The Friendship Village Center for Lifelong Learning

Never Stop Learning

Expand your knowledge. Learn new skills. Share what you know with others. Widen your social circle. And strengthen your connection to the world around you, through our resident-run Friendship Village Center for Lifelong Learning.

As numerous studies have shown, lifelong learning is a key to healthy aging – providing a sense of purpose and accomplishment; social engagement; and significant cognitive benefits.

Friendship Village offers this program exclusively to residents and is included in your monthly service fee.

Musical performances are one of the highlights of the Center’s on-going programming.

Whether it’s arts and culture, history, technology, wellness or any other subject, The Center makes learning fun and rewarding. Our team works closely with residents to design a customized learning journey. There are engaging offerings for every interest, including:

Partnership with the Institute for Continued Learning at Roosevelt University-Schaumburg
  • Winter Lecture Series: Topics include Foreign Policy in the 21st Century, Women in Politics, and 160 Minutes: The Race to Save the Titanic (Non-credit academic programming)
A full calendar of classes, lectures and special events
  • Trivia Night at Bluestone
  • Lectures by Residents: Recent topics include - Medicare Fraud, Forensics, Transgender Issues, Historical Movies, Religion, Polar Bears and the Arctic, Psychology of Conspiracy Theories
Lively discussions on current events and challenging topics
  • Current Controversies Considered: Recent topics include - Should Student Loans be Forgiven?, Voting Right and Restrictions, Critical Race Theory
  • Great Decisions: Recent topics include - Famine in the 21st Century, War Crimes, China and the U.S.
A wide array of resident-run interest clubs and groups
  • Plato's Place, Guy's and Gal's Book Club, TV Spot Production, Old Time Radio Show Productions such as The Thin Man & Richard Diamond
    Volunteer programs
    • ESL Volunteers through the Schaumburg Township Library

      Resident Committee Members

      Sue Harty

      Lifelong Learning Committee Chair
      Resident since January 2018

      For 32 years, Sue was office manager of a busy 24 hour animal hospital. After retirement, she became an active member of the Institute for Continued Learning at Roosevelt University, including serving as president. She has always had a love for learning and when she moved to Friendship Village, she became chair of their Lifelong Learning Committee.

      She began a Mystery Lovers Book Club and a People with Parkinson’s Social Group. She also helped form a discussion group dealing with controversial topics as well as the Great Decisions discussion group.

      Leonard Kofkin

      Resident since January 2019

      Holds finance and law degrees from Northwestern University, and practiced law for sixty years with offices in Chicago and a nation-wide clientele. He is active in many Lifelong learning events, committees, groups, new resident marketing efforts, and presentations.

      He has lectured about interpersonal negotiations, many of the Jewish holidays, Jesus and the Old Testament, Russian hero Alexander Nevsky, Genealogy topics, and Partisan activities in Belarus in the 1940's. He also helped establish and perpetuate the "Great Decisions" and "Current Controversies Considered" discussion groups.

      Mary Crisanti

      Resident since November 2021

      Prior to retirement Mary taught mathematics at the 11th and 12th grade levels. She also served as a contract negotiator and grievance chair for her local education association. Upon retirement she joined the Institute for Continued Learning at Roosevelt University where she served a term on the Board of Directors and helped to start and coordinate a weekly discussion group that met for over fifteen years.

      Here at Friendship Village she has rebooted the weekly discussion group, Plato's Place. It covers a myriad of assorted topics suitable for informal conversation. She is also the co-facilitator of discussion for the Current Controversies Considered group.

      Marlene Brusko

      Resident since September 2022

      She is a retired clinical psychologist who utilizes teaching as a learning methodology as well as an opportunity to share ideas with others who are ready to join in a collaborative discovery of new topics.

      Marlene’s Friendship Village presentations began years ago through a shared program with the Institute for Continued Learning at Roosevelt University. Her classes and lectures range from psychology to the Big Bang; from the brain and its processes to history and current events.

      Jeanne Fox

      Secretary of the Lifelong Learning Committee
      Resident since 2015

      Moved to Friendship Village from Evanston, Illinois because of its on-going learning and fun opportunities. She was Director of Mental Health for the City of Evanston and led the 708 Board for 22 years. With two master’s degrees, she has been an administrator for non-profit agencies, provided quality assurance oversite for 15 years of all 15 Illinois State mental health facilities and served on numerous non-profit boards. Volunteering has always been a part of her service to the community and most recently she served on the board of the Elgin Salvation Army for three years as she served on the Evanston Salvation Army Board for 7 years.

      At Friendship Village she is the co-chair of two Book Clubs and a member of the Technology Committee.

      Roseann Burke

      Resident since 2018

      Moved to Friendship Village after a lifetime of teaching and administration of children. She has served as Chairman of the Activities Committee and helped create an exciting and vibrant array of programs. As a member of the Choir and the Radio Club her time at Friendship Village has been very rewarding.

      She has been instrumental in programs such as Great Decisions, Karaoke Night, the Pom Squad, Floor Captains, and the Volunteer’s club. By being a member of the Lifelong Learning committee, Roseann will continue to encourage the collaboration of ideas for Friendship Village’s residents.

      Terri Mertz

      Resident since October 2021

      Terri shares her home with 2 dogs and has worked her entire professional life in the field of education - as a teacher and administrator for children and adults with special needs and adults requiring ESL support. She also spent a summer presenting in-service training to
      teachers in eastern Europe.

      Her greatest passion is the protection and welfare of all animals. She has visited the great greys and polar bears in their natural habitats, is an avid Francophile, and has lectured to various groups on her travels. 

      Marge Olszewski

      Resident since April 2021

      Diana Garvey

      Resident since May 2022

      Donna McLaughlin

      Resident since July 2019

      Judy Malin

      Resident since October 2020