Scottish Rite Masonic Center
Scottish Rite Masonic Center

Summer Seminars

You Don't Have to Wait Until Fall!
Fridays, 1 to 3 p.m.,
Scottish Rite Masonic Center
6151 H St.

The popular Summer Seminars series, co-led by Marilyn MacBride and Ed Sherman, will commence May 27 and continue until Aug. 5.

The location is the same as it has been: The Scottish Rite Masonic Center is north of the main CSUS entrance, just off Carlson Drive. There is plenty of free parking (no pass needed).

There will generally be two presentations each Friday with a break in-between. It is a drop-in seminar; no sign-up is necessary. It's a good idea to get there early.


Cracker Barrel meets on campus all summer long from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., May 13 through Aug. 26. Locations: May 13, Mendocino 1022; May 20, Mendocino 1020; May 27 through Aug. 19: Sequoia 122; Aug. 26, Rendezvous day, room TBA. Join us for a lively discussion of current events; it's okay to bring lunch.

Also, The Knitting and Crochet Group will meet 10 to 11:30 a.m. from May 27 through Aug. 5 in Folsom 1049. Folsom Hall is located at 7667 Folsom Blvd., just west of Hornet Drive. All levels are welcome.

Note: If you want to park on campus for Cracker Barrel or the Knitting Group, be sure to renew your membership early. Note that Folsom Hall does require a parking permit! The current-year pass expires June 30. Check on the Membership page for renewal information.


The Schedule

May 27:
Marty Keale: History of the English Language.
Jon Brosin: Fun With Germs. A light-hearted look at germs and their role in our lives.
June 3:
David Abelson: John Wesley Powell: An Exploration of the Place Nobody Knew. John Wesley Powell was one of the great explorers of America's vast, arid southwest territories. In 1869, he led a 1,000-mile journey down the uncharted waters of the Green and Colorado rivers, becoming the first to survey and survive the treacherous depths of the Grand Canyon. This seminar features the highlights of Powell's daring expedition, and his major contributions to science, ethnology and western water policy in the United States.
Peter Kosar: The High Line. Come hear how two guys with an idea got some friends, an innovative architecture firm and a world-renowned landscape architect to help them transform an abandoned elevated railroad spur into New York City's award-winning 1.45 mile-long High Line Park.
June 10:
Jeff Hendy: Income Inequality: The 1 Percent and the Have-nots. We will examine how this occurred, what the impact has been, what the future may have in store, and what we might be able to do about it, in terms that non-economists can understand.
Ivy Hendy: Nineteenth Century Bicycles and the People Who Rode Them. The interesting, fun and sometimes scandalous history of early bicycles will be explored in this PowerPoint talk. There were reasons why women didn't ride early bikes. Yet in the 19th century, the early bicyclists helped elect the U.S. Presidents.
June 17:
No seminars.
June 24:
Richard Peter from Travel and Adventures will give us a tour of the Eastern Slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains, along Highway 395.
David Warren, speaking as Lorenzo di' Medici, will explain why the Renaissance began in Florence, Italy.
July 1:
Carolyn Martin: Women in the Civil War. Lively tales of soldiers (about 1,000 volunteered), spies for both sides, a doctor who was awarded the Medal of Honor and courageous nurses.
Paul Domyancic: Blacks in the California Gold Rush. The story of African-Americans' role in California's great Gold Rush.
July 8:
Joel Primes: A judicious examination of the 2016 Brock Turner sexual assault case involving the Stanford University swimmer. The case raises unsettling questions as to privilege, the female victim and the titled scales of justice.
Kathleen Beasley: Gold Rush Business. Everyone knows that Levi built his jeans empire during the Gold Rush, but far fewer know the other businesses still familiar today that got their start in California's gold fields. And even what we think we "know" about Levis isn't correct. This presentation highlights how the Gold Rush influenced the creation of businesses across the United States.
July 15:
Ed Sherman: Ancient Greek Olympics. The Festival of Zeus and its athletic competitions.
Charles Scarcliff: Walt Whitman, America's Poet. Note: Speaker Change!
July 22:
Eric McElwain: Is Political Correctness Endangering Freedom of Speech? College campuses have traditionally been seen as places where controversial ideas could be freely aired and debated, but recently a movement opposing the discussion on campus of any idea that might cause offense to someone has gained momentum. What is behind this movement, and does it pose a threat to our historic concept of freedom of speech?
Beth Mann: Ancient Maps. Have you ever thought what your life would be like if you had never seen a map? Impossible to image, isn't it? This presentation covers early maps and map-making and their influence on trade, exploration and the life of everyday people in ancient times.
July 29:
Larry Whitlock: Liberal/Conservative? What makes us a conservative or a liberal in our political outlook? Our country seems to be split evenly. Are there indicators in our perceptions that lead us to see the world from a liberal or conservative point of view?
Doris Keller: Funding College for Grandkids. Grandparents often help pay their grandchildren's college costs; many already have accounts set aside -- spending might not be simple.
Aug. 5:
Ranny Eckstrom: Big History. Big History is Bill Gates' favorite course; he sponsors online learning materials for the public and high school students. Big History address the big questions: How did humans get to where we are today and where might we be going? It is a modern scientific narrative of us—from the very beginning to today and our future. It starts with the Big Bang, formation of the solar system and earth, beginnings of life, early humans, the agricultural revolution, the industrial revolution and on to the digital age.
Douglas Bonetti: Civil War. Show of hands: Who finds history boring? Hopefully, at the end of his session on the Civil War, you will not find history or our speaker boring! His goal is to have you walk away yearning for more cool historical facts from our greatest conflict, the U.S. Civil War.