The University of Delaware is proud of its history as one of the earliest and largest lifelong learning programs. Last year, when the country’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes drew 154,505 participants to its programs nationwide, nearly 4,000 of that number were members of the Delaware programs based in Dover, Lewes, Ocean View and Wilmington.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at the University of Delaware — affectionately nicknamed “OLLI” — are membership organizations for adults 50 and over to take and teach classes together with no grades, exams or educational prerequisites. Members serve as volunteers and instructors, teaching and taking classes together as part of an educational cooperative. Course offerings are determined by member-led councils and committees who are in turn guided by member interest, as well as the passions and expertise of dedicated volunteer member-instructors at each program’s location.
“Osher provides the opportunity to learn things I’d like to know about, to meet people I would otherwise not have met, and to benefit from both,” said Phil Fretz of Milton. “I participate in the program because I want to stay active intellectually and physically, and Osher provides for both.”
Upcoming courses planned in Dover include Creative and Performing Arts in the Black Community, Top Ten Supreme Court Cases, and Building Your Own Theology. In Lewes and Ocean View, fall courses include Stained Glass Fundamentals, iPhone Photography, and New Zealand: Mythical Land in the Southern Hemisphere. In Wilmington, courses include Adult Beginner Ballet, French Composers, Plays of Arthur Miller, and Presidential Politics.
Dover lifelong learning member Joe Bailey is passionate about the program’s learning opportunities. “I first joined the Dover program four years ago. Though I had never before been a motivated student, since then, I have taken between four and seven classes every semester and have even planned vacations around my class schedule.” Added Bailey, “OLLI is addictive!”
“I’ve always been an avid learner,” said longtime member Carolyn Stankiewicz of Wilmington. “OLLI is a natural continuation for my curiosity exploring everything from astronomy to yoga.”
“Belonging to the Osher Lifelong Learning program has been a real blessing in my life,” added Carol West of Ocean View, echoing the enthusiasm of other members. “Each semester’s new catalog is a treasure. I find new and interesting course offerings and meet new friends and, of course, get to catch up and socialize with old friends!”
Most recently, the expanding Dover program celebrated with a ribbon-cutting after moving to its new location at 1201 College Drive, in Dover’s College Business Park.
For more information about UD’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, including each location’s course start dates and how to register, call 302-831-7600, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lifelonglearning.udel.edu.
To find other Osher programs around the country click here.