Tom Fisher, Professor, Former Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota

Alexandria – ATCC’s Senior College kicks off its 10th Spring Season with a free lecture on March 9 at the ATCC Technology and Information Center.  The event is open to the public. 

Dr. Thomas Fisher, professor and former dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota, will give the kick-off lecture:  Designing Our Way to a Better World.  Dr. Fisher will discuss the process of design and how we can apply the same process used to design buildings and products to reimagine the invisible structures of services and systems that we depend on in our daily lives.  Drawing on material from his recent book, Dr. Fisher will explain how design thinking can lead to improvement in areas as diverse as education, politics, economics and public health.  His book will be available for sale as well.


Dr. Fisher is one of the most published writers about architecture in the United States and has been recognized four times as a top design educator by the journal Design Intelligence. Designing Our Way to a Better World is his most recent work.  The lecture is offered in partnership with the University of Minnesota Alumni Association West Central Chapter.

The Kick-off is free and open to the public. The lecture begins at 3:15 in room 743 of the Alexandria Technical and Community College Technology Information Center.


Senior College has another great line up for its Spring Lecture Series

The Spring Lecture Series continues Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:15-5:15 through April.  College-level scholars from around the region will provide provocative lectures on a variety of topics:  health care costs, media and the implications of fake news, Minnesota water policy and issues, the history and origin of some of the world’s most important concepts, how the Crusades to the Holy Land have been (mis)represented in popular film and television,  Hamilton and Jefferson’s ideas about government and America, global trends in a new era, US-Mexico relations, psychology of memory and implications for outsourcing our memory to computers, Making Minnesota Mysteries with author Jessica Lourey,  Pollinator Populations in our gardens,  and the Annual State of the Economy panel discussion.

Admission for the lecture series is by season membership only.  A single registration fee of $100 covers all 14 lectures, coffee and cookies.  For more information or to register, please contact the Customized Training Center at 762-4510 or 888-234-1313 or visit


Thinking About Markets for Health Care with Louis Johnston, Economics, College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University

The End of Gatekeepers? The Rise of Fake News as a Threat to Democracy with Jane Kirtley, Journalism and Mass Communication/ Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law, University of Minnesota


Music and Meaning with Shersten Johnson, Music Theory and Composition, University of St. Thomas


Minnesota’s Water Resources:  Policy, Management and Issues with Faye Sleeper, Water Resources Center, University of Minnesota

The History of Ideas with Arlin Nikolas, History, M State

The Reel Crusades: Fact and Fiction in Hollywood's Portrayal of the War for the Holy Land with Andrew Latham, Political Science, Macalester College

Alexander Hamilton and a Few Other Important Guys with Annette Atkins, History, College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University


Pushback:  Global Trends and Flashpoints in a New Era with Thomas Hanson, Diplomat in Residence, Alworth Institute for International Affairs, University of Minnesota Duluth

Memory in Older Adulthood with Ben Denkinger, Psychology, Augsburg College

Outsourcing Memory with Noreen Herzfeld, Theology, College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University


Mexico and the United States: An Uneasy Partnership with Gary Prevost, Political Science/Latin American Studies, College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University

Making Minnesota Mysteries with Jessica Lourey, Author and English/Sociology, St. Cloud Technical and Community College

The Garden Buffet:  Pollinator Populations and Landscape Diversity with Margaret Kuchenreuther, Biology, University of Minnesota Morris

Annual State of the Economy: MPR’s Gary Eichten with economics correspondent Chris Farrell and economics professor Louis Johnston.     


Senior College grew out of community interest in informative and challenging college level learning that is simulating and social without the pressures of tests, grades or degrees. Established in the Fall of 2006, the first season was offered in the Spring of 2007.  A lecture series is held each Fall and Spring, generally 15 lectures on Tuesdays and Thursdays, over 8 weeks, and a short course series is offered in January.  Lectures typically feature a variety of topics “bringing the liberal arts to life” – from history, political science and economics, science and literature, to philosophy, art and current affairs. Designed for adults 50+, adults of all ages are welcome.