McCALL Continuing Education

The McCALL Spring Term has been cancelled due to health and safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 virus. The Fall Term will resume September 9, 2020. Please contact McCALL President Dwight Stobbs, at 828-669-0680 or if you have any questions, or visit for important information and updates.

We offer a variety of classes on engaging topics taught by local experts—designed especially for our community members. Classes are held at the Givens Highland Farms. We also host regular events that are a great way to stay engaged.

Winter Term 2020

Presentations and Reception
Wednesday, January 8, 2020, 2:00 p.m.
Givens Highland Farms, Assembly Room
200 Tabernacle Road, Black Mountain, NC

Come and hear the Instructors and make your choices!

Pre-registration is highly recommended due to class size limits and popularity of classes.

2020 Winter Classes
Monday Classes: January 13 – February 17, 2020
Tuesday Classes: January 14 – February 18, 2020
Wednesday Classes: January 15 – February 19, 2020

All classes will be held in the Brookside Center, Lower Fountain Room.

Inclement weather alert: Any McCALL class cancellation will be called in to the WLOS-TV station. It will be listed as Montreat College Center for Adult Lifelong Learning and can be seen at the bottom of your T.V. screen on the local T.V. channel 13 news.

Winter Term 2020 Classes

Tree of Life: The History of Life on Earth – Dr. Richard Bruce (Mondays: 9:30 am – 11:30 am)

This course will consider theories of the origin of life, the early history of life involving Bacteria and Archaea, evolution of the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere, origin of photosynthesis, the evolution of higher forms of life – fungi, animals, plants – and their relationships. Some emphasis will be placed on the Cambrian explosion some 550 million years ago, and the subsequent history of life, including mass extinctions, up to the Anthropocene (now!). The class will spend considerable time examining evolutionary trees and current ideas about relationships of the major groups of organisms

Dr. Richard Bruce specializes in vertebrate zoology, ecology and life histories of amphibians. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University and his B.S. from Tufts University. Dr. Bruce is a retired Director of the Highlands Biological Station and served as an Emeritus Professor of Biology at Western North Carolina University from 1963-2002.

James Joyce: Dubliners – Dr. Daniel Lindsey (Mondays: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm)

This course is an introduction (and, for many, a re-introduction) to Dubliners, a collection of 15 short stories by James Joyce, first published in 1914. For Joyce, Dubliners was an establishing work, as he was able to reveal, in microscopic detail and location, the lives and interactions of the Irish middle class in and around Dublin in the early years of the 20th century. His stories reveal many classic foibles and, at the same time, great humanity. Additionally, they show Joyce’s own personal conflict of rejection and continuing obsession with his native city. These truly are stories for all times and all places.

Dr. Daniel Lindsey earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Northwestern University where he studied James Joyce as a student of Richard Ellmann, the author of Joyce’s definitive biography. Dr. Lindsey served as an English professor and Dean at the College of DuPage in Illinois for over 30 years.

The Architectural History of Asheville: Its Buildings, Neighborhoods & Environment – Part II – Jane Rogers Vann (Tuesdays: 9:30 am – 11:30 am)

Asheville is home to many outstanding architectural treasures, many of which are on the National Register of Historic Places. We find these buildings in the center of the city, in its neighborhoods, and throughout the countryside. Each building is unique in its site location, construction methods, and finishing designs, all of which make for a wide range of topics for exploration. These buildings also shed light on the cultural and economic history of Asheville. This course, using slides and films, continues to explore the history and architecture of Asheville by examining its most important buildings, neighborhoods, and the influence of the environment on the life of the city from its beginnings.

Jane Rogers Vann is a retired Presbyterian seminary professor who, since moving to Asheville, has developed an interest in the architecture of Asheville, especially the work of Rafael Guastavino. Other interests include the history and practice of Christian worship, liturgical arts and gardening. She and her husband Dave live in East Asheville.

Great Operas from Mozart, Puccini and Verdi – Patricia Heuermann (Tuesdays: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm)

This class will cover one musical masterpiece by each of the three most popular opera composers in history: “The Marriage of Figaro” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “Tosca” by Giacomo Puccini and “La Traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi. Two classes will be devoted to each opera, where students will see and hear the comprehensive story behind each piece and its respective composer. Students will also learn how the operas came to be written and how the works have changed over the years.

Patricia Heuermann, a native of Atlanta, graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music with a degree in voice performance. She served as president of the National Opera Association from 2000-2002. Heuermann spent eight years as the Director of Opera Program at Hofstra University in New York, and four years as the Chair of the Artistic Advisory Board and International Opera Singers Competition in Graz, Austria. Between 1983 and 2014, she directed more than 75 productions for various regional companies. Since 2008, Heuermann has taught local courses on opera and directed productions for the Asheville Lyric Opera, Opera Creations and Asheville Community Theatre.

Gloria Naylor’s Mama Day: A Magical World on a Mystical Island – Dr. Margaret Whitt (Wednesdays: 9:30 am – 11:30 am)

Gloria Naylor’s first four novels establish the foundation of her work – one novel containing the genesis of the next. This course will focus exclusively on her third (and arguably her best) novel, Mama Day. Miranda “Mama” Day reigns supreme on Willow Springs, an Edenic island not located on any map. Reminiscent of Shakespeare’s Prospero and his daughter Miranda, those magical powers Mama Day possesses are not like any known in a world of rational reality. With prose so stunningly beautiful, Naylor takes us into a world that will both haunt and enchant its reader. This less well-known African American writer will quickly become among your all-time favorite writers!

Dr. Margaret Whitt, Professor Emerita of English, taught at the University of Denver for 27 years (1981-2008). She taught various courses in American literature, but an always-favorite was the Literature of the American South. While at the University, she received the Driscoll Master Teacher Award (1990), the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award (1993), and was co-recipient of the United Methodist University Scholar-Teacher Award (2007). This is Dr. Whitt’s fourth McCALL course.

Art and History of Renaissance Italy – Mark Gordon Smith (Wednesdays: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm)

Encompassing the cities of Florence, Milan, Venice, Rome and Naples, this course provides an overview of the politics of Renaissance Italy, the commissions given to artists of each city/region, the “backstory” for the masterpieces – and some not so well-known works of art – created by the artists as well as how the art of the period reflected the rise and fall of political powers within each city / region. One class is devoted entirely to the female artists of the Renaissance and the resurgence in the correct attribution of their works. Extensive use will be made of color visual aids.

Mark Gordon Smith is a graduate of West Point and has called Asheville home for seven years. He has travelled across Italy for over 40 years. Smith has led numerous classes through various NC and SC continuing education programs on Conversational Italian, Travels Across Italy, and Art and History of Renaissance Italy and of Renaissance Florence. He lived in Florence for an extended period in 2001 and has worked with art restoration organizations in Florence, particularly those of the Uffizi Gallery. Smith is the author of three books about the culture and life of Italy. His company is entering its 16th year of providing small group explorations across Italy.


To register for the McCALL Winter 2020 term, please print and mail our online PDF registration form to Erin Chapman, Director of Conference Services for Montreat College, at the address on the bottom of the form. Each course is $30 and the annual membership fee is $30. If you enrolled in the Fall 2019 term, you will not pay the membership fee again for Winter or Spring 2020 terms. Printable course descriptions and class schedules are also available for download. Please contact McCALL President Dwight Stobbs, at 828-669-0680 or if you have any questions.