A resolute commitment to life-changing education and lasting transformation.

Honoring the legacy of Dr. Wilbert Welch, who led the university from 1959 to 1983 and served as interim president in 1991, the Welch Heritage Institute for Lifelong Learning (WHILL) is dedicated to educating others at every stage of life to lead with wisdom and discernment. This community encourages each other through learning and fellowship. Return to the classroom today and discover how you can become a lifelong learner, too!


Our CU faculty are experts in their field, and they'll help you answer deep questions about literature, politics, history and more. These courses let you experience Cornerstone not only as a cherished member of our community but also as a student. The best part is—there are no homework assignments! There's no need to purchase books ahead of time; simply come eager and ready to learn.

Unless otherwise noted, the registration cost is $30 per WHILL course, and classes require advance registration. All registration costs beyond the expenses required to deliver the course support the CU Student Fund. Due to COVID-19, the annual WHILL membership fee ($25) is waived for all participants during 2020.

Summer Classes

All summer courses, unless otherwise noted, will be offered as online classes. Prior to each class, registrants will receive a unique link to watch a real-time class lecture on Microsoft Teams. Attendees will be able to use a chat feature to ask questions and interact with other classmates. In addition, a recording of the class presentation may be sent to registrants upon request.

The History of Baseball: A Slice of American Culture Part II July 13, 20, 27 1:25-2:55 p.m. Online Class
This course will explore a foundational time in the history of baseball, featuring legends such as Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and World War II veteran and World Series Champion for the Detroit Tigers, Hank Greenberg.
  • Week 1 | 1920s: The Age of the Babe and the Rise of the Yankees, featuring "Big Train" Walter Johnson, the fiery John McGraw, the rise of the Gashouse Gang in St. Louis and other quirky events of the Jazz Age in Baseball.
  • Week 2 | 1930s: The Changing of the Guard from Ruth to Gehrig to DiMaggio, featuring Leo Durocher, Carl Hubbell, the baby-faced Ted Williams and "Depression Era" baseball.
  • Week 3 | 1940-1945: Wartime, upheaval and the "Almost Glorious Moment of the St. Louis Browns," featuring DiMaggio and Williams, Hank Greenberg and a Detroit World Series triumph.
Stir Your Writing Juices: Write Fiction & Nonfiction Stories with More Courage July 14, 21, 28 1:30-3 p.m. Online Class
You've thought, "I need to write this down." But when you try, you hear a negative voice, and you might stop. Our inner critic can smother our writing attempts. But we can learn ways to quiet this voice and write. Learn helpful creative practices from Professor Cynthia Beach, so you can be freer to follow your writing nudge. Together we'll explore how to strengthen our writing approach—how to let ourselves write. Then we'll explore and practice story craft structures that can improve the quality of our fiction or nonfiction. Our text will be "Creative Juices: A Splash of Story Craft, Process and Creative Soul Care."
British Constitution July 16, 23, 30 10-11:30 a.m. Online Class
An alternate title for this course would be Brexit Revisited. In this course, students will take a look at an overview of the historical development—and current tensions—in the British Constitution.
  • Week 1 | In week 1, students will be introduced to the concept of Britain's unwritten constitution and how the British government has slowly accumulated structures and protocols over time.
  • Week 2 | Week 2 offers a deeper examination of some core parts of the Constitution, including Parliament, the Monarchy, the Courts and the developed regional assemblies (such as the Scottish Parliament).
  • Week 3 | Week 3 will be an exploration of how the British constitution is currently being stretched and how certain observers are calling for a major overhaul of the age-old document. 

Fall Classes

Healthcare for All? Affordability for None? Sept. 11, 18, 25 1:30-3 p.m. Logos Center
Michigan Turtles  Sept. 12 9 a.m. - noon De Witt 102
Participants will learn about the natural histories of these 10 species through a variety of hands-on activities. The majority of the class will be spent inside learning about their basic lifestyles, habitat needs and unique adaptations. Live turtles will be available for the participants to observe up close. Taught by Ray Gates, this off-site field trip requires light to moderate walking. (Cost: $35)
Bog Adventure Sept. 17 1-5 p.m. De Witt 102
If you have never been on a bog walk, you have not lived. A bog is the most interesting wetland in Michigan. You will encounter several species of carnivorous pitcher plants, bounce on the floating mat, learn how to identify Poison Sumac and discuss hydrophilic soils that are only found in the bog. Taught by Ray Gates, this off-site field trip requires light to moderate walking. (Cost: $35)
The History of Cornerstone University Oct. 9, 16, 23 10-11:30 a.m. Logos Center
First Session | Liberalism and Fundamentalism: The Beginnings of a Movement and the Early 20th Century
Second Session | The Early Days of CU: An Educational Response of Conservative Christianity GRBBI, GRBBC and GRBC (1941-91)
Third Session | CU Coming of Age: Cornerstone College, GRBS, GRSBM and Cornerstone University
Michigan Trees (The Evergreens) Oct. 10 2-6 p.m. De Witt 102
Taught by Ray Gates, this off-site field trip requires light to moderate walking. (Cost: $35)
Sleeping Bear Dunes Oct. 15 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. De Witt 102
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is the best place in Michigan to study sand dune ecology. Participants will also be led on one of the best hikes in Michigan​. Taught by Ray Gates, this off-site field trip requires light to moderate walking. (Cost: $55)

Membership Benefits

As a valued member of the WHILL, you'll have access to dozens of course selections, along with the following added benefits:

  • Use of your library card to check out resources at Miller Library.
  • CU parking pass.


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