Senior enrichment starts with curiosity and ends in lifelong friendships.


Designed for the retired and semi-retired, The Knowledge Exchange is a lifelong learning program that meets on Fridays for eight-week sessions in fall, winter and spring. Full-length courses, workshops and presentations are offered.

Courses are non-credit and led by a team of dedicated volunteers made up of GSU faculty, alumni and community experts. A volunteer Advisory Committee made up of Exchange class leaders and participants assist in overseeing the curriculum and sustaining quality programming. Topics include: History, Law, Liberal Arts, Current Events, Foreign Policy, Music/Film, Philosophy and more with lively discussions. Lunch is a great time to know other Exchange students, continue classroom discussions and share classroom and life experiences. Participants of The Knowledge Exchange enjoy a relaxed and friendly environment on the GSU campus and have formed a community of shared learning, social interaction and the free exchange of opinions and ideas.


The Knowledge Exchange, Spring 2024

Fridays, April 12 – May 31

Music Appreciation: Movie Score Composers

This course will explore the role of the film composer and enjoy video samples of their music from a variety of their films. Special guest musician Sara Van Laningham, who worked in the scoring department of a Hollywood Studio, will join the class via Zoom for a 2-hour Q&A and discussion.

Icons of Fashion: From the S-Bend to Blue Jeans

Enjoy this fascinating look at the changes in fashion over the 100 years of the 20th Century. That century brought about the fastest fashion changes ever experienced which led to a boom in the clothing industry. Many of the fashion images shown in class will bring back memories of clothing from your past wardrobes!

Selected Poetry of Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg

Join this course for a group reading and discussion of enduring works of these great American authors. Selections include "The Road Not Taken", "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening", "Chicago", and other classics.

The Golden Age of Media: A Brief History of Newspapers, Magazines, Radio, and Television

This course offers an exploration of the history of the newspaper industry, including yellow journalism and the industry’s impact on American political life. Also included will be a nostalgic look at the radio and television from the 1920s to present day culminating with a discussion of the classic TV shows of the 1950s and ‘60s that can still be viewed and enjoyed today.

The Civil War

Lincoln Roundtable members bring this course to the Knowledge Exchange with an examination of the differences between The Declaration of Independence and US Constitution Version 1.0 of the United States with Version 2.0 written by Abraham Lincoln. Also included will be a personal look at Lincoln and Robert E. Lee.

Lunch and Learn Presentations (Free and Open to the Public)

Lunchtime Concert with Tom Neilson: Peace is an Environmental Issue
Friday, April 19
12 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. / Room F1622

Jack Kirby: The Man Who Created the Future
with Knowledge Exchange Presenter Jerome Julian
Friday, May 10
12:10 p.m. - 12:55 p.m. / Room B2203

Spring Curriculum Meeting
Friday, May 24
12:10 p.m. - 12:55 p.m. / Room B2203
Open to all course participants as well as the public; bring a lunch and get a sneak peek at upcoming session offerings.


The Knowledge Exchange’s (TKE) lifelong-learning program, at GSU’s School of Extended Learning is the only one of its kind in the Chicago southland and is currently looking to expand its team of class leaders.

Courses are non-credit meeting over 8-week sessions on Fridays during
the Fall, Winter, and Spring semesters.

Topics of interest include History, Literature, Music, Current Events, Science, Philosophy, and, most of all, Special Expertise. Whatever your interest or hobby, come and share that passion with TKE’s friendly and eager-to-learn community in a relaxed classroom environment at Governors State University.

If available and interested, contact Suzanne Patterson at 708.534.4393 or by email at and she will be thrilled to discuss your ideas!



Phone: 708.534.4099