Serving adults in Southwest Florida, Hodges University’s Frances Pew Hayes Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL) provides a wide variety of lifelong learning classes throughout the year.

Established in 1996 as the first lifelong learning program in Collier County, the CLL is member-directed and multigenerational, enabling participants to experience diverse, collaborative, life-enhancing, intellectual and social activities.

Providing a welcoming environment to its guests, the CLL serves as a location for members of the community to gather socially, establishing connections and relationships with those who share a similar passion or interest.

“We are fortunate that those who attend our lectures stay afterward to interact and S converse with each other. We do not want our guests to feel as if they are there solely to attend the lecture and then leave. Our program is set up to invite and encourage conversations and connections,” said Barbara Hawkes, director of community outreach/ director of the Center for Lifelong Learning.

Below are four benefits to participating in lifelong learning opportunities:

  1. Becoming mentally engaged. Participating in lifelong learning opportunities can help keep your mind sharp and open to learning new information.
  2. Establishing a social network. By attending classes with others who share a similar interest, you can build your social network and create lasting relationships with those in your community.
  3. Visiting interesting places within the community through field trips. Field trips allow lifelong learners an opportunity to leave the classroom and step into a different type of learning environment. Whether it is a national park or public broadcasting station, field trips provide participants with a new look on learning.
  4. Volunteering within the community. Volunteering is an important part of the learning process. Volunteering allows you to not only meet new people, but it provides a sense of responsibility and feeling of pride.

“Our members remark how our program provides a ‘family feeling.’ They are comfortable in the environment we provide and are able to visit with friends and meet new people,” said Hawkes.

In fall 2016, the CLL will provide a variety of classes for members and the community. Partnering with Sandalwood Village, Terracina Grand, The Carlisle Naples and The Terraces at Bonita Springs, individuals will have the opportunity to attend classes at any or all of these locations. The CLL will also offer classes on Hodges’ Naples campus.

Starting in January 2017, in partnership with the Frances Pew Hayes Center for Lifelong Learning, Hodges will present the 5th Annual Elliott Katz 2017 Lecture Series. A docent with the Southwest Florida Holocaust Museum, Katz will present a series of six lectures focusing on the Holocaust. Individuals must register to attend. Tickets are $10 per person for each lecture or $50 for the entire series.

Proceeds from the series will go to the Center for Lifelong Learning with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Southwest Florida Holocaust Museum. In addition, Sanibel artist Myra Roberts will present “Dream Peace: Images of Holocaust Horrors and Heroes,” which will include an art gallery opening and two lectures throughout the months of January and February 2017. The schedule of events will be held at Hodges’ Naples campus and will include:

  • January 26, 2017 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. – Art Gallery Opening
  • January 31, 2017 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. – The Holocaust Art of Myra Roberts
  • February 20, 2017 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. – A Hero and Survivor of the Holocaust – Robert Hilliard and Steen Metz

To become a member of the CLL, you may purchase an annual membership of $250 per person or a seasonal membership for $125 per person. Individual classes are $25 each. Additional costs may apply if participating in the CLL field trips.

For more information about Hodges’ CLL, visit or contact Barbara Hawkes at To register for the Holocaust Lecture Series, visit or contact April May at or 239.598.6153.

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