Award-winning author to Kick-off Senior College

Alexandria – ATCC's Senior College kicks off its fall season with a free lecture on Thursday, September 5 at Alexandria Technical & Community College. The event is free and open to the public.

Chart-topping novelist Leif Enger burst onto the literary scene in 2001 with Peace Like a River – one of this century's few fiction debuts to sell a million copies. Set in northern Minnesota in the 1960s, audiences fell in love with the arcadian small town setting and young narrator every bit as memorable as Huck Finn or 'Scout' Finch. Enger's follow-ups to date include So Brave, Young and Handsome, a classic Western with a Minnesota spin. Along with older brother Lin, he also penned an Edgar Award nominated mystery series about a retired baseball all-star and his less-than-restful retirement in the Northwoods. Enger's newest, Virgil Wander, centers on a small industrial town past its prime, and the band of residents who love it fiercely. The Wall Street Journal raved: "Virgil Wander brings out the charm and downright strangeness of the defiantly normal." Since its publication, it has garnered a host of honors, including being named a #1 Indie Next List Pick.

Leif Enger was raised in Osakis, Minnesota and worked as a reporter and producer for Minnesota Public Radio for nearly twenty years. His lecture, Mining the Local Mythology, reveals his writing that makes the most of his Midwestern heritage and the great stories that surround us - - in the epics of grandparents, the dreams of oddball neighbors and the gardens of secret insomniacs.

The lecture begins at 3:15 in room 743 of Alexandria Technical & Community College.

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

The Fall Lecture Series begins Tuesday, September 10 and continues Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:15-5:15 p.m. through October 24. Scholars from around the region providing provocative lectures on a variety of topics and current affairs.

Admission for the lecture series is by season membership only. A single registration fee of $110 covers all 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


My Love Affair with Willa Cather - Annette Atkins, History, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University

Rural Matters: Understanding Rural Identification as a Political Influence - Tim Lindberg, Political Science, University of Minnesota Morris

The Value of Government: What it does Right, Wrong, and Why it Matters- David Schultz, Political Science, Hamline University

National Parks in American History - Derek Larson, History/Environmental Science, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University

Refugees and Global Migration - Thomas Hanson, Diplomat in Residence, University of Minnesota Duluth

Government's Role in the US Economy- Louis Johnston, Economics, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University

Cyber Conflict and Geopolitics - Thomas Hanson, Diplomat in Residence, University of Minnesota Duluth

Church and State, Indian-Style - James Laine, Religion, Macalester College

The Privatization of Seeds: Food Justice, Seed Sovereignty, and Intellectual Property of Plant Genetic Resources - Sheri Breen, Political Science, University of Minnesota Morris

The New Middle East - Andrew Latham, Political Science, Macalester College

Ireland: Today's Borders and History's Barriers to Peace- Susannah Ottaway, History, Carleton College

The Trump Administration in Latin America: The Return of the Monroe Doctrine - Gary Prevost, Political Science, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University

The Road Not Taken: Abraham Lincoln and the Peaceful Abolition of Slavery - James Read, Political Science, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University

Removing Presidents - Ken Jones, History, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University


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 over three weeks 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.