Center for Creative Retirement

We offer more educational and fun classes, trips and workshops to keep you actively engaged.

How to Register

  • Register online by selecting "Add to Cart" on the desired course(s) and select "Cart" at the bottom of the page when you are ready to process your registration.
    • The “Seats Left” information is updated every half hour and when you checkout.
  • Other registration options are available.

NOTE:  Individuals enrolling in on-campus classes must follow the COVID-19 vaccination requirements for students and should submit the COVID-19 Vaccination Documentation Form. Exemptions to these requirements may be requested based on either religious conviction or health reasons by submitting the appropriate Health Services form.

Courses

A Tour of The Paine Mansion in Troy

The Paine Mansion, located at 49 Second Street in Troy, was built in 1896 as a family home by John Wells Paine, who gained immense wealth from his success as a financier and attorney. Now known as “The Castle,” the magnificent facade was built of Indiana limestone with a roof of Spanish-style pan tiles. Considered the best example of Gilded Age architecture in Troy, it cost the equivalent of 25 million dollars in today’s currency to complete. After being used by RPI’s Pi Kappa Phi fraternity for the past 70 years, the mansion has recently been reopened as an event space available to the public. Take a tour and see the mansion’s three distinct styles of architecture--Italianate, Moorish and French Chateau--which were all executed by European craftsmen using intricate carvings in mahogany and cherry with finishes of ornate gilding. The mansion is also features a sumptuous use of marble and stained glass, with the most spectacular being the “angel window” of opalescent glass created by the Ford studio in Boston. After the tour, participants will be served refreshments of punch and petit fours, which were popular during this period. Course fee includes a $15 materials fee.

Course will meet at 49 Second Street, Troy, NY

Marilyn Sassi, Instructor

Jean Chenette, Coordinator

A Tour of The Paine Mansion in Troy
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Saturday, 4/15
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-710 600 0 seats left $27Section Full

Call to be added to wait list

A Walking Tour of The Schenectady Stockade

Schenectady’s rich history began in 1661, when its founder, Arent Van Curler, proclaimed its setting “the most beautiful land my eyes have ever beheld.” Unfortunately, after only 30 years, the small settlement was burned to the ground and half the population was killed by the French. Rebuilding started within three years, when the survivors sheltering in Albany returned with help and encouragement from their Mohawk neighbors.

The Stockade is one of only two locations in New York State that feature a group of buildings from this early time in history. It was also the first acknowledged historic site in New York.

This tour will explain the full history of the Stockade and the houses built there, from the earliest to the latest examples from the nineteenth century. Situated along the banks of the Mohawk River, the tour will cover both blocks within the Stockade, with Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, French Second Empire, Italianate, Gothic Revival and Queen Ann architectural styles, as well as the lovely vistas seen from the river path. At the conclusion of the tour, participants will be invited into one of the early-eighteenth-century Dutch homes that is completely furnished in period antiques.

Course will meet at the First Reformed Church parking lot on the corner of North Church Street and Front Street.

Marilyn Sassi, Instructor

Directions: Take Collar City Bridge to I-787 S toward Albany. At exit 1E-W, head right to I-87/I-90 toward Boston/Buffalo/New York. Keep right toward Buffalo. At exit 5, keep right on the ramp toward Broadway, merge and turn left onto Broadway, keep right to get onto Broadway/County Highway 161. Turn right onto 2nd St.

A Walking Tour of The Schenectady Stockade
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 5/4
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-711 600 0 seats left $19Section Full

Call to be added to wait list

American Mah Jongg - Intermediate Level

So, you’ve learned the basics of Mahjong. Now let’s practice playing, conquer the card, and delve into strategies. Please bring your Mahjong set with you to class.

Course will be held in Day Care Center, Room B06

Criss Macaione, Instructor

American Mah Jongg - Intermediate Level
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesdays, 4/4 - 5/2
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
ZSPI-170 600 8 seats left $59

Better Understanding and Teaching Shakespeare

With the chronological gap between our time and Shakespeare’s, it is important to understand word usage and historical facts. Instructor Tom Bulger, who has taught Shakespeare for 30 years, will help make the plays more accessible and help you understand key components that make Shakespeare seem more like a contemporary. This class is designed as a springboard for reading Shakespeare’s plays, since once you understand his techniques and themes in one play, you will see them in the others.

Course will be held in  Williams Hall, Room 113

Tom Bulger, Instructor

Better Understanding and Teaching Shakespeare
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 4/6
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-714 600 13 seats left $12

Brick Manufacturing and Watervliet Life in the Year 1881

Man has used brick for building purposes for thousands of years. This program gives a brief history of brick making and the old methods used for manufacturing brick. The second portion of the dual program deals with Watervliet life in the year 1881.

Course will be held in  Williams Hall, Room 113

Tom Ragosta, Instructor

Brick Manufacturing and Watervliet Life in the Year 1881
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Monday, 3/27
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-700 600 9 seats left $22

Circular Street Walking Tour

Saratoga’s Circular Street was the home of many wealthy families from the early Victorian Era, including the chief judge on the International Court; the man who is credited with creating soda; and the widow of a vice president. This tour starts across from the Batcheller Mansion by the Presbyterian Church at 20 Circular Street, and includes a book by instructor Dr. Hollis Palmer. Street parking is available on Whitney Place or Park Place. Wear comfortable shoes. Course fee includes a $15 materials fee. 

Course will meet at 20 Circular Street, Saratoga Spring, NY

Dr. Hollis Palmer, Instructor

Paula Johannesen

Directions: Take I-787 North toward Glens Falls/Saratoga Springs to exit 14. Stay right on the ramp toward NY-9P/Union Ave toward Saratoga Springs/Schuylerville. Turn right onto Regent St, take left and immediate right onto NY-9P/Circular St.

Circular Street Walking Tour
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Monday, 5/1
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
ZCCR-709 600 4 seats left $27

Clermont and Olana Tour

Our first stop on this tour will be in Germantown at the home of the Livingston family, called Clermont, located directly on the Hudson River. The newly-refurbished home features a lilac garden, which we will plan to walk through. After lunch on your own, we will be heading to Olana, the home of the painter Frederick Church. Olana is a Middle Eastern-style house, very different from anything else around, and sits on a large hill overlooking the Hudson River at the south end of Hudson. The huge grounds are spectacular, and you may explore them before or after the guided tour. Course includes a $26 materials fee.

Course meets at 1 Clermont Ave., Germantown, NY

Linda Jones, Coordinator

Directions: Take I-787 S in Watervliet from Congress St, NY-2 W and 2nd Ave. Take I-87 S to Main St in Jefferson Heights. Take exit 21 from I-87 S to NY-23 and NY-9G S to 1 Clermont Ave.

Clermont and Olana Tour
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 5/18
10:00 am - 2:30 pm
ZCCR-697 600 0 seats left $38Section Full

Call to be added to wait list

Dolls: Their History Revealed

Children have owned dolls since the beginning of the civilized world, but the form and construction of what we know as dolls today has changed over time. This presentation will illustrate the doll’s beginnings and showcase America’s ingenuity. Examples include the first talking doll, made by Edison, as well as the unforgettable characters from the early twentieth century: Campbell’s Soup Kids, Buster Brown and his dog Tige, Little Orphan Annie with Sandy, and the unsurpassed child star, Shirley Temple. The class will also include pictures and discussion of dolls that American children played with from the sixteenth through the nineteenth century, from those imported from England, France and Germany to crude homemade versions. Class participants are invited to bring in their dolls to be viewed and discussed for identification purposes.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Marilyn Sassi, Instructor

Dolls: Their History Revealed
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 4/27
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-705 600 14 seats left $19

Easy Lip Balm

Using almond oil, lanolin and beeswax, you will learn to make simple lip balms that can be flavored and fragranced. Each student will make four lip balms! Course fee includes $10 materials fee.

Course will be held in  Daycare Building, Room 135

Karen DuJack, Instructor

Easy Lip Balm
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 3/28
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZARC-360 600 4 seats left $35

Easy Soap Making

Learn how to make, melt and pour soap using silicone molds, goat's milk, essential oils and other additives.  Options for fragrance and packaging will be discussed.  Students will leave class with four bars of soap and a set of molds to keep. Course includes a $10 materials fee.

Course will be held in Daycare Center, Room 135

Karen DuJack, Instructor

Easy Soap Making
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 3/21
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZARC-329 601 0 seats left $35Section Full

Call to be added to wait list

French Settlements in New York's Champlain Valley

2 PRESENTATIONS IN 1!

Fort St. Frederic, New France, and Colonial French Settlements in New York’s Champlain Valley

Beginning with Samuel de Champlain’s exploration of Lake Champlain in 1609, France laid claim to New York’s Champlain Valley as part of New France (Canada). Though French settlement grew slowly, a number of farms and homes dotted the valley by the mid-eighteenth  century. For the 25 years between 1734 and 1759, a large French fort, Fort St. Frederic, provided protection for these settlers in the southern Champlain Valley. This presentation examines French interests in the Champlain Valley during the colonial era with a special focus on the reasons for establishing Fort St. Frederic at the southern end of the valley. The lecture will also look at life inside and out of Fort St. Frederic and the various reasons why the French settlements in the Champlain Valley were ultimately lost to the British during the French and Indian War.

 

The Battle for Lake Champlain During the American Revolution, 1775-1777

This lecture provides an overview of the various campaigns for control of Lake Champlain during the American Revolution. In the early years of the American Revolution, New York’s Champlain Valley was a major theater of the war. The captures of Fort Ticonderoga and Fort Crown Point occurred within weeks of Lexington and Concord and provided the fledgling revolution with much-needed artillery. In the years that followed, Lake Champlain was an avenue of both attack and defense for both the British and the American revolutionaries. This presentation examines these various military campaigns and places them in the broader context of the American Revolution overall.

Course will be held in  Williams Hall, Room 113

Sam Huntington, Instructor

French Settlements in New York's Champlain Valley
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Friday, 4/14
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-698 600 0 seats left $19Section Full

Call to be added to wait list

Getting Over Family History - "Brick Walls"

It happens to everyone researching their family’s history: eventually we all run into a “brick wall” that seems impossible to break through. Lisa Dougherty, a professional genealogist with 25 years of experience, will offer some practical suggestions for overcoming genealogy roadblocks that you can start using immediately. One of them might be turning to FamilySearch.org, possibly the most useful genealogy website you’ve never heard of. Learn out about this treasure trove of genealogical information and how you can use it to jump-start your research!

Course will be held in  Williams Hall, Room 113

Lisa Dougherty, Instructor

Getting Over Family History - "Brick Walls"
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 4/18
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-702 600 22 seats left $15

Gilded Age Part 2

Join Rensselaer County and Troy City Historian Kathryn Sheehan as she discusses the streets and buildings used in Troy in season two of the HBO hit “The Gilded Age.” Kathryn will also focus on some of the other famous and infamous people and events that came out of Troy and Rensselaer County during the Gilded Age.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Kathy Sheehan, Instructor

Gilded Age Part 2
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Friday, 5/5
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-717 600 0 seats left $22Section Full

Call to be added to wait list

Guided Visit to Hancock Shaker Village

Hancock Shaker Village is a museum and working farm on the site of a former Shaker community in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. Listed on the National Historic Register, the village sits on acres of forest and farmlands. It contains 20 historic buildings worked and lived in by the Shakers, as well as an extensive collection of Shaker furniture, tools, and artifacts. A lively and knowledgeable historic interpreter will escort you on a 75-minute walking tour of the historic village, highlighting its gardens and most significant buildings – the Brick Dwelling, the Round Stone Barn, and the Laundry and Machine Shop. Come away with a deep appreciation of the Shakers as you explore themes of religion, community, farming, innovation, and technology. Course fee includes a $20 materials fee.

Course will meet at 34 Lebanon Mountain Road, Hancock, MA

Paula Johannesen, Coordinator

Directions: Take I-787 NY-7 toward Albany/Cohoes. Keep left toward Albany to Exit 5. Head right on the ramp for I-90 toward Boston/Buffalo. Keep left toward Boston. At exit 11E, head right on the ramp for US-9 South/US-20 East toward Nassau. Turn right onto MA-41/Central Berkshire Blvd, take right onto a private road. Destination is on the left. Check in at the Shaker Mercantile on arrival. 

Guided Visit to Hancock Shaker Village
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 5/17
10:00 am - 12:30 pm
ZCCR-712 600 8 seats left $32

Head to Toe in the 19th Century

As Mark Twain said, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” This lighthearted look at the wide variety of style, silhouettes and fads that kept the fashion conscious on their toes throughout the nineteenth century illustrates that we do define ourselves through dress- and always have. European royalty and gentry folk were the celebrity trendsetters of the day, and while the ladies indulged in a dazzling array of shape-shifting silhouettes during the period, the gentlemen embraced an increasingly somber and restrained style. That’s the surface tale, but the most fascinating fashion facts may lie beneath the surface. Men’s corsets? Bustles for shoplifters? Beetle embroidery? How did they keep it all clean? Prepare to be entertained!

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Phyllis Chapman, Instructor

Head to Toe in the 19th Century
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 4/19
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-660 600 9 seats left $25

Irish Songs of Emigration

There are people of Irish decent all over the world. There are many reasons why people left the relatively small island of Ireland. Some left out of necessity, seeking employment in order to provide for their starving families. Some were taken by force as slaves or were relocated to penal colonies like Australia. Many left to start a new life free from political oppression. This class will tell the musical story of some of the people who have emigrated to other lands, including the United States, sometimes leaving behind family and friends. Conducted by the Capital Region’s own Irish Balladeer Irish Don Kelly, the class encourages voluntary audience participation. 

Course will be held at SKYHIGH Adventures Community Center, 27 Lake Ave, Averill Park

Don Kelly, Instructor

Directions: Take Route 66 (Main Ave., Wynantskill) for 1.5 miles, keep right on to NY-66 for 3.7 miles. Take right onto Old Route 66/County Highway 45 for 1.1 miles. (If you reach NY-43, you’ve gone too far). Turn right onto Lake Ave.

Irish Songs of Emigration
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 3/23
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-703 600 20 seats left $19

Knickerbocker Family Mansion: Ghosts, Tour and Lunch

The Knickerbocker Historical Society will be our hosts as they tell us about the history and ghosts of the Knickerbocker Mansion, which dates from about 1770. They will arrange for historical ‘ghosts’ to give moving firsthand accounts of their lives and experiences, and they will explain the renovations – the not-for-profit Society rescued the mansion from certain demolition and has continued to restore it. Our visit concludes with a chance to tour the mansion and to a colonial lunch cooked with authentic recipes, a delicious side to the history of the mansion. Course fee includes $30 materials fee.

Jean Chenette, Coordinator

Directions: Take Route 40 north to Schaghticoke. At the red light as you approach the village, turn left on Route 67, travel west toward Mechanicville. Drive 3 miles west, turn right onto Knickerbocker Road. The Mansion is the first building on the right.

Knickerbocker Family Mansion: Ghosts, Tour and Lunch
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 5/10
10:30 am - 1:30 pm
ZCCR-137 600 0 seats left $42Section Full

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Learn to Play Mah Jongg

Whether you are a complete beginner or just need a refresher, join us in learning to play Mah Jongg. This class includes basic instruction and the opportunity to play with people of varying skill levels. If you have a Mah Jongg set, please bring it with you.This will include a $10 materials fee for Mah Jongg card.

Course will be held in Day Care Center, Room B06

Criss Macaione, Instructor

Learn to Play Mah Jongg
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesdays, 2/14 - 3/28
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
ZSPI-119 600 0 seats left $79Section Full

Call to be added to wait list

Mad Dogs and Magical Cures

In 1874, a couple of well-known New Yorkers died of rabies from dog bites. Their deaths, as well as those of two others who died of the disease that spring, caused a tsunami of fear in New York City. The postmortem findings from one victim lead to what was called “the most important discovery of the age.” But the fear of rabies only intensified when several leaders of the medical profession suggested that even healthy dogs could transmit the disease. Local and national papers were filled with dozens of articles on “cures” and some draconian proposals to prevent dog bites and limit the spread of the disease. Learn about it all in this class.

Course will be held in  Williams Hall, Room 113

Jill Knapp, Instructor

Mad Dogs and Magical Cures
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 4/25
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-692 600 23 seats left $19

Mary Shelly

Mary Shelly, whose macabre novel “Frankenstein” is a staple in the weeks leading to Halloween, led a life that could easily be the plot of a contemporary soap opera. The daughter of parents who had themselves flaunted societal conventions, Mary outdid them in her quest for personal freedom during an era that stifled female ambition. Learn about her complicated relationship with her parents, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelly, her stepsister Jane/Claire, and the Shelly family, as well as why she died with Percy Shelly’s heart literally in her possession. Also, discover the competition that created “Frankenstein” during one of Europe’s strangest summers.

Course will be held in  Williams Hall, Room 113

Barbara Roosevelt, Instructor

Mary Shelly
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Monday, 4/24
9:30 am - 11:00 am
ZCCR-675 600 0 seats left $12Section Full

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New Skete Monasteries

Experience the breathtaking churches, extensive gardens, waterfall features and the peace and solitude of New Skete! Learn about its history, art and culture. Your guided tour includes a tour of the churches, with one of the brothers giving a lecture on their history and the icons depicted on the walls, a question-and-answer session, a visit to the Meditation Garden and a slice of cheesecake. You may even catch a glimpse of the famed New Skete German Shepherd dog. Your tour will end with a visit to the monks’ gift shop and a stop at the nuns’ monastery for an opportunity to purchase cheesecake for home. Please note this tour does not include a piece of cheesecake. Course includes a $10 materials fee.

Brother Gregory, Instructor

Michele Doodian, Coordinator

Please use GPS for directions. The Address is: 273 New Skete Lane, Cambridge, NY

New Skete Monasteries
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 5/3
10:30 am - 12:30 pm
ZCCR-585 600 0 seats left $22Section Full

Call to be added to wait list

Notorious! Shady Ladies of 19th Century America

Some people would rather be infamous than famous- and nineteenth century American women were no different! Scandal and gossip can be so delicious, and these ladies tasted their fair share of both. Phyllis Chapman, as Victoria Woodhull, who was infamous herself, appears in costume to delight not only with her own escapades, but also those of naughty ladies such as Calamity Jane, Belle Starr, Lizzie Borden, Lydia Pinkham, Carry A. Nation and others. They were women who found innovative (and sometimes inappropriate!) means of making their way in the world, and their presence known. Who was the inspiration for the all-American Gibson Girl? Did the Fox sisters really communicate with the dead, or were they clever tricksters? Why was Calamity Jane a calamity? In the days when a lady’s name only appeared in the newspaper three times in her life, these gals were frequent headliners. If you like gun-swinging, bone-cracking, axe-whacking, free-loving women, this is a must-see for you!

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Phyllis Chapman, Instructor

Notorious! Shady Ladies of 19th Century America
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 3/22
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-505 600 0 seats left $25Section Full

Call to be added to wait list

Pond Investigation

Join Josh Pulito at the Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center for a hands-on look at aquatic life. Participants will learn about the life cycles and roles in the food chain of native macroinvertebrates, reptiles and amphibians by catching and releasing these creatures using drip nets. Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get up close and personal with pond life. See for yourself just how much biodiversity can be found in a small pond. Course fee includes a $10 materials fee.

Marie D'Entrone, Coordinator

Do Not Follow Your Car GPS- Some GPS units are directing people to the east side of the lake, which is 25 minutes from the Center. Please follow the directions below.

Directions: From East on Route 2. Watch for Tamarac School on the left and Tamarac Plaza on the right. Go 1.5 miles. Watch for Dyken Pond sign on the right. Turn right onto Route 79 (Blue Factory Rd). Go two miles. Turn left at Dyken Pond sign onto Route 80 (Madonna Lake Rd). Bear right at fork (Jay Hakes Rd. is to the left). Bear right at Dyken Pond sign onto Dyken Pond Rd. (go straight instead of following the turn). Continue 2.5 miles. Dyken Pond Road is a dirt road, go to the end.

From Points West, follow Route 7 east from Troy. Continue approximately 4 miles. Turn right at traffic light onto Route 278. Continue until the end. At traffic light, turn left onto Route 2, you will see Tamarac School and Plaza. Follow directions above.

From Points East: From Route 22, follow Route 2 west. You will pass the blinking light in the town of Grafton. Approximately 0.5 mile from there, look for the white Methodist Church on the left. Turn left at the church onto County Route 85 and continue for 3.1 miles. Turn left onto Route 80 (Madonna Lake Rd). After 0.8 miles, turn left at the sign.

Pond Investigation
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 5/3
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-713 600 7 seats left $22

Saratoga Spa Park Mineral Springs Tour and Taste

What is now Saratoga Spa State Park was once considered a sacred area by the Native American Iroquois Nation, who referred to the place as the Medicine Spring of the Great Spirit. As news traveled in the nineteenth century, Saratoga developed as a resort town to accommodate visitors who sought the springs for their therapeutic properties. Each of Saratoga’s mineral springs contains mineral salts, is naturally carbonated, and maintains a constant temperature of 55 degrees.

Join a park tour guide at the Creekside Classroom, near the Geyser Island Spout, to learn about the mineral springs in the park. Cups will be provided for tasting the springs. You will need to dress for the weather conditions, wear comfortable shoes for walking on uneven surfaces along the trails, and be able to stand and hike short distances.

Meet at Creekside Classroom, Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs, NY

Lea Darling, Coordinator

Directions:Take I-787 North toward Glens Falls/Saratoga Springs to exit 13N. Stay right on the ramp toward NY-9P/Union Ave toward Saratoga Springs/Schuylerville. Turn left onto E West Rd. Turn right onto Picnic Loop Rd.

Saratoga Spa Park Mineral Springs Tour and Taste
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Friday, 5/5
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-693 600 1 seats left $12

Sounds of Spring Twilight Hike

Take a twilight hike to listen for the musical sounds of spring as nature reawakens. We’ll listen for spring peepers, wood frogs and barred owls and hike to a wetland as the sun sets and the forest resumes its seasonal business. Must be able to hike 1.5 miles on uneven terrain in low light conditions. Course fee includes a $10 materials fee.

Marie D'Entrone, Coordinator

Do Not Follow Your Car GPS- Some GPS units are directing people to the east side of the lake, which is 25 minutes from the Center. Please follow the directions below.

Directions: From East on Route 2. Watch for Tamarac School on the left and Tamarac Plaza on the right. Go 1.5 miles. Watch for Dyken Pond sign on the right. Turn right onto Route 79 (Blue Factory Rd). Go two miles. Turn left at Dyken Pond sign onto Route 80 (Madonna Lake Rd). Bear right at fork (Jay Hakes Rd. is to the left). Bear right at Dyken Pond sign onto Dyken Pond Rd. (go straight instead of following the turn). Continue 2.5 miles. Dyken Pond Road is a dirt road, go to the end.

From Points West, follow Route 7 east from Troy. Continue approximately 4 miles. Turn right at traffic light onto Route 278. Continue until the end. At traffic light, turn left onto Route 2, you will see Tamarac School and Plaza. Follow directions above.

From Points East: From Route 22, follow Route 2 west. You will pass the blinking light in the town of Grafton. Approximately 0.5 mile from there, look for the white Methodist Church on the left. Turn left at the church onto County Route 85 and continue for 3.1 miles. Turn left onto Route 80 (Madonna Lake Rd). After 0.8 miles, turn left at the sign.

Sounds of Spring Twilight Hike
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 4/26
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
ZCCR-360 600 15 seats left $22

Sources for Researching Your New York State Family History

Having ancestors from New York State poses unique challenges for the family historian. Learn how to effectively utilize two of the state’s most valuable resources: New York State vital records and the New York State census. Professional genealogist and longtime New York State researcher Lisa Dougherty will show you strategies for effectively locating, accessing and interpreting these records to document your Empire State ancestor!

Course will be held in  Williams Hall, Room 113

Lisa Dougherty, Instructor

Sources for Researching Your New York State Family History
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 3/21
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-701 600 22 seats left $15

Stroll Thru Congress Park & Visit Saratoga History Museum

Participants will enjoy a one-hour walking tour of Saratoga Springs’ historic Congress Park and will learn about how Saratoga Springs developed into the city it is today. Following the walk, the class will take a tour of the Canfield Casino and the Saratoga Springs History Museum to expand upon what was experienced in the park. You will need to dress for the weather conditions and wear comfortable shoes for walking on uneven surfaces. Course fee includes a $9 materials fee.

Meet at entrance of Congress Park, Saratoga, NY

Lea Darling, Coordinator

Directions:Take I-787 North toward Glens Falls/Saratoga Springs to exit 13N. Stay right on the ramp toward NY-9 toward Saratoga Springs. Turn right onto E Congress St. Meet at entrance of Congress Park. 

Stroll Thru Congress Park & Visit Saratoga History Museum
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 5/9
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-694 600 2 seats left $21

The Beauty, Design and Fragrance of Spring Flowers

oin instructor Michele to create a floral masterpiece with color, texture, shape and style. Michele will use her 30 years of experience to teach you how to bring your own ambience to every occasion, with energy, passion, and creativity.  You may be one of the lucky students who takes one of her creations home! Course fee includes a $18 materials fee.

Course will be held in  Daycare, Room B05

Michele Peters, Instructor

The Beauty, Design and Fragrance of Spring Flowers
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 4/25
9:30 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-374 600 6 seats left $30

The Best of Oakwood

Did you know the Gardner Earl MemorialChapel and Crematorium at Oakwood Cemetery is a National Historic Landmark? We will hear the story behind the creation of this opulent 125-year-old building, resplendent with Tiffany windows, marble mosaics and carved oak features. Time will be allowed for photos and then we will take a walking tour of the cemetery. Oakwood was one of the first rural cemeteries in the country, with serpentine roads and lovely landscaping.

We’ll enjoy fascinating stories as we visit beautiful monuments for some of the influential citizens of nineteenth century Troy. The graves of Emma Willard, Civil War General George Thomas, Russell Sage, William H. Frear and “Uncle Sam” Wilson will be among those we’ll learn about. Before we return along Millionaire’s Row, our walk will be highlighted by a stop at the panoramic overlook, where you can see the Cohoes Falls, the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers, and sometimes even a soaring bald eagle. Dress appropriately for the weather and wear good walking shoes. You might want to bring bottled water as well. This slow-paced walk is approximately 1.5 miles round trip and is on mainly level paved roads with one or two dirt paths. Course fee includes a $15 materials fee.

Heidi Norton Klinowski, Instructor

Michele Doodian, Coordinator

Directions: Oakwood Cemetery is located off Route 7 East (Hoosick Street) in Troy. Take Oakwood Avenue (aka Route 40) north from Hoosick Street for about 1/2 mile. You will see the entrance gates on your left. Park near the flagpole. NOTE: If you are using a GPS or Google Maps, use 186 Oakwood Avenue Troy. Do not use 50 - 101st Street.

The Best of Oakwood
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Monday, 4/24
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
ZCCR-600 600 0 seats left $27Section Full

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The Dark Side of Center Square

Join instructor Maeve McEneny-Johnson for “The Dark Side of Center Square,” a presentation inspired by the walking tour created with the Historic Albany Foundation. The lecture will cover historic true crime, local lore, conspiracy, and mysteries embedded in the streets of Albany’s Center Square. Follow in the footsteps of the infamous Silent Stalker, and uncover the stories previously told only in lost newspapers and hushed whispers. Find out more about the dark side of this historic neighborhood, including attempted assassination of Albany’s Halloween Queen and the best spectator’s view of the notorious Gallows Hill. Note: this is a classroom-based lecture and is not a tour of Center Square.

Course will be held in  Williams Hall, Room 113

Maeve McEneny-Johnson, Instructor

The Dark Side of Center Square
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 3/30
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-699 600 2 seats left $27

The Fabulous Cushing Boys and The Baltimore Plot

2 PRESENTATIONS IN 1!

The Fabulous Cushing Boys and The Baltimore Plot

“The Fabulous Cushing Boys” presentation tells the story of four brothers who fought in the Civil War and their varied legacies. One settled into civil service; one became a Native American fighter; one was a hero at Gettysburg; and one pulled off an amazing raid behind rebel lines with the help of a young man from Bath on the Hudson (now Rensselaer).

“The Baltimore Plot” presentation recounts Lincoln’s pre-inauguration rail trip from Springfield, Illinois to Washington DC and the danger that lurked all along the way, especially in the city of Baltimore. There are some local links to this intriguing story, which also features a female private detective.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Jim Cochran, Instructor

The Fabulous Cushing Boys and The Baltimore Plot
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 3/28
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-591 600 18 seats left $12

The History of Hampton Manor

The History of Hampton Manor and the Life and Work of Edmonia Lewis

Join Town of East Greenbush Historian Bobbie Reno for a two-in-one presentation. The History of Hampton Manor will show the planning and development of Hampton Manor through documents and photographs from the early days (circa 1920s) to the present life of this beautiful development of homes, parks and lake. The Life and Work of Edmonia Lewis will discuss the life of nineteenth century sculptor Edmonia Lewis, showcase her marvelous sculptures, and provide a chance to learn more about her accomplishments and how she was remembered after he death.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Bobbie Reno, Instructor

The History of Hampton Manor
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Friday, 4/21
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-707 600 8 seats left $12

The Knapp Family & Cherry Hill's Would be Sisters

2 PRESENTATIONS IN 1!

The Knapp Family: Kinship and the Struggle for Autonomy

Harriet Maria “Minnie” Elmendorf Knapp and her sister Jane Amelia Knapp came to Cherry Hill in 1854, shortly after the death of their mother, Jane. They and their two brothers were raised as wards and servants in four Van Rensselaer households. How common was this practice, in Albany and elsewhere, during the nineteenth century? What was the special relationship between the Knapp and the Van Rensselaer families of Cherry Hill? This presentation will explore their experiences, their enduring ties to one another, and their mysterious connection to earlier generations of the Van Rensselaer family, dating back to the time of slavery.

 

Agency and Identity: Cherry Hill’s Would-Be Sisters

“Kitty” Putman and “Minnie” Knapp each came to Cherry Hill after their mother’s deaths to be raised by Van Rensselaer descendant and third-generation mistress of the estate Harriet Maria Elmendorf. Both wards, but not quite sisters, Minnie called Harriet Maria “ma,” but was raised as a servant, while Kitty would one day become mistress of Cherry Hill. Examining the clothing, photographs, possessions and accounts left behind by the two Gilded Age women, this presentation will explore the lives of Kitty and Minnie in terms of their plights, identities, relative vulnerabilities, opportunities, and the choices they made within their prescribed social roles.

Course will be held in  Williams Hall, Room 113

Shawna Reilly, Instructor

The Knapp Family & Cherry Hill's Would be Sisters
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 4/4
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-715 600 6 seats left $17

The Rare Opulence of The Gilded Age

The 1870s - 1890s, known as the Gilded Age, was a period of huge economic growth and activity in which a small collection of eager American entrepreneurs became known as “robber barons.” Their wealth centered on the banking, steel and railroad industries, created much too often through greed and unscrupulous methods. This produced a monopoly, with the most powerful families at the top presiding over political corruption across the country while hiding the sweatshops, terrible working and living conditions, and poor wages most Americans experienced. The wives of the most powerful millionaires competing with each other in their fashions, houses and furnishings to reflect their husbands’ success drove the overwhelming opulence of fashion and design even higher.

The presentation will illustrate the beginnings of haute couture in ladies’ fashion and the creation of the necessary underwear to shape their bodies for the magnificent gowns of the time. It will also explore furniture designed by the leading cabinetmakers specifically for women, and the spectacular splendor of lavish late-nineteenth-century homes like the Paine Mansion in Troy and the Astor summer home in Newport, Rhode Island.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Marilyn Sassi, Instructor

The Rare Opulence of The Gilded Age
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 4/13
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-706 600 0 seats left $19Section Full

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The Saugerties Lighthouse

Join us at the Saugerties Lighthouse, an 1869 landmark on the Hudson River that now stands proudly as a living museum and a renowned bed and breakfast. The Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy maintains the lighthouse and adjacent lands for the enjoyment of the public. The restored red-brick lighthouse offers overnight bed and breakfast accommodations, public tours and special events. Furnished as it may have looked in the early 20th century, the lighthouse contains a small museum, gift shop, parlor, kitchen, keepers’ quarters, and two guest bedrooms. The operational light tower offers a panoramic view of the Hudson River Valley and Catskill Mountains. Because of its location on the river, tours must be scheduled with tide schedules in mind. The lighthouse can be reached via a half-mile nature trail of dirt and rock paths with wooden bridges and boardwalks and sandy trails. It is at the end of Lighthouse Drive in the village of Saugerties, New York. Suitable, comfortable shoes are recommended. Course fee includes a $8 materials fee.

Jean Chenette, Coordinator

Directions: Southbound on NYS Thruway/I-87 to the RT-32 exit-(Exit 20) - toward Saugerties/Woodstock. Turn left onto NY-32, turn left onto NY-212/NY-32, which becomes Ulster Ave. Continue on Ulster Ave. for 1.0 mile, bear right at Market St., go 1 block turn left at Main St., go 1 block stay straight to US-9W/Main St. Go 0.4 miles where 9W curves to the left, turn right onto Mynderse St., go 0.3 miles turn slight left onto Lighthouse Dr. Go 0.4 miles turn right into the lighthouse parking lot after the US Coast Guard station. Follow the lighthouse trail. Go 0.5 miles.  Please wear comfortable shoes.

The Saugerties Lighthouse
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 5/11
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
ZCCR-337 600 0 seats left $20Section Full

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The Two Georges: General Washington and King George III

General George Washington is often portrayed as a stern figure who was all business: a strict disciplinarian. But what was he really like? His Majesty George III is frequently depicted as a buffoon and a madman, indifferent to both his subjects and his American colonists. The recent musical “Hamilton” presented him as such, but was he really so? Many myths surround both men; how do historians view them? Find out in this class.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Jim Sefcik, Instructor

The Two Georges: General Washington and King George III
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Friday, 3/31
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-708 600 0 seats left $12Section Full

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The World in Your Parlour, a Gilded Age "Virtual Reality" Experience

In the nineteenth century, the new art of photography changed how people viewed the world.  Now people did not have to make long, dangerous, and expensive journeys to learn about faraway lands or even to visit interesting places throughout the United States.  Photography could take you there. At the same time that photography was becoming available to the public, another concept was being developed, what we know today as “3D.” Together this would create an immersive experience that even families of modest means could enjoy.  The stereoscope, or “stereopticon,” with its photographic view cards, would introduce people to scenes from around the world. It would bring historic events into the home and create a record of significant places in many local communities. Join us for a hands-on presentation as we explore this popular pastime and see how local photographers made places in the Albany area, including the new State Capitol, come alive.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Stuart Lehman, Instructor

The World in Your Parlour, a Gilded Age "Virtual Reality" Experience
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 4/12
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-718 600 25 seats left $12

To Life! Part V and IV

To Life! Part V celebrates counting our blessings, nostalgic fun and the many ways to fall in love, featuring Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Jerry Orbach, Desi Arnaz, Elaine Stritch, Mickey Rooney and Audra MacDonald in songs by Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hart, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Bock and Harnick, and Kander and Ebb. Part VI features fun, dreaming and celebrating the moment with songs by Kander and Ebb, Charles Strouse, George Gershwin and others, as well as Chita Rivera, Jerry Orbach, Judy Garland, Tommy Tune and Liza Minnelli.

Course will be held in  Williams Hall, Room 113

Richard Feldman, Instructor

To Life! Part V and IV
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 4/26
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-716 600 15 seats left $15

Tour "The Joe" in Rensselaer County

The ValleyCats are an independent professional baseball team, set to begin their third year as members of the Frontier League. They play home games at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium, or “The Joe” as some fans call it. The stadium is located on our very own Hudson Valley Community College campus. There isn’t a bad seat in the house at The Joe! The stadium holds 4,500 people and includes 10 high-end luxury suites and four picnic areas for group outings. They play 51 home games at The Joe from May through September. Get ready to celebrate the 2023 season by touring The Joe. Take a look at their great facilities, hear what’s new for the coming year and get a look at the batting cage and locker room.

Jean Chenette, Coordinator

Directions: The Joe Bruno Stadium is located on the Hudson Valley Community College’s Campus.  The meeting spot will be at the ValleyCats box office.

Tour "The Joe" in Rensselaer County
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 5/16
10:00 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-317 600 25 seats left $12

Tour and Class at The Empire State AeroSciences Museum

Enjoy a fun and informative day at the Empire State AeroSciences Museum, a one-of-a-kind cultural facility located at the Schenectady County Airport in Glenville. The day starts off with a class on the history of aviation, where folks can learn about the evolution of aircraft from the Wright Brothers to today. As part of class, you’ll be able to see actual aircraft up close – everything from a 1910 Curtiss Pusher to the spectacular F-14 Tomcat. Next, we’ll enjoy a tour of the museum, which includes a variety of unique historic exhibits. As part of the tour, you’ll visit the museum’s wonderful airpark, featuring more than twenty historic aircraft, and be able to hop inside some. The museum is truly a gem, and recently undertook a revitalization of the interior exhibits, not to mention erection of the replica Concorde supersonic transport in front, which certainly is an eye-catcher. Course fee includes $15 materials fee.  

Course meets at  the Empire State AeroSciences Museum, 250 Rudy Chase Drive, Glenville, NY

Paula Johannesen, Coordinator

Directions: Take I-787 N toward US-7. Take NY-7 W to NY-146 W in Clifton Park. Take Exit 9, follow NY-146 W and Glenridge Rd to Rudy Chase Dr in East Glenville

Tour and Class at The Empire State AeroSciences Museum
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Friday, 5/19
10:30 am - 12:30 pm
ZCCR-196 600 4 seats left $27

Tour and Tea at Ventfort Hall

Built in 1893 as a summer residence for Sarah Morgan, sister of the famous financier J.P. Morgan, Ventfort Hall was an example of the opulent Gilded Age lifestyle. Sadly, after years of neglect, the mansion was slated for demolition in the 1990s. Painstaking restoration has brought this hidden architectural gem back to life. The first floor, veranda, and second floor are open for a tour that will take you back in time! Ventfort Hall is located in picturesque Lenox, Massachusetts, set against the scenic backdrop of the Berkshire Mountains. We will have a guided tour of the mansion and see a historic clothing exhibit, courtesy of the Berkshire County Historical Society, along with an exhibit featuring large-scale prints made directly from Gilded Age glass negatives, mostly from portrait studios of the time. They are wonderfully detailed and some are also "manipulated" images - think Photoshop techniques done by hand. A special tea will be served after the tour, with a traditional silver service surrounded by a decadent spread of sandwiches and sweets. Course fee includes $35 materials fee.

Course will meet at 104 Walker St. Lenox, MA

Michelle Doodian, Coordinator

Directions: Take I-90 E toward Boston, take Exit 2 Lee, Lenox, Pittsfield, slight right after the toll to US 20/Housatonic St., follow US 20 W, in Lenox turn left onto Rt. 183/Walker S. Ventfort Hall is located approximately ½ mile on the left.

Tour and Tea at Ventfort Hall
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Friday, 4/28
10:30 am - 12:30 pm
ZCCR-183 600 0 seats left $47Section Full

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Tour of County Waste Single Stream Recycling Plant

How does Single Stream Recycling (SSR) work, and why do it? Come and find out the answers and see the workings of this busy facility. SSR makes it easier for individuals to recycle, because separating is not necessary. SSR is better for the environment, with less going into the landfill and more to be reused. We will start with a short, informative presentation, and then go on a guided walking tour. You will be asked to wear a hard hat and a safety vest. You will be walking up flights of stairs and experiencing loud noises. Wear closed-toe shoes and long pants and dress for outside temperatures, as the garage doors will be open. If you are sensitive to odors, this may not be the class for you. Parking is at the plant, 865 South Pearl St. Albany. After parking, look for the office sign and walk in.

Course will be meet at 865 South Pearl St, Albany, NY (in main office of plant)

Lea Darling, Coordinator

Directions: Take I-87 South toward Albany/Schenectady. Take Exit 2W toward Schenectady. Bear right onto NY-5/Central Ave., turn left onto Lincoln Ave., road name changes to Rapp Rd N, take right to destination.

Tour of County Waste Single Stream Recycling Plant
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Monday, 5/1
10:00 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-568 600 0 seats left $12Section Full

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Tour of Vanderbilt Mansion and Valkill

On this tour, we will be heading south to Hyde Park to visit two very different homes. In the morning we will have a guided tour of the Vanderbilt Mansion, one of the most spectacular Gilded Age mansions in the Hudson Valley. The interiors have exotic wood paneling, gorgeous marble, and rich velvets. Outside there are formal gardens and beautiful views of the Hudson River. In the afternoon, we will visit Eleanor Roosevelt’s home, Valkill. A large “cottage,” it became Eleanor’s main home after FDR’s death. It is warm and cozy, and you may find yourself wishing you could move in. At both sites there will be a tour given by National Park Service rangers, who are experts at giving informative and interesting tours. Course includes $10 materials fee.

Course meets at 119 Vanderbilt Park Road, Hyde Park, NY

Linda Jones, Coordinator

Directions: From either North or South Exit 18 (New Paltz), take 299 East, to 9W South, follow the signs to Mid-Hudson Bridge (also known as the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Bridge). After crossing bridge follow overhead signs to Route 9 North. You will come to the Roosevelt Home first approximately 5 miles north once you exit the bridge. The Vanderbilt Mansion is approximately 2 miles north of the Roosevelt Home. Both are located on the left.

Tour of Vanderbilt Mansion and Valkill
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 5/11
10:00 am - 2:30 pm
ZCCR-696 600 0 seats left $22Section Full

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Walking Tour of Forest Park Amusement Park

In the early 1900s, amusement parks played a major role in people’s lives, thanks to the advent of a whole new concept in America: leisure time. From 1901-1927, Ballston Lake was home to the Forest Park Amusement Park. This was a vacation destination for people of the time as well as a popular place for locals. This tour of the former Forest Park will allow you to learn about the layout of the park and see some of the buildings and structures that still exist today. This is a walking tour (approximately 1 mile total and 1.5 hours) on mostly level land and takes place in wooded areas some of the time. It is advisable to wear comfortable clothing, good walking shoes or sneakers, and protect against ticks in whatever way you feel is appropriate. The tour is rain or shine. There are no bathroom facilities available. Parking will be along the street and signs will be posted for your convenience.

Course will be meet at 62 Westside Drive, Ballston Lake

Lea Darling, Coordinator

Directions: Follow I-787 N, NY-7 W and I-87 N to Ushers Rd in Clifton Park. Take exit 10 from I-87 N, Continue on Ushers Rd. Take Hubbs Rd and Schauber Rd to Westside Drive in Ballston

Walking Tour of Forest Park Amusement Park
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 4/25
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-695 600 0 seats left $12Section Full

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Walking Tour of Troy's Historic Washington Park and Surrounding Homes and Tea

Enjoy taking a step back in time to the mid-1800s to see and experience the genteel living of the nouveau rich of Troy’s Washington Park, its surrounding neighborhoods, and its newly-added artist enclave. You will be able to see firsthand the loving care taken to rehabilitate and update many of these one-of-a-kind homes once owned by the emerging upper middle class of the nineteenth century, and visit their own private park. You will see many different types of architecture, including Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate and Queen Anne. We may even see a restoration in progress at one of the area homes. Recently, several artists have been setting up studios in this rich cultural area, and we may visit one. A tea reception will be held in the last home we visit on the tour.

The tour will include lots of walking on mostly uneven surfaces: sidewalks, grass, roads, and some home interiors with multiple flights of stairs. Be mindful of your capabilities to keep up with the group, as we have a tight schedule to adhere to for the two-hour tour. Wear comfortable walking shoes as you will be on your feet for all of the tour. Dress for the outdoors, rain or shine. Course fee includes a $25 materials fee.

Course will meet at Second Street entrance into Washington Park, Troy, NY

Lea Darling, Coordinator

Directions: Meet at Washington Park across from the front of 195 2nd St., Troy, NY 12180. Parking is along the bordering streets of Washington Park – Washington Place, 2nd and 3rd streets and Washington Street. This is a walking tour with many uneven surfaces and stairs. Please wear comfortable shoes.

Walking Tour of Troy's Historic Washington Park and Surrounding Homes and Tea
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Monday, 5/8
10:00 am - 12:30 pm
ZCCR-329 600 0 seats left $37Section Full

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Community and Professional Education

Brahan Hall, Room 033

Fax: (518) 629-8103

Regular Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Summer Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
(excluding college holidays and vacations)