Registration for Spring 2020 is now open!

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Multi-course Discount Promo Codes

There is a discount for three or more courses:

  • Three-course discounted price is $130. Enter code: 3DISC
  • Four-course discounted price is $170. Enter code: 4DISC
  • Five-course discounted price is $210. Enter code: 5DISC
  • Six-course discounted price is $250. Enter code: 6DISC

Alumni Discount Codes

We offer discounts for our three alumni association partners: KU, K-State and Washburn. These discounts are only available for paid alumni association members and can only be applied to courses; they cannot apply to special events:

  • KU Alumni Association Member Discount - KUAASPRING2020
  • KSU Alumni Association Member Discount - KSUAASPRING2020
  • Washburn Alumni Association Member Discount - WUAASPRING2020

Courses & Events

Laugh out loud and join us as we explore the topic of humor. What makes someone funny one minute and not the next? In this class we will discuss the fate of many humorists, who were very popular while writing, but were ignored afterward. Some of the humorists we will study include: "New Yorker" writers (S.J. Perelman, James Thurber and Calvin Trillin) and newspaper columnists (Art Buchwald, Erma Bombeck, Russell Baker and Dave Barry). Why were they funny then but not so much now? Which one could be re-read with pleasure?

April 16-30, 2020, St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church (Mission, KS)
From Superman and Batman to Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge to 50s horror comics to Spider- man and the X-Men to today's billion dollar movie blockbusters, this course takes us on a journey through the colorful action-packed history of comic books. Whether you favor funny animals, teenage hijinks, super-heroes, romance, science fiction or horror, we will cover it all in this examination of the almost 100 year history of this most American of inventions. Please note new dates for this course due to instructor conflict: 2/17, 2/24 and 3/2.

February 17, 2020 to March 2, 2020, Edwards Campus Regents Center 108 (Overland Park, KS)
How did Job's useless comforters get it so wrong? This ancient story that predates Judaism struggles to answer the Adversary's question in Job 1:9, essentially asking whether humans can faithfully worship the Almighty apart from the rewards they receive and the punishments they want to avoid. Job debates with his three friends, but the actual struggle is within himself. As the plot develops, the focus shifts from the character of Job to a search for justice. What positive purpose could suffering possibly have? Does God cause suffering? Adonai (God) concludes with a surprising answer from within a whirlwind.

March 30, 2020 to April 13, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
These women pushed the boundaries of art in media, style and subject matter. First Georgia O'Keeffe, known for her paintings of enlarged flowers, New York skyscrapers and New Mexico landscapes; and Käthe Kollwitz,a German painter, printmaker and sculptor, whose work depicts poverty and hunger. Then Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter whose naïve folk art style explored identity, gender, class and race; and Faith Ringgold, African-American, known for her narrative quilts influenced by the people, poetry and music of Harlem. Then Barbara Hepworth, English painter and sculptor, whose work exemplifies Modernism; and finally Louise Bourgeois, French large-scale sculptor, installation artist, painter and printmaker.

April 2-16, 2020, Tallgrass Creek Retirement Community (Overland Park, KS)
Just like teens, older adults face big transitions. Hormones, a changing body, shifting relationships and questions of identity, like "Who Am I?" and "What Do I Want?" leave many people uncertain about what comes next. Using personal reflections, small group discussions and engaging activities, you'll rediscover and embrace your aging self, pondering questions such as: What are my attitudes about aging? What are others saying about intimacy, touch and older adults? How does my family impact life decisions? What messages have I received about my body, its strength, beauty and capabilities and what do I believe?

April 23, 2020 to May 7, 2020, Brandon Woods Smith Center (Lawrence, KS)
We will examine the famed Kansas aviator who twice attempted to fly around the world. Both attempts failed with the last one creating an international mystery as to what happened to Earhart, how she may have died and the possibility that she may have survived. We will look into her life and discuss the assorted accounts of what may have happened to Earhart and her co-pilot Fred Noonan on July 2, 1937. We will discuss the $4.5 million search-and-rescue mission over a 250-square-mile area ordered by President Franklin Roosevelt. Lastly, we will look at the many theories surrounding her disappearance and whether she survived.This course has been postponed until April due to instructor illness. We will keep you informed of the new date.

February 18, 2020 to March 3, 2020, Townplace Suites, Jayhawk Room (Leavenworth, KS)
March 10-24, 2020, Tomahawk Ridge Community Center (Overland Park, KS)
Behind every successful man, there is a woman, and throughout history, America's First Families have embodied this saying. The role of America's First Lady is ever changing with each new occupant of the White House. They are embedded in our memory as activists and leaders of the causes they championed. Women such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford, Abigail Adams, and Hillary Clinton have advanced discussions on once-taboo subjects and have led as fascinating lives as their husbands. This course will examine the often-secluded lives of these women, their actions behind the scenes and their impact on our nation.

March 26, 2020 to April 9, 2020, Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging (Topeka, KS)
Following a long and arduous warring states period, Japan entered a time of peace under the Tokugawa Shogunate which opened opportunities for art and culture. The stunning theater arts of Bunraku (Puppet) and Kabuki delighted crowds while Samurai established schools and cultivated the arts of Zen meditation, tea ceremony, poetry and calligraphy. Woodblock prints, including those of the Ukiyo-e (Floating World) style promoted, reflected and preserved this exquisite period of artistic expression. The instructor will share samples of kimono and other Japanese textiles and tea ceremony implements.

April 6-20, 2020, Lenexa City Hall at City Center (Lenexa, KS)
Arlington National Cemetery is America's most hallowed shrine. We'll review its colorful history from its pre-Civil War days as Robert E. Lee's home through current U.S. conflicts. We'll recount lives of the famous and not-so-famous buried there, from presidents to privates, officers to enlisted men, Supreme Court justices to unknown slaves. We'll visit its major monuments and memorials, including Tomb of the Unknowns and the September 11th Memorial. We'll look at eligibility for burial, types of military honors, and how this modern cemetery administers 37 burials every weekday.

February 27, 2020 to March 12, 2020, Tallgrass Creek Retirement Community (Overland Park, KS)
Beginning in 1854 the Kansas Territory was racked by a series of confrontations between Northern Free-staters and pro-Southern sympathizers over the debate of allowing slavery in the proposed states. We will examine the causes of conflict, focusing specifically on Compromise of 1850 and the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act. Then we will discuss the leading personalities and the political and quasi-military conflicts that occurred between 1854 and 1860. Finally, we will look at the guerrilla and military actions that took place in Kansas during the Civil War. Many scholars believe that America's Civil War began in Kansas and this class will offer some validity to their claim.

February 5-19, 2020, Meadowlark Hills (Manhattan, KS)
Botanical gardens were first developed in the 16th century as medicinal gardens, but today they are destination sites for plant lovers around the world. From the oldest botanical garden in England, the Chelsea Physic Garden, to the newly revived Scampston Hall walled garden in North Yorkshire,and from the local Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine, Kan., to the Irish National Garden in Belfast, we will explore the history, beauty and meaning of the botanical garden through photography, art and literature. You won't want to miss this armchair tour!

April 2-16, 2020, Kansas State University - Olathe (Olathe, KS)
April 3-17, 2020, Matt Ross Community Center (Overland Park, KS)
In this course we will explore the global climate crisis, discussing potential solutions using the most reliable science. We will delve into what other nations are doing and consider hopeful options. We will discuss certain propaganda that has been used to obscure facts, using the same Big Tobacco lobbyists who fought the true evidence about cancer for decades. The topic has been taught for 18 years at Washburn University and at KU by Dr. Chris Hamilton.

March 3-17, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
During the 16th and 17th centuries, Spanish explorers in search of great riches ventured onto the southern plains in what is now Kansas. Two major expeditions, Francisco Vazquez de Coronado and Juan de Oñate, visited the plains in search of Quivira. Both explorers had previously gone to New Mexico looking for Cibola, but were disappointed in the Pueblos there. On the plains they found extensive Indian villages along the Arkansas River growing corn, beans and squash and hunting buffalo. We will examine these and other expeditions to understand the Spanish experience and learn about indigenous people and their contact with Europeans in the early centuries.

February 13-27, 2020, Kansas State University - Olathe (Olathe, KS)
March 4-18, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
This course will focus on selected creation stories from around the world. We will explore origin myths from ancient Egypt and Babylonia, and compare them to current stories in the living religions of India and other parts of Asia, and among indigenous peoples of North America. And, of course, we will examine the story of Genesis and its role as the foundation of Judaism and Christianity. Each story will be considered in terms of its view of the world and nature, its understanding of humans and their manifold relations, and its conception of the powerful agent, or force, that gave rise to it all.

April 14-28, 2020, Riley County Seniors' Service Center (Manhattan, KS)
It is only in relatively recent history that we have come to understand that the earth is immensely older than a few thousand years. By careful studies of rock layering and their fossils and minerals, ancient worlds have emerged out of our seas, forests and deserts. The study of geology has the axiom that "the present is the key to the past." However, the record of the rocks can also tell us something about the future of the planet. In this class we will review some chapters from earth history and examine fossils and rock samples that provide clues to this story.

April 21, 2020 to May 5, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
With support from our members, the Osher Institute has established a scholarship program for deserving adult learners who simply cannot afford the registration fees for Osher courses. Qualified seniors would be able to enroll for just $10 per course with the remainder of the fee coming from the scholarship fund.Working with senior centers in six counties-Douglas, Riley, Shawnee, Johnson, Leavenworth and Wyandotte-we'll identify eligible seniors. To qualify, seniors must meet one of three conditions: Live in subsidized housing; Receive food stamps; Be on Medicaid.Once they qualify they can register for two courses each semester. To apply for a scholarship, the applicants should call or visit their county's senior center. The senior center staff will determine the applicants' eligibility, and if they qualify, they'll be entered into the Osher Institute's database. Then the applicant can simply call Osher's Contact Center to register for as many as two courses per semester. (Scholarships are only available for Osher courses. They cannot be used for special events.)To help support the scholarship fund, please click the link below. If you have questions, please contact Linda Kehres at 785-864-1373 or Thank you.

December 11, 2019 to May 15, 2020
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at KU was established in 2004 by a grant for the Bernard Osher Foundation as an outreach program of the University of Kansas. Its mission is to offer noncredit enrichment courses and events to folks over 50 years of age, although we welcome learners of all ages. We rely on financial support from our members and the community to create a sustainable program. If you would like to support the Osher Institute, please click the link below. If you have questions, please contact Linda Kehres at 785-864-1373 or Thank you.

December 11, 2019 to May 15, 2020
A walk down Jayhawk Boulevard is a walk through the history of the University of Kansas. Its buildings are named for chancellors and faculty leaders from its opening day through decades of challenges and changes. In this class we will look at Francis H. Snow, L.L. Dyche, James Green, Erasmus Haworth, Carrie Watson and Frank Strong, among others, and give a special salute to Elizabeth Watkins, who was so generous to KU and its students. Archival photographs will enrich this look at more than 150 years of fascinating people - many of them alumni- and the place they built.

March 4-18, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
This class will explore Federico Fellini (1920-1993) who celebrates his 100th birthday this year! Federico was the great "fabulist" of film for whom life was a circus ring of beauty and terror. During week one, we will examine Fellini's roots in "Italian neo-realism" in the late 1940s" (The Miracle, I Vitelloni). Week two will trace his global celebrity in the 1950s and early 1960s (La Strada, La Dolce Vita, 8 1/2). Week three will continue with the "surreal fantasies" and "erotic dreams" of his later years (Fellini Satyricon, Juliet of the Spirits, Amarcord). We'll also discuss other Fellini-related events in and around the KU campus.

February 5-19, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
February 6-20, 2020, Edwards Campus Regnier Hall 165 (Overland Park, KS)
Professional political scientists have been able to accurately forecast the popular vote in presidential elections up to six months in advance with 98% accuracy (and somewhat less accurately forecast the Electoral College)! They are also 60% accurate in forecasting elections for the U.S. Senate and House. What forces are in the forecasts? Why don't you or the media know? How do some forecasts go wrong? During this class we will answer these questions and look at current forecasts, events, candidates and more in the 2020 race.

March 5-19, 2020, Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging (Topeka, KS)
We'll review the long struggle for women's participation in the public sphere from the early suffrage leaders to the historic 2016 presidential race. Participants will be introduced to some lesser-known leaders for women's suffrage and political rights, especially those in Kansas, and will learn more about famous figures such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt. We'll look at famous speeches and petitions. Videos from documentaries and Hollywood productions will be used to bring the women to life.

April 20, 2020 to May 4, 2020, Senior Resource Center for Douglas County (Lawrence, KS)
April 22, 2020 to May 6, 2020, Brewster Place (Topeka, KS)
Did you know that 30 percent of Kansans claim German ancestry, and German is the most prevalent language after English and Spanish spoken in homes in 77 counties in Kansas? Since the opening of Kansas in 1854, thousands of German-speaking immigrants have sought to better their lives here, including Pennsylvania Dutch, Volga Germans, Mennonites, Austrians and Swiss. German churches dot the prairie, and even now, many rural Kansans speak a dialect of German as their first language.

February 14-28, 2020, Matt Ross Community Center (Overland Park, KS)
March 31, 2020 to April 14, 2020, Eudora Community Museum (Eudora, KS)
April 1-15, 2020, TownePlace Suites: Jayhawk Room (Leavenworth, KS)
The Spencer Research Library's collection of manuscripts and early printed books is a hidden jewel on the KU campus. Its rare objects include Egyptian papyrus scrolls, Sumerian clay tablets, hand-written and decorated medieval books and folia and early printed books. Join us for a look at this fascinating collection and consider the materials and methods used for creating them. For the first two weeks, we'll meet at the Osher St. Andrews campus. The last session will be held at the Spencer Research Library. Transportation to the Spencer Research Library is required and will cost $15.This course has been postponed due to instructor illness. We will keep you updated on the new date.

February 10-24, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
Kansas is home to numerous inventors and entrepreneurs who have contributed to the history and culture of food and drink. We'll examine the territorial days of Kansas in the mid-1800s to discover what people ate and drank. Next, we'll explore how generations of immigrant and native Kansans influenced and created sweet treats, kitchen staples, fast food, and booze consumed from the 1900s to present. From ICEEs to oysters, burgers to bierocks, this food history of Kansas will whet your appetite to learn more. This course has been cancelled.

March 17-31, 2020, Aberdeen Village (Olathe, KS)
Impressionist artists shocked the world, not only with their radical new style, but also with their subject matter. We'll begin in the rural village of Barbizon, learning how Impressionism began. Then we will travel to the gardens, the ballet, the city and the water, discovering how 19th century French culture influenced the choice of subject and how artists expressed their personal interests in their beautiful, light-filled works of art. (This is Impressionism Part II - no prerequisite.)

March 31, 2020 to April 14, 2020, Edwards Campus BEST 130 (Overland Park, KS)
April 22, 2020 to May 6, 2020, Edwards Campus Regents Center 108 (Overland Park, KS)
Go mobile with your digital photography and explore creative possibilities with your iPhone camera. We will help expand your skill set using your iPhone camera, exploring the basic operations, tools, apps and tricks to help make you smartphone camera-smart. Included will be discussions and demonstrations on how to improve your photography through creative visual devices and techniques. Please bring your iPhones so we can do some hands-on practice in class.

April 21, 2020 to May 5, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
Images of Kansas range from the moral heartland where Superman was raised to Bleeding Kansas where neighbors took up arms against neighbors. This course will examine several notable Kansans within that range of images. First will be the Notorious-John Brown, the abolitionist or terrorist, and Dr. John R. Brinkley, the infamous goat gland doctor. Then we'll review the Self-Righteous-Carrie Nation and the Temperance Movement and Vern Miller, the Kansas Attorney General who sought to prohibit airlines from serving drinks while flying over "dry" Kansas. Finally will be the Innovators-Karl Menninger and his famous psychiatric clinic and Bill James, godfather of a new generation of baseball statistics.

March 10-24, 2020, Kansas City Kansas Community College Technical Education Center (Kansas City, KS)
A well-kept secret, Kansas City was known as the "Adoption Hub of America" in the early- to mid-1900s. Fearing ostracism from society, young women would be sent to live in one of several homes for unwed mothers, deliver their babies, place them for adoption and return home heartbroken. This course will share the reunion of a mother and daughter 66 years after being separated at birth at the Willows Maternity Sanitarium. We will delve into the history of the Willows and dozens of other maternity homes that brought more than 100,000 young women shrouded in secrecy to Kansas City.

March 5-19, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
Throughout history, Kansas writers have been creating a significant body of work that defines, refines and shakes up our image of the Sunflower State. There's "The Sage of Potato Hill," whose "Story of a Country Town" (1882) began the revolt against the nostalgically drawn rural town. And Edythe Squier Draper, whose stories were known for their innovative style and quirky subjects. And Andrew Milward and his brilliant take on Kansas history in "I Was a Revolutionary: Stories" (2015). Join us for a look at a dozen writers you should know about and read.

March 31, 2020 to April 14, 2020, Washburn University Mabee Library (Topeka, KS)
In the 1930s, graduating college athletes found the best basketball in the AAU Industrial Leagues, with the best teams found in Kansas. Learn how businesses sponsored basketball to market their products during the Great Depression. We'll highlight the McPherson Globe Refiners, a town team that introduced the dunk shot, originated the zone press, and won the first Gold Medal in basketball in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The course covers the first 50 years of basketball, focusing on Dr. James Naismith, the game's inventor, who mentored legendary coaches Phog Allen and John McLendon.

April 22, 2020 to May 6, 2020, Lawrence Presbyterian Manor (Lawrence, KS)
This course examines the economic, political and cultural impact of U.S. railroad corporations, passenger and freight trains, as well as workers who built, ran and maintained them. Focusing on years from the Civil War to the present, the class emphasizes not only the Union Pacific-Central Pacific transcontinental route, but also lines in Kansas and Kansas City like the Santa Fe and the Rock Island. The nation's first big business, railroads still matter today. We'll view film clips, read book and magazine excerpts, listen to railroad songs, and see photos from the instructor's own collection.

March 11-25, 2020, Brewster Place (Topeka, KS)
Like all conflicts, the War of 1812 affected the social and political development of its participants and their people: the U.S., Britain, Canada and the native tribes of North America. This course examines the fascinating lives of some of its better-known participants, including Tecumseh, James and Dolly Madison, and Andrew Jackson. We'll also learn about some lesser-known personalities such as William Apess, a Pequot, who served as a drummer in the U.S. Army; Laura Secord, who warned British officers of an impending attack; Isaac Brock, the tragic British general turned Canadian hero; and Betsy Doyle, the Molly Pitcher of the War of 1812.

March 4-18, 2020, Kansas State University - Olathe (Olathe, KS)
In this course we will explore the major themes, events and historical figures of Latin America's recent past. A specific focus will be placed on the late 19th century, the Cold War and the recent rise of populist governments. The class will examine the impact of United States imperialism and will discuss the rise of right-wing nationalist governments, as well as the role of historical memory in regional identity. Finally we will explore what history might tell about the future direction of this important part of the world. This course has been cancelled.

This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Classical music composers have found inspiration in many places. In this course you will explore classical music inspired by works of nature. The first class will focus on music inspired by the wonders of the earth, such as mountains, valleys, oceans and nature occurrences. The second class will explore music inspired by the plant kingdom such as trees, flowers and forests. The third class will be devoted to music representing the animal kingdom, such as birds, swans, fish, bears, elephants, monkeys and even whales. Come prepared to look at classical music from a whole new perspective.

February 11-25, 2020, Mission Square (Mission, KS)
The music of many of history's greatest composers is best understood in the context of the times in which they lived, and the experiences they had in their own lives. Part I of this course covered 12 of history's greatest composers and discussed their music and their lives. This course will add 12 more composers, including Handel, Beethoven, Rossini, Chopin, Smetana, Borodin, Ravel, Gershwin and Prokofiev. Come learn more about the vibrant music created by these masters and how that music reflected their lives and times. Note: Attendance at Part I is not a prerequisite to your full enjoyment of Part II.

February 25, 2020 to March 10, 2020, Claridge Court (Prairie Village, KS)
When Reconstruction ended in 1877, the federal troops occupying the "unredeemed" Southern states were withdrawn, unleashing racial violence by white supremacist groups such as the Ku KluxKlan and the White League. This forced as many as 40,000 African American "Exodusters" to flee to Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado. But it was Kansas, the land of John Brown and the Free State, which attracted most of the refugees. We will review the events that caused the exodus, the arduous trek to Kansas and its leaders, the communities that were established here and the fate of those communities.

February 11-25, 2020, Riley County Seniors' Service Center (Manhattan, KS)
The largest military operation of the war, Overlord was the highpoint of the Greatest Generation's campaign to rid the world of Nazi tyranny. Gen. Dwight Eisenhower led thousands of Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen in an operation that witnessed extraordinary acts of courage, heroism and determination. We will discuss the planning, preparation and personalities of Overlord, highlighting the airborne and amphibious forces whose extraordinary accomplishments made legendary Pointe du Hoc, Ste.- Mère-Église, and Utah and Omaha beaches.

April 1-15, 2020, Kansas City Kansas Community College Technical Education Center (Kansas City, KS)
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Kansas offers noncredit short courses and special events developed especially for folks over 50. Give the gift of learning through an Osher Gift Certificate which enables the recipient to attend one Osher course for free! Our courses are taught two hours each week for three weeks. To give someone an Osher Gift Certificate, please click the link below. If you have questions, please contact Linda Kehres at 785-864-1373 or

December 17, 2019 to May 15, 2020
This course will explore philanthropy from the donor's perspective. Examine real-life situations, tools and techniques that allow people to have more money currently through tax deductions, guaranteed income for life and asset protection from creditors. Did you know that you could redirect money that you pay in taxes to your favorite charitable organizations? Also we'll hear from a guest speaker from the KU Endowment Association who will explain how nonprofits operate today and how vital they are to our society.

April 23, 2020 to May 7, 2020, Edwards Campus Regnier Hall 165 (Overland Park, KS)
America's presidents lead extraordinary lives and make unique contributions to society. But the story doesn't end when their terms expire. Presidents have lived a combined 450 years after leaving the White House. Many go on to accomplish more than they did while in office. Jimmy Carter eradicated guinea worm disease, William Howard Taft became Chief Justice of the United States, and George Washington established one of the largest alcohol distilleries in the nation. This course will examine the lives of our former commanders in chief after public office, including their libraries and monuments, and often overlooked good deeds.

March 5-19, 2020, Roeland Park Community Center (Roeland Park, KS)
Rediscover the county's sixth- longest river, its history in westward expansion, its uses for transportation and irrigation, and how current populations interact with it. The course will build upon the insights gained from two solo kayak adventures taken by Hannes Zacharias down the Arkansas River, one in 1976 and again in 2018, following a drop of water from the headwaters at Tennessee Pass in Colorado to the Mississippi and on to the Gulf of Mexico. Rediscover what you forgot about this wild, massive, and sometimes non- existent river as it cuts across 2,060 miles of America's midsection.

April 2-16, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
Long before Kansas women obtained the unfettered right to vote in 1912 (a full eight years before the 19th Amendment established that right nationally), they found other ways to affect policy in public spheres dominated by men. The same indomitable spirit that enabled pioneer women to withstand the rigors of frontier life infused their efforts to shape the society in which they lived. Sara Robinson, Julia Lovejoy, Clarina Nichols, Carry Nation, Annie Diggs, Mary Lease, and Lilla Day Monroe, among others, took on such struggles asthose to abolish slavery, repel demon rum, improve the lot of farmers and secure more rights for women.

March 18, 2020 to April 1, 2020, Meadowlark Hills (Manhattan, KS)
This course examines the origins and geographical diffusion of the three most popular caffeine drinks. Although containing the most widely used psychoactive drug, these drinks are seemingly so innocuous they are sold without legal age restrictions and with limited regulations worldwide, yet they have left a legacy of cultural and environmental destruction in the wake of their widespread adoption during the process of globalization. For example, we will learn of the role of tea in the Opium Wars of China, coffee's contribution to slavery in the Americas and the detrimental health effects of sugar in sodas-or "pop" if you are from Kansas. This course can be taken independently of the previous "Six Drinks" course on wine, beer and spirits, the alcohol drinks that changed the world.

April 23, 2020 to May 7, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
What most people know about Emily Dickinson is that she wrote poetry, only wore white and was an eccentric recluse. But is this an accurate representation of Dickinson? In this course we will look at how Emily Dickinson's family and friends, the religious milieu in which she lived and her own spirituality contributed to her becoming the poet and person she was. We will also look at a fraction of Emily Dickinson's nearly 1,800 poems, and some of her letters, to better understand how family life, nature, education, health, war, women's roles and religion influenced their lyricism and themes.

February 12-26, 2020, Edwards Campus Regents Center 108 (Overland Park, KS)
The Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio rivers and the Great Lakes are rich in history, tall tales and music. Come learn how canal boats, steamboats, tugs and barges, plus Great Lakes freighters played a major role in U.S. territorial and economic expansion. We will review the Steamboat Arabia, the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and more. The grandson of a Great Lakes sailor, the instructor has visited the Great Lakes and rivers covered in the class and shares photos from his own collection, as well as film of large, modern vessels.

March 3-17, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
Rock 'n' Roll didn't die in 1959 (whew!), but rockers were exploring new avenues of expression as well as new markets. The songs of Jerry Lee, Fats, Chuck, Buddy and Richard were now honored "oldies," and "Rock" was firmly established as the official teenage soundtrack. Rock 'n' Roll morphed into new forms of what would now be called Rock music. These would include Motown, with its girl and guy groups; Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound;" surf music; "authentic" folk music; soul; folk rock; blues by Brits; and re-energized pop music. We will consider the first half of the 1960s music scene as a transitional time until the next Elvis appeared as Mop Tops bringing the First British Invasion to America. Join our conversation about how Rock adapted to changing times.

April 2-16, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
Marking the 75th anniversary of the 1944 Ardennes counter-offensive, commonly known as the Battle of the Bulge, we'll examine one of history's most well-known battles. Fought in the rugged Ardennes forest of Belgium in the dead of winter, this epic struggle marked Nazi Germany's last offensive to split the Anglo-British alliance and compel a negotiated peace. Surprising American troops by attacking in a seemingly quiet sector, the battle became one of the largest campaigns in U.S. Army history. This course examines the campaign from the political decision-makers in Washington, London and Berlin to the experiences and the harsh conditions of the individual soldiers and Belgian civilians.

April 9-23, 2020, Northland Innovation Center (Gladstone, MO)
Life was hard in the mid-19th century, but certain parts of life in those days were beautiful. What designers, craftsmen and artisans of this era seemed to love was a variety of romantic and dramatic elements, sometimes expressed in the most utilitarian of items. The images and objects we will study will demonstrate the sheer creativity and whimsy of the time, evident in everything from everyday household items, clothing, fashion accessories, hairstyles and penmanship. Though lifestyles have changed since then, we will gain an appreciation of the ways that an often-difficult life of the mid-19th century was made more pleasant through the decorative arts. These fashion elements and trends were inspired by movements such as the Greek, Gothic, Rococo Revival styles, Exotic Revival and others.

April 9-23, 2020, Meadowlark Hills (Manhattan, KS)
We will examine the early battles in the neutral Border States and the war along the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. We'll consider the tactical and strategic advance of Ulysses Grant and William T. Sherman during the first two years of the war. The second session will survey the war along the Mississippi River in 1863 and the capture of Vicksburg, which split the Confederacy and denied the South important Texas resources. The final class will focus on the battles of Chickamauga, Chattanooga and Atlanta and Sherman's march through Georgia. We'll also look at the home front and the war's effect on the civilian populations.

April 1-15, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
Elements of a controversial phenomenon that would become rock 'n' roll, and forever alter American and world culture, gathered during the first half of the 20th century. The musical roots- country & western, rhythm & blues, pop, jazz, gospel, and folk-were integral to birth the Big Beat. But other forces-teen culture, politics, business, technology, racism, media and chance, also played roles in rock's development. The Golden Age of Rock was all teen idols, doo wop, and girl groups until 1959, when "the music died." Was this the end of Rock? Join our conversation about how rock became rock.

February 6-20, 2020, Northland Innovation Center (Gladstone, MO)

George W. Bush and Donald Trump won recent presidential elections despite getting fewer popular votes than their opponents. They owed their victories to the role of the Electoral College, a unique institution mandated by the American Constitution. Why was the Electoral College included in the Constitution? How did it work initially? How does it work now? What prompted the changes in its functioning over the course of American history? What are its strengths and weaknesses? Can it be eliminated or reformed? What are the leading proposals to change the method by which we select our presidents? This course will address these questions.

Course will meet in Regents Center 108, this is a change from the Osher Institute catalog. Course will meet in Regents Center 108, this is a change from the Osher Institute catalog.

April 21, 2020 to May 5, 2020, Edwards Campus Regents Center 108 (Overland Park, KS)
The five million acres of the Flint Hills are all that remain of a 150-million-acre tallgrass prairie that once extended from Canada to Texas and east to Indiana. Ranching culture here differs from that in the rest of the ranching West, partly from seasonal grazing (which can put nearly four pounds per day on transient cattle), partly from the annual spring prairie fires and partly from a mix of farming and ranching. The folk culture of the Flint Hills is rich, from tales of world champion rodeo cowboys, to stories of bootleggers, to legends of murders and bank robberies.

February 13-27, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
February 13-27, 2020, Aldersgate Village Manchester Lodge (Topeka, KS)
Fifty years ago a young Yale Law School professor named Charles Reich published a book that was to become one of the intellectual foundations of the world as we know it today. At the time he published the book, Reich was best known for his article on the "new property," a brilliant extension of traditional property law jurisprudence. But in the "Greening of America" Reich reached out to the general public and became a spokesman for the generation that was to dominate the American scene for decades and to change the way we view the world. Although Reich died in June 2019 his work lives on. In this course we will read "The Greening of America" in the light of the past half-century and attempt to understand its importance not only historically, but for the next half-century to come.

February 27, 2020 to March 12, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
Between 1830 and 1862, the Rev. Thomas Johnson (after whom Johnson County is named) was associated with a school and a mission on the Shawnee Reservation in the area west of Missouri. The school provided both a traditional segment education and a manual labor portion and provided the opportunity for students to embrace Christianity. The story of its origin and expansion from a small day school to a substantial boarding school was due to the work of a group of missionaries, teachers and their students whose impact reached beyond their 2,000 acres. Let's explore this rich history.

March 24, 2020 to April 7, 2020, Shawnee Indian Mission (Fairway, KS)
Many remarkable Lawrence suffragists worked tirelessly to win women's right to vote and to run for local and state offices over five Kansas campaigns from 1854 to 1912. They organized suffrage societies, signed petitions, voted in municipal elections, lobbied state legislators and ran for state offices. In the book, "History of Woman Suffrage," Susan B. Anthony "often said that Lawrence was the headquarters of the movement" in Kansas. Based on the words of these suffragists published in newspapers, we'll consider how their persuasive arguments and political strategies still resonate today. Come celebrate their legacies during the centennial of the 19th Amendment in 2020.

February 4-18, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
"Star Wars" premiered nearly half a century ago to become a cinematic and cultural phenomenon. Hundreds of millions of people the world over, young and old, have seen episodes of this motion picture series, and have become eager consumers of its merchandise from action figures to lunch boxes. Many fans, however, are unaware of the powerful mythological themes animating the "Star Wars" narrative, especially those surveyed in Joseph Campbell's "The Hero with a Thousand Faces". We'll embark on our own hero's journey through Campbell's work, and with the aid of excerpts from "Star Wars", learn how and why this saga has had such a hold on our imaginations.

March 18, 2020 to April 1, 2020, Northland Innovation Center (Gladstone, MO)
Want to understand the common spiritual bonds shared by the three great religions that claim Abraham as their patriarch? Throughout time the adherents of these three faith groups have tended to their souls through the same spiritual disciplines: fixed-hour prayer, sacred day, sacred meal, fasting, giving, pilgrimage and the observance of sacred seasons. Each faith group believes that through these disciplines they become the people God called them to be. Class sessions will focus on specific spiritual disciplines and how they are understood and practiced in each group.

March 12-26, 2020, Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse (Prairie Village, KS)
The stakes are high, the politics intense. Social Security provides Americans with financial protection against some risks of life, paying benefits to millions of retired and disabled workers and their families and to families of deceased workers. In Kansas, there are half a million child, adult, and elderly beneficiaries. The program had its last makeover in 1983 and is due for another if it is to serve the generations of the 21st century. Reform proposals are controversial, caught up in larger struggles about the role of government in American life. Will the fixes for Social Security mend it, end it or expand it?

February 4-18, 2020, Edwards Campus Regnier Hall 155 (Overland Park, KS)
March 31, 2020 to April 14, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
The North American Tallgrass Prairie is one of the most unique ecosystems in the world. Less than four percent of the original prairie still exists and most of that is in eastern Kansas. This course will increase our appreciation of what we have here. We will explore the geologic and climatic factors that created the prairie and discuss key inhabitants, from bison to butterflies to meadowlarks. We even discuss the first humans and indigenous tribes! Prairie remnants, starting with the long struggle to establish the National Prairie Preserve, are examined. A brief review of prairie-inspired literature concludes this course.

April 1-15, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
During the mid-19th century, the Underground Railroad was a critical network of routes and safe houses that provided escaped slaves a pathway from plantations in the South to freedom in the North or Canada. In this course, we will closely examine the important role Northeast Kansas played in the Underground Railroad. We'll meet the heroic men and women who risked their lives to aid those desperate fugitives whose only road to freedom ran through Kansas. We'll also meet those brave refugees, hear their stories, and visit the local routes and safe houses that were critical to their perilous journeys to freedom.

March 30, 2020 to April 13, 2020, New Century Fieldhouse (New Century, KS)
"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz", written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W.W. Denslow, was published in 1900 and has been inextricably linked with our culture ever since. The book gave rise to a series of 40 novels. The story was soon produced on the stage and then by the movie industry beginning with silent films. MGM's 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz, is ranked 10th in the American Film Institute's top 100 films. Learn about the author, the series of books, the 1939 MGM film and its stars, and how the classic fairy tale has impacted our lives today.

March 17-31, 2020, Riley County Seniors' Service Center (Manhattan, KS)
Two Holocaust survivors, one a young Jewish boy, the other a Catholic teenage Polish Resistance fighter, would meet years later as professors at KU and form a strong friendship. The story of Lou Frydman explores the Holocaust and his eyewitness account of Jewish resistance in the concentration camps. Jarek Piekalkiewicz's story as a Polish Resistance fighter illustrates the mistakes, triumphs, history and organization of the Polish Resistance-the most effective underground movement to challenge the Nazis. We'll discuss what it means to lose not just one's family, but one's whole community and way of life, and the challenge of creating a new life in a new land.

February 4-18, 2020, Mission Chateau (Prairie Village, KS)
Issues will include birthright citizenship granted by the 14th Amendment and citizenship through naturalization or birth abroad, distinctions between U.S. citizens and nationals, how to immigrate or work legally in the U.S. and how to become a citizen. We'll also address whether asylum at the U.S. border is working, which citizenship or immigration laws and "quotas" might change, the N-400 U.S. citizenship application, civics test and mandatory interview for acquiring citizenship, and an overview of the naturalization ceremony. Not to be missed: Is baby Archie Windsor a U.S. citizen? Could he be king of England? Will his children be U.S. citizens?

February 6-20, 2020, Lawrence Campus St Andrews Classroom (Lawrence, KS)
How can we prepare for the future if we don't even know what it looks like? This course will take us on a fascinating journey into the future where we will use the tools of history to unlock the mystery of the next great patterns of our time. We will focus on politics, technology, conflict and energy to offer structured perspectives of how our world will evolve between now and the year 2050 when our planet is expected to reach peak population. Furthermore, we will study climate change and its eventual impact upon the human planet.

February 20, 2020 to March 5, 2020, Meadowlark Hills (Manhattan, KS)
This in-depth examination of World War II in the Pacific and Asia will first review the origins of the war beginning with Japan's 1931 aggressive policies in China with subsequent European and American responses to them. We'll also examine events leading up to Japan's attack on American, Dutch and British military forces in Asia and the Pacific in December 1941. Then we'll review Japanese military operations in 1942 and the beginning of America, Britain, and Australia's struggle to take the offensive in 1942-1943. Finally, we will examine the major 1944-1945 campaigns in the southwest and central Pacific culminating in the August 1945 surrender of Japan.

March 4-18, 2020, Washburn University Henderson Learning Center (Topeka, KS)
Research in the past decade has brought about a remarkable paradigm shift from aging as a problem to aging as a time of promise and potential. You already know the downfalls a normal aging brain may experience: slower speed of recall, "senior moments" and the "why-did-I-come-into-this-room?" perplexity. Now learn about the marvelous gifts your aging brain wants to deliver. Understanding the positive power of a normal aging brain positions you to take full advantage of rewards and capacities, which were unavailable to the younger you.

February 13-27, 2020, Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse (Prairie Village, KS)
March 2-16, 2020, Senior Resource Center for Douglas County (Lawrence, KS)