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Support FGCU Academy | Make a Memorable Gift Now

The Academy’s program fees only cover a fraction of its operating costs. The Academy relies on the purchase of memberships and donations to carry us the rest of the way. Without your support, this vital community lifelong learning and outreach program would not be possible. Thank you for your generosity.


FGCU Academy
How did Thanksgiving Come to Be?

Greetings, Thanksgiving was a celebratory time of feast at the end of harvest season. If it was a good harvest, they celebrated well.

Did you Know? In 1817, New York became the first of several states to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday; each celebrated it on a different day, however, and the American South remained largely unfamiliar with the tradition.
In 1827, the noted magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale—author, among countless other things, of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”—launched a campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. For 36 years, she published numerous editorials and sent scores of letters to governors, senators, presidents and other politicians, earning her the nickname the “Mother of Thanksgiving.”

Abraham Lincoln finally heeded her request in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan, known derisively as Franksgiving, was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.

Thanksgiving at FGCU Academy means we are thankful for our students who support us and our mission in bringing quality educational lectures to you. There’s no limit to the topics you can explore, the friends you’ll make or what you might discover about yourself. Stimulating online lectures are available year-round with topics bound to pique your curiosity and creativity. No homework or tests – just thought-provoking lectures with speakers who know their topics.

FGCU Academy wishes you and your families health and happiness throughout this coming holiday season!!

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!

Please call office to register for classes at 239.434.4737
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Program Guides

View 2022 FGCU Academy FALL Program Guide

View November Daily Calendar

View December Daily Calendar


Queen Victoria – The Grandmother of Europe
@ Moorings Park – November 21 | 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Victoria was a match maker extraordinaire! Her own marriage had been blissfully happy, but Victoria didn’t seem to care much about the feelings of her own children. While chiding them about duty and obligation, she set them up with “appropriate” matches throughout Europe. A German prince, a Russian duchess – it was all part of the plan for the family, which would, to her mind, guarantee the stability of the empire. Yet Victoria herself broke her own rules in her relationship with her Scottish servant! Let’s explore the life and family of this very human, grandmotherly queen, whose grandsons ended up at war with each other..

Operation Underworld – World War II Mob Alliances
@ Bentley Village – November 21 | 1:30 – 3 p.m.

As we entered World War II, the U.S. Navy covertly elicited the aid of the Mob to stop spies, saboteurs and dock strikes. “Lucky” Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Albert Anastasia and others answered the call. In this lecture, we discuss what led to the alliance, the impact and the aftermath.

Religion in the White House
@ Aston Gardens – November 21 | 2 – 3:30 p.m.

While the U.S. Constitution prohibits religious tests for office holders, religion has played a key role in the lives of many Presidents both personally and in terms of various issues they have faced. This course will examine how each of the Presidents have or have not been influenced by religion and the various ways religion has played a role in key ethical concerns raised by events during their presidency.

The James Webb Telescope: Christmas in July for Astronomers
@ Naples Center / Online vis Zoom – November 29 | 1:30 – 3 p.m.

The Webb Telescope took six months to deliver its Christmas presents, but it was worth the wait. Spectacular images are coming, giving astronomer’s new insight on how we got here and what’s going to happen in the future. What did we learn almost a century ago that drove the new telescopes design and why it’s wrong to say it is the Hubble replacement? This lecture will feature Webb’s latest images and a review of the amazing new cameras and technology that is revealing the universe in ways we have never seen before.

Armageddon’s Only Weapon is The Sword of Truth
@ The Arlington – November 29 | 2:30 – 4 p.m.

Explore the New Testament book of Revelation as we examine a new and hopeful perspective of this apocalyptic work. We will study the time, place and circumstances of John’s writings with emphasis on the Roman Empire and its imposition of emperor worship on the seven Christian churches that John served as bishop. Add your input to the discussion of today’s news and what this important book may be saying to us.

Don’t miss out on your opportunity of a lifetime
Travel with FGCU Academy

The FGCU Academy 2023 Travel Open Houses
@ Online Webinar – December 5 | 2 – 3:30 p.m.

Pre-registration is required. Join us as we formally unveil our 2023 travel excursions to Insider’s Japan, Untamed Alaska, Legendary Turkey, Across Spain & Portugal, Pearls of Dalmatia, Sicily in Depth, Israel: Timeless Wonders. Seven exciting and luxurious tours are planned for our upcoming travel season starting in May 2023, and we invite you to learn about them all. Through unique and interesting itineraries, participants have the opportunity to experience life outside the classroom, visit historic sites with local guides, experience another culture – its customs, cuisine, language and history – and delight in conversation and laughter with fellow explorers who share a love of travel and a sense of adventure.

Instructor: John Guerra

iPhone/iPad: Tips, Tricks & Secrets of Apple’s Newest Operating System iOS 16
@ Cypress Cove – November 28 | 1:30 – 3 p.m.

Join this lecture-style presentation to learn all of the new features, upgrades and enhancements of Apple’s newest operating system for iPhone and iPad, iOS 16. We will explore tips, tricks and secrets that make using your device easier, more powerful and efficient.

iPhone/iPad Apps: Apple Mail & Safari
@ Brooks Commons Club – November 29 | 10 – 11:30 a.m.
@ Kleist Center – November 30 | 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Many with iPhones and iPads do not fully understand how to use Mail, one of the most important apps on their devices. Apple’s Mail app supports Gmail, Yahoo, Exchange, AOL and nearly all mail platforms. We will explore the detailed workings of the Apple Mail app showing you how to add new accounts and contacts, work with attachments, insert photos or videos, organize email into folders, eliminate junk mail, markup or sign attachments, scan documents and much more. Apple’s web browser, Safari, keeps getting faster and better. It sports a smart search bar, tabs, and a special Split View version for iPad users. Save your favorite websites to your Home Screen or as Bookmarks. You can view Shared Links and add articles to your Reading List or access your saved passwords and credit cards through iCloud’s Keychain.

iPhone/iPad Photos App: Photo Management , Editing, Sharing and More
@ Bentley Village – November 30 | 10 – 11:30 a.m.
@ Naples Center / Online via Zoom | 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Apple’s Photos App has an immersive, dynamic look that emphasizes your best shots with larger previews and improved organization. Memories finds your best photos and videos and weaves them together into a memorable movie complete with music, titles and transitions. Perfect your images with intuitive, built-in, powerful editing tools. Search photos based on who or what is in them. iCloud stores your photos and videos and syncs them across all your devices.

LOOKING AHEAD – see what’s coming

• Father and Son Spies – Jim and Nat Nicholson
• Taking Amazing Vacation and Travel Photos
• American Impressionists: At Home and Abroad
• Mediterranean Magic
• Maintaining Activities of Daily Living through Maintenance of Bone Health
• Sidney Reilly “Ace of Spies” – The Real James Bond
• The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the Great Depression
• President Richard Nixon’s Foreign policy (1969-74)
• Operation Paperclip – Recruiting Nazi Scientists
• Bernini and the Birth of the Baroque Style in Rome

2023 Travel

Join us ONLINE at one of our very exciting and informative FREE open houses
You must pre-register


December 5 at 2 – 3:30pm, Monday

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

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.

Support FGCU Academy | Make a Memorable Gift Now

The Academy’s program fees only cover a fraction of its operating costs. The Academy relies on the purchase of memberships and donations to carry us the rest of the way. Without your support, this vital community lifelong learning and outreach program would not be possible. Thank you for your generosity.

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

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