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, organized by Jeff Hendy, Marsha Holland, Jack Jennings Allan Keown and Beth Mann of the Seminar Committee, will commence May 31 and continue until July 26.

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).

However, please note that the June 7 session only will be in the Redwood Room in the University Union!

There will be one or two presentations each Friday with a break halfway through. It is a drop-in seminar; no sign-up is necessary. It's a good idea to get there early; try to arrive by 12:50 p.m. for announcements before the presentations.

The presentations generally feature Renaissance members who have given these talks to seminars on campus during the past school year. Wear your Renaissance name tag.


Cracker Barrel meets on campus all summer long from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., May 10 through August. The location will be Douglass 105 through May 17 and Alpine 218 for the rest of the summer. 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. this summer. It will be in Mendocino 4003 on May 10 and 17, then Mendocino 2032 until Aug. 9. 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. The current-year pass expires June 30. Check on the Membership page for renewal information; it is scheduled to begin June 11.


The Schedule

May 31:
David Warren: Lorenzo de' Medici on the Renaissance. Why did the Renaissance start in Florence? What role did I have in starting it, and what philosophy was central to my role? (David, in costume, will be presenting as Lorenzo himself.)
June 7:
Mike Agron: Celebrating Perfect Vocal Harmony Groups. Note: This session will be in the Redwood Room, University Union! This presentation will celebrate the close harmony of vocal groups from Big Band and Swing, Jazz, Pop and Vocalese, Doo Wop, The California Sound, Folk and Folk Rock, Motown, RandB and Soul, and more. It will include performances from both established and lesser-known vocal groups and discuss unforgettable harmonies.
June 14:
Jack Russell: Introduction to the Summer Sky. This presentation will be an introduction to navigating the summer night sky to locate selected constellations, double stars, nebula and star clusters.
Mike Hersher: Songs of Freedom and Protest. Everyone loves freedom and everyone loves to sing. So join Mike in a freedom singalong and remember why this country has always been great.
June 21:
Marian Kile: Understanding DNA Testing. Thinking about taking a DNA test? Trying to decide which test to take? Want to know more about the different testing companies? What to do after you have taken the test? Marian will address these questions and more.
June 28:
Carolyn Martin: Women in World War II. Women's contributions to victory in World War II often begin and end with Rosie the Riveter. However, their participation in the armed services (sometimes unofficially) as code breakers, spies and in other unique roles creates a dramatic and fascinating story rarely found in history textbooks.
July 5:
Eric McElwain: Facts Most People Don’t Know About the U.S. Constitution. This talk will examine some of the least-understood provisions of the U.S. Constitution. We shall discuss them in light of what they meant when they were written, how they have been interpreted and whether they can still govern us in a world that has changed dramatically over the past 240 years.
July 12:
Ed Sherman: Eros, Love and Lust in the Ancient World. This talk will be an artfully illustrated exhibition of the role played by Eros among the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Jeff Hendy: How to Take Better Pictures. This talk will focus on simple tips to improve your photos, whether you are using your smart phone or a camera. Photography should never become a disappointing chore or expensive. Come and find out how to take pictures that won't embarrass your grandchildren!
July 19:
Doug Bonetti: The Civil War Is Still Being Fought. Is the United States Civil War truly over? We only see the reenactors and they shoot blanks, right? Join Doug as he provides an informative and lively background on the war and shares input from a wide variety of authors and museum directors on this fascinating topic.
Beth Mann: The Silk Road. The Silk Road, connecting East to West, was more than just a road.  What was its importance, who controlled it and what has been the impact on Western civilization?  This lecture will highlight some of the more notable aspects of the Silk Road.
July 26:
Maryellen Burns: Notorious and Salacious Women of Sacramento. Sacramento's bawdy pioneer prostitutes, notorious turn of the century madams, unconventional depression-era jazz singers, fifties burlesque and exotic dancers and occasional 1980s serial killers flouted convention, defied the rules, and brought many men to their knees. Maryellen will share the stories of five notorious and salacious women who made headlines and thus remain a colorful part of our local history.
Jennifer Cummings, Muffy Franke and Ginger Mack: The 19th Amendment Centennial This historic anniversary will offer in the Union an unparalleled occasion to commemorate this milestone of women's right to vote. The three presenters will summarize the various seminars for 2019-20 that will examine the 72-year history of the struggle for suffrage and explore its significance for civil rights today. Other plans for CSUS and community celebrations will be discussed.