LAWRENCE – The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Kansas will mark its 10-year anniversary with a free celebration from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, at the Lied Center of Kansas Pavilion. The event is open to the public and carries the theme 10 & Then: Celebrating Our First Decade and Planning for the Next!
The Osher Institute at KU grew from an earlier program, KU for Lawrence, which offered enrichment programming to the community beginning in the late 1990s. Then in fall 2004, with the support of the Bernard Osher Foundation in San Francisco and the commitment of KU Continuing Education, the Osher Institute at KU launched its first semester with eight courses at several sites in Lawrence, including Brandon Woods at Alvamar. This fall, the Institute is offering 88 courses and special events at 41 sites in 18 cities across Kansas and the Greater Kansas City area.
The Institute offers noncredit enrichment programs specially developed for participants ages 50 and older. Courses generally consist of 3 two-hour sessions presented over three consecutive weeks. The courses feature a variety of topics, from history, science and literature to philosophy, art and technology. Special events include attending cultural and artistic programs as well as one-day and overnight trips.
Shortly after its launch, the Institute at KU began offering courses in Topeka. By 2008, the program had expanded to several sites around Kansas City, including at the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park, and at Hutchinson Community College. Then in 2010, Continuing Education signed a historic agreement with Kansas State University’s Division of Continuing Education to offer courses in Manhattan. A similar agreement was reached with Washburn University in 2012.
“Today our program has grown to include 20 residential communities and more than 3,000 participants,” says Jim Peters, director of the Osher Institute. “Our success rests squarely with our top-notch instructors, high-quality courses, dedicated staff and our lifelong learning partners, including the alumni associations at KU, K-State, Washburn University and Hutchinson Community College.”
According to Peters, the 10th anniversary celebration will include recognizing donors, volunteers, instructors and previous Osher Institute staff.
“We’re standing on their shoulders as we celebrate our first decade and plan for the next,” Peters said. “Our celebration will include food, fun, prizes and surprises. I hope plenty of folks join us.”
There will be a brief program at 5:45 p.m., and the KU Jazz Combo will provide music for the event.
To RSVP for the 10th anniversary celebration or for more information, call toll free (877) 404-5823 or 785-864-5823. Or visit www.osher.ku.edu.