Humanities for Everybody—or H4E as we call it—is a non-profit community program sponsored by the University Center for the Humanities and Open Doors. Our mission is to bring together passionate and intellectually curious people from all backgrounds and all school experiences to collectively wrestle with relevant ideas and issues in literature, history, philosophy and contemporary culture.

Our team of volunteers are united in the belief that all members of the community deserve access to a quality education in the humanities. Our conversational approach invites participants to ask questions, take intellectual risks, explore issues in depth, develop new academic skills and habits of mind, and gain a public voice. We also hope to build strong and lasting relationships.

Humanities for Everybody classes are small (capped at 18 students). They include an instructor, a graduate assistant, and often one or more volunteer alumni mentors. Core subjects of literature, philosophy, history and cultural studies remain the same, but the specific focus of each session changes based on the interests and expertise of our professors.

All participants in the program will receive free books, tuition and supplies. There are no citizenship requirements for this program. Active participants are also encouraged to request assistance with their college or job applications, including references and letters of recommendation written by H4E faculty. If you are a member of the Kalamazoo community and would like to attend our free courses, listen to our short lectures, and engage in spirited discussions about the humanities, see our site for community participants.

New Bridge Year Program

Humanities for Everybody, Building Community Through Knowledge

In the fall of 2018, H4E launched a Bridge Year Program designed to support first-generation college students in their transition to their freshman year at Western Michigan University. Unlike our community courses, the Bridge Year program provides college credit and additional academic support for eligible first-generation college students. Students in our program will attend two humanities courses and two courses designed to introduce students to academics and college life.

Bridge Year Students will benefit from small class sizes, passionate and accessible professors, peer mentors, and work opportunities. The goal of the program is to improve academic skills, create a sense of belonging, and build a community of learners and network of support. For more information about our bridge program, see our site for first-generation college participants.

All participants will also receive free books, food and bus tokens for transportation.

2019-20 schedule


Session 1—Sept. 17 to October 17—The Black Heritage in Southwest Michigan," taught by Dr. Benjamin Wilson [with a Weekend Field Trip!]

Session 2—Jan. 22 to Feb. 28— "A Tour of Don Quixote" taught by Dr. Bob Felkel, [Note: This course meets on Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:30-8:00pm in Knauss Hall 2500]

Session 3—March 10 to April 9—“Our Declaration of Independence,” taught by Dr. Susan Hoffmann

Days/times and location

With the exception of the Don Quixote class (which meets on Mondays and Wednesdays), classes meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at WMU's Center for the Humanities, Knauss Hall 2500.

If you are interested in attending one of the sessions, contact our program manager, Tim Erskine, or fill out our H4E Contact Form.

Our sponsors

Humanities for Everybody is an Open Doors and the University Center for the Humanities venture. We are grateful for the support from the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Kalamazoo Promise.