Skip to main content

Hundreds of courses. Knowledgeable instructors.
Have it your way, online or in-person.

February 2023

FGCU Academy
FGCU Academy and Florida

Florida Fun Facts
• Florida is one of the most-visited destinations in the world
• Florida produces 70% of the country’s oranges
• Cape Canaveral is owned by the U.S. Air Force
• The World Golf Hall Of Fame is in St. Johns County
• Nearly all of America’s fresh market tomatoes come from Florida
• Suntan lotion was invented in Miami.
• Florida’s state flower is the orange blossom
• Florida has a local myth called Skunk Ape
• Florida is the world’s leading grapefruit producer
• Britton Hill is Florida’s highest natural point
• There’s an annual “Mullet Toss” at the Flora-Bama line
• One of Florida’s most popular landmarks is an old telephone booth

Did you know that Florida Gulf Coast University is only 25 years old? FGCU Academy is even younger. But with all that FGCU brings to the community, it feels like we have been here forever.

Our day trips are booming! Our lectures are flourishing! We are SWFL strong bouncing back from the last few years of pandemic and weather tragedies. We provide a means of knowledge combined with fun for you.

See everything that is happening below.

For assistance with registration – call our office (239) 434-4737, and we will be glad to assist you.

Free Gift with Purchase of a Membership

When you purchase a membership, you are supporting lifelong learning in the SWFL community. As a token of our appreciation, we have a free gift for all those who Moviepurchase a membership, in-person or online. Visit the FGCU Naples Center at 704 Goodlette Frank Rd North to receive your free gift.


Morikami Japanese Gardens & Bento Box Lunch
Thursday March 9, 2023 | 7:30am – 5:30pm

The Morikami Museum Collection houses 5,000 Japanese art objects and artifacts, including a 500-piece collection of tea ceremony items, more than 200 textile pieces and recent fine art acquisitions. The 200 acres that surround the Morikami’s two museum buildings include expansive Japanese gardens with strolling paths, resting areas, a tropical bonsai collection, small lakes teeming with koi and other wildlife, nature trails, pine forests and park and picnic areas. Included are motor coach transportation, driver gratuity, a docent-led tour of the gardens, and lunch. Itineraries are subject to change. No refunds within 10 business days of departure.
You must pre-register by calling our office at 239.434.4737


Vizcaya Mansion & Gardens Tour with Lunch
Wednesday April 3, 2023 | 7:30am – 5:30pm

Vizcaya was created as James Deering’s subtropical winter home in the 1910s and today it is a National Historic Landmark and accredited museum. Vizcaya is beautiful and serene. Vizcaya has been described as “the finest private house ever built in America,” “a jewel among Miami’s skyscrapers and subdivisions” and “some Noah’s Ark of decorative arts” with its exteriors offering the “manic tranquility of the great European folly gardens.” Included are transportation, driver gratuity and a docent-led tour of portions of the mansion and gardens. A box lunch is included. Departure information will be emailed 3 days prior to the trip. Itineraries are subject to change. No refunds within 10 business days of departure.

You must pre-register by calling our office at 239.434.4737

Don’t Miss – Dr. Martha Bireda speaks from experience
Join Dr. Bireda as she will lecture “in-costume performances” for these powerful and entertaining lectures.
Register Now

Living History Series: Reenactment Celebrations of Black Lives Remembered (3-part series)
@ Naples Center or Online via Zoom- March 1, 15, 29 | 1:30 – 3 pm

Join Dr. Martha Bireda as she offers in-costume performance reenactments of the lives of three remarkable black women who changed the world around them. You can register for this entire series or any of the single lectures below.

• Powerful Doctoring Women – March 1 at 1:30 – 3pm, Wednesday
Listen, learn, taste and touch as Granny/Midwife Pearl shares the plants and herbs she uses to keep enslaved Africans healthy on the Bellamy plantation. Learn about the herbs used for preventative, curative, as well as resistance purposes by women who refused to breed children for slavery. A lively discussion follows with participants’ own memories of their “Granny’s” cures.
• A Numbers Queen – March 15 at 1:30 – 3pm, Wednesday
Miss Josephine takes young Daniel Baker, an emigrant from Florida to Detroit under her tutelage and teaches him the numbers racket. Participants learn how the illegal “numbers racket,” precursor to the Lottery, contributed to the well-being of African American communities and was key to building thriving businesses. Learn how the numbers racket helped to give African Americans a chance to experience the American dream.
• Reflections of a Colored Girl – March 29 at 1:30 – 3pm, Wednesday
Our presenter grew up in the Jim Crow South. She tells stories of her experiences and lessons learned as a “colored” girl. She sheds light on her evolution from “colored” girl to a “Negro” in a predominately White university, an angry young “Black” woman, an “African American” diversity consultant, and finally “a person of color,” a member of the global majority who regards race (Blackness) as a social construction and not a focus of self-identity.

If you are looking to declutter, downsize or move – Marla Ottenstein is the person to speak with. Her enthusiasm, peppiness and passion is what you need. She is a no-nonsense individual who gets you to your end goal without delay. She keeps you on task as she patiently guides through this very personal process.

Join her this week and see for yourself!

Get Organized: How to Downsize and Simplify Your Life
@ Naples Center or Online via Zoom- February 23 | 3 – 4:30pm

Naples’ Premier Professional Organizer and the creator of the popular Get Organized column, Marla Ottenstein, shows you why hiring a professional organizer to help you declutter, downsize and transition into the next stage of your life is the most effective and efficient way to tackle the life-changing task of downsizing. Topics for discussion may include: why hire a professional organizer when I can do it myself; where to start, how to decide what stays and what goes, how to hold onto some of the memories, the in’s & outs of selling/consigning things you no longer need and how to prepare your home to sell in today’s marketplace.

Navajo Code Talkers
@ Naples Center / Online via Zoom – February 22 | 10 – 11:30am

During World Wars I/II, several Native American languages were used as communication tools among U.S. command officers. In WWII, the U.S. Marines recruited a group of Navajo Indians to create a code whose function was to make communication on the battlefield faster and more efficient. Thus was born the “Navajo Code Talkers.” To quote U.S. Marine Major Howard Connor: “Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima.” This lecture discusses the critical use of coding as a tool for communication in war time, what made Native American languages so effective, and why the Navajo code was the only war time code that was never cracked.


Several Spots Remaining – Grab Yours Now

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn something new and up your game

Register Now!

Golf Clinic: A Better Short Game – Chipping & Putting
Eastwood Golf Course / Ft Myers 4600 Bruce Herd Lane
February 21 | 10 – 11:30am

Join golf professional and instructor Thor Parrish as he demonstrates drills and skills to improve your short game, reduce your handicap, and be a better golfer. Chipping, putting and bunker play will be the focus of this program. Bring your putter and wedges and let Thor observe and improve your short game putting and chipping.





Call us for assistance with registration – 239.434.4737

Bring FGCU Academy to Your Community

If you would like to have FGCU Academy provide programs at your community, click below and send us an email with your information: who the contact person is, their email and phone number along with name of your community. We will be happy to reach out and discuss the possibilities with them.

Schedule a Private Education Session
for Your Community!



International Film and Documentary Discussion
(All movies begin at 2pm)

Viewing held at Naples Center – 704 Goodlette-Frank Rd. N. – 3rd floor, Naples

  • February 26 – Petite Maman * March 12 – Lion * March 26 – Hive
  • April 9 – Pain and Glory * April 23 – A Sun

Join FGCU Academy for a casual afternoon enjoying the above movies and participating in open discussion afterwards with our moderator – John Guerra
Register early
Advanced registration is strongly recommended

FGCU Academy Day Trips

February 23 – Tour of Immokalee – few spots remaining
March 9 – Morikami Japanese Gardens & Bento Box Lunch
March 16 – Miami Millionaire’s Row Boat Cruise & Bayside Marketplace- few spots left
March 21 – Flagler Mansion and Gilded Age Afternoon Tea
March 22 – Tour of Immokalee
March 28 – Miami’s Wynwood Artistic, Culinary and Cultural Tour
April 3 – Vizcaya Mansion & Gardens Tour with Lunch (Date Change)
April 4 – The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg

remember to book your trips early as they sell out fast


See what else is happening in February
click on any title below for more information

Monday February 20
• Making/Taking Better Photos
• Voyage to Mars
• iPhone/iPad Apps: Apple Mail and Safari
• The Collapse of the Hapsburg Empire in World War I
• The Medieval Millennium, 400CE – 1485
• Elizabeth I: Overcoming the Challenges Facing a Female Monarch in Tudor England
• What You Need to Know About Medicare in 2023
• Safety or Control: The History of the 2nd Amendment and the National Rifle
• What Happened to the Ink on my Fingers – From Traditional News to Social Media
• iPhone/iPad Maps and Messages Apps
• iPhone/iPad: Tips, Tricks & Secrets All Users Should Know in iOS16
• Mary Queen of Scots
• Panama: The Canal that Crossed a Continental Divide and Formed a New Nation
• The Invisibility of Social Issues in Southwest Florida
• Should I Stay or Should I Move? Understanding the Senior Housing Options in SWFL
• Soviet Disinformation and Alleged Nazi War Criminals in North America
• iPhone/iPad Maps and Messages Apps
• How the Modern Bible Came to Be

Travel The World With FGCU Academy
Travel is not reward for working, it’s education for living

View our
Pre-Recorded Travel Open House Presentation Now

INSIDER’S JAPAN – View Full Itinerary/Travel Brochure
May 20 – June 1, 2023 | 13 days
It’s a land of delicate art and bustling commerce, of rich traditions and dizzying modernity; a jumble of sights, sounds, and tastes that for visitors are truly foreign – and truly fascinating. This well-crafted tour features the highlights of Tokyo and Kyoto, engages us in local life, and takes us off the beaten path to the lovely historic cities of Takayama and Kanazawa.

UNTAMED ALASKA – View Full Itinerary/Travel Brochure
August 20 – 30, 2023 | 11 days
Awe-inspiring natural beauty and outdoor adventure await as we explore Alaska’s varied landscapes and noteworthy cities. From Denali, Wrangell-St. Elias, and Kenai Fjords national parks to the energy of Anchorage and scenic Seward, our small group encounters the breadth and beauty of America’s Last Frontier.

LEGENDARY TURKEY – View Full Itinerary/Travel Brochure
September 1 – 15, 2023 | 15 days
Exotic sights, scents, and sounds reign in this fascinating land where Europe and Asia meet. From Istanbul, magnificent “Empress of the World,” to ancient ruins, stunning landscapes, and the dramatic – and legendary – Turquoise Coast, Turkey engages and beguiles, offering us an unparalleled small group experience.

ACROSS SPAIN & PORTUGAL – View Full Itinerary/Travel Brochure
September 10 – 26, 2023 | 17 days
Fortified cities and tiny fishing villages, rugged Atlantic coastline and commanding Pyrenees peaks, iconic shrines to both religion and fine art, and intimate lodgings in historic paradores and pousadas – it all awaits on this singular small group journey from Lisbon across the north of Spain, ending in vibrant Barcelona.

PEARLS OF DALMATIA – View Full Itinerary/Travel Brochure
September 14 – 28, 2023 | 15 days
Independent, democratic Croatia welcomes visitors eager to absorb its remarkable history and culture – and its beautiful and unspoiled Dalmatian coastline. As our small group travels from historic Zagreb and beautiful Lake Bled to the Habsburg resort of Opatija, the island of Hvar, and beloved Dubrovnik, we see why this cherished region lays such a claim on the hearts of all who visit.

SICILY IN DEPTH View Full Itinerary/Travel Brochure
September 28 – October 9, 2023 | 12 days
Crossroads of the Mediterranean … the “toe” in Italy’s boot … “God’s Kitchen” … Sicily is all this, and much more, as we see on our stellar small group journey around this Italian island. It’s lively cities and ancient ruins, temples of man – and of nature, hospitable people and delectable cuisine … a feast for all the senses.

ISRAEL: TIMELESS WONDERS View Full Itinerary/Travel Brochure
October 14 – 25, 2023 | 12 days
Encounter a land of extraordinary beauty and belief, of spirit and story, history and hospitality. From modern Tel Aviv to scen¬ic Upper Galilee, ancient Tiberias and storied Nazareth to Jerusalem, “City of Gold,” we engage all our senses in a small group encounter with this extraordinary and holy land, with a five-night stay in Jerusalem at the legendary King David hotel.

FGCU Academy Travel 2024
Call for More Info – 239-434-4838
Travel Brochures will be available Summer 2023

Moroccan Discovery, May 12-27, 2024

This land of dramatic contrasts invites us to encounter its ancient ruins and sacred mosques, endless desert and storied mountains, imposing kasbahs and spirited souks. As we travel from the imperial cities of Rabat, Fez, and Marrakech to the High Atlas and vast Sahara, we open our eyes, and hearts, to a truly foreign land, an age-old culture, and genuinely hospitable people.

Classic Safari: Kenya & Tanzania, August 13-28, 2024

“On safari” … it’s one of the most alluring phrases in all of travel. And Kenya and Tanzania count among the most alluring places to be “on safari.” As our small group travels from grasslands to highlands, to reserves and national parks, we enjoy intimate game drives, see stupendous landscapes, stay in excellent accommodations, and meet gracious local people.

Exploring Iceland, August 15-25, 2024

It’s a surprising, even astonishing land; one of massive glaciers and rumbling volcanoes, bubbling mud holes and powerful waterfalls; hugely abundant bird life and just 340,000 people; and where the sun never sets for six splendid weeks. It’s also perfect for exploring in a small group, as we discover traveling the breadth of the country and getting an up-close view of this natural “wonderland.”

Southern Italy & Sicily, September 4-18, 2024

Delight in a special exploration of Italy’s southern climes, from striking Sicily and the breathtaking Amalfi Coast to unheralded Apulia, the alluring “boot heel” where a vivid history, unique architecture, and bountiful plains join the sun and sea in creating a prized (and crowd-free) region. Add Italian hospitality, outstanding cuisine, and notable lodgings for la dolce vita, small-group style.

Scotland: Highlands & Islands, September 9-20, 2024

“My heart’s in the Highlands,” said Robert Burns – as will you, as we travel from city to country, mainland to island, on this sweet journey. From loch to loch and glen to glen, we encounter stunning natural beauty and welcoming clans, while city life serves up the colorful past – and cosmopolitan present.

Provincial French Countryside, September 27-October 11, 2024

Experience the beauty, allure, and hospi¬tality of provincial France, at an easy pace and in a unique style. Anchored by stays in vibrant Toulouse and enchanting Paris, the journey -features diverse Languedoc, the remote Dordogne, the lovely Loire Valley, and historic Normandy as we stay in charming rural inns and small country hotels. It’s a small group tour de force!

New Zealand Adventure, October 10-25, 2024

It’s a tale of two islands as our small group journeys from New Zealand’s North to its South, through lively cities and pristine fiords, past lush farmland and enchanted forests in a land where the outdoors is the national shrine. Add engaging “Kiwis” and intriguing indigenous cultures – it’s a pure New Zealand experience.

Southeast Asia Odysseys, October 31-November 18, 2024

Engaging, diverse, intriguing … This just begins to describe Southeast Asia and our small group odyssey. We cruise the Mekong through Laos; explore the spectacular – Angkor Wat – and the sublime – Ha Long Bay; and engage with local farmers and hill tribespeople on this comprehensive, well-paced adventure


FGCU Academy Needs Your Support Today to Ensure that Our Critical Mission of Senior Education and Enrichment Continues!

FGCU Academy is ready to serve the SWFL community for the 2023 Season—Learning, Growing, Sharing, Socializing. I am excited to welcome you this year to the new FGCU Naples Center, which is located at 704 Goodlette Frank Rd N, Suite 330 in Naples. Also, we have two new locations in Lee County, Pelican Landing in Bonita Springs and the FGCU Kleist Center on main campus. As always, both locations are open to all our students.

Our passion keeps us moving forward and your donations will do the same. Please take a few minutes to consider donating to ensure our continued success. All amounts make a difference in strengthening the work we do in the community.

Your gift will allow the Academy to offer more than 1,500 diverse and fascinating programs at more than fifteen locations throughout SWFL. Please visit our website to review the rich and varied programmatic offerings that are available this year. Through our mission we promise to enrich the lives, minds and social well-being of more than 10,000 SWFL adults and seniors during our 2023 season.

Donate online at

I am grateful for your consideration to support this vital community outreach program this year.

I look forward to seeing you at a FGCU Academy program soon. Please contact me directly at [email protected] or 239-434-4838 with questions or to learn more.

In gratitude, John J. Guerra Director of FGCU Academy

FGCU Academy
Collier / Lee / Charlotte

704 Goodlette-Frank Rd N
Suite 330
Naples, FL 34102


[email protected]

FGCU Academy | 704 Goodlette-Frank Road N., Suite 330, Naples, FL 34102

‹‹ Previous Post
Upcoming SFWMD Public Meetings
All Posts Next Post ››
ABC7 More in the Morning transformed into Broadway thanks to Forever Plaid.