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Meet the New President

At CSC’s meeting in April, the board of directors unanimously voted to start the process toward independent status, but — as in an epic voyage — sometimes the timing is decided by outside forces. This vote coincided with the pandemic storm that hit near the beginning of CSC’s spring term. Reluctantly, we made the decision to cancel all spring classes. It’s been all hands on deck as we navigate both covid-19 changes and our transition.

Where are we now? Our ship is in drydock for a complete refit. For our fall term, we are planning a shakedown cruise with our current members and intrepid instructors. We fully intend to be shipshape by the winter term and to welcome aboard new and renewing members.

Currently, the Faculty (crew) is learning how to teach effectively using Zoom until we know that it is safe to return to face-to- face classes. We’re also trying out new software that will allow us to do online registration perhaps as soon as Winter term. Even when we do return to the classroom setting, having Zoom at our disposal will free us from the worries about snow days in Winter term. This past winter I had two snow days to make up and I foolishly said that it was now too late to snow — enter covid 19. In the future we can move seamlessly to Zoom in the case of a weather delay. We can also use Zoom for occasional lectures when that format seems appropriate.

From this point on, please note that CSC will be using this new email address: Because emails from new addresses often go to your spam or junk mail folder, either check these folders for emails from CSC or simply add this new address to your contacts. The CSC eNewsletter will continue to come to you directly from editor Cecile Horowitz at: Our website is in the process of being updated as is our Facebook page, so keep checking. In early winter when Coastal Senior College is ready to accept new and renewal memberships, as well as class registrations, you will be informed by email and on the website. Please note that if your registration was good until June 30, 2020 it has been automatically extended through this coming fall term. Current members will receive information about the fall in mid-August.

As Kenyon’s academic dean for several years I not only was involved in classroom academic administration, but also the maintenance of academic facilities. Now I am President of CSC which operates out of a virtual office and, instead of maintaining our own facility, we make use of donated and rented spaces which bring us out into the community and connect us with other organizations.

Those of you who know me know that I try not to take myself too seriously. As I began writing this letter a bit of Gilbert and Sullivan popped into my head. “Stay close to the coast and never go to sea/ And you will be the Ruler of the CSC.”

I am looking forward, as I know you are, to a return to normal, but for us it will be a very new normal.

Stay safe and stay connected to CSC,


Independence Day!

On April 20, 2020, the Board of Directors of Coastal Senior College, one of 17 senior colleges in the Maine Senior College Network, voted unanimously to transition to independent status from the University of Maine System. With the full support and encouragement of our UMA Rockland Center affiliate, Coastal Senior College will become the 6th independent senior college in the Maine Senior College Network by July 1, 2021. Independent not-for-profit status will give CSC the increased flexibility and benefits that come with full autonomy.

“For example, in addition to our excellent classes, more opportunities to participate in a variety of activities, groups and programs will be available for our members. Also, once this transition is complete, students will be able to register and pay for for CSC courses online,” said Shelly Swazey, former President of Coastal Senior College.

The decision to transition coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused the cancellation of the entire Spring 2020 trimester of CSC courses. “We plan to resume in-person classes and programs once it is safe again to gather in groups. However, if this remains untenable, then we will be ready to use technology like Zoom to keep our CSC learning community connected,” Swazey continued, “Zoom technology is easy to learn to use, and can offer the community the opportunity to get to know the many benefits of becoming a member of Coastal Senior College.”

We invite you to also visit the Coastal Senior College Facebook page to stay informed as our transition and planning continue.