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Interest Groups

We issue a warm invitation to all members to participate in any interest group. Unique opportunities for friendship, sharing, and learning are offered. The only requirement for participation is paid membership in The University League.  Contact group leader/leaders for meeting updates.

Interest Group Chair:  Mary Jo Willis
Assistant Interest Group Chair:  Jane Dunn


      Interest Group Meeting Schedule 2022-2023   (pdf)

Click on any interest group below for more information, including meeting times, organizer contact, and a brief description of the activities.

Read what some of our interest groups are doing this year. (PDF posted February, 2019)

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Contact: Helen Read or Diane Smidt

The Antiques Interest Group pursues talks, tours, gallery visits, museum experiences and some excursions out of town to points of mutual interest.  Come and join us!

Armchair Travelers

First Monday, 6:45 pm (October through May)

Contact: Mary Jo Willis

Learn about places to travel with little effort on your part, the foods of the country or area, ways to travel (rail, barge), the ins and outs of safe, low stress travel and the unique culture of places with in the US and other countries.  We meet in-person with some virtual meetings. Our in-person meetings are held at Oakwood Village West in the Nakoma Room at the Heritage Oaks building.  Everyone is welcome.

Armchair Travelers–General Information (PDF)

Armchair Travelers Programs 2022-2023 (PDF)

Armchair Travelers Programs Dec. 2022 -May 2023 (PDF)

Bird Study

Fridays, 9:00 am (Spring and Fall)

Contact:  or Roma Lenehan or Jill Feldkamp

Walk different trails—observe birds and their habitats. Meet at the far western end of the parking lot at Covenant Presbyterian Church at the corner of Segoe Road and Mineral Point Roads.

Birding Activities (PDF)

Birding Schedule 2022-2023 (PDF)

Book Critics

Second Monday, 7:00 pm (September–May, plus July)

Contact: Kris Brown or Polly Kuelbs

The group selects nine books in July to read throughout the year. A member reviews a book each month, followed by a general discussion. Meet in members’ homes or at Oakwood West.

Book Discussions

Third Monday, 1:00 pm (September–May)

Contact: Claire Mangasarian

Members read an assigned book prior to attending meeting.  Following coffee and dessert, a group member leads the discussion and all members actively participate.  Location TBD.  Eight books are read each year.  May is a luncheon and September is a summer recap as well as a light-read book to discuss.

Book Discussion Group Activities (PDF)

Bridge - First, Second, and Third Thursday

BRIDGE – First, Second, and third Thursday, 12:30 pm (year round)

Contact: Gennie Bostian

Play at Oakwood in the Oakleaf Room.  Light refreshments provided by hostess.  All levels of players welcome.

Bridge - 4th Thursday

BRIDGE- Fourth Thursday, 11:30 pm (year round)

Contact: Judy Stang

Bridge following lunch from the menu at Benvenuto’s Italian Grill, 1109 Fourier Dr.  All levels of players welcome.

Dining Out Dinner

Fourth Saturday, 5:30 pm (year round)

Contact: Priscilla Thain

Meet at a restaurant for dinner, followed by dessert at home of host—or meet for an occasional brunch.

Dining Out Lunch

Fourth Wednesday, 11:30 am (Monthly, year round)

Contact: Kathy Knox

Members enjoy good food and good company and take turns planning lunch at area restaurants.

French Reading and Conversation I

Second and fourth Wednesdays, 12:30–2:30 pm (September to May)

Contact: Dory Lightfoot

French conversation using selected books as basis for discussion. Meet via zoom, in members homes or at the Sequoya Library.

French Conversation II

Third Wednesday, 12:30 – 2:30 pm (September to May)

Contact: Jeannine Desautels or Sue Thieben

Members meet monthly for light refreshments and to engage in conversation in French. Meetings are held in members’ homes or at public libraries. Selected readings may be used.


Fourth Monday, 6:45 pm, Oakwood West (September to May)

Contact:  Mary Jo Willis

You do not need to be a genealogist to join our group.  We invite experts and our own members who share their knowledge, stories, and provide assistance.  At time, we invite speakers addressing research, and local and state history.

Meet in person at Oakwood Village West in the Nakoma Room of Heritage Oaks OR virtually.  Everyone is welcome.

Genealogy Programs 2022-2023 (PDF)

Surnames Being Researched (PDF)

German Genealogy Links

Mah Jongg

Time and Place to be determined

3 members playing Mah JonggContact: Priscilla Thain

Play the American version of Mah Jongg, an ancient Chinese game using tiles. New and experienced players are welcome, as well as those who wish to learn the game.  Contact Priscilla Thain for further information.

Movies in the Afternoon

Second Tuesday, ~4:00 pm

Contact: Roma Lenehan

Join friends once a month to view and discuss new movies at local theaters. Time and meeting location will vary depending on movie schedules. Singles and couples welcome.

Spanish Conversation

Second Thursday, 1:00–2:30 pm

Contact:  Joan Leffler

An informal group where League members speak Spanish while sharing ideas, opinions and experiences.  Links to articles covering a wide array of topics are sent to participants prior to the meetings and are the basis for discussions.  At zoom meetings, videos relevant to the topic are sometimes shown as well.  An intermediate level or higher of language fluency is recommended.  The 2022-2023 meetings are expected to continue on Zoom, with an option of meetings at Rennebohm Park in good weather.  New participants are encouraged to join.

Spanish Reading / Literature

First and third Thursday, 1:00–3:00 pm

Contact:  Daniel Hill

Reading and conversation of works by contemporary authors of the Spanish-speaking world.  Members also share cultural activities and personal experiences.  All meetings will be by zoom.  New participants are encouraged to attend.


First Wednesday, 9:30-11:00 am

Contact:  Linda Baumann

The Technology Interest Group was formed for the purpose of educating and supporting members in their technology needs.  Group members decide on an area of interest for each meeting, demos are arranged, and brief instruction sheets are distributed.  Meetings will continue to be held on Zoom.

If interested in joining the Technology Interest Group, and/or to RSVP for meetings,  please contact Linda Baumann.

Wine Divas and Dudes

Fourth Thursday, 4:30 – 6:30 pm (September through May)

Contact: Elaine Rosenblatt

Are you on a first-name basis with any Super Tuscans? Have you tried the wines of Lake County, California? Wine Divas & Dudes offers the opportunity to taste new and different wines while enjoying lively conversation. Each meeting centers on a wine theme, usually with appetizers.  One or several members volunteer to host a meeting, selecting the theme.  Meetings are held at various locations with some virtual meetings,  For in-person meetings, the host(s) supply the wine and appetizers. Each attendee for in-person meetings contributes $15 to help defray cost.  Consider joining this fun and educational Interest Group.


January 2019 (PDF)