion led by a Florida Tech professor.

Upcoming topics include “China and America: The New Geopolitical Equation,” “South Africa’s Fragile Democracy,” “Trade, Jobs and Politics” and “Global Health: Progress and Challenges.”

For details on lectures, Tech Talks, Great Decisions and membership, go to fit.edu/lifelong-scholar-society. Information also is available by emailing pdregistration@fit.edu or by calling 321-674-8382, option 2.