Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Spring courses are now open!

Other helpful links

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 - KUAASPRING2024
  • KSU Alumni Association Member Discount - KSUAASPRING2024
  • Washburn Alumni Association Member Discount - WUAASPRING2024

Courses & Events

A required individual Osher membership fee of just $25 will be collected during the fall semester each year to grant participation in the Osher offerings for the next 12 months. Your paid membership allows you to attend Osher courses and special events. It also provides you access to several FREE activities including: the KU Osher Speaker Series; The Artistic Exploration Club; The Book Club; and The Osher Outings. We're excited to nurture your ongoing quest to learn as you engage with and contribute greatly to the world around you.


July 12, 2023 to July 13, 2024

Wednesday, May 1 - Friday, May 3


(First come, first served. This event will sell out!)


The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., boasts a world-class collection of American masterworks on 120 acres of natural Ozark landscape. During our time at the museum there will be lots to experience including various tours such as:


Bachman-Wilson House

Enjoy this exquisite Frank Lloyd Wright house built originally in New Jersey, but skillfully disassembled and reconstructed on a specially designed site. Self-guided tour.


Architecture Tour

This tour introduces the unique design features of Moshe Safdie (who also designed the Kauffman Center) and provides insights into some of the challenges the site posed. Docent-led tour.


Collection Highlights Tour

Visit some of the best-known names in American art, including Gilbert Stuart's "George Washington," Asher B. Durand's "Kindred Spirits," and Norman Rockwell's "Rosie the Riveter." Docent-led tour.


Sculpture Tour

Enjoy the museum's trails, the many outdoor sculptures and the nature waterways and native plants found on the property. Self-guided tour (a paved path includes a moderate slope with incline requiring appropriate footwear).


Kusama Infinity Mirrored Room

Artwork by Yayoi Kusama is an enclosed room filled with mirrors and dotted, color-changing paper lanterns. Not for individuals sensitive to flashing lights. View time is 60 seconds.


Temporary Exhibit - TBD

Self-guided tour.


You will also be able to spend time in the various galleries, library, and trails on the property.



Wednesday, May 1

We'll enjoy a boxed lunch at Orchards Park Pavilion as we learn about the history of Bentonville, past and present, followed by our first tour of Crystal Bridges. That evening we'll have dinner at Fred's Hickory Inn.


Thursday, May 2

After breakfast, we'll board the bus for a visit to the Museum of Native American History, nominated for Top 10 History Museums by USA Today, before returning to Crystal Bridges for more scheduled tours and/or exploring the museum, gift shop, and grounds on your own. You'll enjoy an included lunch at your pace and on your schedule. That evening we'll explore downtown Bentonville and have dinner on your own in one of the colorful restaurants.


Friday, May 3

Following breakfast we'll travel to Lamar, Mo., birthplace of Harry Truman. Then we're on to Fort Scott, where we'll enjoy lunch and a visit to the Gordon Parks Museum on the campus of Fort Scott Community College.


Wednesday 7 a.m. - Coach departs Lawrence Osher Institute, 1515 St. Andrews Dr., on Wednesday and returns on Friday around 4 p.m.


Wednesday 8 a.m. - Coach departs KU Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira Rd., Overland Park, on Wednesday and returns Friday around 3 p.m.


$655 fee per person - double occupancy

$745 fee per person - single occupancy


Fee includes coach transportation, lodging, two breakfasts, three lunches, and dinner on Wednesday evening. Dinner on Thursday is not included. Refund must be requested by April 3, minus a $125 administrative fee.


May 1-3, 2024
The Federal Reserve is in the news daily, as the media speculate on the Fed's next policy move. But there is more to the Fed than its current policy actions. We'll study the Fed's many functions in the financial system, as well as its role in macroeconomic policy. As the nation's Central Bank, the Federal Reserve plays an important role in the U.S. economy and financial markets.

Instructor Bio: Gordon Sellon is an economist who spent thirty years at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, retiring as Senior Vice President and Director of Research. He also taught economics at KU, the University of Michigan, Grinnell College, and Oklahoma City University. He has degrees in economics from Harvard College and the University of Michigan.


February 29, 2024 to March 14, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility, In Person and Online
Andersonville is claimed to be the worst Civil War prison and its commandant the only officer in the Civil War executed for war crimes. We'll discuss the history of POWs from the time of the Greeks to 1863, the conditions at Andersonville, and the culpability of Henry Wirz. Given the facts available, you decide the answers to these questions.

Instructor Bio: Daniel Cudnik is a retired board-certified Plastic Surgeon. He formerly served as President of the Medical Staff and sat on various boards of trustees. He has a passion for history and shares his knowledge with others, actively presenting for civic groups on historical topics mixing medicine with history.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Before D-Day, 6 June 1944, thousands of U.S. soldiers were trained around Braunton, Devonshire, England. Villagers welcomed soldiers in 1944 and commemorate them today. Private CW Anderson was a replacement Soldier, trained in Braunton. After training, he served in France and died in Germany. Private Anderson's granddaughter shares the family's 80-year Devonshire connection. 

Instructor Bio: Rebecca Powell, Ph.D. (University of Bristol, England), has spent 25+ in research & support of highly mobile and multicultural populations. A native Virginian, her adulthood has been in 13 homes (4 States and 4 countries). Recently transplanted to Fort Leavenworth, she enjoys the Kansas climate, community, and culture.


Wednesday, March 13, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions
The Book Club provides members the opportunity to engage with each other and discuss books of interest while exploring fascinating topics. Outside of our monthly zoom meetings, members will be able to connect via the shared Osher email account.


February 9, 2024 to April 12, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions
Friday, March 1, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions
Friday, March 8, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions
Friday, April 12, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions
It has been 69 years since the landmark decision which declared that segregated schools were not Equal, and which ushered in the Civil rights movement and laws of 1964-1970 making it possible for Dr. King and Malcom X to have a great impact. We'll explore this topic and examine the Brown II and Brown III supreme Court decisions that followed and discuss education today regarding race and discrimination. 

Instructor Bio: Russ Hutchins teaches U.S. history, Western civilization, economics, business, philosophy, and business management at Friends University. He is a retired public-school administrator and educator.


April 29, 2024 to May 13, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions
While women have become the fastest growing segment of the incarcerated population, prison education and reentry programs are not well prepared to respond to this influx. Hyunjin Seo will discuss her interdisciplinary team's evidence-based technology education aimed at supporting women transitioning from incarceration into entering (re-entering) the workforce.

Instructor Bio: Hyunjin Seo is Oscar Stauffer Professor in the William Allen White School of Jouralism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas and founding director of the KU Center for Digital Inclusion. Seo's research focuses on identifying emerging properties of networked communication and understanding their implications for social change, collective action and civic engagement.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

Join Georgia Klein on a guided tour of 20 art and history sites in Kansas City's Country Club Plaza, including its sculptures, fountains, and towers reminiscent of Spanish architecture and European art. Designed and developed in 1922 by J.C. Nichols as the first shopping district away from a downtown area, and doubled in size in 1950 by his son, Miller, it became a sister city to Seville, Spain, in 1967. Learn about recent changes and hear stories of the creators. We'll enjoy a morning break with snacks and Q&A and share a delicious family style Italian meal at Buca di Beppo for lunch.


Wednesday, April 3


9 a.m. - We'll gather in front of the Classic Cup Café (3001 W. 47th). Free parking in underground garage behind Classic Cup. Other free lots along main street.


1 p.m. - Return to the Classic Cup Café from tour.


$75 fee includes guided tour, Q&A session, morning snacks and drinks, along with lunch.


Refunds will be honored on or before March 18, minus a $15 administrative fee.


Wednesday, April 3, 2024

We'll start the day in Lecompton with a reenactment of the 1850 town hall meeting while watching the "Bleeding Kansas" play, featuring unique characters who shaped Territorial Kansas. Next, we'll tour the 1882 Territorial Capital Museum, housed at Lane University, where President Eisenhower's parents were married. Lunch will be served at the 1884 Methodist Church (Windsor Hotel), home to the famous 1885 Chickering Grand Piano. We'll then enjoy a short walk past downtown shops to 1856 Constitution Hall, a National Historic Landmark and Kansas's oldest wood frame building. We'll end the day with a presentation from Bill McFarland and Tim Nedeau about the discovery of the portrait of the 1857 Kansas House of Representatives, the first free state legislature to meet in Lecompton.


Friday, March 15


9:15 a.m. - Arrive at 640 E. Woodson Ave., Lecompton


2 p.m. - Depart


$60 fee includes "Bleeding Kansas" play, museum fees, guided tours, presentations, and lunch.


Refunds will be honored on or before Feb. 28, minus a $15 administrative fee.


Friday, March 15, 2024
In Europe, the years between World Wars I and II seemed to be the decades of the dictator. Not only in Germany and the Soviet Union, but in Austria, Italy, Poland, Portugal and other countries, dictatorships replaced democracies. By 1940, they outnumbered constitutional democracies. What factors led from democracy to dictatorship? Could this happen again? This class will examine the process by which dictators replaced democracies in each of these major countries and suggest danger signs of this process.

Instructor Bio: Vincent Clark holds a doctorate in modern European history. His graduate work included a Fulbright Graduate Fellowship at Germany's University of Heidelberg. He was history professor and chair of the history department at Johnson County Community College and has published articles and books in his field.


March 18, 2024 to April 1, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online
We'll discuss the global struggle that unfolded among rival intelligence agencies operating in the shadows of Europe, in the forbidden border zones of the USSR, in the disputed straits of the South China Sea, on a hijacked plane, and around the walls of Soviet embassies. Learn how defection shaped the governance of global borders and helped forge an international refugee system.

Instructor Bio: Erik R. Scott is Associate Professor of History and director of the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Kansas. He is the author of Familiar Strangers: The Georgian Diaspora and the Evolution of Soviet Empire (OUP, 2016) and editor of The Russian Review.


Wednesday, March 20, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility, In Person and Online
Preventative measures continue to be the best way to control or prevent heart disease. Join us to learn about the various common and less common risk factors contributing to coronary artery disease. Individual topics on hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, will be presented covering causative factors and treatment options, both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic. 

Keith Jantz, a retired internist, enjoys speaking to the public about preventative measures to improve one's health. He earned undergrad and medical degrees at the University of Kansas. He completed a 3-year residency at Baptist Hospital in Memphis and practiced internal medicine in Kansas City for 35 years.


Wednesday, February 28, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility, In Person and Online
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 linda.k@ku.edu. Thank you.


December 13, 2023 to May 17, 2024

We begin at Constitution Hall, the original home of the Free State Legislature where delegates met in 1855 to ban slavery. Then we'll drive by the Mamie Williams House, home to the distinguished African American educator appointed to the Kansas Commission on the Status of Women in 1965 and a delegate to the 1971 White House Conference on Aging.


Next, we'll visit Brown v. Board of Education National Historical Park to experience the interactive museum before lunch at Celtic Fox. Then we'll enjoy a guided tour of the Ritchie House, a stop on the Underground Railroad.


We'll end with a guided tour of the Kansas State Capitol to take in the historic beauty and grandeur and some of the most important public art in the nation. Our visit will include a dome tour for those intrepid enough to venture there.


Friday May 10


7:45 a.m. - Coach departs the Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira Rd., Overland Park, and returns by 6:00 p.m.


8:45 a.m. - Coach departs the Osher Institute, 1515 St. Andrews Dr., Lawrence and returns by 5:00 p.m.


$145 fee includes coach transportation, guided tours, exclusive presentations, lunch, and snacks.


Refunds will be honored on or before April 24, minus a $30 administrative fee.


Friday, May 10, 2024
The course explores the who, where, when, what, and why of the 13 U.S. presidential libraries and museums. We'll focus on the two U.S. presidential and museums in the Kansas City area, Eisenhower, and Truman. The other 11 U.S. presidential libraries and museums will also be discussed.

Instructor Bio: Attorney Anita Tebbe is a retired a professor of legal studies at Johnson County Community College.


March 20, 2024 to April 3, 2024, Lawrence Presyterian Manor - In Person
The course explores the who, where, when, what, and why of the 13 U.S. presidential libraries and museums. We'll focus on the two U.S. presidential and museums in the Kansas City area, Eisenhower, and Truman. The other 11 U.S. presidential libraries and museums will also be discussed.

Instructor Bio: Attorney Anita Tebbe is a retired a professor of legal studies at Johnson County Community College.


March 20, 2024 to April 3, 2024, Lawrence Presyterian Manor - In Person
Mary Todd Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the Unites States, were partners from the first day they met. She supported his political career and his stance against slavery and civil war. She helped him write the Gettysburg Address and edited his speeches during his run for president and in the White House. Come explore this great love affair.

Instructor Bio: Marlene Katz, a graduate from the University of Missouri, was an adjunct professor at UMKC, where she taught English and literature. Marlene has a 28-year teaching career and has been involved in storytelling for 20 years. "Women in History" is her specialty and Marlene has performed in a five-state area and has lectured at various groups, often in costume and speech of the character she is portraying.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Religions and science have different concepts of the nature of reality. In this course we will take a quick journey through the history of philosophy from Ancient Greece to modern America. Along the way we will examine the questions such as: does God exist? How can we know the truth? What is reality?

Instructor Bio: James Gaither, Th.D., holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Kansas and ThD from Holos University Graduate Seminary. For over 25 years he has taught courses in history of Western thought, world religions, metaphysics and ethics and is currently a "semi-retired."


April 11-25, 2024, Eudora Community Museum In Person
Former U. S. Senator and Kansas Governor Arthur Capper created a media empire second only to William Randolph Hearst. His father-in-law and mentor, General/Governor Samuel Crawford, whose biography, Kansas in the Sixties, is a glimpse into a tumultuous time in the American West. Join historian Deb Goodrich as she introduces us to two of our states most influential politicians.

Instructor Bio: Deb Goodrich, the host of the TV show "Around Kansas," and the Garvey (Texas) Foundation Historian in Residence at the Fort Wallace Museum, chairs the Santa Fe Trail 200. She has appeared in many documentaries including "The Road to Valhalla," "Aftershock," and "American Experience" on Jesse James, and the series, "Gunslingers" on AHC. She wrote and produced the docudrama, "Thof's Dragon."


April 8-22, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions

In 1827 Col. Henry Leavenworth established a fort to protect America's frontier, keep peace among the resettled Native Americans and provide escort on the new Santa Fe Trail. We'll learn its history from Mark Gerges, associate professor of history at the Command and General Staff College and visit the Lewis and Clark Center. Following lunch, we'll tour the historic Memorial Chapel, homes of George Custer and Douglas MacArthur, the Buffalo Soldiers Monument, and Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery. We will also tour the Frontier Army Museum with its collection depicting the Army in the West from 1804 to 1917, leaving time to visit its bookstore.


Friday, March 22 7:30 a.m. - Coach departs the Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira Rd., Overland Park, and returns by 4:30 p.m.


8:30 a.m. - Coach departs the Osher Institute, 1515 St. Andrews Dr., Lawrence, and returns by 3:30 p.m.


9:30 a.m. - Tour begins at Fort Leavenworth


All participants must present a government-issued ID. $115 fee includes coach transportation, exclusive presentations, tours, and lunch on post.


Refunds will be honored on or before March 6, minus a $30 administrative fee.


Friday, March 22, 2024
Kafka died in relative obscurity in 1924 and was later recognized as one of the greatest figures of modern literature, whose writings explored themes such as power, paranoia, punishment, bureaucracy, absurdity, and the fruitless struggle against "the system." We'll explore his life and some of his work, including his most famous posthumously published work, The Trial.

Instructor Bio: Eliah Bures holds a Ph.D. in history from UC Berkeley. He is a fellow at Berkeley's Center for Right-Wing Studies and the author of multiple essays and scholarly articles on far-right politics.


April 9-23, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions
Our first segment will examine the early trails of Territorial Kansas and how they gave way to the development of cattle towns at the railheads of Ellsworth, Hays, Wichita and Dodge City. Then we will evaluate how the two most valuable resources in Kansas-oil and natural gas-helped urbanize southeast Kansas and the "oil patch" towns of western Kansas. Our final segment focuses on how early promotional efforts led to the rise of Wichita; how Topeka "captured" the state capital; and how Lawrence became the classic college town.

Instructor Bio: Tom Schmiedeler, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of geography at Washburn University.


April 10-24, 2024, Northland Innovation Center In-Person
Our first segment will examine the early trails of Territorial Kansas and how they gave way to the development of cattle towns at the railheads of Ellsworth, Hays, Wichita and Dodge City. Then we will evaluate how the two most valuable resources in Kansas-oil and natural gas-helped urbanize southeast Kansas and the "oil patch" towns of western Kansas. Our final segment focuses on how early promotional efforts led to the rise of Wichita; how Topeka "captured" the state capital; and how Lawrence became the classic college town.

Instructor Bio: Tom Schmiedeler, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of geography at Washburn University.


April 10-24, 2024, Northland Innovation Center In-Person
German is the most prevalent language after English and Spanish spoken at home in 77 counties in Kansas. Since 1854, thousands of German-speaking immigrants have sought better lives here, including Pennsylvania Dutch, Volga Germans, Mennonites, Austrians and Swiss. German churches dot the prairie, and some rural Kansans still speak a dialect of German.

Instructor Bio: William Keel, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus of German at KU, having taught the history and culture of German settlements in Kansas and Missouri.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
German is the most prevalent language after English and Spanish spoken at home in 77 counties in Kansas. Since 1854, thousands of German-speaking immigrants have sought better lives here, including Pennsylvania Dutch, Volga Germans, Mennonites, Austrians and Swiss. German churches dot the prairie, and some rural Kansans still speak a dialect of German.

Instructor Bio: William Keel, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus of German at KU, having taught the history and culture of German settlements in Kansas and Missouri.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
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 linda.k@ku.edu.


December 13, 2023 to May 17, 2024
Beginning in the 19th century the number of women composers increased greatly. We'll discuss the lives of these women and listen to their music beginning with the great 10th century abbess Hildegard von Bingen. We'll continue with the trouveres of the Middle Ages, and hear from Barbara Strozzi, Wilhelmine of Bayreuth, and others, as well as explore contemporary composers such as Joan Tower.

Instructor Bio: Don Dagenais has been a preview speaker for the Lyric Opera for more than 20 years, and he teaches classical music and opera courses for local organizations. He enjoys studying American political history and has compiled an extensive collection of memorabilia from presidential political campaigns from 1840 to the present. He recently retired as a real estate attorney.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Beginning in the 19th century the number of women composers increased greatly. We'll discuss the lives of these women and listen to their music beginning with the great 10th century abbess Hildegard von Bingen. We'll continue with the trouveres of the Middle Ages, and hear from Barbara Strozzi, Wilhelmine of Bayreuth, and others, as well as explore contemporary composers such as Joan Tower.

Instructor Bio: Don Dagenais has been a preview speaker for the Lyric Opera for more than 20 years, and he teaches classical music and opera courses for local organizations. He enjoys studying American political history and has compiled an extensive collection of memorabilia from presidential political campaigns from 1840 to the present. He recently retired as a real estate attorney.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
"Hamilton" (2015) by Lin-Manuel Miranda remarkable for its score based on rap and other African American musical styles, its statement about race, and its appeal to people from both sides of the political spectrum tells us about history and how we perceive it. We'll explore "Hamilton" and discuss other recent Broadway shows - including "Wicked," "Come from Away," and "Dear Evan Hansen."

Instructor Bio: Paul Laird is professor of musicology at the University of Kansas. He is a frequent Osher instructor and noted authority on the Broadway musical. One of Laird's recent books is a co-edited volume (with Mary Jo Lodge) on "Hamilton" entitled "Dueling Grounds: Revolution and Revelation in the Musical 'Hamilton'."


February 13-27, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility, In Person and Online
Do you ever wonder if movies that portray history are accurate? We'll explore storylines, costumes, and locales from war movies of the 20th century, American westerns, and cavalry movies, as well as: Ben Hur, Spartacus, Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, El Cid, and Titanic Be prepared to have a lot of long held myths busted. 

Instructor Bio: Robert Smith, Ph.D., is the director of the Fort Riley Museum. He has a doctorate in history from KSU and has published numerous articles on military history.


April 8-22, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility, In Person and Online
Come hear the stories and watch a presentation about this landmark spot. We'll explore art and historic sites and learn about JC Nichols and his vision to develop the first outdoor shopping area away from a downtown area. The oldest statues date back to 1680 and are from Florence, Italy. The first were placed on the Plaza in 1928.

Instructor Bio: Georgia Klein is a retired educator from the Shawnee Mission School District. Her love of Kansas City history led her to develop the tour as a business. The last four years she has been doing the walking tour as part of Road Scholar tours of Kansas City.


Wednesday, March 6, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility, In Person and Online
How is a changing climate impacting Kansas and what's being done locally to address the challenges we face? From the tallgrass prairie of the Flint Hills to the metropolitan Kansas City area, Rex Buchanan and Dave Kendall have been recording interviews with a diverse selection of individuals engaged in research, planning and implementation of various mitigation and adaptation strategies. We'll screen excerpts from their documentary production and review some of their most pertinent experiences, inviting participants to engage in dialogue about this subject.

Tuesday, Feb. 20 6:30-8:30 p.m.
In Person and Online

Osher Institute
1515 St. Andrews Dr., Lawrence

$30 fee includes talk and reception.
Refunds will be honored on or before Feb. 9, minus a $10 administrative fee.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Income inequality began in the late 1980s and was driven by many social and policy changes. We'll discuss the income disparity between the top 10% of wealthy Americans compared to the rest of the population and discuss the fall of workers unions. What is causing the increase in union strikes and what does that mean to our economy?

Instructor Bio: Charles "Chick" Keller is a retired senior executive and retired professor. He worked 15 years each at Sprint, and Black and Veatch in strategic planning and strategic marketing rising to VP level both times. In 2000, he began a career as a professor in KU's engineering management program where he taught finance and strategic planning.


Tuesday, March 12, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online
The Bleeding Kansas era of 1854-61 is well remembered, but how did the new state of Kansas fare during the ensuing Civil War? From 1861-65, the border struggle heated up as Kansans fended off Confederate attacks, welcomed the formerly enslaved into their communities, and engaged in bitter political debates. Men of all backgrounds-white, black, and Native American-served in uniform, while women managed farmsteads and formed societies to help the needy. This course will recreate the experiences of Kansans and their frontier communities during this pivotal period of state and national history and explain how the war changed Kansas.

Instructor Bio: Will Haynes has a doctorate in history from the University of Kansas. He plans, manages, and promotes public programming at the Watkins Museum of History, the headquarters of the Douglas County Historical Society.


April 8-22, 2024, Dwayne Peaslee Technical Training Center - In Person
There is no country where food and wine are more romanticized and sought after than Italy! People visit the monuments, art, fashion, and museums, but STAY for the food! Home of 2,000 years of culinary history, Italy consists of 20 regions each adding its own flavor to the dishes we know and love.

Instructor Bio: Chef Larry Canepa is a certified culinary educator with over 40 years of food and beverage experience and 20 years of teaching cooking, food and culture, and STEAM-focused classes. He has taught culinary classes at Le Cordon Bleu, the International Culinary School at the Art Institute, corporate wellness events, libraries, community centers and other venues.


March 21, 2024 to April 4, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions
What are some of the historic landmarks of Kansas and why are they important to us today? In this course, we will begin by learning about the federal and state historic preservation laws, discover historic structures both before and after statehood in 1861, and survey some of those buildings and structures that are now historic landmarks. The goal of the class is to learn what stories our ancestors tell us through the built environment and how we pass that knowledge on to future generations of Kansans.

Instructor Bio: Paul Post, a native Kansan, received a B.A. in History from KSU and a law degree from the KU Law School in 1974. Now retired from the practice of law, he is a member of the Shawnee County Historical Society and an amateur beekeeper. He has authored essays on the history of SBA Hill/ former Menninger Campus in Topeka; Topeka's Bates Family; The Fred Harvey Company; and on Duke Ellington.


March 19, 2024 to April 2, 2024, McCrite Plaza Topeka - In Person
What are some of the historic landmarks of Kansas and why are they important to us today? In this course, we will begin by learning about the federal and state historic preservation laws, discover historic structures both before and after statehood in 1861, and survey some of those buildings and structures that are now historic landmarks. The goal of the class is to learn what stories our ancestors tell us through the built environment and how we pass that knowledge on to future generations of Kansans

Instructor Bio: Paul Post, a native Kansan, received a B.A. in History from KSU and a law degree from the KU Law School in 1974. Now retired from the practice of law, he is a member of the Shawnee County Historical Society and an amateur beekeeper. He has authored essays on the history of SBA Hill/ former Menninger Campus in Topeka; Topeka's Bates Family; The Fred Harvey Company; and on Duke Ellington.


March 19, 2024 to April 2, 2024, McCrite Plaza Topeka - In Person

This course explores several aspects of Scotland's physical and human geography. It is roughly divided into sections on its astounding physiography, Precambrian geology and natural resources, followed by contributions of key ethnic groups (Picts, Scots and Norse) to its cultural history. We'll discuss "the true inventors of the social sciences," Adam Smith, James Watt, David Hume, James Hutton and Sir Walter Scott. We'll also compare two great cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow, with quite different origins and cultural characters. Finally, we'll explore the country's (is it a country?) dynamic political geography, including political parties and the highly charged, contentious issue of independence.

Instructor Bio: Tom Schmiedeler, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of geography at Washburn University.


March 21, 2024 to April 4, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online

We'll tour Tom Corbin's studio, the Corbin Bronze Firehouse, galleries, and sculpture garden. Tom will discuss his career in bronze and talk about his monumental President Harry Truman sculpture, unveiled in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in 2022.


We'll eat lunch at Manny's before visiting Belger Arts Center for a guided tour of the contemporary art collections. Next, we'll enjoy a glass blowing demonstration at Glass Annex. Then we'll stop by Crane Yard Studies for a tour of the exhibits and a presentation in the Lawrence Lithography Workshop by printmaker Mike Sims on the steps involved in creating lithographs.


Tuesday, March 5


8:30 a.m. - Coach departs the Osher Institute, 1515 St. Andrews Dr., Lawrence, and returns by 6:30 p.m.


9:30 a.m. - Coach departs the Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira Rd., Overland Park, and returns by 5:30 p.m.


$130 fee includes coach transportation, studio tours, exclusive presentations, and lunch.


Refunds will be honored on or before Feb. 16, minus a $30 administrative fee.


Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Since the first European colonists set foot in the New World, they started dominating the environment by clearing trees to create farmland, soon learning nature is not easily subdued. Today we establish weed free lawns or bring water to the millions living in the desert. We'll explore North America's Nature Wars including conflicts with wildlife, vegetation, and fresh water.

Instructor Bio: Thomas Luellen recently retired after 31 years in hospital administration and 14 years as an adjunct instructor at Washburn University. He has a master's degree in geography from KU. His personal interests have always been his native state and its history.


April 10-24, 2024, Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging In Person
Although federal highway construction started in 1916, the U.S. became a car-oriented nation after World War II. Some of us recall tourist travel on Route 66 or the Lincoln Highway when they were two-lane roads, eating homemade sandwiches or food from roadside diners, spending the night at modest tourist courts while on the way to the Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore, or lesser-known travel destinations. Then came the interstate highways, Howard Johnsons, and Holiday Inn. We will recall the years when gas was cheap and cars were large through film clips, historical accounts, travel music and our own memories.

Instructor Bio: Carl Graves, Ph.D., holds a master's degree in US history from KU and a doctorate from Harvard. He taught at the university and community college levels, and at Kansas City's Pembroke Hill School.


March 18, 2024 to April 1, 2024, Osher Institute In-Person
The Osher Outings occur in various locations. These social events will allow you to meet other Osher members outside of the classroom and connect with like-minded lifelong learners. No agenda and no lectures. Just show up, visit, engage, and have FUN! Make new friends and feel free to bring a friend. Registration required.


Monday, March 18, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In-Person
Wednesday, April 10, 2024, Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging In Person
This course is an introduction to the city of Peking from the time of Kubilai Khan through the Ming and Qing emperors to Mao Zedong, with a focus on the "Forbidden City," the seat and symbol of power. We will consider the palaces both as an architectural ensemble and as a great museum.

Instructor Bio: Robert Thorp taught at Princeton and Washington University in St. Louis for 25 years followed by a second career as tour lecturer in China and Japan. His publications include Chinese Art and Culture (2001), China in the Early Bronze Age (2006), and Visiting Historic Beijing (2008). He has visited China more than 50 times.


February 8-22, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online
If you desire to promote a business or a hobby, producing content is a must. Social media videos, posters, logos, ads, and web pages that used to require a graphic designer, video producer, brand manager, and social media expert no longer do! Do it yourself for free with built-in templates and AI tools to make your work professional, and unique.

Instructor Bio: Stephen Knifton is an Emmy-winning TV news producer, creating and producing engaging and highly rated news programming. Steve also created work for museums, engineers, architects, designers, hospitality + tourism, and business development clients. He has taught (remotely) video storytelling and smartphone filmmaking at several colleges and has lived and worked in New York and Toronto, distance-teaching in Canada and the U.S.


April 29, 2024 to May 13, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions
We'll discuss the war and examine why and how the Ukrainian nation responded to the invasion and how have they adapted to their new reality. We'll look at the three aspects of Ukrainian success which include the changing character of modern warfare, national resilience, and international support to the Ukrainian war effort. 

Instructor Bio: Randy Mullis, Ph.D., is professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. Professor Mullis holds a doctorate in history from the University of Kansas. His major fields include the history of the United States and military history and indigenous nations studies. He is the author of Peacekeeping on the Plains: Army Operations in Bleeding Kansas.


March 21, 2024 to April 4, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions
We will look at eight U.S. First Ladies who lived in the 20th and 21st centuries. They are not as well-known as some of the other first ladies, but they made impressive contributions to the United States. We will study Lou Hoover, Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Rosalynn Carter, Barbara Bush, and Laura Bush.

Instructor Bio: Anita Tebbe is a retired professor of the Legal Studies Department at Johnson County Community College. She earned an undergraduate degree in history, a graduate degree in education and a juris doctor degree in law. Anita is a Kansas licensed attorney and has more than 40 years at the high school and college levels.


February 29, 2024 to March 14, 2024, McCrite Plaza at Briaracliff - In Person
We will look at eight U.S. first ladies who lived in the 20th and 21st centuries. They are not as well-known as some of the other first ladies, but they made impressive contributions to the United States. We will study Lou Hoover, Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Rosalynn Carter, Barbara Bush, and Laura Bush.

Instructor Bio: Anita Tebbe is a retired professor of the Legal Studies Department at Johnson County Community College. She earned an undergraduate degree in history, a graduate degree in education and a juris doctor degree in law. Anita is a Kansas licensed attorney and has more than 40 years at the high school and college levels.


February 29, 2024 to March 14, 2024, McCrite Plaza at Briaracliff - In Person
This countercultural era started with the Summer of Love and ended tragically two years later. We'll explore cultural and political events from the Monterey Music Festival, through Woodstock, ending at the Altamont Speedway Festival. While Monterey introduced many soon-to-be famous performers, Woodstock gave its name to a generation, and Altamont brought the era to a sad end.

Instructor Bio: Steve Lopes, A.E., B.A., M.A., M. Ed., was an educator for 15 years prior to 30 years of advocating for teachers as a Kansas-NEA organizer. He enjoys researching rock 'n' roll history and sharing it with Osher participants.


April 9-23, 2024, Tallgrass Creek Retirement Community In Person
Rock music during the 1967-69 countercultural era started with the Summer of Love and ended tragically just two years later. We will explore cultural and political events of the time from the Monterey International Pop Music Festival, through the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, and ending at the Altamont Speedway Festival. While Monterey introduced the world to many soon-to-be famous performers, Woodstock gave its name to a generation, and Altamont brought the era of love and trust to a sad end. Join the conversation as we recall this seminal time in American history.

Instructor Bio: Steve Lopes, A.E., B.A., M.A., M. Ed., was an educator for 15 years prior to 30 years of advocating for teachers as a Kansas-NEA organizer. He enjoys researching rock 'n' roll history and sharing it with Osher participants.


April 9-23, 2024, Tallgrass Creek Retirement Community In Person
The 1930s were an important decade in U.S. history, with activities overshadowed by the Great Depression. We'll examine the causes and effects of the Depression and study the New Deal programs that re-shaped our nation. Next, we'll explore advances in cars, roads, agriculture, film, airplanes, and view some of the great corpus of the FSA photographs.

Instructor Bio: James Showalterhas seven years of experience with historic preservation and 31 years of teaching history at the university level. One of several areas of expertise he has developed is the history of religion worldwide, and particularly the history of religion in the area that is now the United States.


April 11-25, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions
Most people know little about the American Revolution. Could thirteen disunited colonies defeat Europe's most powerful military? This course examines the lives of farmers who became soldiers, women in many roles, and indigenous and enslaved people. With new knowledge, students can explore the question: Who benefitted from the war? Who didn't?

Instructor Bio: Vincent Clark holds a doctorate in modern European history. His graduate work included a Fulbright Graduate Fellowship at Germany's University of Heidelberg. He was history professor and chair of the history department at Johnson County Community College and has published articles and books in his field.


April 11-25, 2024, Roeland Park Community Center In Person
As the material footprint of space exploration increases with humans, rovers, landers, crash sites, and scientific equipment, research is needed to preserve this rapidly increasing archaeological record. We'll explore planetary geoarchaeology, which studies the interaction between humans, cultural heritage, and extraterrestrial systems from a geoscience perspective and discuss how it plays a role in addressing current and future issues surrounding space heritage. 

Instructor Bio: Justin A. Holcomb is a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the Kansas Geological Survey at the University of Kansas. Working with the Odyssey Archaeological Research Program, he studies the geoarchaeology of human dispersals into new landscapes, including the initial peopling of the Americas, the Aegean Basin, our solar system.


Wednesday, March 20, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility, In Person and Online
By 1966 the Beatles grew tired of their grueling concert schedule often fraught with life-threatening audience responses, and as their music moved from craft(perfecting the set formula) to art (creating novel music) they stopped performing live. What surprised many was the studio recordings from 1967 to 1969 became even more revolutionary and influential.

Instructor Bio: Steve Lopes, A.E., B.A., M.A., M. Ed., was an educator for 15 years prior to 30 years of advocating for teachers as a Kansas-NEA organizer. He enjoys researching rock 'n' roll history and sharing it with Osher participants.


March 19, 2024 to April 2, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility, In Person and Online
The Bill of Rights is often cited to defend one's political position. But how many of us really know what it protects? The Founders of our country wrote the document to keep the power and authority under control through the system of checks and balances. So why the need to immediately add 10 Amendments?

Instructor Bio: Shari Tarbet has been an educator for over 30 years, she holds an MA/ PhD in Mythological Studies and Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, and a BSE English/History Education, and BSJ Broadcast Journalism from Kansas University. Her writings and lectures cover a wide variety of topics on myth, dreamwork, the Bill of Rights, and the Sacred Feminine.


April 10-24, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions
We'll examine the relationship between China and the U.S. over the last 35 years focusing on key issues such as: control of Taiwan and the South China Sea, treatment of the Uyghur Muslins, climate change, and technology theft. We'll conclude with discussions on how we might improve the relationship.

Instructor Bio Charles "Chick" Keller is a retired senior executive and retired professor. He worked 15 years each at Sprint, and Black and Veatch in strategic planning and strategic marketing rising to VP level both times. In 2000, he began a career as a professor in KU's engineering management program where he taught finance and strategic planning.


Wednesday, March 27, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online
The Wright Brothers made history with the 1st powered flight in 1903. It did not take Kansas long to follow in the development, manufacturing, and sales of airplanes, with Wichita being anointed the Air Capital of the World in 1928. We'll explore the last 100 years of aviation in Kansas and study the individuals and companies who led the charge.

Instructor Bio: Michael Wallace is an internationally recognized authority on Leadership & Business Development with 35 years in Aerospace. During his 26 years with Boeing, Wallace led the design and implementation of advanced technologies, including Artificial Intelligence. Since retiring, Wallace is a frequent lecturer and keynote presenter on all areas of business management. He has an MBA from Wichita State University and a BS in Mathematics from the University of Kansas.


February 29, 2024 to March 14, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online
This course will explore the historical development of the U.S.- Mexico border from the perspective of both Mexico and the United States. Together, we will explore how the border evolved and hardened through the creation of the Border Patrol, the Mexican Revolution and the effects of Prohibition. We'll review personal accounts, photographs and songs of "borderlanders," along with government officials providing crucial context to today's current debates. Finally, we will examine how to negotiate the border in the age of nationalism.

Instructor Bio: Aaron Margolisreceived his doctorate in history from the University of Texas at El Paso where he concentrated on Latin American and Borderlands History. He is currently an associate professor of history at Kansas City Kansas Community College.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Have you experienced the magnificent ringing of KU's World War II Memorial Campanile and Carillon? A carillon is an instrument consisting of at least 23 bells installed in a tower and played from a keyboard of batons and foot pedals mechanically connected to the carillon bells. Are you curious to learn more? Please join us as we explore the history, designs, and locations of the great carillons of North America. 

Instructor Bio: Jean Hein recently moved to Kansas from South Carolina, where she was director and recorder performer with Columbia Baroque as well as a clarinetist. She currently teaches online recorder classes for seniors. Hein has served on the Board of Early Music America. She holds music degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Northwestern University.


Thursday, April 11, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility, In Person and Online
Kansas is a state rich in folklore, arising from the many ethnic groups who have settled here from across the country and around the world, the diverse geographical regions of the state, and the wide variety of occupations of Kansas residents. We'll study the abundant legends and tales, the rich tradition of folk art, the unique folksongs that originated here, and our distinctive customs, traditions, and superstitions.

Instructor Bio: Jim Hoy, a native of the Flint Hills near Cassoday ("Cow Capital of Kansas"), is director emeritus of the Center for Great Plains Studies at Emporia State University. He is the author of "Flint Hills Cowboys: Tales from the Tallgrass Prairie" and "My Flint Hills: Observations and Reminiscences from America's Last Tallgrass Prairie." Newly released is "Gathering Strays."


March 20, 2024 to April 3, 2024, Emporia Senior Center In Person
Ancient Delphi was a place so powerful that kings sought validation there before leading armies into battle; so rich that governments kept garrisons there guarding their treasures; so mysterious that its most famous inhabitant was never seen in public; so spiritual that even its springs were sacred. Let's take a tour.

Instructor Bio: David Mannering earned a doctorate in higher education administration from KU. He recently retired from a 40-year career in information technology, including 15 years as a chief information officer. He has taught management information systems courses and computer programming.


March 19, 2024 to April 2, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility, In Person and Online
The Norse sagas are medieval stories that mined old Norse mythology, written down in Iceland at the end of the Viking era. They run the gamut from realistic travel chronicles to a sort-of sword-and-sorcery with witches, monsters, and ghosts. They are all thick with murder and intrigue; many of them today would require a "trigger warning" for violence or adult content. No worries, though; the class will be family-friendly. Prepare for an amazing excursion into some "Dark Age" swashbuckling that continues to profoundly influence modern culture.

Instructor Bio: Vic Peterson is the author of The Berserkers (Hawkwood 2022/Recital 2023), set in a fictional Nordic country. He worked as a business executive and now divides his time between Lawrence, Kansas, and Northport, Michigan.


March 20, 2024 to April 3, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online
The Norse sagas are medieval stories that mined old Norse mythology, written down in Iceland at the end of the Viking era. They run the gamut from realistic travel chronicles to a sort-of sword-and-sorcery with witches, monsters, and ghosts. They are all thick with murder and intrigue; many of them today would require a "trigger warning" for violence or adult content. No worries, though; the class will be family-friendly. Prepare for an amazing excursion into some "Dark Age" swashbuckling that continues to profoundly influence modern culture.

Instructor Bio: Vic Peterson is the author of The Berserkers (Hawkwood 2022/Recital 2023), set in a fictional Nordic country. He worked as a business executive and now divides his time between Lawrence, Kansas, and Northport, Michigan.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
While the signing of Jackie Robinson by the Brooklyn Dodgers is well known, the historical and sociological circumstances behind this are often neglected. This presentation will look at the factors behind the exclusion of African American baseball players from the Civil War through the depression years of the 1930's.

Instructor Bio: Terry C. Rodenberg is a retired professor of sociology and executive director of international programs at the University of Central Missouri and has made numerous presentations across the United States in addition to nine other countries. In his youth he played baseball against the last of the Negro League teams, the Indianapolis Clowns, and will bring personal observations of that experience to his presentation.


Wednesday, February 28, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online
The historical geography of small towns reveals that their struggles for economic viability began shortly after settlement. Climatic misconceptions, ineffectual land alienation laws, and the townsite activities of railroads led to over settlement and too many towns. The platting of new towns continued despite depopulation and the abandonment of rail lines. We'll explore the various survival strategies implemented.

Instructor Bio: Tom Schmiedeler, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of geography at Washburn University.


February 27, 2024 to March 12, 2024, Brewster Place Event Center In-Person
April 29, 2024 to May 13, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility, In Person and Online
The historical geography of small towns in Kansas reveals that their struggles for economic viability are not of recent origin but began shortly after settlement. Climatic misconceptions, ineffectual land alienation laws, and the townsite activities of railroads led to over settlement and the creation of too many towns. The platting of new towns continued well into the twentieth century despite depopulation, the abandonment of rail lines and their towns, and transformative technologies in transportation and agricultural mechanization. Various survival strategies implemented recently have had only limited success leaving an increasingly conservative culture in their wake.

Instructor Bio: Tom Schmiedeler, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of geography at Washburn University.


February 27, 2024 to March 12, 2024, Brewster Place Event Center In-Person
Three generations of Spencers led Kansas to the forefront of coal mining and chemical manufacturing. John, his son, Charles, and the grandson, Kenneth, developed a coal/chemical empire from 1867 to Kenneth's death in 1960. During that century they became the world's leaders in mechanized mining and agricultural fertilizer. We'll also examine the Spencer Foundation's contributions to the arts and culture.

Instructor Bio: Ken Crockett was born into a second-generation family of coal miners. He was educated at Central Missouri State University (BA degree) and Washburn University of Law (Juris Doctor). He is the author of two books relative to Kansas mining (Missouri Coal Miners Strike and Kenneth and Helen Spencer, Champions of Culture & Commerce In The Sunflower State).


April 10-24, 2024, Claridge Court In Person
Three generations of Spencers led Kansas to the forefront of coal mining and chemical manufacturing. John, his son, Charles, and the grandson, Kenneth, developed a coal/chemical empire from 1867 to Kenneth's death in 1960. During that century they became the world's leaders in mechanized mining and agricultural fertilizer. We'll also examine the Spencer Foundation's contributions to the arts and culture.

Instructor Bio: Ken Crockett was born into a second-generation family of coal miners. He was educated at Central Missouri State University (BA degree) and Washburn University of Law (Juris Doctor). He is the author of two books relative to Kansas mining (Missouri Coal Miners Strike and Kenneth and Helen Spencer, Champions of Culture & Commerce In The Sunflower State).


April 10-24, 2024, Claridge Court In Person
The well-documented orphan trains brought a wave of humanity to the Midwest in the late 1800s. Another wave arrived, in secrecy. Kansas City, known as the "Adoption Hub of America," saw more than 100,000 pregnant, unwed women arrive give birth, place babies for adoption, and return home heartbroken. We'll delve into the history of The Willows and study the family who ran it for 64 years.

Instructor Bio: KelLee Parr holds bachelor's degrees in agriculture and education plus a master's degree in adult and occupational education from Kansas State University. He has taught elementary school many years in Topeka and now writes science curriculum for Nancy Larson Publishers.


March 19, 2024 to April 2, 2024, Northland Innovation Center In-Person
The well-documented orphan trains brought a wave of humanity to the Midwest in the late 1800s. Another wave arrived, in secrecy. Kansas City, known as the "Adoption Hub of America," saw more than 100,000 pregnant, unwed women arrive give birth, place babies for adoption, and return home heartbroken. We'll delve into the history of The Willows and study the family who ran it for 64 years.

Instructor Bio: KelLee Parr holds bachelor's degrees in agriculture and education plus a master's degree in adult and occupational education from Kansas State University. He has taught elementary school many years in Topeka and now writes science curriculum for Nancy Larson Publishers.


March 19, 2024 to April 2, 2024, Northland Innovation Center In-Person
How did a boy from a small town in Ohio, having very little formal education and attending school for only a few months, become the most prolific inventor of the 19th and early 20th century? We'll seek the answer to this question and study the impact that this genius continues to exert on our lives today.

Instructor Bio: Paul Post, a native Kansan, received a B.A. in history from KSU and a law degree from the KU Law School in 1974. Now retired from the practice of law, he is a member of the Shawnee County Historical Society and an amateur beekeeper. He has authored essays on the history of SBA Hill/ former Menninger Campus in Topeka; Topeka's Bates Family; The Fred Harvey Company; and on Duke Ellington.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
How did a boy from a small town in Ohio, having very little formal education and attending school for only a few months, become the most prolific inventor of the 19th and early 20th century? We'll seek the answer to this question and study the impact that this genius continues to exert on our lives today.

Instructor Bio: Paul Post, a native Kansan, received a B.A. in history from KSU and a law degree from the KU Law School in 1974. Now retired from the practice of law, he is a member of the Shawnee County Historical Society and an amateur beekeeper. He has authored essays on the history of SBA Hill/ former Menninger Campus in Topeka; Topeka's Bates Family; The Fred Harvey Company; and on Duke Ellington.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
Join us for a discussion of the overall status and state of Kansas Athletics. The talk will include Big 12 Conference alignment, upcoming facility enhancements/renovations, the importance of culture and philanthropy, NIL (name, image, and likeness), and operations of an athletics department. Goff will also share a brief history of his career path. Don't miss this unique opportunity to learn more about Kansas Athletics.

Presenter Bio: Travis Goff is in his second year as Athletic Director for the University of Kansas after serving as Deputy Athletic Director/Assistant Vice President at Northwestern. He has brought in dynamic new coaches and secured some of the top leaders in Kansas Athletics. Goff, was named a Next Up honoree by College AD in 2018 and one of Sports Business Journal's "Power Players in College Sports" in 2019.


Tuesday, April 23, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility, In Person and Online
We'll delve into the lives and ideologies of three pivotal figures from the Third Reich: Adolf Hitler, the charismatic leader whose radical ideologies shaped a nation; Adolf Eichmann, the infamous architect of the Holocaust, responsible for orchestrating the logistics of mass genocide; and Joseph Goebbels, the master propagandist who skillfully manipulated public opinion in support of Nazi ideals. 

Instructor Bio: Anette Isaacs, M.A., a German historian and public educator, has been presenting hundreds of programs on more than 30 different topics (all pertaining to her native country's history, politics, and culture). She holds master's degrees in American studies, political science, and history and is an adjunct faculty member at many OLLI Institutes.


February 27, 2024 to March 12, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions
Join us as we explore battles that represent significant turning points in the progress of ongoing conflicts, and battles that altered the outcome of the wider wars. We'll discuss the Napoleonic Wars Battle of Salamanca in 1812, the Civil War Battle of Shilo in 1862, and the TET Offensive in 1968.

Instructor Bio: Dave Cotter is the director of the Department of Military History at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He was previously a member of the Department of History at the U. S. Military Academy at West Point. He has master's degrees in History from UMASS and the U.S. Naval War College, and a master's and doctorate in Holocaust and Genocide Studies from Gratz College. Dave is a retired military officer of 32 years' experience including multiple combat deployments and command at battery, battalion, and brigade levels.


April 11-25, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility, In Person and Online
We'll explore U.S. Constitutional requirements and powers given to U.S. vice presidents as we study the evolution of the position from someone "waiting in the wings" performing ceremonial duties, to becoming an influential and respected advisor. We'll examine how the relationship between the president and vice president has changed over the years.

Instructor Bio: Anita Tebbe is a retired professor of the Legal Studies Department at Johnson County Community College. She earned an undergraduate degree in history, a graduate degree in education and a juris doctor degree in law. Anita is a Kansas licensed attorney and has more than 40 years at the high school and college levels.


April 9-23, 2024, Brewster Place Event Center In-Person
We'll explore U.S. Constitutional requirements and powers given to U.S. vice presidents as we study the evolution of the position from someone "waiting in the wings" performing ceremonial duties, to becoming an influential and respected advisor. We'll examine how the relationship between the president and vice president has changed over the years.

Instructor Bio: Anita Tebbe is a retired professor of the Legal Studies Department at Johnson County Community College. She earned an undergraduate degree in history, a graduate degree in education and a juris doctor degree in law. Anita is a Kansas licensed attorney and has more than 40 years at the high school and college levels.


April 9-23, 2024, Brewster Place Event Center In-Person
America's exit from Vietnam was as contingent, complicated, and agonizing as its decision to pursue war there. Yet, scholars have said comparatively little on how the U.S. war ended. In this lecture, we'll explore how, when, and why Richard Nixon decided to withdraw from the Vietnam War and examine the decision in its international context, giving particular attention to Vietnamese views and actions. 

Instructor Bio: David L. Prentice has spent the last decade teaching and writing about the Vietnam War. His work has appeared in Diplomatic History, the Journal of Military History, and several edited volumes. His recently released first book, Unwilling to Quit (University Press of Kentucky), examines America's exit strategy from Vietnam.


Wednesday, March 6, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility, In Person and Online
Interpreting historic events through various art forms is as old as civilization itself. Join historian Deb Goodrich as we explore Kansas history and the various ways it has been depicted from the statehouse to the murals on grain silos. What stories are we telling?

Instructor Bio: Deb Goodrich, the host of the TV show "Around Kansas," and the Garvey (Texas) Foundation Historian in Residence at the Fort Wallace Museum, chairs the Santa Fe Trail 200. She has appeared in many documentaries including "The Road to Valhalla," "Aftershock," and "American Experience" on Jesse James, and the series, "Gunslingers" on AHC. She wrote and produced the docudrama, "Thof's Dragon."


February 29, 2024 to March 14, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions
We'll explore the first (1855) edition of Walt Whitman's epic poem "Song of Myself." As Whitman became a nationally celebrated figure, he revised and edited the poem many times, including a "deathbed" edition of 1892. We'll discuss key elements of the poem and provide context and tools to empower students to explore the poem on their own.

Instructor Bio: Max Westler earned his Bachelor of Arts from Boston University and his doctorate from Columbia University, where he worked with the poet Kenneth Koch. He has taught at Columbia College, Hunter College, and Northwestern University, where he taught both graduate and undergraduate courses. For thirty-eight years, he supervised the Creative Writing Program at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana. His poems have appeared in The Minnesota Review, Poetry East, The Sycamore Review, Artful Dodge, The Greensboro Review, Religion and Literature, among others. His chapbook Civil Defense was published in 2011.


March 18, 2024 to April 1, 2024, Senior Resource Center for Douglas County In-Person
We'll examine military action in the Pacific Theater during WWII and explore the rise of militarism, the Japanese incursion into China, and the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis. We'll review America's entry into the war, the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere, and the crucial carrier battles of 1942. Finally, we'll discuss the China-India-Burma theater, Admiral Nimitz's Central Pacific Island Campaigns, and General Douglas MacArthur's Southwest Pacific Campaign. 

Instructor Bio: Robert Smith, Ph.D., is the director of the Fort Riley Museum. He has a doctorate in history from KSU and has published numerous articles on military history.


March 20, 2024 to April 3, 2024, Washburn University, Henderson Learning Center, In Person and Online
A legacy letter is a brief written document that allows people to share their life lessons, express their values and transmit their blessings to future generations. This interactive course includes discussion and brief writing exercises; it offers advice and a simple model to help participants draft their own legacy letters.

Instructor Bio: Jay Sherwin has practiced law, worked with five different charitable foundations, and served as a hospital chaplain. In 2019, he created the Life Reflections Project to educate people about legacy letters, ethical wills, and other legacy documents. He has offered this presentation nationwide.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
This course will examine global dependency on space-based capabilities and how you depend on those systems. We will look at the answers about satellite locations and their orbits, solar flares, and their effects on earth, how GPS works, and satellites' role in national security and commerce. And in movies, what is fact and fiction?

Instructor Bio: Thomas Gray, one of the Army's first 9 Space Operations Officers, is a retired educator and training specialist who served in the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, teaching at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth as well as other institutions across the country.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.