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Lifelong Learning


Our Mission

Lifelong Learning (LLL) seeks to provide quality, community oriented programs for people of various ages.  UCM’s LLL series is designed to provide programs and performances that enlighten and inform people throughout the region.  All programs are free and open to the public.  Please join us!  

Our History

Lifelong Learning (LLL) began with an interest survey distributed to UCM’s to members of the UCM Emeriti Association in April 2010.  In June, 2010 a committee of emeriti members, Dee Hudson, Justyn Graham, Harold Sampson, and Deems Brooks met to begin planning a variety of ungraded learning opportunities for older adults within the community.  Though not serving on the committee, Dick Carr aided with media releases.  Darlene Laubenstein replaced Hudson on the committee in April 2011 and Karen Haase was added in the summer of 2011. 


Meet The Board


Mary Solomon -- Chair

Solomon retired after a 34-year career as a middle school language arts teacher. She is a University of Missouri graduate and completed graduate work at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Solomon is a past member of the Survival Adult Abuse Center board and volunteers in other community capacities.  She is an avid reader who enjoys traveling, playing bridge, and spoiling grandchildren.  


Bobbie Erickson -- Secretary

Erickson retired in 2004 after a 24-year career as a public school library media specialist. She has a BS degree in Sociology from Southern Illinois University (Carbondale) and a MSE in Library Science from UCM. Her passion is travel and she has visited all 50 states and many foreign countries. She also enjoys reading, singing in the church choir, and working at the Teacher's Warehouse.

Ellen Blaize -- Public Relations

Blaize is a lifelong Warrensburg resident and UCM alumna. She received a BS in Broadcast Media in 2011 and a MA in Mass Communication in 2013. She works as an integrated marketing specialist in UCM’s office of Integrated Marketing and Communications. She and her husband Josh love animals and have two basset hounds and two cats. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and camping in her RV, and playing bass guitar and singing on the worship team for Life Church of the Nazarene. 
 picture of mike shaw

James Shaw

James M. (Mike) Shaw is a 1968 graduate of Warrensburg High School who spent his working life in the construction industry. He retired from Kansas City Ironworkers’ Local 10 in 2007. In 2010 he started CMO Solar and has installed several solar electric generators in west central Missouri. He is a past president of the board of directors and acts as a volunteer curator/administrator for the Johnson County Historical Society in Warrensburg and currently serves as a board member. He enjoys collecting vinyl records of all genres, has played drums for some local bands, is an avid genealogist and local historian.

african-american women with pink shirt

Karen Churn

Karen Churn is a 1987 graduate of Central Missouri State University, now UCM, with a bachelor's degree in political science.  She worked for the American Red Cross Service to Military Families at Fort Leonard Wood, MO from 1989 thru 1996 which included deploying with the 82nd Airborne Division to Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield in 1990. Currently, she has worked for Trails Regional Library in various capacities since 1996.  Since returning to Warrensburg, she has volunteered for the Warrensburg Food Center, served on the boards of Survival and the WMMC Auxiliary, and was a Hospice Volunteer for Johnson County Community Health Services for nearly 10 years.


Mark Pearce -- Ex Officio Member

Mark Pearce is a sixth-generation Missourian who lives in Warrensburg. Mark’s professional career was with public television station KMOS-TV and public radio station 90.9 The Bridge on the University of Central Missouri campus.  In addition to Lifelong Learning, Mark is also active in the Rotary Club of Warrensburg, The Warrensburg Church of the Brethren, Old Drum Open Mic and Johnson County Citizens for Environmental Action.


Upcoming Events

Johnson County In Song, September 29, 2020

When:  September 19, 2020 at 7:00 pm.  Where:  First Christian Church - Christian Life Center, 101 E. Gay Street, Warrensburg, MO.  

We’re pleased to welcome Johnson County natives David and Jimmy Nace as Lifelong Learning at UCM opens its 2020- 21 program year. Fourth generation performers, their musical legacy dates back to the late 19th century with their great-great grandfather Valandingham Nace, a classically trained violinist. In the 1920’s and 30’s their grandfather Percy performed as a multiinstrumentalist and square dance caller before passing the torch to his son Johnny in the late 40’s. Johnny performed at local dances before leading the house bands on the regional radio and television programs “Hillbilly Jamboree” and the “Circle 6 Ranch.” He recorded rockabilly in the late 50’s before finding his musical home in the golden age of honky-tonk. An astute songwriter, he led a top notch band to regional success with songs like “Sing Me The Blues” and “Blue Notes”.

Note:  We will adhere to all health and safety protocols in accordance with the First Christian Church, Johnson County Community Health, and University of Central Missouri. Social distancing will be observed and masks may be required. 



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