Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Summer courses are now open!

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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 - KUAASUMMER2024
  • KSU Alumni Association Member Discount - KSUAASUMMER2024
  • Washburn Alumni Association Member Discount - WUAASUMMER2024

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 1, 2023 to July 1, 2024

We'll study the surrender of Lee at Appomattox, the planning of the assassination, the care rendered to Lincoln, and his final hours at the Peterson House. We'll discuss autopsy findings, ballistics studies, the extent of brain damage, and his possible survival as well as the escape and death of John Wilkes Booth.


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.
We will explore this heavily regulated river from beginning to end. From raging rapids to diversion dams for irrigation ditches, to dry streambeds, and finally barge traffic, we will examine the impact this wild, elusive, and embattled river has had on cities, towns and adjacent farmland, starting with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 through to the present day.

Instructor Bio: Hannes Zacharias is the Robert A. Kipp Professor of Practice for the KU School of Public Affairs and Administration following a 35-year career in local city and county government administration. He has served as City Manager of Boonville, Mo., Hays, Kan. and County Manager for Johnson County, Kan.


June 12-26, 2024, Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging In Person

Join us as we delve into medicine from the past to learn how far we've come. We'll study modern medicine to learn how we got to this point in treatment of certain conditions such as: congestive heart failure; atherosclerotic coronary, carotid, and peripheral arteries, and valvular heart disease. We'll also explore the advances in congenital heart disease.


Instructor Bio: Alan Forker received bachelor's & doctor of medicine degrees from the University of Kansas. After 12 years in private practice of Cardiology, he spent 32 years in academic medicine, and the last 26 at UMKC. He published 82 articles in medical literature and co-edited 2 books. He was elected Master of the American College of Physicians.


June 24, 2024 to July 8, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online
Frank Lloyd Wright was an American artist who aimed to create a specifically American architecture. In doing so, the single-story house, seen everywhere across the country, was his main artistic product. This course will introduce Wright, his work, and his influence, which surrounds many Americans in their daily lives.

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.


June 26, 2024 to July 10, 2024, Roeland Park Community Center In Person

Come learn about the latest developments in Alzheimer's, including advances in how the disease is diagnosed. We'll explore new medications to treat the disease and study how lifestyle modifications may help with prevention. Hear how groundbreaking medical advances may enable early detection prior to the emergence of memory symptoms, paving the way for the application of novel preventative therapies.


Instructor Bio: Jeffrey M. Burns, M.D., M.S. is the co-director of the University of Kansas Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. Dr. Burns completed medical school at the University of Kansas Medical Center, neurology residency at the University of Virginia, and a post-doctoral fellowship in Alzheimer's at Washington University in St. Louis. In 2004 he returned to his hometown of Kansas City to start the Alzheimer's program to stimulate research locally while pursuing research investigating how lifestyle factors influence brain aging and Alzheimer's.


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

Come explore the delicious, unique flavors of New England, the Heartland, the Southwest and Pacific Coast. There are 50 signature dishes and stories to be told and tasted. Bring your road map, turn up the radio and bring your appetite for a 'sea to shining sea, purple mountain majesty, amber waves of grain' food adventure.


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.


June 3-17, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions

Join us to study the physical and chemical features of oceans (e.g., tides and salinities) and learn about the estuarine animal and plant communities. We'll examine ecology of rocky intertidal habitats (e.g., U.S. West Coast) and discuss sandy shore communities. Finally, we'll delve into offshore habitats, to include coral reefs and shallow and deep-water organisms.


Instructor Bio: James (Jim) Thorp is an aquatic ecologist who retired at the end of 2023 from the University of Kansas and is now an emeritus professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and is also associated with the Kansas Biological Survey and Center for Ecological Research. He has published over 150 journal articles and 11 books on aquatic subjects.


June 24, 2024 to July 8, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility In Person

According to historians Antarctica was officially discovered in 1829 by Captain von Bellingshausen, a German sailing under the flag of the Russian empire. Among the seven continents it is fifth in size but is the highest, driest, and coldest of all continents. It is of interest for economic, scientific research and exploration. We will discuss what life is like there, its beauty, and dangers as well as scientific allure.


Instructor Bios:
Gisela A.M. Dreschhoff
has spent a total of 20 field seasons in both polar regions, Antarctic, and Greenland, studying the effects of solar particles on the polar atmosphere which leaves a signature in the ice to be studied in ice cores. Some of her honors include a mountain peak in Antarctic named the Dreschhoff Peak. She has been named Fellow of The Explorers Club and currently she has an adjunct appointment in geology and physics/astronomy at KU.

Ernest Angino is a retired professor of geology and civil engineering at the University of Kansas. He has spent more than 45 years studying energy resources and Antarctic geochemistry. Among his honors is the Angino Buttress, a mountain range in Antarctic. He has also worked in radiation science that led to the development of the Lithium Fluoride Dosimeter.

Randy Van Schmus is a retired KU geology professor (1967-2007). His specialty is measuring ages of old rocks, and he has done research in Africa, Antarctica, Brazil, Canada as well as the U.S.A. He also did research on meteorites while in the USAF.


Friday, August 2, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility In Person

From the first novel "Casino Royale" in 1953 to the 25th "authorized" film "No Time to Die," many of us keep coming back to the exotic locales, the Bond women, the latest devices from Q Branch, the supervillains with plans to conquer the world and their formidable enforcers. We'll look at the changes to Bond over the years, his cultural impact, and his continuing appeal.


Instructor Bio: Karl Menninger is retired from a legal career in federal and state government, mostly dealing with issues concerning persons with disabilities. He teaches courses on disabilities and the law and insanity defense at the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law.


July 26, 2024 to August 9, 2024, Northland Innovation Center In-Person

From the first novel "Casino Royale" in 1953 to the 25th "authorized" film "No Time to Die," many of us keep coming back to the exotic locales, the Bond women, the latest devices from Q Branch, the supervillains with plans to conquer the world and their formidable enforcers. We'll look at the changes to Bond over the years, his cultural impact, and his continuing appeal.


Instructor Bio: Karl Menninger is retired from a legal career in federal and state government, mostly dealing with issues concerning persons with disabilities. He teaches courses on disabilities and the law and insanity defense at the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law.


July 26, 2024 to August 9, 2024, Northland Innovation Center In-Person

From Monument Rocks to Little Jerusalem, Historic Scott Lake, the Arikaree Breaks, Castle Rock, Mount Sunflower, the Cimarron Grasslands--the geography of western Kansas includes landscapes, skyscapes, and amazing rock formations. Expert interpreters from paleontology and geology will join in the conversation as we explore the why and how this unique landscape was formed.


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."


June 26, 2024 to July 10, 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.


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

Climate change is real and impacts from climate change are emerging. Despite the many efforts under way, we are not winning the battle to save the planet. Our way of life is threatened and the choices we make now are important. The class will highlight current and potential future impacts to thwart climate change, discuss alternative actions we might take, and what might happen.


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.


This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.
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 Osher at osher@ku.edu. Thank you.


June 1, 2024 to August 16, 2024
To deepen any relationship requires us to increase our emotional intelligence. Yet it is remarkable how some people get entangled in each other's emotions. This course offers personal insights into your own emotional intelligence and the emotional intelligence of others. Come learn how to recognize emotions and understand what triggers them. 

Instructor: Don Booz is widely recognized for his coaching expertise in the Kansas City area and his ability to help people increase their emotional intelligence. He is a professionally certified coach who teaches people how to develop their emotional intelligence with increased self-awareness. He has mentored and coached CEOs, presidents, directors, managers and staff in a variety of academic and healthcare settings. Don coaches individuals on how to make a difference in this somewhat contentious time. He is a trainer, keynote speaker, workshop presenter and author.


July 16-30, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online

Energy has been an essential need of mankind from ancient times to the present, from the use of peat to nuclear power. However, we must deal with the fact that sources are where nature put them. Each type of energy has its positives and negatives and its use as economic and political impact worldwide. Many of these facts are inseparable. We will discuss each type from past or present in their ramifications.


Instructor Bio: Ernest Angino is a retired professor of geology and civil engineering at the University of Kansas. He has spent more than 45 years studying energy resources and Antarctic geochemistry. Among his honors is the Angino Buttress, a mountain range in Antarctic. He has also worked in radiation science that led to the development of the Lithium Fluoride Dosimeter.


Thursday, July 11, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility In Person

Although women always have been artists, few are described as great. Historically excluded from art history records, women were unable to pursue art education. Successful female artists were likely to have had husbands or fathers supporting them. This course explores seven exceptional female artists and their work from the Baroque to the present time.


Instructor Bio: Susan Pingleton, M.D., is professor emerita at the University of Kansas Medical Center, where she was a clinician-educator. Her interests include art and art history. She is involved in local art organizations, including KC/Arts, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and a member of the art committee at KU Med.


Tuesday, June 18, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online

The course considers the influences, aims, context, and legacy of one of the most iconic modern art movements. While the course focuses on Germanic painting, other examples of expressionist "expression" (e.g., literature and film) and centers of production (e.g., France, Scandinavia, and Russia) will also be examined.


Instructor Bio: Eliah Bures holds a doctorate 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.


July 15-29, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions

In partnership with Theatre Lawrence, we present "Fiddler on the Roof." Join us for a musical theatre tradition! This is a tale of Tevye and his family in a changing Russia. The plight of traditional values in the face of changing social mores and ethnic prejudice cuts across barriers of race, class, nationality, and religion to touch audiences on a universal level with laughter, sadness, and joy. We'll enjoy dinner and drinks before the show with an exclusive presentation from the show's director, Mary Doveton.


Friday, June 21


6 p.m. - Pre-performance presentation and dinner


7:30 p.m. - Performance

Theatre Lawrence- 4660 Bauer Farm Dr., Lawrence, KS 66049


$100 fee includes pre-performance presentation, dinner, drinks, and a ticket to the show.

$55 fee for Theatre Lawrence ticket holders who wish to attend the pre-performance presentation and dinner.

Refund must be requested by June 14, minus a $15 administrative fee.


Friday, June 21, 2024, Theatre Lawrence

Appetizers were originally introduced by the Athenians in the early third century B.C. These finger foods, sometimes called hors d'oeuvres, antipasti, tapas, or starters, range from very simple to very complex. Put down the fork and knife and discover the history of the small, but delicious, world of finger foods.


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.


July 17-24, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions

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.


July 16-30, 2024, Emporia Senior Center In Person
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 Osher at osher@ku.edu.


This course contains no sessions
This course introduces the lives, times, and music of Baroque's most famous composers. We'll review Handel and Bach through images, biographical details, music, and patronage in the early 18th century. We will also consider their works in terms of their function, their composition and how to listen to them in a more informed manner. 

Instructor Bio: Paul Laird is professor of musicology at the University of Kansas. He has published widely on musical history topics including four books on Leonard Bernstein. The most recent is the biography of Leonard Bernstein in the "Critical Lives" series from Reaktion Books (University of Chicago Press).


June 6-20, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility In Person

We'll focus on the career and achievements of 18th-century statesmen Benjamin Franklin and John Jay Next, we'll examine the careers of two 19th-century giants, Henry Clay and Daniel Webster. Finally, we move to the early 20th century and explore two American statesmen who occupied opposite sides of the political spectrum, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.


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.


July 15-29, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility In Person

This class looks at the emergence and transformation of the American health care system as it faced challenges such as shifts in the nature of disease, unequal access to medicine, and escalating medical costs. We'll examine medical and scientific discoveries of the 19th century and study the challenges to organized medicine that began in the 1960s as well as discuss contemporary health care issues.


Instructor Bio: Shirley Hill holds a doctorate degree in sociology and was a professor at the University of Kansas until she retired in 2017. She has written several books and has taught classes in medical sociology, social inequality, and families.


June 5-19, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online

While government structures are designed to separate the arenas of politics and administration, nothing substantial gets done without connecting what is politically acceptable and operationally sustainable. In contemporary environments bridging this gap is becoming increasingly challenging. Being aware that politics revolves around four conflicting democratic values and that politics and administration are different mindsets facilitates working the gap.


Instructor Bio: John Nalbandian, professor emeritus, served for eight years on the Lawrence city commission including two terms as mayor. He is former director of the nationally recognized public administration program at KU and has received numerous awards for his teaching, research, and service.


Friday, June 21, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility In Person

This guided tour takes us to scores of historic sites with photo stops. You'll be treated to a first-person account by Octave Chanute, the engineer who designed and built the 1869 Hannibal Railroad Bridge. Learn about the man who mentored the Wright Brothers and has a town named in his honor. Explore sites like the Santa Fe Trail Ruts, Satchel Paige's Grave, Case Overlook Park, the Missouri River Boardwalk, Lewis and Clark campsite, and others. Learn the stories behind KC's 8th Street cable car tunnel, Quantrill, Union Station Massacre, KC's first skyscraper, Thomas Swope and his murder, Nell Donnelly Reed's company and her kidnapping, the Battle of Westport, political boss Tom Pendergast, the NFL's longest game, and KC as the BBQ Capital of the World. We'll enjoy lunch at Minsky's Pizza located in the historic downtown City Market.


Friday, June 28


8 a.m. - Coach departs the Osher Institute, 1515 Saint Andrews Dr., Lawrence, and returns by 4 p.m.


9 a.m. - Coach arrives at Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira Rd., Overland Park, and returns by 3 p.m.


$115 fee includes coach transportation, tour guide, and lunch.


Refunds will be honored on or before June 14 minus a $20 administrative fee.


Friday, June 28, 2024

After Rhythm and Blues, Country, and Western music became Rock and Roll, subgenres started to appear: Rockabilly, Soul, Prog Rock, Motown, etc. In this course we will explore the origins, impact, and influence of each type, illustrated with many musical examples. Please join the conversation.


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.


June 25, 2024 to July 9, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online

From the works of Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran to Charlie Russell and Frederic Remington, to the 19th-century illustrators like Theodore Davis, to the more modern artists like Phil Epp, Charlie Norton, Thom Ross, Wilson Hurley, and Harvey Pratt, we'll explore how the West has been portrayed and interpreted through art. Some of the artists will join our discussion.


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."


July 17-31, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions

What caused massive numbers of Irish, Germans and Italians to come to our shores in the 19th and early 20th centuries? What was the reaction of the native-born to these strangers? To what extent did the newcomers try to stick together, blend in, advance or return to their old country? What contributions did these immigrants, and their offspring make to this country?


Instructor Bio: Carl Graves, Ph.D., holds a master's degree in U.S. 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.


July 12-26, 2024, Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging In Person

The American dream and hope of "leading a better, happier, richer life than your parents regardless of the circumstances of your birth" has energized Americans throughout our history. Today many Americans are challenged to pay their bills, find decent housing, and obtain health insurance. Today's high level of income inequality has led people to believe the American Dream is dead for many. The class will review what happened and how we might fix it.


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.


Thursday, July 18, 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.


June 3-17, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online

We'll explore the development of sub-surface coal mining in Crawford and Cherokee counties, making them the center of "King" Coal and resulting in milestones such as Pittsburg reaching 50,000 residents and UMWA membership exceeding 16,000, making it the world's zinc smelting capital. We'll also examine the emergence of area tycoons such as Mackie, Clemmons, and Spencer.


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


July 17-31, 2024, Riley County Seniors' Service Center In-Person

Lady Clementine, wife of the renown Winston Churchill, was more than just the wife of a world leader. She was an influential political figure in her own right. She had insight, courage, and tenacity which proved crucial during pivotal moments in history. Clementine's story is one of a woman's ferocity and ambition through political unrest during two world wars.


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.


Wednesday, June 26, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online

Salgado (1903-1977) was an Ecuadorian art composer whose musical output combined national styles of music with European avant-garde music. He never left his home country and was basically a self-taught composer. This presentation will examine his eclectic musical style and how his work was perceived during his lifetime and today.


Instructor Bio: Ketty Wong is a member of the Ecuadorian National Academy of History and Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Kansas. Her research interests include Latin America art, popular, and folk music, as well as issues of identity, nationalism, globalization, and the reception of Western social dances in China.


Thursday, July 11, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility In Person

We'll explore 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.


Instructor Bio: Carl Graves, Ph.D., holds a master's degree in U.S. 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.


June 4-18, 2024, Eudora Community Museum In Person
This course offers an introduction to films produced in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The course will examine a series of topics through the lens of each country, including cultural appropriation, religious transformation, identity, gender, education and immigration, war and exile through film screenings, discussions, and supplementary readings. We will explore films from Arabic countries and review short readings. The three films discussed in class and recommended for student viewing outside of class (Saint Sharbel, Marock and Yacubian), will have English subtitles. The links will be sent to participants prior to each session enabling students to watch online free of charge. The instructor will provide short readings for students to help in understanding the background culture of film production. Readings are also an attempt to familiarize learners with some approaches to critically interpret and react to visual media. 


Instructor Bio: Asmaa Ben baba is an Arabic and Islamic studies lecturer for the African and African-American Studies Department. She earned her doctorate in adult and continuing education and master's in urban and community planning from Auburn University and an additional degree in cultural studies and bachelor's in English literature from Mohamed V University in Morocco. Dr. Ben baba's research interests include online learning communities, online distance education learning environments in the foreign language classrooms, and the incorporation of cultural forms (films, literature, space, built environment, music and popular culture) in second language teaching and learning. Further teaching interests include Middle Eastern and North African sub-cultures, gender and diaspora.


July 16-30, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online

Kansas is home to Monarch Watch, an education, conservation, and research organization at the University of Kansas. Join us for a conversation with Monarch Watch's new director, Kristen Baum. She will provide an overview of Monarch Watch programs that support the monarch butterfly and share ways to get involved.


Instructor Bio: Kristen Baum is the director of Monarch Watch and senior scientist and professor at the University of Kansas. She has worked with pollinators for more than thirty years. Her research interests focus on the effects of land use and management practices on monarchs and other pollinators.


Thursday, June 27, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility In Person

We'll explore the early 20th century world of adoption in Kansas City and share adoptees' and birth mothers' heartwarming and sometimes heart wrenching stories. Ranging from 1908 until 1969, these voices express the common need to know "Who am I" longing for medical history, fear of hurting adoptive parents, and guilt for being forced to give up a baby. One voice is of a Willows baby who grew up to be the governor of Kansas.


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 for many years in Topeka and now writes science curriculum for Nancy Larson Publishers.


July 17-31, 2024, Leavenworth Council on Aging - In Person

Osher members are invited to attend a special event at Brandon Woods. From peanut farmer to Naval Officer, Governor of GA, and the Presidency, Jimmy had beside him his loving wife Rosalynn, who truly was Jimmy's chief advisor and partner. His four years in office were filled with many controversial decisions and high points (peace between Israel and Egypt) and low points (Iran Hostages). Their post presidency saw them continue to do good work around the world well into their nineties. President Clinton said of the Carters, "No one has done more good things for more people than any other couple on the face of the earth.'' This event is free to Osher members as a gift from our partner, Brandon Woods at Alvamar. Refreshments will be provided by Brandon Woods at Alvamar. Seating is limited.


Thursday, July 18


You can register for either a 10am or 2pm event.


Brandon Woods at Alvamar- 1501 Inverness Dr., Lawrence KS 66047

No admission fee, but reservations are required by completing the Osher registration form.



Thursday, July 18, 2024, Brandon Woods at Alvamar
Thursday, July 18, 2024, Brandon Woods at Alvamar
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.


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

We'll look at books that explored: politics, drugs, expanding consciousness, feminism, the sexual revolution, and the Vietnam War and discuss how accurately they reflect that time 60 years later. Books discussed include: "The Making of the President 1960," "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test," "The Greening of America, Dispatches, Slouching Toward Bethlehem," "Helter Skelter, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."


Instructor Bio: Karl Menninger is retired from a legal career in federal and state government, mostly dealing with issues concerning persons with disabilities. He teaches courses on disabilities and the law and insanity defense at the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law.


July 15-29, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility In Person
With the help of an inexpensive app, we can shoot and edit film-quality videos with our smartphones, easily up to the standards of social media, commercial and brand video work, and documentary and narrative film work. Gain the control and capabilities of professional cinematographers and design the look, color, lighting and framing of every single shot in a smartphone film. This course is suitable for aspiring filmmakers, entrepreneurs, video storytellers, social media content creators and content producers. Note: Students will be required to purchase and install the Filmic Pro app on their phones. You can purchase it directly through your mobile device or on your home computer, through either the Google Play Store (Android) or through the App Store (iPhone). 


Instructor: Stephen Knifton is an Emmy-award winning TV news producer, credited for creating and producing engaging and highly rated news programming. Steve moved onto the digital content world and created work for museums, engineers, architects, designers, hospitality + tourism and business development clients. For the past few years, Steve has (remotely) taught video storytelling and smartphone filmmaking at a number of colleges. Steve lived and worked in both New York and Toronto and teaches in both Canada and the U.S.


July 16-30, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions

We'll explore controversial elections between 1800 and 2020 discuss how the Electoral College works differently from the popular vote. We'll examine the Supreme Court's intervention in 1876 and the election outcome of the 2000 Bush v. Gore decision. Come join us as the information on the Court and College may impact the 2024 election.


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.


June 26, 2024 to July 10, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions
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.


July 18, 2024 to August 1, 2024, Washburn University Henderson Learning Center Room 021

Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe formed one of the more distinctive writing teams working on Broadway from the 1940s to the 1960s. Their four most important shows included "Brigadoon," "Paint Your Wagon," "My Fair Lady" and "Camelot." This will be a look at the creation of these four shows and how the songs help tell the stories.


Instructor Bio: Paul Laird is professor of musicology at the University of Kansas, where one of his teaching specialties is music of the United States. He has published widely on such topics as Leonard Bernstein and American musical theater and won the 2021 KU Chancellor's Club Career Teaching Award. Laird has taught many Osher classes since the program's inception at KU.


June 11-25, 2024, Brewster Place Event Center In-Person

Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe formed one of the more distinctive writing teams working on Broadway from the 1940s to the 1960s. Their four most important shows included "Brigadoon," "Paint Your Wagon," "My Fair Lady" and "Camelot." This will be a look at the creation of these four shows and how the songs help tell the stories.


Instructor Bio: Paul Laird is professor of musicology at the University of Kansas, where one of his teaching specialties is music of the United States. He has published widely on such topics as Leonard Bernstein and American musical theater and won the 2021 KU Chancellor's Club Career Teaching Award. Laird has taught many Osher classes since the program's inception at KU.


June 11-25, 2024, Brewster Place
The role of first lady has evolved over the years and each first lady puts her own mark on the position. The first woman to be the president's partner, Martha Washington, was greatly influenced by what she had learned during her years of being in camps with her husband. Two later first ladies, Julia Dent Grant and Mamie Doud Eisenhower, were also military wives whose tenure as first lady was also influenced by their past experiences as military wives. This course explores their biographies and how they enacted the role of first lady.

Instructor Bio: Diana Carlin, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita of Communication at Saint Louis University and a retired professor of Communication Studies at KU. She has co-authored a book on gender and politics and taught courses on women as political leaders, the rhetoric of women's rights and communication and gender.


June 3-17, 2024, Senior Resource Center for Douglas County In-Person

This course will examine the political and social climate of the early 1960's and the circumstances involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. This course will discuss the major theories as to who was likely behind the assassination. Numerous photographs which were not available to the public in 1963 will be utilized during the course. The course will conclude with an in-depth examination of an eyewitness, who was ignored by the federal government, who observed a man shoot at the President from behind a picket fence.


Instructor Bio: Brian Edwards has been researching the Kennedy assassination for five decades. During that time, he has personally interviewed hundreds of individuals connected with the case. He has given numerous presentations on the assassination throughout the United States. He is co-author of three books on the assassination; Beyond the Fence Line: The Eyewitness Account of Ed Hoffman and the Murder of President John Kennedy (2008); Blueprint for Murder (2020) and Admitted Assassin (2024). In 2019, he collaborated with and appeared in Oliver Stone's 4-hour documentary on the assassination, JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass.


June 25, 2024 to July 9, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility In Person

Experience the musical magic of jazz clarinetist and swing bandleader Benny Goodman. In the 1930s Goodman led the popular dance band in America. His tenure culminated with a landmark performance in Carnegie Hall that elevated jazz to an art form. Discover why Goodman's musicianship was celebrated with accolades that included national lifetime achievement awards and his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


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, June 20, 2024, Osher Institute, St. Andrews Office Facility In Person
Robert E. Lee was the son of fabled Revolutionary War general "Light Horse" Harry Lee. In this course, we'll examine how this general's son became one of the most respected officers in the U.S. Army, only to forge a record in the Confederacy that made him one of the most respected commanders in history. We'll look at the great maneuvers that carried him to triumph at Chancellorsville in 1863, and then to complete defeat in 1865. We will consider the factors that shaped Lee's generalship both in victory and defeat, then look at how Lee dealt with the aftermath of defeat in his postwar endeavors. 


Instructor Bio: Ethan S. Rafuse has many published works include Robert E. Lee and the Fall of the Confederacy, 1863-1865. He received his doctorate at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and teaches military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.


June 26, 2024 to July 10, 2024, KU Leavenworth Campus, TownPlace Suites

We are most familiar with the Odyssey as a classic hero's journey. Though this epic has many layers to it, the purpose and presence of the sacred feminine is one layer that has been overlooked. This course traces the role of the sacred feminine in helping Odysseus return home through each female character, revealing the true character and purpose of each.


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


July 18, 2024 to August 1, 2024, Zoom Facilitated Sessions

We'll focus on the generation of young leaders who served. We'll examine the military exploits of Western Theater generals William T. Sherman, Benjamin Grierson, Judson Kilpatrick, and John Schofield. Then we turn to the Eastern Theater to study Union generals Winfield Hancock, John Gibbon, George McClellan, Alfred Pleasonton, and Joshua Chamberlain. Finally, we learn about George Custer, Philip Sheridan, and Darius Couch.


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.


July 16-30, 2024, Brewster Place Event 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.


June 25, 2024 to July 9, 2024, Aldersgate Village In Person
June 27, 2024 to July 18, 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.


June 25, 2024 to July 9, 2024, Aldersgate Village 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.


June 27, 2024 to July 18, 2024, Northland Innovation Center In-Person
We will begin with the history of Hawaii from its Polynesian roots as far back as the 8th century. Westerners came to Hawaii for the first time a thousand years later in the 18th century. On January 18, 1778, Captain James Cook went ashore at Waimea on Kauai. He called his new discovery the Sandwich Islands, after the First Lord of the Admiralty. We will explore some of the first kings and queens of Hawaii and how Hawaii evolved to a U.S. Territory and then statehood in 1959. We will look at Oahu's past and present the highlights of things to see and do on this island, including Pearl Harbor and the changes there for touring the last few years. We will focus on Honolulu, the state capital. We'll then delve into the islands of Maui and Kauai and if there is time, Molokai and Lanai. Lastly, we discuss the Big Island, Hawaii. Since all the other islands would fit in the Big Island, there is much to talk about from history to places to see and many activities unique to this island. Volcano National Park will be highlighted. 

Instructor Bio: Georgia Klein is a retired secondary educator from the Shawnee Mission School District. She has been to Europe 26 times and has presented workshops on travel to other continents. She has also been a guide for Road Scholars on a walking tour of the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, MO.


June 25, 2024 to July 9, 2024, KU Edwards Campus, 163 Regnier Hall, In Person and Online