In April, a company called One Day University brought four college professors to Raleigh to give their best lectures to a paying audience.
It was the first North Carolina event for the 10-year-old company, which was founded on the premise that there are people who find attending a good, stimulating lecture as entertaining as a Broadway show or first-run movie.
It went so well that One Day University is doing it again.
The company, in partnership with The News & Observer, will offer another One Day University on Saturday at N.C. State University’s McKimmon Center. Four professors, including one from UNC-Chapel Hill, will give 75-minute lectures on art, ethics, politics and history.
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One Day University does 80 to 90 events a year across the nation, attracting curious, well-educated people who are almost all over the age of 50, said founder Steven Schragis. They’re the type who pine for the intellectual stimulation of college life without the homework.
The four lectures on Saturday are:
▪ “The Genius of Michelangelo,” by Tina Rivers Ryan, a curatorial assistant at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York who has taught at Columbia University.
▪ “Ethical Dilemmas and Modern Medicine: Questions Nobody Wants to Ask,” by Jacob Appel, who has taught medical ethics at several universities, including his alma mater, Brown University.
▪ “Failed Presidents and Dysfunctional Congress: Can the American Political System be Fixed?” by Robert Watson, a professor of American studies at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
▪ “America Reconsidered: Looking Back at 50 Years of Sports, Race and Gender,” by Matthew Andrews, who teaches American history at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Schragis said the company usually finds its speakers by walking around a college campus and asking students for the names of the coolest professors, to find people who can give an engaging, entertaining lecture that will appeal to baby boomers.
Schragis said One Day University almost always has a local partner to help put on its events, usually newspapers like The N&O. Newspapers have a similar audience of curious, educated people, he said, and are looking for new sources of revenue. The first event in April attracted 257 people.