Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offers fall classes, trips

contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News
Photo of a group of tourists at an architectural attraction.

An Osher Institute group takes a trip to Detroit.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Registration is underway for 43 short-term courses and six group trips being offered this fall by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Western Michigan University.

Osher Institute courses and trips are open to the public, but those who become members of the institute receive such benefits as early registration opportunities and reduced activity fees. The courses are aimed at mature adults for personal enrichment purposes. There are no tests or grades. Participants simply learn new things and meet new people.

There is still time to register for a wide variety of courses and trips that begin later this month and in October and November.

Courses and trips

The fall course list includes subject areas encompassing art, drama and film; health and wellness; history and current issues; science and technology; and much more. Specific courses will teach participants about everything from how to use an iPad, quilt, play bridge, and make better digital photos to the ins and outs of estate planning, brain aerobics as promoted by Senior Odyssey of the Mind, decoding Medicare's alphabet soup, and understanding retirement housing options.

Of the six group trips planned, four are to Michigan destinations and two involve treks to Chicago. The first three trips all take place next month. On the docket are an excursion to ArtPrize 2015 in Grand Rapids Monday, Oct. 5; an exploration of foliage, food, fun and Hemingway in the Petoskey area Tuesday through Thursday, Oct. 13-15; and a journey down the Old Sauk Trail from Coldwater to the Irish Hills Friday, Oct. 30.

Annual membership meeting

The Osher Institute's annual membership meeting is set for 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, in the Fetzer Center at WMU.

To attend, register online at wmich.edu/olli or by calling (269) 387-4200 by Monday, Nov. 9.

The gathering will start with a brief business meeting, during which officers and new board members will be elected and those in attendance will be updated on WMU's Osher Foundation grant.

The highlight of the afternoon will be a lecture by Dr. Paul Maier, WMU professor emeritus of comparative religion. Maier is an expert in ancient history and early Christianity who taught at the University for 50 years.

His research includes a variety of methodologies involved in manuscript and text analysis, archaeology, and comparison of sacred and secular sources from the first century A.D. Retired since 2011, he continues to lecture and lead seminars on a wide range of topics, and appears frequently in national radio, television and newspaper interviews.

About the institute

WMU's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute provides low-cost, short-term, noncredit learning experiences for mature adults in an informal and stimulating environment.

There are no exams and no grades. Courses take place on campus and at local off-campus venues, such as Friendship Village, the First United Methodist Church, the Schoolcraft Community Library, Walden Woods, Wyndham Apartments and the Vicksburg District Library.

Instructors are volunteers, most of whom are retired college and university faculty members or other experts from the Greater Kalamazoo area. Courses cost $20 per two-hour session, but those purchasing a one-year membership in the Osher Institute for $35 may enroll in as many courses as they wish and just pay half price for each course.

For a fall catalog or to register for courses, visit wmich.edu/olli, call WMU's Extended University Programs office at (269) 387-4200, or visit that office on campus in Room 3202 Ellsworth Hall.

For trips, which are offered in cooperation with AAA, reservations may be made by calling Stephanie Schmitz at (800) 887-4971 or mailing in a completed registration form from the fall courses and trips catalog.

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.