Zoom opens the world to experts for Boca’s lifelong learners

Boca’s premier political pundit Dr. Robert Watson is doing their virtual fundraiser. “Affairs of State: The Untold History of Presidential Love, Sex and Scandal” is Watson’s topic for this author of 40 books and a Lynn University professor known for his lectures and historical insights.

But once The Institute for Learning in Retirement went from meeting in Boca Raton Community Center to Zoom in March, that opened up a whole new world of experts, said executive director Carol Lazerick. “We had a peace activist from Minnesota who wrote a book and the founder of The Dickens Project. Fifty percent of the speakers are from out of state, so next week a meteorologist from Arkansas will talk about hurricanes,” Lazerick said.

Zooming also enlarged their audience of lifelong learners. “Our attendance is over four times what it was last summer. I have every reason to believe that we will have even more registrants in the fall. Our folks are craving each other’s company and intellectual stimulation,” Lazerick added.

Zoom lectures are so interactive, the one-hour, 15-minute sessions three times a week usually run over, she said.

Regular speakers include Joel Ivers,  who focuses on current events. “He does so much research and it’s not his opinion,” Lazerick said. “He picks a number of topics. Yesterday’s were Covid, the election and Supreme Court decisions.”

People have to register in advance to be admitted to the Zoom sessions through their web site The summer sessions started July 6 and go to Aug. 11 but people can still join in. The Watson fundraiser is 2 p.m. Thursday July 16, $10 for members, $15 for non-members using PayPal. The institute is affiliated with Road Scholar and a co-sponsor of the FAU Frontiers in Science program.


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