Continuing Education

All programs are open to the public; registration and payment of fees are handled by:

Saint Peter Community and Family Education Office
Suite 207
600 South Fifth Street
Saint Peter, MN 56082

Register via phone
Register online
Open 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday–Thursday

Register early, regular lectures are $8.00/person including refreshments. Special events are priced accordingly. Sorry, no senior discounts apply. Lectures are free for Gustavus employees and students. Please note that the location of the events may vary.

  • The Interpretive Center is on the south end of the campus, off Jefferson Street.
  • The Banquet Room is located in the Jackson Student Center (north end of the campus)
  • Alumni Hall, Johnson Student Union Bldg. (right next to Jackson Student Center)

Parking is available in most lots after 5 p.m.

Valentine's Day

At Alumni Hall on Valentine's Day! Please join us for an evening of music that inspires passion, drama, and romance. David Carter, cellist and professor at St. Olaf College, and Esther Wang, pianist and local yokel at Gustavus, will perform works for solo piano and solo cello as well as duets for both instruments. Celebrate the day with us. Gather your special friends for a special dinner to honor your love and friendship on this Valentine's Day! Wednesday, February 14, 2007, 6:00 p.m. Alumni Hall, Gustavus ($25.00)

(Please note: if a particular group of friends would like to share a table (6/table) please make that known when making the reservation.)

Travels with (George) Washington

On President's Day 2007, join Bob Douglas, on a geographic tour as he traces the travels of our First President from his brother's home at Mt. Vernon to Barbados. Professor Bob Douglas will also include George Washington's land surveying journey in Virginia, his southern trip in 1791 to seek support for the government, and family back to Mt. Vernon as a southern planter. Monday, February 19, 2007, 7:00 p.m. Melva Lind Interpretive Center, Gustavus ($8.00)

Why Didn't Duke Ellington Win The Pulitzer Prize

Phil Bryant (Gustavus English Department) shares his interest and views of the famous composer. During his lifetime Duke Ellington was this country's most popular, important, and revered composers. Though his music was played, loved, and listened to all over the world, his achievements were never formally recognized or seriously acknowledged by his native country's musical establishment. His music was always deemed as "popular" and though considered good, it could never be judged on the same level as the 20th century's most important music or composers. This attitude has thankfully changed and presently Ellington and his music have taken their rightful place along with other great masters of 20th century music. The evening will be a meditation of Ellington's music, art, and the tenuous yet seminal relationship to American culture. Thursday, March 8, 2007, 7:00 p.m. Melva Lind Interpretive Center, Gustavus ($8.00)

Locavores, CSAs and Farmers' Markets: The Growing Interest in Local Foods

Locally grown foods are one of the fastest growing segments of the food industry. They are also increasingly being seen as an important tool in promoting community food security. Lisa Heldke (Gustavus Philosophy Department) will explore aspects of the local foods movement, and will examine the ways in which local foods can contribute to greater food security for all. She'll look ahead to the upcoming MayDay conference, the theme of which is Community Food Security. Thurday, March 15, 2007, 7:00 p.m. Melva Lind Interpretive Center, Gustavus ($8.00)

Linnaeus Turns 300—Happy Birthday!

The year 2007 marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus, Swedish taxonomist and ethnobotanist. He invented a naming system for plants and animals and is considered "the Prince of Botany." He was also a medical doctor, mineralogist, ethnographer, economist, adventurer and a most prolific writer. The Gustavus Arboretum is named in his honor. He was a dedicated teacher whose students went to every continent to further their Master's field of natural history, bring back exotic plants and animals for him to name. Roland Thorstensson (Gustavus Scandinavian Studies) and Cindy Johnson-Groh (Gustavus Biology/Linnaeus Arboretum Director) will help you get better acquainted with Linnaeus. This presentation will be a preview of the upcoming Linnaeus Symposium. Monday, March 26, 2007, 7:00 p.m. Melva Lind Interpretive Center, Gustavus ($8.00)

Landscape Change in California: Comparing the Santa Clara and Owens Valleys

One of the great traditions of geographic inquiry is the study of the evolution of cultural landscapes, that part of the landscape created by people. We're interested in the processes that have created the present scene. Over the last 150 years the Santa Clara Valley (mostly metro San Jose) produced world famous prunes, cherries, and apricots but now is home to computer, high tech, space-age industries. On the other hand the Owens Valley (east of the Sierras, nearly in Nevada) has changed little over time mostly because Los Angeles (240 miles away) managed a hundred years ago to purchase (or steal) most of the water rights in the Valley. Let's look at these two landscapes and talk a little about how and why they changed—or didn't change. Please join us of this virtual field trip to California along with Robert Moline (Gustavus Geography Department). Tuesday, April 10, 2007, 7:00 p.m. Melva Lind Interpretive Center, Gustavus ($8.00)

Birding in Linnaeus Arboretum

Come join Bob the Birdman for a bird walk in the arboretum. Mid-to-late April is an exciting time for birding in Minnesota. Ducks, geese and swans are still pushing through the state on their northward migration while other new arrivals, such as brown thrashers, yellow-bellies sapsuckers and white-throated sparrows, are just beginning their journey north. Bob Dunlap's (Student Leader of the Gustavus Birding Club) birding expertise is nothing short of amazing, as he will teach you now to identify birds not only by sight but by sound as well. During spring migration, every new day brings a surprise in the Arboretum. Come and learn! Bring binoculars. We have limited supply of binoculars for those who don't have binoculars. Enrollment is limited to 20. Gather at the Melva Lind Interpretive Center. Saturday, April 21, 2007, 7:30 a.m. Linnaeus Arboretum, Gustavus ($8.00)

Wildflowers of Seven-Mile Creek County Park

Join Jim Gilbert (Environmental Studies Department), Cindy Johnson-Groh (Gustavus Biology Department/Linnaeus Arboretum), and Emily (Beatty) Hoefs (Linnaeus Arboretum) on a walk through the park. Seven-Mile Creek is located four miles south of St. Peter and seven miles north of Mankato on US 169. We will walk the trails to look at spring woodland wildflowers and other signs of spring happenings. Thursday, May 3, 2007, 3:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. ($8.00) Meet in the visitors' parking lot of the Linnaeus Arboretum.

The Tempest by William Shakespeare: How many goodly creatures are there here! The Brave New Worlds (and Old) of Shakespeare's Last Romance

Mitch Harris (Visiting Instructor of English) will share with us some thoughts on the changing critical reception of The Tempest throughout the last century. This play is directed by Amy Seham (Associate Professor Theatre and Dance Department) and commemorates the 75th anniversary of theatre at Gustavus. It is also a farewell to Dr. Rob Gardner. After a successful 35-year career of teaching and directing, Dr. Gardner is retiring from teaching. This will be your opportunity to see Rob Gardner, the actor, as he portrays Prospero in the play. Dinner and theatre event. Thursday, May 10, 6:00 p.m. Banquet Room (Student Center)/Anderson Theatre, Gustavus ($25.00)