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W.I.L.L. – Wilmington Institute for Lifelong Learning

Program Paused During Spring 2024. Look for W.I.L.L. Updates

With W.I.L.L., Wilmington College began a new outreach to the community in the spring of 2010. We are dedicated to providing challenging classes for those 40 and older in the greater Wilmington area. Our objective is to lead all who wish to join us to new ideas, possibly to new experiences, and to pleasure in the pursuit of continued, shared learning.


The classes meet once a week for one to two hours. Most of the WILL classes are taught within a six week timeframe unless otherwise noted in the catalog (i.e., Garden Tours, one session classes, etc.) There are no educational requirements, no tests and no grades for the seminars. Topics cover a range of topics, including social, cultural, political, exercise, health, cooking, agriculture and many more. Our objective is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas to promote the joy of learning. Participants are encouraged to keep up with any assigned readings and to contribute to seminar discussions.

Margaret Guentert

Wilmington College remembers Margaret Guentert, founding director of the WILL program, who died unexpectedly in May 2019. A member of the English faculty beginning in 1997 and the director of the Honors Program for several years, she retired as an assistant professor of English in 2009. Less than a year later, she established the Wilmington Institute for Lifelong Learning, in which she coordinated the offering of 20 or so adult seminars in both the fall and spring terms through fall 2018. Margaret is fondly remembered for her passion for education and belief that learning is a lifelong endeavor.

Spring 2023 Course Offerings

  • Cherokee Language 101
  • Conversations That Count
  • English Gardens
  • Equine 101
  • Furniture Restoration
  • Learning Proper Pruning Techniques
  • Stained Glass
  • Tai Chi
  • Weightlifting and Strength Training for Seniors
  • Wet Felting
  • Writing and Journalism

Cherokee Language 101 | TUESDAYS | 10 to 11 a.m.
BCAC (Boyd Cultural Arts Center) Room 119 (WILMINGTON COLLEGE)
6-week course Beginning March 21, 2023

Course Purpose: This course introduces you to the Cherokee language. This language is spoken mainly in North Carolina and Oklahoma. Students will learn about the syllabary, invented by Sequoyah, and adopted in 1821 by the Cherokee Nation. Students will have the opportunity to hear the language spoken, play Bingo and Uno in Cherokee, learn simple conversational phrases and how to write their names in Cherokee.

Class Limit - 10

Instructor: Bill Limbacher

Bill Limbacher has offered Cherokee language seminars a number of times over the years for the Wilmington College W.I.L.L. program. He also offers private lessons to individuals. In 2019, he gave an interactive presentation on playing a board game, similar to Scrabble, in Cherokee at the American Indian Symposium in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Bill has a substantial collection of language materials to share with students.

Conversations that Count | THURSDAYS | 10 to 12 noon
BCAC (Boyd Cultural Arts Center) Room 119
5-week course Beginning March 23, 2023

In this class, we will cover a variety of different topics. We will touch base on ourselves as our political, domestic, and global lives continue to move at warp speed. A proposed course outline will include five two-hour sessions on some of these topics as well as the summary report from the J6 Committee. Participants will engage in open and respectful conversation. For the initial session, it is suggested that participants bring their own copy of the US Constitution. Additional reading materials will be provided by the instructor. Class participants should bring open minds and willingness to share in the conversations brought about in class.

Class Limit – 25

Instructor: Elaine Silverstrim

Fr. Elaine Silverstrim, retired Episcopal priest and former President of the Alliance for Compassion and Truth BS E. C. Ed., Albany State College 1976 (HBCU and heart of Albany Movement and SNCC) M.A. Hist., University of Scranton 1988, Highest Honors in the department. Graduate Fellow in the department. M.Div., General Theological Seminary, 1991. As a member of the local A.C.T. group, Fr. Elaine has led several series of “Conversations That Count” at the local library, including an overview of The Mueller Report, the book “On Tyranny” by Timothy Snyder, an overview refresher history of the US Constitution, and more recently a review of The Dobbs Decision.

English Gardens | FRIDAY, MAY 5 | 10 a.m. to noon (one tour will be offered)
1 Tour Offered This Day

What is an English Garden? Who is to say what an English Garden is? Why are English Gardens considered to be the quintessential garden? Can you grow an English Garden in Ohio? Sadly, the answer is no. So, what can you do? Come join us at Ashdowne Garden in Jamestown, Ohio to learn. This is a one-day (approximately 2 hour) class that includes a lecture detailed with slides of some of the most famous English Gardens in England and an extensive tour through Ashdowne.

Please wear comfortable outdoor shoes as pathways through the gardens are grassy and uneven with a few inclines in places. A box lunch will be provided at the end of the tour.

*Depending on the number registered to attend this tour, transportation may be provided by the W.I.L.L. program – to be determined. We will notify you.

Tour Limit – 6

Instructor: Craig Jaynes

Craig is the gardener of the Ashdowne English Garden located just outside of Jamestown, Ohio. He began creating and working on the garden over a decade ago as it is always a work in progress. Craig has led four different garden tours to England. He also established the first English-style garden open to the public in Columbus at Christ Church, Anglican prior to the Ameriflora International Garden Show in 1992.

Furniture Restoration | WEDNESDAYS | 3 to 5 p.m.

These classes will offer the opportunity to explore the art of reworking and refinishing a piece of furniture to its original condition, allowing the piece to be usable again. The first session will consist of an introduction providing examples from the instructor’s own refinishing endeavors. This introduction will provide class participants with ideas of what they can achieve during the class. 2nd session: participants will be asked to bring an item they wish to work on to class. *An additional fee of $25 is charged for the class due to the cost of materials that will be provided. Please bring payment on the first day of the class and pay the instructor directly.*

*An additional fee of $25 is charged for the class due to the cost of materials that will be provided. Please bring payment on the first day of the class and pay the instructor directly.

Class Limit – 3

Instructor: Lee Silverstrim

Lee is a retired manager from P&G. He has been reworking furniture since the age of 10 and has a true passion for the process. He refers to his completed pieces as “Resurrection Works.” Lee is enthusiastic about his ability to see possibilities in pieces of furniture that would likely be in someone’s burn pile. He loves to help others see the possibilities and reach their goals for new life and function in these pieces.

Equine 101 | WEDNESDAYS | 2 to 3 P.M.

This class introduces students to the basics of equine care. You will learn about handling, behavior, and management with an emphasis on safety. Basic equine health, identification and equine anatomy will also be covered. Discussion and application of handling (haltering, catching, leading, and holding horses), behavior, management practices, anatomy and identification will occur in both the classroom and laboratory settings. If weather and time permits, the students will also be taught the basics of proper mount and dismount and have some “seat time” in the Equine Center arena.

*An additional fee of $50 is charged for the class. This fee provides the participant with use of the tack and assists with the feed bill for the horses

Class Limit - 6

Instructor:  Daren Wright

Daren is from Chillicothe, Ohio and is the Director of the Equine Program and Equestrian Team at Wilmington College. He has been judging for 30 years and is currently the Director for the American Paint Horse Association and currently serves on the judges committee. Daren is currently carded with his AQHA, APHA, NSBA, PHBA, ApHC, PtHA, ABRA, IBHA, and NASMA. He is a Professional Horseman for the American Quarter Horse Association and American Paint Horse Association and a member of the Judges Committee for the American Buckskin Horse Association. Daren has been fortunate enough to judge some of the largest and most prestigious shows in the United States including the AQHYA World Show, All American Quarter Horse Congress, APHA World Show, PtHa World Show, AQHA Novice Championships, ApHc World Show, ABRA World Show, PHBA World Show along with many other national and championships in Italy, Australia, Sweden, Holland, France, England, and multiple other countries.

Instructor: Stephanie McConnell-Hill

Stephanie has managed a large and successful Boarding, Training, and Breeding Farm, she holds several Breed Judging Cards, and most importantly, comes to us with a very impressive coaching record. She has coached over 30 World and Reserve World Champions at prestigious shows such as the AQHA World Championships Show, the AQHA Level 1 World Championship Show, and the ARHA World Championship Show. She has also coached numerous top 10 awards in the AQHA Quarter Horse Congress.

Learning Proper Pruning Techniques | Tuesdays | 2:30 to 4 p.m.
Classroom and Arboretum on Wilmington College Campus
Kelly Center - Room #2

Understanding the intricacies of pruning and taking good care of your trees. This is a “hands on” class. Prepare to enjoy nature while learning. There will be some classroom time (especially if the weather is not cooperating) but the majority of the class will be held in the Wilmington College Arboretum. First class will meet in the classroom (Kelly – Room #2) *Participants should bring with them, to each class, a pair of “hand-held” pruning shears and a good pair of sturdy gardening gloves.

Class Limit – 10-12

Instructor: Brad Schwamberger

Brad is a 1983 graduate Of Wilmington College in Environmental Studies. After graduation, he interned at Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain Georgia, then returned home to NW Ohio and worked at Frank’s Nursery and Crafts. There he was promoted to store Horticulturist. The last several years have seen him working with Emeritus Professor Monte Anderson in the Frank O Hazard Arboretum at WC.

Stained Glass | THURSDAYS | 2 to 5 p.m.

Explore the ancient and beautiful art form of stained glass as you create your own masterpiece. This one-on-one training is hands-on and incorporates both traditional and modern techniques. You will learn to cut the glass safely and successfully while learning methods of construction including Tiffany, Lead, and Zinc Came.

*Due to the cost of the materials. Participants will be asked to pay an additional $100 beyond the WILL fee payable to the instructor on the first day of classes

Class Limit – 5-6

Instructor: John W. Schum

John owns the Main Street Studio and is the Director of Wilmington Community Arts Collaborative. The stained-glass bug bit John almost 30 years ago. He loves the way light looks coming through the stained glass at church. In his retirement, he gets to show people how to make stained glass.

Tai Chi | MONDAYS | 10 to 11 a.m.
6-WEEK COURSE, BEGINNING Monday, Mar. 20, 2023

Learn the internal benefits of Tai Chi, an ancient, slow meditative practice that creates tremendous health benefits. Tai Chi helps to improve your balance, reduce stress, and increase your vitality. Practicing Tai Chi and Qigong develops and stimulates internal energy centers while helping improve mobility and flexibility. Anyone can learn Tai Chi regardless of age, level of fitness, or flexibility.

*Be sure to wear comfortable workout clothing and socks for each class

Class Limit – 10

Instructor: Bob Baylor

Bob has been studying Tai Chi for the last 15 years, which has enabled him to achieve a higher level of health and spiritual awareness. As he continues his journey of personal discovery and growth, he enjoys sharing his knowing with others to help them improve their spirit, mind and body.

Weightlifting & Strength Training for Seniors | FRIDAYS | 11 a.m. to noon

This class is designed to help participants build strength, endurance, and flexibility with the use of weights and various bodyweight exercises. Life-long aliments can be accommodated through modifications.

*Be sure to wear comfortable workout clothing*

Class Limit – 10

Instructor: Paula Stewart

Paula is the Director of Wellness and the Assistant Swimming Coach at Wilmington College. She holds certifications as a Personal Trainer, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Spinning Instructor, and recently completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training. Paula is a two-time Ironman finisher; she has been a previously sponsored athlete on SoBe Cannondale Mountain Bike Team, has summited Pikes Peak on three separate occasions and has also summited Mt. Evans (the highest paved road in the United States) by bicycle. Paula hopes to help you find an activity that you can enjoy while getting fit.