Welcome to the Newport Circle of Scholars at the Edward King House.  We are looking forward to an exciting Fall season.  Due to COVID concerns, NCOS will be offered in a completely virtual manner.  To register for these programs, click on the title link of the class(es) you choose.  The cost for each class will appear on the online registration form after your click.  

Memories of Belcourt Castle: “When I grow old to Dream” 

Dates: Thursdays, 11/5, 11/12   Time: 1:00pm

Many people know her name, because Harle Tinney was for several decades known for Belcourt Castle, a famous Newport mansion, where she and her spouse the late Donald Tinney were the beloved hosts of glamorous parties, Hollywood movies, historical reenactments – and art, architecture, and ghost tours. Donald Tinney passed away tragically and suddenly a decade ago, and now Mrs. Tinney has emerged, into the public light, to share her stories.

Harle Hope Hanson Tinney is the last of the Tinneys of Newport. Now an accomplished author, tour guide, actress with stories that might otherwise be lost to the ages, Ms. Tinney brings her memories to life. Tales of castle women and her own stories of a full and varied life from a carefree girlhood at the seaside to the ownership of Belcourt Castle on Bellevue Avenue may change your perspective on the City by the Sea.

What Happens When We Die?

Date: Thursday, 11/19    Time: 5:00pm         


This program began in March 2016, and is conducted as the Rhode Island Chapter of the International Association for Near Death Studies (“IANDS”at www.iands.org). The aim of the group is to explore and deepen our understanding of what has been learned about human consciousness from people who have had near-death experiences (“NDEs”) and have reported an amazing journey after they have been revived, along with the lessons they learned.  We will review and discuss actual documented experiences along with the findings of various researchers and scientists, all of whom have various theories about how this happens and what it can tell us about the transition from life as we know it, and what lies beyond. Some videos and guest speakers are utilized. This is not connected with any organized religion or religious belief. Some of the group’s current members include persons who have had NDEs, “after death” communications with loved ones, and related experiences of their own.

Ben Riggs is a retired Naval Aviator and later business executive who has served as chief executive of several manufacturing companies. His knowledge and interest in NDEs evolved from the experiences of friends and family and subsequent participation with IANDS, which has included numerous national conferences, workshops, extensive study, and close collaboration with leading experts in the field.

Staying Connected and Building Community in Pandemic Times

Date: Tuesday, 11/24  Time: 1:00pm

Even before COVID-19, it took courage and initiative to break out of isolation and rebuild our support networks. We may have already been strapped in isolating situations such as illness, caregiving, living alone, divorce, relocation, or the death of a loved one. In Val’s program, we will explore and share ways to stay close to others and deepen our bonds, despite social distancing. And further, we will learn how to build our communities and expand our networks, paving the way for our future social life.

Val Walker is a rehabilitation consultant and contributing blogger for Psychology Today. She is the author of two books, 400 Friends and No One to Call, and The Art of Comforting which won the Nautilus Book Award. Val has a Master of Science degree in rehabilitation counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University and has led support groups for twenty-four years for people living with chronic illness, disability, grief, and trauma.

Newport Burial Sites and Colonial Stone Carvers

Date: Tuesdays, 12/1, 12/8, 12/15  Time: 1:00pm

This three part presentation will focus on Newport’s burial sites with a focus on sites and stones from before 1800. Included will be a general overview of burial sites and practices, details about three generations of carvers in the Stevens shop, and a survey of burial sites in Newport.

Lew Keen has served as chairman of the city Historic Cemetery Advisory Commission since 2016. Presentations, tours, and research about our historic stones and sites is an ongoing education that is entwined with the many facets of Newport’s history.

History & Future of Automobiles

Date:  Wednesday, 12/2    Time:  1:00pm

Can you imagine our society without automobiles? The twentieth century was transformed by automobiles. Today over 12% of USA’s GDP is associated with the automobile industry and we are at a tipping point of transformation from internal combustion engines to all electric and driverless cars. Whether you are an automobile buff or not, you will enjoy a review of the automobile history and learn about what may lie ahead for the near future.

Jet Vertz retired from Pratt & Whitney Aircraft as Vice President after working for 40 years in the aviation business. Prior to going into the aviation business Jet served in the US Navy as a Line Officer during the Vietnam War Era. Jet holds BS in Mechanical Engineering, Masters in Computer Science and MBA. Jet has been an OLLI Instructor since 2013.


Presented by: Kathy O’Neel Webster – CEO/Founder ShipShape. After 24 years as a business owner and consultant, designing and managing corporate fitness centers, Kathy spent 12 years as an executive in the corporate wellness field. When the opportunity presented itself in 2018, she took the leap, left corporate, and launched ShipShape. Now getting back to her true passion, she is working one-on-one inspiring others to befriend fitness and have fun.

Aging Fully (Healthy Living)

Date:  Thursday, 12/3    Time: 2:00pm

This 45 minute workshop focuses on increasing self awareness and setting personal goals to improve the quality of life throughout our aging journey. Areas addressed include: Weight Mangement, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Sleep amd Stress Management.

Aging Fully (Improving Your Memory)

Date: Thursday, 12/10   Time: 2:00pm

The ability to remember does change with age. This 45 minute workshop will provide you with techniques, tips and a memory “toolbox.”

Aging Fully (Personal Resilience)

Date: Thursday, 12/17    Time: 2:00pm

This 45 minute workshop focuses on wellness tools to stay active and engaged, with both your body and brain, during these challenging times.

Current International Events in Review (SOLD OUT)

Dates: Wednesdays, 10/7, 10/14, 10/21, 10/28, 11/4, 11/11, 11/18  Time: 12:45 – 2:45pm

Currently in its 14th year, we begin with country, region and political organization reviews, mostly by guest lecturers from the Naval War College and other sources, with Q&A after. This is followed by a workshop-style survey and discussion of current international events of the week by class members who want to participate.  Fall 2020 topics will add to an understanding of the current events being discussed. This course will be conducted on Zoom.  Ron Becker, a graduate of Reed College, is a retired actuary with over 35 years of technical and administrative experience in the life insurance industry and a life-long interest in history and politics.  Ben Riggs, is a retired business executive who has served as chief executive for U.S. divisions of several foreign-owned conglomerates.  After graduating from Boston University, he served for seven years as a Naval Aviator, remaining in the Naval Reserve until retirement.  His knowledge and interest in international affairs arose from both his military career as well as numerous business dealings in Europe, Japan and the Middle East.

Classic Lit Online: Othello: The Shakespeare Experiment  (SOLD OUT)

Dates: Tuesdays, 10/13, 10/20, 10/27, 11/3, 11/10, 11/17    Time: 1:30-3:00pm

We will begin ‘The Shakespeare Experiment’ by reading and discussing Shakespeare’s 1604 tragedy, “Othello, the Moor of Venice.” The Shakespeare Experiment is a newly-conceived literature course (hopefully, the first in a series) which will require participants to, week by week, watch portions of the same film of a play (1990, RSC, Trevor Nunn,dir. Willard White, Ian McKellan, Imogen Stubbs), read from the unabridged script, and watch a short video (or two) that Eileen Warburton will have sent out via email. We will convene on Zoom. The instructor will be guiding and asking the questions that will shape the discussion. Eileen Warburton, a longtime NCOS teacher, Eileen Warburton holds the PhD in English and American Literature from the University of Pennsylvania and is the author of many books and articles. She taught literature at URI, BU, and Bryant and spent many years as a theatre critic, as the Humanities Scholar for 2nd Story Theatre, and as the Producer of TRIST (The Rhode Island Shakespeare Theatre).

Note: The cost for the book is included in the registration fee.

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