William Andrews of Salina is back at Kansas University’s Mini College for the third time.
The event, created by KU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, enrolls members of the community in lectures done by members of the college’s faculty during the four-day event. This year, about 130 people are taking part.
“You can take a lot of interesting topics and subjects that were really out of your area while you were here,” Andrews said.
Some “students” spent some time creating watercolor paintings. Others classes on the schedule included sessions about Muslim women in America, a beginner’s yoga class, gerrymandering of political districts in Kansas, and “Anetso, the Cherokee Ball Game.”
Participants paid a $225 registration fee to attend the event.
In previous years, a few of the attendees stayed in the KU residence halls. This year, about 10 of them were housed in Margaret Amini Scholarship Hall, said Kristi Henderson, director of communications for the college and an event organizer.
About half of the participants are repeats from a previous event, Henderson said.
“A lot of people come and then they want to come back again,” she said.
And it’s a bit of a social event, too. Andrews, who graduated with a pharmacy degree in 1969, met a high school classmate, Martha Rhea, who earned both a bachelor’s degree in education and master’s degree in theater from KU and who also lives in Salina. She was attending the event for the first time.
Rhea said she was looking forward to the classes and hoped to spend some time walking around the campus.
“It’s such a changed place, but it’s still familiar,” Rhea said.
Elizabeth Kowalchuk, the college’s associate dean for the School of the Arts and a visual arts professor, was helping to lead a session on watercolors outside the chancellor’s residence on Monday.
“They’re very excited and it’s wonderful for us,” Kowalchuk said of the participants. “Because after they graduate from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences they really become lifelong learners like we hope they do.”