The Knowledge Exchange at Governors State University

Thank you to all class leaders and participants of The Knowledge Exchange for helping to create yet another stellar year of courses, workshops, presentations and outings! 

Enjoy the summer and watch this page for upcoming details on the fall 2015 schedule.

Fall session dates are Fridays, September 18th  – November 6th. 

Registration opening soon!

For more information, please contact Suzanne Patterson at 708.534.4393 or

• For lifelong learners
• Unique and diverse non-credited courses
• Reasonable price
• Designed for retired and semi-retired learners
• Relaxed and friendly environment
• Encouraging shared learning and the free
   exchange of opinions and ideas

$73 for the first class
$28 for an additional course

Classes held at Governors State University
1 University Parkway, University Park, IL 60484

Lunch break between classes serves as a great time to enjoy lunch with other Knowledge Exchange students, continue the classroom discussion, share ideas and participate in Lunch and Learn lectures when offered. The GSU Café is open, seating available.

Questions? Contact Suzanne Patterson or 708.534.4393.

  • Morning Session 10am-12pm


    Morning sessions (10 a.m.- 12noon)

    The Knowledge Exchange invites you to join in this fall’s diverse and enriching course offerings.  This session will be held on Fridays for eight weeks beginning September 18 and ending on November 6, mornings and afternoons.


    Registration Opening Soon!

    Sustaining the Public Square: Active Aging        

    Class Co-Administrators Keith Kemp and Suzanne Patterson

    Join this class for a unique series of presentations and classroom discussions which will explore the major issues of the day concerning Aging and Mental Health and how they relate to sustaining our individual roles in community life.  Guest speakers and topics will include Dr. Neelum T. Aggarwal on Brain Health from the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Dr. Joseph Troiani on Veterans Today from the Will County Health Department, Dr. Mort Maimon on Memoir Writing, Dr. Edward Marston from Grand Prairie Services on Mental Health Stigma & Suicide in Aging, Dr. Anthony Andrews from Governors State University on Keynesian Economics, a presentation on Atul Gawande’s best-selling book Being Mortal and more.


    Supreme Court: Classic and Contemporary Cases

    Class Leader: Carl Stover

    Many citizens know what the Supreme Court has ruled in major cases, but few know why.  How have the Justices reached (or rationalized) their conclusions?  Students in this course will read excerpts from the actual Opinions of the Justices.  We will discuss the plausibility of these opinions both in themselves and in their context of principles, precedents, and politics.  We will look both at current and even pending issues, such as million dollar campaign contributions or Obamacare, and at classic earlier decisions which illuminate enduring principles.   No prior legal knowledge or experience is necessary; reading materials will be condensed to approximately fifteen pages per week.


    Film Retrospective: Hollywood Goes to War

    Class Leader: Kathy Kemp

    Using the book Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War by Mark Harris, this class will explore the cultural history of the Second World War through the lives and works of five American filmmakers who put their Hollywood movie-making careers on hold, joined the military and covered the war.  In addition to reading the book Five Came Back, class will screen and discuss selected films by John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra and George Stevens.  The book will be available for purchase at the GSU Bookstore.

    For more information, please contact Suzanne Patterson at 708.534.4393 or

  • Afternoon Session 1-3pm


    Afternoon Sessions (1 – 3 p.m.)

    The Knowledge Exchange invites you to join in this fall’s diverse and enriching course offerings.  Thissession will be held on Fridays for eight weeks beginning September 18and ending on November 6, mornings and afternoons.


    Registration opening soon!

    Tohono O’odham: Men, Women, and Culture    

    Class Leader:  Andrae Marak  

    This course will explore through an ethno-historical approach the Tohono O’odham Nation.  We will focus specifically on the ways in which colonizers – both the United States and Mexico – tried to acculturate and assimilate the Tohono O’odham in late 19th and early 20th centuries in order to prepare them for citizenship and the ways in which the Tohono O’odham responded.  Purchase of the book At the Border of Empires: The Tohono O'odham, Gender, and Assimilation, 1880-1934 is optional; class hand-outs will be made available.


    The Symphony Orchestra: An Introduction

    Class Leader: Rachel West of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO)

    Have you always loved classical music, but could use a tune up on orchestra basics? This unique course delves into a detailed overview of the orchestra—including everything from audience etiquette to the evolution of the symphonic repertoire starting from 1500s. Increase your knowledge on the complete orchestral experience to better understand and appreciate the music we all know and love!  From special guest lecturers, supplemental recording examples, IPO musician appearances, and live concerts, you'll emerge fully prepared to embrace the classics and the music around us every day.

    For more information, please contact Suzanne Patterson at 708.534.4393 or

  • Events


    FREE: ‘Lunch and Learn’ Special Presentation:

    GSU in Park Forest South - A Personal History from 1970 with author and lecturer Larry McClellan

    Friday, September 25 / 12:05 – 1:00pm / Room B2203 / Open to all course participants; bring a lunch.

    In 1970, Larry McClellan joined the design team that created GSU and then served as mayor of Park Forest South [now University Park] from 1975 thru 1979.  He will be telling stories about starting a new experimenting state university in a new fully planned community in the early 1970s: all the excitement and the crises!!


    FREE! Fall Outing - Chicago Imagist & Abstractionist Art Collection - Open to the Public

    Tuesday, October 13

    Enjoy a free bus trip to Elmhurst College for a tour of their Chicago Imagist & Abstractionist Art Collection.  Call Suzanne Patterson at 708.534.4393 for more details and to reserve your place.   

    For more information on Elmhurst College’s Art Collection, visit


    Curriculum Meeting – Open to the public 

    Friday, October 9 / 12:15pm-1pm / Room B2203

    Open to all; bring a lunch and get a sneak peek at upcoming session offerings.

    For more information, please contact Suzanne Patterson at 708.534.4393 or