Paul and Joanne Prager of Easton, Maryland, recently made a generous $25,000 contribution to Chesapeake Forum, an Academy for Lifelong Learning, based in Easton.
“This generous contribution from the Prager Family will help Chesapeake Forum fulfill its vision to make lifelong learning an integral part of Maryland’s Eastern Shore Culture,” said Glory Aiken, Chesapeake Forum President. “Their generosity is in keeping with our mission to provide courses and discussion on a wide variety of topics for people of all ages and backgrounds where ideas are shared with civility and mutual respect. The Prager’s gift will also help keep the cost of our courses as affordable as possible for our growing numbers of Eastern Shore Lifelong Learners. It will also enable our goals of expanding our reach to young adults.”
Chesapeake Forum has experienced significant growth since it became a separate entity from the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in June of 2019. Under the leadership of the late John Ford, Chesapeake Forum’s Founding President, and John’s successor, Glory Aiken, this educational organization has marched forward with new ideas to make the organization strong and vibrant for the future. In under two years, the organization has grown exponentially as evidenced by seeing over 680 course registrations for its Winter-Spring semester alone.
Notes Aiken, “The importance of lifelong learning was demonstrated dramatically when the Covid-19 pandemic required our faculty to pivot almost overnight to learn how to teach in a virtual classroom via Zoom. That we succeeded in offering a fall semester in 2020 as well as a winter/spring semester in 2021, both of which have achieved record enrollment, taught us that Zoom is much more than the sound of a racing car!”
Veteran teacher and Forum Board Member, Dr. John H. Miller (who, with John Ford, co-taught more than 50 Academy for Lifelong Learning courses over the past 20 years) adds, “For many faculty and students, Chesapeake Forum’s “live” virtual and recorded courses provided a sorely-needed sense of community and camaraderie during this long pandemic when physical distancing prevented us from being together in the classroom.” Continues Miller, “With this generous contribution from the Prager Family, we look forward to the future when classes will again be in person. Chesapeake Forum will be able to resume what we do best: to bring affordable educational opportunities for everyone in our communities to enrich our lives and minds and to explore new ideas together with our neighbors, and to make new friends . . . and to learn that we are not alone.”
Chesapeake Forum is an intellectual cooperative of lifelong learning, with courses planned, run, and led by dedicated volunteer faculty. Chesapeake Forum is open to everyone who wishes to learn, and welcomes anyone willing to listen and discuss a myriad of topics with an open mind and a respectful curiosity for the views of others.
With a continuously changing curriculum, Chesapeake Forum offers sessions on current events, science, literature, history, art, music, and writing along with outdoor courses on birding, ecology, and much more. There is also an occasional trip to museums or historic sites. More information about Chesapeake Forum’s current courses and faculty can be found at www.chesapeakeforum.org.