In 1999, a small group met with David Baty, former director of University College at Bath/Brunswick, for the purpose of establishing an opportunity for life-long learning in the Midcoast area. They were inspired by the vision of Rabbi Harry Sky who had helped create the Portland-based senior college.
Their goal was to create a similar opportunity for seniors in the greater Midcoast area who wished to continue to learn.
Nancy Wheeler and Jack Thompson spearheaded this endeavor with David Baty’s assistance, and a letter went out to the public. The response was overwhelming, and an open house was held. The following spring, March of 2000, six courses were offered.
Currently we offer 20 – 24 courses during both the spring and fall semesters, with volunteer faculty and a semester enrollment of over 490. Courses range from American studies, art history, fiction and poetry, and architecture, to painting and drawing, computer skills, and music. And much more! Our students are aged 50 and above. There are no exams, no grades, and no credit hours given.
One of eighteen autonomous, self-governing senior colleges in Maine, we serve the area from Damariscotta to Freeport and inland towards Augusta.
During our first twelve years, we were a program of University College at Bath/Brunswick, part of the University of Maine System. In May 2012, we became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, retaining close ties with University College until our move in June 2014 to the Brunswick Center of Southern New Hampshire University. They host us at 10 Tibbetts Drive, Suite 210, near Cooks Corner.
MSC is administered by a Board of Directors of 15 members that meets monthly for planning and policy decisions. The Board has committees and subcommittees for administration, curriculum, development, finance, membership, policy, public relations, special events, technology, and volunteers. Bylaws guide our Board and committees, and their chosen membership is drawn from interested students who wish to offer their expertise and passion for the cause of this significant educational endeavor. Thus, here at the College retirement-age learners design and implement the educational experience that expresses their own values and interests. Please see our Volunteers page to learn how you can become a volunteer with your Midcoast Senior College.
For further information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page. To learn more about Jack Thompson, visit Remembering Jack Thompson.