Steven Schragis, founder of One Day University, says attending one of his events is not that different from going to an art museum or a Broadway show.
Attendees come to hear top-notch college professors give their best lectures on a range of topics. Audiences are treated to a fun, educational and entertaining day that’s inspiring – and busy.
“Four professors is a lot in the day,” Schragis says. “We cram a lot in there.”
One Day University is coming to Charlotte on June 4, in partnership with the Charlotte Observer. Four professors will give 75-minute lectures on politics, psychology, philosophy and cinematography in the event at Charlotte Marriott SouthPark.
Schragis said his company, founded in 2006, looks for star lecturers on their campuses, willing to talk on their best topics to people “who are not 19 and 20 years old.”
His company now works with about 200 professors, he says. “American colleges really do have some of the best teachers.”
Events tend to draw the Baby Boomer, 50-plus crowd. “They are intellectually curious, and they’re anxious to learn new stuff” but not go back to school, Schragis says.
Inspiration to start One Day University came 11 years ago, when Schragis dropped off his daughter at Bard College in upstate New York. As a treat for parents, the school had set up about a dozen professors to speak on different subjects for 20 minutes.
“Everyone walked around, and everyone felt the same way: ‘This is really fun.’”
In Charlotte, the lectures and professors are:
▪ “The Rise and Decline of the American Presidency,” by Jeremi Suri, a history and public affairs professor at the University of Texas.
▪ “Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness,” by Catherine Sanderson, psychology professor at Amherst College.
▪ “Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle: What Can We Learn from Ancient Philosophers?” by Chris Surprenant, philosophy professor at University of New Orleans.
▪ “Four Films that Changed America,” by Marc Lapadula, playwright, screenwriter and film producer at Yale University.
Since launching, Schragis says his program has made about 300 stops in 46 cities and towns. He typically pairs with a local partner to put on events, such as a media organization or museum.
Want to go?
One Day University happens June 4, 9:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m., at Charlotte Marriott SouthPark, 2200 Rexford Road. $179 fee drops to $109 with CHAR discount code. Register at www.onedayu.com/Events/detail/359 or call 800-300-3438.