Marist Evening Series

Marist Evening Series

Stretch your creativity, learn something new, think globally, or explore aspects of the Christian faith. The Marist Evening Series features three evenings of captivating courses for adults taught by the accomplished Marist School faculty and staff. Invite your friends and neighbors and come learn something new during the Marist Evening Series.

General Information and Registration

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  • Dates and Times

    Save the Date! The 2021 Marist Evening Series Program will take place over Monday, January 25, Monday February 1, and Monday, February 8, 2021. Limited in-person and virtual options will be available. 
  • Fees

    Please visit the registration website to sign up for our 2021 evening series.      

Marist Evening Series Courses

Marist Evening Series courses cover a wide range of topics, including religion and spirituality; art; college planning; history and culture; writing; and more.

Please find the 2021 Evening Series course catalog below.

College Planning

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    Instructor: Mr. Robert Von Hagen
    There is a lot that parents need to know about preparing for and helping their children gain admission into college, paying for it, and mounting an effective and productive college search. But it doesn’t need to be overwhelming. This course is focused on parents of students in grades 7-11. Over the course of six hours and three class meetings, you will be better positioned to understand just how much college admission has changed from when you applied yourself.
    Session 1:  Current Trends in College Admission and Sorting Colleges: What’s going on out there and why? We’ll survey the higher education landscape, encompassing more than 3,000 colleges and universities. (Help!)
    Session 2:  Understanding the Elements of “Holistic” Admission Review and Financial Aid & Scholarships: What do colleges review for and why? How can we afford college? We’ll discuss need-based aid, merit-based scholarships, admissions, and more.
    Session 3:  Mock Admission Committee and Helpful Resources: Each participant will become part of the admission committee for a “university”, reviewing candidates and deliberating on who gets in, who does not, and why!  We’ll also review college resources and identify the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

    *This class is an in-person class. COVID-19 protocols will be followed.
    Mr. Von Hagen is a college counselor at Marist School for 24 years and has facilitated Marist School’s Career Connections Internship Program for 13 years. Mr. Von Hagen also coaches for both the middle school cross country and track and field teams.


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    Instructor: Ms. LK Sleat
    Session 1: What is design, why are we attracted to it, how does it make us feel? Drawing patterns, testing tools and practicing mark -making, with the pyro-tool.
    Session 2: Drawing out and burning your design in the wood you have chosen (cutting board, spoons, charcuterie board, bowls and so forth.)
    Session 3: The whole session will be devoted to burning and fine tuning your final product. Additional notes: Participants will need to purchase a wood burning kit, and bring an item to burn in.
    Additional notes: LK will provide sample wood for testing. All you need is what you want to work on and whether it is one or two items. Wood should be untreated (very important that there are no chemicals on wood.) LK will have sample designs and templates for them to work from. Wooden bowls and cutting boards can be purchased. LK will pick a kit they can buy locally.
    LK Sleat was born in York, Pennsylvania. She received her BFA from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, working for several years in advertising, before leaving to go into teaching art full time and to concentrate on her studio practice, first in Pennsylvania and then to Ashland, Oregon. LK received her MFA in Painting at the Hoffberger School of painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2006, where she was Abstract Expressionist painter Grace Hartigan's assistant. LK currently lives in Atlanta, GA and works at Marist School where she is faculty in the Art dept. She also works as an Advanced Placement Studio Art Exam Leader, Table Leader and Exam Reader for the College Board and educational testing services, as well as being a full-time artist., writing and illustrating her first children’s book. In her time outside of teaching, LK has a home studio and in Kennebunk, Maine that houses Sadie & Grace. Her Atlanta based design company features custom designs and fine art prints.

English Literature

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    Instructor: Mr. Mike Burns
    Great literature has a timeless quality that evolves with us as we age.   Over two sessions, we will explore two classics that you may have read (or at least skimmed!) in high school.  What did we get from reading them in our high school days and what do we see in them now?  We will examine what makes these novels work so well and what makes them worthy of re-reading multiple times throughout one’s lifetime. Though the themes of the past, memory, and storytelling link these two books, the sessions can be taken individually or together. 
    Session 1:   The Great Gatsby
    The copyright this 1925 F. Scott Fitzgerald novel expires at the end of 2020, so expect to see a lot more of Gatsby everywhere soon.  While initially viewed as a failure, Fitzgerald’s work has shifted over time to be viewed as one of America’s greatest novels.   What makes Gatsby so great?  We will look closely at the novel’s content and Fitzgerald’s style and discuss how and why it endures in American culture. 
    Session 2:  The Things They Carried
    Critically acclaimed since its publication in 1990, this novel by veteran Tim O’Brien uses the setting of the Vietnam War and the form of a first-person memoir to blur the lines between truth and fiction.  We will do a close reading of several chapters and passages to examine what O’Brien says about war and memory and the essence of storytelling itself.

    Instructor: Mrs. Anne Stanford
    Have you always wanted to write? Stumped on how to get started? This class will explore how to lead a writing life, whether your interest lies in fiction, non-fiction, or somewhere in between. Topics will include tips for how to make writing practice a part of your daily routine and how to write from personal experience. We will discuss how to build memorable characters, set the scene, and engage readers. Be prepared to write and share (if you’d like!); each session will include prompts and active writing time.
    Session 1: Creative Writing 101 — exploring the differences in fiction and creative non-fiction; what makes stories resonate; writing exercises and discussion.
    Session 2: Writing your life — mining your experiences as fodder for stories; quieting the inner critic; writing exercises and discussion.
    Session 3: Revision equals re-envisioning — how to edit and revise your own work; tips for integrating writing practice into your daily routine; writing exercises and discussion; parting thoughts.

    *This class is an in-person class. COVID-19 protocols will be followed.
    Mrs. Stanford is the assistant director of communications at Marist School, where she serves as the school’s primary storyteller. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College and has taught creative writing to all ages and levels. Mrs. Stanford has written for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Parent, and Womenetics, among other publications. Prior to joining Marist, she served in communications roles at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Margaret Mitchell House. 

History and Culture

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    Instructor: Mr. Mike Burns
    In the spring of 2019, Mike Burns set off to have an adventure as he walked the Camino de Santiago. While he set off from St. Jean Pied du Porte in France as a seasoned hiker, along his 500-mile journey across Spain he turned into a pilgrim. Inspired by historical buildings, broad vistas, and religious life, Mike settled into the contemplative spirit of the Camino that attracts thousands annually. Along his journey he befriended others from across the globe and all walks of life. Finding simplicity in humble accommodations run by churches and charities, pilgrims rely upon each other and learn to trust in God’s blessings.  This session will feature pictures, stories, and lessons learned from Mike’s walk across Spain.  The class will serve as introduction to the basics of life as a pilgrim for those who are planning their own Caminos and as a picturesque travelogue for those who just dream of Spain.  Mike will donate proceeds from this session to the Marist-run albergue in Sahagun, Spain, where he stayed on his journey.  

    Instructor: Dr. Nicolas Hoffmann ’03
    We all know the Civil War as southerners; sepia-tone pictures and the lilting tones of the Ashokan Farewell or Dixie playing in the background. However, the history that most people know is major movements of people led by the powerful men of the era, Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, William Sherman, Abraham Lincoln, etc. The war on the ground was different. Disease, starvation, and exhaustion were rampant. In general, we think of the battle as between two equal forces of varying numbers with superior or inferior strategy, but this was rarely the case. Bullets tore through people, shattering bones and leaving infections, illnesses ravaged, and battles were lost. After a picture of American health, we will traipse through the trenches and see how medicine and disease affected the war.
    Session 1: Just call me ‘Doc’: Medical professionals were not always so professional. We will talk about the death of George Washington, what it took to be a doctor in the 19th century, why nurses were rejected for being too pretty, and see if you can pass a doctor's exam to earn the rank of Surgeon.
    Session 2: Off the Bloodied Ground: From malaria turning the tide at Vicksburg, to Night Blindness costing the Confederacy the Chancellorsville Campaign, we will talk about how nutrition, medicine, and treatments affected the war, how to die a “good death,” and what 19th century surgery was like.
    Session 3: Did the War Change Medicine? After hundreds of thousands of sick, wounded and dead, we look at the affects. We talk epidemics, the assassination of Lincoln, the assassination of Garfield, the disinterment of the dead, and the creation of breakfast cereal.

    *This class will be taught virtually. No in-person sessions will be held.
    This is Dr. Hoffmann’s third year teaching at his alma mater, but his thirteenth year teaching at both the high school and college level. His doctorate is in 19th century American History with a focus on medicine. He has spoken on this topic as a feature on the Professor Buzzkill Show and on his defunct podcast Doomed to Repeat. At Marist, he teaches the American Experiment, AP US History, and the Podcasting Course. He also sponsors the podcasting club.

    Instructor: Mr. Thomas Marier
    Of the over 100,000 decorated pots that have come down to us from ancient Greece, roughly one in ten features an inscription. The Greek letters painted, stamped, inked, or scratched on the pots often reveal myths, rituals, and aspects of daily life attested poorly or not at all in literary sources. Hence this double crash course, which offers both a basic toolkit for understanding Greek vases—their making, shapes, uses, decoration, and distribution—and a working knowledge of the scripts that unlock (or complicate) their meaning.
    The goal of this course is to change the way you look at Greek vases—by reading them. The scripts are easy to learn. Many of the letters are already familiar, and since most of the inscriptions are names, there is little vocabulary and even less grammar to know. Plus, I supply a cheat sheet!
    Session 1: The potters and the painters, their materials, methods, working conditions, and the market they served. The styles, shapes, uses, and decoration of the pots themselves. The techniques used by modern scholars to date and classify pottery. The big questions and controversies in vase studies today. The internet tools that have transformed the study of Greek vases. We play games to apply what we have learned.
    Session 2: The story of the alphabet and its local variants. The uses of writing both before and after firing: signatures of potter and/or painter, identifications of objects and especially (mythological) characters, utterances, messages to the user (“Hello, buy me!”) or to others (“So-and-so is handsome!”), even taunts to other artists (“As never Euphronios!”). Finally, the curious pseudo-scripts found on about a third of extant inscribed pots. We learn the scripts by forming the letters, writing out actual inscriptions, and collaborating to solve the puzzles they pose.
    Session 3: Vases as evidence of daily life: at home, school, work, the gymnasium, the sanctuary, drinking parties, and athletic contests. Rituals: weddings, funeral practices, religious festivals. Myths: vase depictions of the stories known to us from literature, especially Homer and the tragedians. Included here are several pots from the Carlos Museum at Emory. We discuss the relationship between picture and text: when we can say that a vase illustrates a particular literary work or dramatic performance as opposed to a story (myth).
    Additional Notes: Proceeds from this course will go toward books, materials, and exams for students participating in the Mythopaloosa sponsored by Marist School. These students from PATH Academy and schools in the archdiocese with few resources commit to reading and studying for the National Mythology Exam in early March 2021.

    *This class can be taken in-person or virtually. COVID-19 protocols will be followed for in-person.
    Mr. Marier has taught modern and classical languages at Marist School since 1998. He has translated books on Greek mythology and Greek tragedy for the Johns Hopkins University Press. Since 2012 he has worked with students to produce the Classical Art Exam (supported by a blog) for the Georgia Junior Classical League. Since 2018 he has also taught an elective course on archaeology.

    Instructor: Mr. Brendan Murphy
    The study of the Holocaust is a humanizing endeavor, a journey through the past that helps us reconsider how we understand ourselves as human beings. As Pope Francis said while visiting the Great Synagogue in Rome, “The Holocaust teaches us to always maintain the highest level of vigilance in order to be able to intervene immediately in the defense of human dignity and peace.”

    Session 1: The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. During this first evening we will trace the long and tragic history of antisemitism to help us confront one of the central questions to understanding the history of the Holocaust: why the Jews?
    Session 2: For our second evening together, we will look directly at the history of the Holocaust from the rise of the Nazi party to the end of World War II.
    Session 3: For our final evening, we will wrestle with trying to understand how the Holocaust was possible. How could humanity do such a thing? To help frame the evening, we will have as our guest a Holocaust survivor and discuss the book Night by Elie Wiesel.
    *This class is an in-person class. COVID-19 protocols will be followed.

    Mr. Murphy has been a social studies teacher for 25 years. He was recently awarded the 2017 Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Abe Goldstein Human Relations Award and Marist School's Faber-McKinley-Stadler Award. In 2013-2014, he was awarded Marist School’s Goizueta Chair of Excellence. In 2009, he was named Educator of the Year by University of Notre Dame; and in 2009 and 2016, he was named Georgia Outstanding Educator of the Year by the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust. He also has been named a Mandel Fellow by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and a Lerner Fellow by the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous.


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    Instructor: Mrs. Betsy Holcomb
    In this course we will explore the lives and writings of four Catholics who model different ways of practicing the Catholic faith.  We will read, listen to, and watch resources by or about Flannery O’Connor, Dorothy Day, Walker Percy, and Thomas Merton.  These authors model how humor, peace, meditation, and philosophy are all aspects of the experience of being Catholic during their lifetime.  Hopefully, learning about these four American Catholics can help our practice of living out Catholicism in the twenty-first century.  Participants will be given resources throughout the course for further reading, watching, and listening.
    Week 1: The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An Introduction
    An introduction to all four authors, where to begin with their writings, and the book about them by Paul Elie
    Week 2: The South, Humor, Philosophy, and Literature: O’Connor and Percy
    A more in-depth exploration on the writings of Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy, discussing their similarities and differences.
    Week 3: The Eucharist, Contemplation, and Peace
    A more in-depth exploration of the lives and writings of Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, discussing their similarities and differences.

    *This class can be taken in-person or virtually. COVID-19 protocols will be followed for in-person.
    Mrs. Betsy Holcomb is in her first year of teaching at Marist School and her tenth year of teaching at the high school level.  She currently teaching Hebrew and Christian Scriptures at Marist and has taught classes on Theology and the Arts, Prayer and Spirituality, AP Art History, and Servant Leadership.  Betsy studied Theology at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, NC and Saint John’s University in Collegeville, MN.  She enjoys backpacking and hiking with her husband and daughter, as well as reading and playing Pickleball. 

    The Marists are called to “follow Jesus as Mary did” and to “be Mary” in the world.  This mystical vision of Christian living was first articulated two hundred years ago by the founder of the Society of Mary, the Venerable Jean Claude Colin.   This course offers participants the chance to explore the Society of Mary’s spiritual and educational heritage, as well as providing a practical discussion on how you can share “Marist” values in your daily life.
    Session 1:   What you need to know about the Society of Mary:  A Brief History of the Society of the Mary and the Society of Mary Mission
    Instructor: Fr. BILL ROWLAND, S.M.
    Session 2:    Marist Education: On the Education of Youth and Schools
    Instructor: Fr. TOM ELLERMAN, S.M. -- or KEVIN MULLALLY

    Session 3:    The Marist Spirit:  Living Marist Spirituality for Christian Lay People  
    Instructor: NIK RODEWALD, seminarian -- or Mike Coveny

    *This class is an in-person class. COVID-19 protocols will be followed.

    Instructor: Ms. Amy Eaglen
    Adapted from the current Prayer and Meditation course taught to Marist students, this course is for adults who are new to meditation as well as seasoned practitioners who are seeking to develop a personal meditation practice. During our time together, you will explore the breath, the mind, the body, and the spirit. The meditations in this course will help you learn to calmly focus your mind and body and bring your full awareness to something specific such as being more compassionate, more kind, or help in overcoming life’s difficulties. After discovering multiple techniques, you will walk away ready to continue your practice using whichever method best suits you.
    Session 1: The Elements of Meditation
    Session 2: Building a Loving-Kindness Practice
    Session 3: Introduction to the Examen and Centering Prayer
    *All participants are encouraged to wear casual and comfortable clothing and have a blanket and/or pillow accessible to them. Please bring a journal/paper and something with which to write.

    *This class can be taken in-person or virtually. COVID-19 protocols will be followed for in-person.
    Amy Eaglen is a member of the Theology Department at Marist School and currently teaches the courses: Christian Morality, Catholic Encounters with God, and Prayer and Meditation. She earned her BA in Psychology from the University of Georgia and her Master’s in Theological Studies from Spring Hill College. She will complete her yoga teacher training in February 2021.

Important Information

Registration for the 2021 Marist Evening Series Program is now closed. 

If you have any questions, please contact the Alumni Office at

Contact Us

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    Mrs.  Kathryn Fowler  Brown 

    Director of Alumni Engagement
    (770) 936-2277

Marist School

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An Independent Catholic School of the Marist Fathers and Brothers