Welcome to Another Year with Senior Scholars at Queens

To: 2022 Members, New Members, and Visitors

Senior Scholars at Queens – the independent, non-profit, non-sectarian, social organization that enriches our lives – is 49 years old. For almost five decades we’ve had only one requirement for membership: that you have spent fifty years (or more!) on this earth.

One of our strengths has been an organizational approach that ensures continuity and highest quality standards. As I assume the role of President, I want first to thank – and to draw attention to – the many volunteers who go “above and beyond” to guarantee that we maintain those high standards. They are the people who make Senior Scholars at Queens work on a day-to-day basis. “They are,” as a former president observed, “a nice group of people to be with.”

You’ve seen the results of their work this past year: a website that is at once attractive and informative; carefully crafted emails that keep you informed about upcoming programs; social activities like the monthly Lunch Bunch to meet new Senior Scholars, the annual Wildacres Retreat; and, of course, our most important offering, well-produced weekly programs.

Without the resources and skills our volunteers bring, the countless hours they devote to every possible detail, our organization would not be as viable. They drive the engine that makes it possible for Senior Scholars to achieve our primary goal, bringing intellectually curious people together for high quality/low cost programs. Renewing members pay only $25 a year for the pleasure of attending 31 meetings – far less than the price of a weekly cup of coffee from your favorite barista!

“A good meeting,” as one of our past presidents observed, “gives our members something to talk about over dinner.” If that is so – and it is! – our members have had a wealth of ideas to keep them talking in the past year.

We’ve heard from historians and economists, experts in criminal justice and medicine, engineers and climatologists, experts in global affairs and civic officials whose concerns are closer to home, museum CEOs and college presidents – many of the programs aligned with topics in the Great Decision Series chosen by the Foreign Policy Association. Despite Covid restrictions, we’ve had a banner year and look forward to more of the same in the years to come. And for that we owe all our presenters a huge “Thank you!”

If you’d like to learn more about Senior Scholars, I’d urge you to visit our website (www.seniorscholars.net). You’ll find there a wealth of information about upcoming speakers and social events, a brief history of our organization, a list of members who serve on the Board of Directors and the many committees that keep the wheels turning, photo albums from the Wildacres Retreat, answers to frequently asked questions, and much, much more.

Missed a Friday lecture or want to hear again what the speaker had to say? Go to the “Speakers” tab and click on “Speaker Archives.” You’ll find links to programs going back to September 2018 available for viewing online.

If you’re not yet a member and wish to join, you can do that online by clicking on the “Membership” tab. Current members can use the same tab to pay their annual dues or to request a new name tag. It’s all there to make your life just a little bit easier!

A member for over 10 years told me that Senior Scholars is “one of Charlotte’s best keep secrets.” Our growth in recent years has been limited by concerns over the physical space available for meetings. But as we look to the future – hybrid meetings with in-person and online components – those limitations no longer apply. Using skills honed during the pandemic, we hope to extend our reach in terms of both geography and social diversity to grow the number of members who enjoy and are enriched by our programs.

Like you, I’m looking forward to another great year of programs and activities from Senior Scholars. Please contact me with any questions you might have.

Stephen Gilbert
2022 President, Senior Scholars at Queens

The Elephant in the Room

The health and safety of our members is Senior Scholars’ primary concern.

When the pandemic began, we suspended in-person meetings and moved to Zoom in order to continue delivering our weekly speaker presentations.

When we return to in-person meetings at the Providence United Methodist Church – and to the social dimensions of Senior Scholars which are so important to so many – we have added Eventbrite ticketing which will allow us to limit admissions and to do contact tracing if necessary.

And we will, of course, adjust our programming as the Covid situation changes.

Photos by Chuck Pike @ photosbypike.com