Lifelong learning events, courses and trips announced for new semester

Contact: Jeanne Baron
Photo of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute event.

A large crowd attended the last January Thaw reception

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Western Michigan University will kick off its winter/spring semester during an event from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, in the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.

January Thaw is a free reception with refreshments and activities open to area residents who want learn more about upcoming lifelong learning offerings. In the case of inclement weather, it will be held Wednesday, Jan. 25.

About January Thaw

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute members, potential members and friends will be able to get detailed information about the new semester's abundant volunteer opportunities as well as its latest round of courses, trips and events.

In addition, the Rev. Steve Charnley with Kalamazoo's First Methodist Church will take on the persona of Abraham Lincoln, telling stories to the crowd during his "Setting the Record Straight" presentation. There also will be a book swap, during which participants can exchange up to five books they have read for five they have not read.

Parking will be available in the KIA parking lot. Overflow parking will be available at the Ladies Library Association, Trinity Lutheran Church and First United Methodist Church parking lots.

To register for January Thaw, call the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at (269) 387-4200.

About the winter-spring semester

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute course catalog.Osher Lifelong Learning Institute member registration is underway for this semester's 51 courses and six trips. Nonmembers may register starting Wednesday, Jan. 18.

This semester's classes begin Thursday, Jan. 26, and conclude in May. The six trips scheduled thus far start in April and run through October.

The short-term, noncredit courses and enlightening trips are fee based and designed for passionate learners age 50 and over. There are no tests or papers to write. Courses run one or more weeks and take place on varying dates at WMU and other sites in the local community. Trips range from one-day excursions to multiday adventures.

Beginning this year, the institute will be offering its first fee-based lecture series. Called The Eclectic Hour, it will feature current WMU faculty giving presentations twice a month about an area of their research. Topics include community college leadership, corporate and government crime, water levels and diversion in the Great Lakes, and archaeology and the fur trade.

The lectures will be 45 minutes long and followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer session. This new series will take place from 11 a.m. to noon Fridays, Feb. 3 and 17, March 17 and 31, and April 7 and 21.

For offering details and ways to register, visit the winter/spring 2017 catalog online at To obtain more information about the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, visit

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit