Alumni College in Santa Fe

Thursday, October 10


Arrival and overnight at hotel of your choice or at our base, the Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza

Friday, October 11

8:30 am
Welcome and lecture by Professor Ron Walters at the Hilton Hotel
“Death Comes for the Archbishop,” by Willa Cather

10:00 am-2:00 pm
Walking Tour of the Historic Santa Fe Plaza with lunch at Santacafe
Walk through more than 400 years of history, art and culture. Our guide presents an extraordinary introduction to Santa Fe and provides an entertaining, humorous, and, above all, accurate portrayal of the "City Different." Visit the historic Plaza to talk about the Palace of the Governors (whose occupants have included government and military leaders from Spain, Mexico, the Confederacy, the U.S., and Indian nations). Learn about St. Francis Cathedral and explore the capitol, the oldest church, the Loretto Chapel with its miraculous staircase, and other intriguing Santa Fe historical sites. Our last stop is the O’Keeffe Museum, where you’ll have time to explore on your own. Lunch follows at Santacafe.

2:00-5:00 pm
Afternoon at leisure to visit the museums or the Native American vendors on the Plaza

5:00 pm
Lecture by Professor Walters at the Hilton Hotel
“Before the Anglos Came: The Spanish and Indian Southwest”

6:30-9:30 pm
Dinner at Manitou Gallery on Canyon Road with artist Billy Schenck
imagebrowser imageWalk four blocks to one of Santa Fe’s most beautiful western art galleries on lower Canyon Road. Meet cowboy artist Billy Schenck and view his stunning collection of paintings along with works by other artists. Enjoy an authentic Chuck Wagon dinner and meet chef Carl Hawkins while enjoying cowboy guitar music.

Saturday, October 12

7:00-8:30 am
Santa Fe Farmers' Market at the Railyard
Get an early start with a short walk to New Mexico’s largest farmers’ market — one of the most widely recognized in the United States — where you can support more than 150 vendors. Try the Chocolate Maven café for a green chile croissant and enjoy certified organic Aroma Coffee.

8:30-9:30 am
Lecture by Professor Walters at the Hilton Hotel
“Kit Carson, Hero and Anti-Hero”

10:00 am-1:00 pm
Cooking Demonstration and Lunch at the Santa Fe School of Cooking with Lois Ellen Frank
imagebrowser imageMaster the flavors of the real Southwest with a cooking class reflecting the unique cultural mix of Santa Fe. We are delighted to have Lois Ellen Frank—local chef, photographer, food artist, and winner of the James Beard Award for her latest cookbook—teach a class on Native American foods. Recipe selection may include blue corn gnocchi arrowheads with guajillo chile sauce, seasonal greens with fiery jalapeno dressing, lamb-stuffed rellenos with tomato sauce, and sweet frybread with seasonal berries and prickly pear syrup.

1:00-4:30 pm
Enjoy leisure time for further exploration

4:30-9:30 pm
Trip to Albuquerque for the International Balloon Fiesta Balloon Glow

The annual Balloon Fiesta, the world’s largest hot air balloon fair, culminates this weekend in Albuquerque. Weather permitting, catch our bus to Albuquerque and spend time on your own to watch the Balloon Glow as dozens and dozens of brightly colored hot air balloons light up at the same time. Fireworks follow. Snack or dine on festival food fare. General admission included.

Sunday, October 13

8:00 am-8:00 pm
Taos Day Tour with Professor Walters’ discussion
“Greenwich Village West: Georgia O’Keeffe, D.H. Lawrence and the Taos Art Colony”

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Take a full-day trip to the charming town of Taos. This historic town was one of the most important artist colonies in America during the first half of the 20th century. On the way we pass through the extraordinary landscape of northern New Mexico and see many memorable vistas. We also visit the enchanting San Francisco de Assisi Church in Ranchos de Taos, made famous by artists including Georgia O'Keeffe, Ansel Adams, Peter Hurd, Fritz Scholder, and Andrew Wyeth.

En route, Professor Walters will discuss the Taos art colony.

The next stop is Taos Pueblo, framed by sacred Taos Mountain. The northernmost of the tribal pueblos of the Rio Grande and a cultural treasure in its own right, Taos Pueblo has been designated a World Heritage Site. The pueblo is also on the National Historic Register and remains in its pristine traditional state.

After visiting the pueblo and taking a brief excursion to see the Rio Grande Gorge, we stop at the Kit Carson Museum, where you and your companions have time to explore and have lunch on your own in the Taos Plaza area.  

After lunch, we drive south along the “High Road.” We pass through several small 18th and 19th century Hispanic farming communities before finally arriving at the village of Chimayo, which is located in a beautiful valley in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. We stop at the charming Santuario de Chimayo, the most important Catholic pilgrimage site in the Southwest. The Santuario is famous for the professed healing powers contained in the earth near the church, which can be gathered from a small hole in the floor of an anteroom within the Santuario. Your guide leads you through the church and adjacent hamlet where you have the opportunity to shop for souvenirs and some of the area’s famous chile—perhaps the most flavorful of any chile grown in the U.S.

imagebrowser imageNext stop is Centinela Fine Arts, where seven generations of the Trujillo family have produced their spectacular Spanish-style weavings. The late Jake Trujillo won many awards for his work in preserving the old techniques of Spanish weaving. His son and daughter-in-law, Irvin and Lisa Trujillo, are currently producing museum-quality work, some of which is on display at the Smithsonian. This stop is a rare privilege because, while Centinela has some of the finest weavings in the area, it’s not generally known to tourists.

Rancho de Chimayo Restaurant is one of the most enjoyed dining establishments in the world and is continually listed as a top 100 restaurant in the United States. This century-old adobe home with white-washed walls, hand-stripped vigas, cozy dining rooms, and lush terraced patios has become one of New Mexico's more popular places to dine. Restaurante Rancho de Chimayo is known for its unique native New Mexico cuisine, which is prepared with locally grown products from recipes that have been in the family for generations. After dinner, relax and enjoy the starry sky on our return to Santa Fe.

Monday, October 14

Optional activities, check out and departure