Be a Lifelong Learner

Gary Silverman, CFP® |

By Gary Silverman, CFP®

Today’s column is for “old” people. But what is old? In this case, age 50 and older. You see, last year, Midwestern State University started up a program just for we old folks (okay, they call us nicer names like “mature” and such). It’s called the Lifelong Learning Center. I joined last year and attended a myriad of classes. Seeing how I enjoyed it and I’m a proponent for continual learning, I thought I’d let you know about it.

Plus I have an ulterior motive…I’m teaching a class this semester.

The Lifelong Learning Center (LLC) costs $100 per semester (or $150 for a household) but that gets you into any and all classes that are taught. For instance, this year has topics in history, medicine, religion, science, cooking, poetry, politics, law, war, mathematics, the arts, literature, investing (that’s me), and even whiskey. There’s even a film series featuring some of the greatest Westerns ever made. And for you know-it-alls they have regular trivia competitions. 

You will not find me at the trivia competitions.

Classes are held between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Some of the classes are just a couple hours, some span weeks. Some are taught by current MSU professors, some by retired ones, and many by people from the community who have a love and expertise in the particular subject. 

For instance, Dr. Jesse Rogers, former president of MSU and holder of a Ph.D. in physical chemistry will be talking about Einstein, Black Holes, and other cosmic things. Ronnie James, who was the Chief of our Fire Department for 14 years talks about catastrophes and how the government and other organizations respond and learn to respond better. Johnelle Donnell, a Wichita County Jail Chaplain and one of the driving forces behind Faith Refuge presents Women on the Streets, in Jail and Beyond. And who better to talk about Civic Beautification than Jack Murphy who led our Parks and Recreation department until just a couple years ago.

Some of the best presentations comes from people’s lives. This year you can listen to presenters as they talk on how they journeyed from Fascism to Communism to Freedom, or researched B-17s lost during a bombing raid, or worked with Physicians for Peace in the Middle East.
Then there’s me (and my business partner, Michelle Kuehner), who will be presenting a four-session course on Real World Investing. Come and you get a free copy of my book by the same name.
Twenty-four classes in all, not including the film series or Trivia contests. All arranged so that you could attend every single one if you wanted to. If you can’t find something of interest, you’re really not trying.

To find out more about the Lifelong Learning Center, check them out online at or call them at 940-397-4814.

Gary Silverman, CFP® is the founder of Personal Money Planning, LLC, a Wichita Falls retirement planning and investment management firm and author of Real World Investing