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January 30, 2004 - GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN (January 27, 2004) - Have you wondered what events took place in the life of author John Ronald Reuel Tolkien that led him to write such rich, imaginative and thought-provoking books? What sides of Tolkien's nature do the hobbits represent, the elves or the dwarves? If you are interested in learning more about Tolkien, his life and writings, the Aquinas Emeritus College is offering a course that will answer many of these questions.

The course, J.R.R. Tolkien: Ancient Tales Made New, will be held on four Monday afternoons beginning on March 29 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Aquinas College Donnelly Center, 157 Woodward Lane, S.E. Benjamin G. Lockerd, Jr., Ph.D., professor of English at Grand Valley State University, will be the instructor for the course. Lockerd will cover the background and influences on Tolkien's life and then spend one session on each of the following books: "The Fellowship of the Rings," "The Two Towers" and "The Return of the King." He will use DVDs to enhance the classes. To sign up for the classes or for more information, please call 632-2430.

"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," the final chapter in Peter Jackson's outstanding motion picture trilogy recently won four Golden Globe Awards and leads all other movies with eleven nominations in the Academy Award race. The film is still being shown at local theaters.