Bronco statue with light snow and red maple leaves in the background.

All Life is Learning - January 2023

Director's Note and In this issue


Course registration starts January 11 at 10 a.m. Below are refresher instructions for how to register online for membership and course registration. 

Also, please note that there are some minor additions and clarifications to the catalog in comparison to the mailer you received at your home. We hope this additional information will be helpful. You can peruse the digital catalog now on our website

Online Registration Step-by-Step

  1. After browsing the catalog, click the button that says, “Click Here to Register.”
  2. Sign-in to your membership account by entering your username and password.
    • If you are an OLLI member or previous registrant, you already have a username. If you do not know what it is, or need help creating a new account, email the OLLI office at
    • Remember, members enjoy the lowest course fees and other benefits. Make sure to Add a Membership to your cart if you have not yet renewed your annual membership.
  3. Under the Courses tab, click on the link for the appropriate starting month for the course you are interested in taking.
  4. Browse for your desired course and click the “Add to Cart” button.
  5. When you finish selecting all of your courses, click the Cart button to check out.
  6. Check out to complete your transaction – now you're ready for class! 
    • For virtual courses, online access links will be sent to you prior to your course start date.
    • For on-campus classes, parking passes will be emailed a week before your course start date, if needed.

Membership & Marketing

OLLI’s Fun with Friends! 

Have you looked at the Winter/Spring course catalog yet? Don't miss these fascinating offerings! You can learn about history, theatre, literature, games, health, technology, social justice, and so much more. Invite a friend who shares your interests to go with you and let people who aren’t yet OLLI members in on the secret. If the courses you choose are meeting in person, you can get a group together for lunch or coffee before or after the classes. If you'd rather stay home and learn online, there are several interesting courses to choose from. Don't forget that members receive discounts!


REGISTER NOW for our January Thaw!

  Date: Wednesday, January 18       Time: 2 - 4 p.m.     
 Location: Fetzer Center

You won’t want to miss our January Thaw event, featuring guest speaker Dr. Ashlyn Kuersten, Professor of Sociology for WMU’s Criminal Justice Studies program. Dr. Kuersten will lead a riveting discussion about her work as founder of the WMU Wrongful Conviction Program and Director of the Cold Case Program with the Michigan State Police. Plus, meet some instructors for our upcoming Winter/Spring Courses, see old friends, and engage with new members. Bring your favorite old reads for our Book Swap and donate needed supplies for the Kalamazoo Literacy Council. Be sure to invite a friend or two to join us and Thaw Out on Wednesday, January 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Fetzer Center. Register for this free event by January 4. Snow Date is Thursday, January 25.

  • January 18 Wednesday, 2 p.m.

Wellness Moment

Tyler Norman, Ph.D.
Manager of Corporate Outreach
ACSM Exercise Physiologist
NCFI Corporate Fitness Specialist
West Hills Athletic Club, WMU

Exercise, Wellness, and Vigor

Retirees these days are the busiest people I know. When my mom is in Ludington or Chicago, she calls me at least once a week and is happy to talk if I call. Florida is a different story. She goes down for five months and I talk to her maybe once a month. If I call, it is never a good time. She and her husband are usually having a party or attending one. If not that, it’s perhaps book club, stretch class, pottery class, quilting class, sock-hop at the country club, women’s golf, mixed golf, pickleball, fishing on the Gulf of Mexico, or dinner with so and so. She always precludes the report with “you remember Bob and Sally;” I never do but I always say, “oh yea!”

The point is that she and many of her friends live life with VIGOR. In addition, there is so much vigor going on with the retirees that I have hit a scheduling challenge with the vitality interviews. I have requests in with several to squeeze me into their busy schedules. We will be sure to resume the series next month, but in the meantime, I thought it would be appropriate to re-run the article about vigor, since that is the main barrier keeping me from my interviews! It is a great problem.


1. active strength or force; intensity; energy 

2. healthy physical or mental energy or power; vitality

3. healthy growth in any living matter or organism 

4. effective force 

Serving on the WMU wellness committee, we often discuss the eight dimensions of wellness as the key to living long and living well. Wellness was originally defined as the absence of disease but is now generally defined as a balance of Mental, Environmental, Financial, Intellectual, Occupational, Physical, Social, and Spiritual health. Exercise is at the top of the wellness wheel when it comes to preventing chronic disease and living with VIGOR. Newton’s first law of motion comes to mind – objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Staying physically active and having a complete exercise program that includes strength, aerobic, and flexibility will prolong our FUNCTIONAL lives and have a ripple effect on many of the other dimensions of wellness.  

I see it every day here at West Hills, where more than 600 WMU retirees have active memberships. Social interaction lends itself to social wellness, and exercise obviously addresses physical wellness, which also helps to prevent chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Being active and fit will make us feel better about ourselves and improve our self-esteem, which will positively affect mental health.  Live life with VIGOR!!

If you have questions about getting going on an exercise program or have questions about the West Hills membership benefits for WMU retirees and OLLI members, you can email me at  

Kalamazoo Literacy Council

Passionate about literacy? Want to help others with reading and writing? Become a tutor! If you can be available for a minimum of two hours a week, you can make a profound impact on an adult’s entire life.

The Kalamazoo Literacy Council (KLC) is a nonprofit volunteer tutor organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of adults with low literacy skills through free classes and one-on-one tutoring designed to develop reading, writing, spelling, and comprehension. Through the council’s efforts we hope to also educate the public about the crisis of low literacy and bring together individuals with a common goal of making Kalamazoo County a fully literate community.

We teach learners in-person or online through our Virtual Learning Center. The free training will equip you with effective strategies for teaching adults or teaching classes.

Winter programs include one-on-one tutoring and online classes in writing,computers, Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS), adult basic education(GED), Parent Literacy, and Health Literacy for native English speakers and English language learners.

We offer plenty of ongoing support through monthly forums, peer sharing, and more. The next free online tutor training session begins on January 12. Learn more and sign up today!

What is the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute?

The program was initiated under the auspices of the WMU Emeriti Council and WMUx. OLLI offers intellectually lively and culturally appealing learning experiences. We accomplish this by focusing on intellectual stimulation, personal growth, social engagement and enrichment.  Read more


What do we do?

We offer short courses for one to four weeks. Sessions are usually two hours long. Travel programs are also a part of our offerings. There are no tests and no required homework, just exploring lots of interesting topics.

In the near future we will offer courses in different formats -- noon hour discussions, several sessions in one week, and more evening courses. OLLI courses and activities are developed and produced by its members with the support of the staff of WMUx.

We need your ideas for course topics and instructors. Let us know your suggestions. Call the OLLI office at (269) 387-4157 or send an email. The curriculum committee will review all suggestions.