Exercise Class

LIRA operates on a two-semester plan during the spring and fall that generally runs eight weeks. Members may participate in as many courses as desired.

2018 Summer Schedule

The 2018 Summer Intersession, given between semesters, offers to retirees and those semi-retired, a sample of LIRA’s almost year- round program and friendly community. The program is planned and much of it provided by the members themselves. The general public is invited to all Summer Intersession programs. 

May 30What Makes Life Significant
Professor John Kaag
June 6Active Shooter Response
UMass Lowell Campus Police
June 13USS Constitution and Museum Tour
Bus departs at 8:30 a.m.
June 20Anonymous, the Dark Web and Hacktivism
Chris Wilkinson
June 27Wildlife Photography and Booksigning
Sue Rudeen Jarrett
July 11Being Transgender
Kelly Jenkins
July 18Children's Book Author and Illustrator
Nancy Cote
Sept. 12Fall Convocation

Day and Location

  • Day - All programs are on Wednesday except for the Book Discussion. 
  • Location - McGauvran Hall Room 313 , 71 Wilder Street, Lowell, Mass. This is a new location for us. There is a parking lot right across the street which you will be able to use with your UMass Lowell ID. Please use your parking hangtags wherever you park. 

Event Details

Friday, May 18 Book Discussion, 10 a.m. to Noon – Leonardo da Vinci, biography by Walter Isaacson

Coordinator: Toby Hodes*

May 30: What Makes Life Significant? Professor John Kaag

John Kaag, a professor in philosophy at UMass Lowell, will discuss his American Philosophy: A Love Story, which was named an NPR Best Book of 2016 and a New York Times Editor’s Choice. In the process, he will draw on the American philosophical tradition—the writings of Thoreau, Emerson, and William James—to discuss what is perhaps the hardest, but also the most vital, philosophical question: What makes life significant? This question is practically important for every human being, but its pressing nature becomes more apparent as one ages. Come see what American philosophers had to say about it; come discuss the various answers and figure it out for yourself!

Coordinator: Deb Mellus*

June 6: Active Shooter Response – UMass Lowell Police

Presenters will introduce useful guidelines that we should be familiar with for our own protection in the event of an active shooter emergency. Encountering an active threat in our neighborhood, where we shop, or in our place of worship remains remote. Being aware of these guidelines will increase our ability to respond should an emergency arise.

Coordinator: Susan Lemire*


emptyemptyemptyemptyemptyemptyemptyemptyemptyemptyJune 13: USS Constitution and Museum Tour, Charlestown Bus Trip

The USS Constitution, the oldest active duty ship in the United States Navy and one of the original six frigates, is berthed in Charleston Navy Yard alongside the USS Constitution Museum. We have invited the UMass alumni to join us for the visit and we plan to spend the day touring the ship and the museum.

The bus(es) will depart Hannaford in Chelmsford at 8:30 AM. Upon arrival we will break into two groups. For the first hour starting at 10 a.m. one group will receive a guided tour the museum while the other group does a self-guided tour of the ship. At 11 a.m. we will swap. Lunch is up to you. You can bring a box lunch*, buy a sandwich there or find an excellent local restaurant for a sit down meal. Around 2:00 PM we will board the bus for the return to Chelmsford.

The price of the trip is $20 for LIRA members and $25 for nonmembers. Due date for the sign up is May 30. Please make check out to LIRA Inc. and send it to:

Robert Hanlon
255 North Road, Unit 37
Chelmsford, MA 01824
Ph: (978) 256-2504
Email: bob_hanlon@hotmail.com

Note: The USS Constitution is an active duty ship of the US Navy and as such requires visitors to present a government issued photo ID (License, Federal or Passport) to gain access to the ship. All bags, packages, backpacks, etc. are screened prior to receiving access to the ship. You can certainly bring your lunch with you as the bus must park some distance away and will be inaccessible until 2 p.m.

Coordinator: Peter Sebelius*

June TBD, Book Discussion, 10 a.m. to Noon - The Weight of Ink - historical fiction by Rachel Kadish

Date for this book discussion will be chosen at the May meeting. Coordinator: Toby Hodes*

June 20: Anonymous, the Dark Web and Hacktivism - Chris Wilkinson

Explore the growth of a dark web subculture through both hacktivism and trolling. Anonymous is a divisive and fascinating case study in decentralized leadership and political anarchy. Learn about topics ranging from 4Chan, data security and of course, the politics of the internet since the 2016 election.

Coordinator: Nancy Pitkin*

June 27: Wildlife Photography and Book Signing - Sue Rudeen Jarrett

Wildlife photographer, Sue Jarrett, will take us along with her as we view wondrous photos she has taken on visits to National Parks in Colorado and Alaska, and in wildlife preserves in Kenya and Tanzania. Books will be available for sale and signing by the author.

Coordinator: Beverly Rudeen*

July 11: Being Transgender - Kelly Jenkins

In 2014 the government ordered the Justice Dept. to take the position that "sex" encompasses gender identity, thus extending protections to transgender people. In the fall of 2017 a two-page memo was sent to all U.S. attorneys and other top officials revoking this directive. Kelly Jenkins is a Wellesley Middle School teaching assistant, a fierce advocate for youth, a host and producer of "Kelly's Quest" on Acton TV, and has been featured on NPR. She will share her personal stories to help us toward a broader understanding of the word "transgender" and the many issues surrounding it.

Coordinator: Judith Raiguel*

July 18: Children’s Books, Author and Illustrator Nancy Cote

Nancy will talk about her background as artist and writer, and describe how her career has evolved. She'll share the process of how a book develops from idea, to manuscript, to hardcover. We'll see samples of her original art, sketches, and revisions of her published artwork. Attendees will be able to purchase books signed by the author.

Coordinator Suzanne Gamache*

July 25: Addison Gallery of American Art, Philips Academy, Andover (carpool)

Our group will enjoy a comprehensive tour of the Addison Gallery of American Art which has one of the most important collections of American art in the country. We'll view major works by prominent American artists including Copley, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, and James McNeill Whistler. The Addison Gallery's famed model ship collection is on permanent display and consists of works commissioned by the museum's founder to document four centuries of American history. Exhibit is free.

Phillips Academy is at the corner of Route 28 (Main Street) and Chapel Avenue in Andover, Massachusetts. Free parking is available on Chapel Avenue, and in the parking lot between Cochran Chapel and the Andover Inn (across the street from the Addison on Chapel Avenue). Parking for visitors with disabilities is available on Chapel Avenue.

Meet at the museum at 10 a.m. or carpool from Hannaford in Chelmsford at a time to be announced later. 

Coordinator: Sally Coulter*

*Indicates a LIRA member