Like fantasy camp for the academic minded, One Day University gathers the most exciting professors from the nation’s top universities to give their most intriguing lectures. For its attendees, these events are the rare opportunity to immerse themselves in intellectual pursuits — to explore books, politics, and big ideas — if only for one day.
The initial One Day University “test event” was run in Westchester County in September 2007 with approximately 200 people in attendance. From those modest beginnings, One Day U has built relationships with more than 200 professors associated with more than 100 of the nation’s top learning institutions. They operate now in 61 cities across North America, and over 80,000 “adult students” have attended their presentations.
One Day University’s professors are always chosen primarily because they’re the most popular on campus. They’re professors who entertain as well as teach. In an era before online registration, students would camp out all night in front of the registrar’s office to be among the lucky ones to enroll in their courses. “They’re like rock stars on their campuses,” says One Day U founder Steven Schragis, who actually grew up in Westchester in the 60’s. “Some are very senior at their schools; deans or heads of departments. Others are more junior. What they all have in common is that students rave about the opportunity to take classes with them”.
“This is for people who truly admire great teaching,” explains Managing Director Kevin Brennan. “No one is here to get an advanced degree, to get ahead in their job, or to qualify for anything. They come because they really enjoy learning new things.” While some events are huge enough to fill three ballrooms in a New York City hotel, others are more intimate, highlighting a single topic or theme. By all accounts, One Day University delivers on their promise of educating and entertaining with thought-provoking talks from the country’s best professors. Of course, there’s no homework, grades, or entrance exams!
The next Westchester event is scheduled for Saturday morning, April 13th. It’s titled “Music and the Brain,” and it’ll be held at the Doral Arrowwood Resort in Rye Brook. Renowned Tufts University professor Aniruddh Patel will lead the class, and will be accompanied by students from Hoff-Barthelson Music School in Scarsdale.
According to Patel, music is universal and ancient in human culture, but serves no obvious biological function. He will include studies of how music is processed by other species, and studies of how active engagement with music enhances brain function in both children and adults. Tickets can be purchased in advance at website www.onedayu.com or by calling 800-300-3438.
Full price is $95, but half price tickets are available with coupon code “RIVER”.