Future Programs

University Club programs are open to the public and are held Tuesdays in the Padua Room of the Hughes Community Center, 1700 Danbury Road, Claremont, California. Meetings start at 11:30 AM. The $13 meeting fee includes a buffet lunch. Membership applications are available at each meeting. Map to Hughes Community Center

May 2015 Program Chair: Art Parker

May 5 –“Confused About the Middle East Conflicts?”


Speakers – Michael Fay and Adnan Aswad

Michael Fay will provide us with a briefing on the Middle East conflicts based on a recent symposium of the U.S. Naval War College held in San Francisco, followed by Adnan Aswad, a native of Allepo, Syria, who will provide us with comments on the Syrian civil war, based in part on recent contacts there. Michael Fay, a former University Club president, earned a B.S.Ed. from Ohio Northern University, a double M.A. from CSULA, and a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate School. He worked as an investment professional from 1982 to 2005. Professor Aswad earned master’s degrees in mechanical and industrial engineering and a Ph.D. in engineering from University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He joined the UM-Dearborn faculty in 1965 and is currently retired.

Introduction: Art Parker
Fellowship: Michael Fay
Greeter: Doug MacKenzie

May 12 –“Perspectives on the Fruits of Democratization in Africa”


Speaker – Dr. Harmony O’Rourke, Assistant Professor, Pitzer College

Since receiving its independence, Africa has gone through recurrent crises. Why? What are some historical dynamics that have been responsible for these? What role have attempts at political democratization played in this history? Finally, what is the relationship between democratization, public health initiatives, and health crises? Dr. O’Rourke’s focus will be on West Africa, and she will give perspectives on the Ebola crisis, which has had the most devastating effects in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea (Conakry). Dr. Harmony O'Rourke earned her Ph.D. in African History from Harvard University and is currently Assistant Professor of History at Pitzer College. Her research focuses on Islam, gender, diaspora, and colonialism in Cameroon. She teaches courses on African and world histories, as well as oral history methodologies.

Introduction: Anne Sonner
Fellowship: Mel Boynton
Greeters: Pat Kelly, Art Parker

May 19 – "Ireland: the Isle of Mystery and Intrigue”


Speaker – Gene Smith

We in the U.S. are fond of the Irish. After all, there more Irish in the U.S. than there are in Ireland itself. It IS the Emerald Isle and with all of that physical beauty it has a history wild and engaging enough to make even the Middle East tip its hat to them. We call the Irish tragedy “The Potato Famine” but the Irish call it “The Hunger”; find out why. What would the U.S. be like if our Civil War had ended in 1989?  Come and talk about and look at this storied place. Gene Smith, former University Club president and retired history teacher, has presented several well-received programs on other parts of the world. He earned degrees from UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Fullerton.

Introduction: Art Parker
Fellowship: Chuck Cable
Greeters: Nancy Magnusson, Milt Wilson

May 26 – "2015: Centennial of Einstein’s Theory of Gravity”


Speaker – Tom Helliwell, Emeritus Professor, Harvey Mudd College

General relativity, Einstein’s 1915 theory of gravity, may be the greatest one-person intellectual achievement of the twentieth century. The story of what Einstein did and how he did it is quite amazing. His breakthrough was highly imaginative and largely conceptual in nature, so anyone can understand his fundamental ideas.  General relativity has since told us much about the universe, from cosmology to black holes, and was even used to help develop the GPS system.  Some of the theory’s predictions, including gravitational waves and the mysterious “dark energy,” remain very active areas of research. Tom Helliwell is the Burton Bettingen Professor of Physics, Emeritus, at Harvey Mudd College. He earned degrees from Pomona College and Cal Tech. General relativity is his primary research field.

Introduction: Art Parker
Fellowship: Art Sutton
Greeters: Larry Wicksted, Jeanne Kennedy
Birthdays: Marie Ross


If you haven’t already done so, please pay your $95 annual dues to the cashier, treasurer or by mail. Dues are needed to pay for operating expenses of the club, including room rental, some catering costs, mailing, insurance, etc. Thank you!


Bulletin Committee Members: David and Anne Sonner

Calendar Archive (2010-2014) |  2015 Programs Jan Feb Mar April

Ideas for good program? Contact Bob Smith, Program Committee Chair  909 625-4344 Bsartist@netscape.com