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Courses & Events

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 8, 2020 to May 31, 2021
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 8, 2020 to May 31, 2021
America's presidents lead extraordinary lives and make unique contributions to society. But the story doesn't end when their terms expire. Presidents have lived a combined 450 years after leaving the White House. Many go on to accomplish more than they did while in office. Jimmy Carter eradicated guinea worm disease, William Howard Taft became Chief Justice of the United States, and George Washington established one of the largest alcohol distilleries in the nation. This course will examine the lives of our former commanders in chief after public office, including their libraries and monuments, and often overlooked good deeds. 
  
Instructor Bio: Tyler Habiger holds a bachelor's degree in American politics and theatre and a master's in human services from Drury University. He has served as a college instructor and is now happily employed at KU Endowment in Lawrence.


March 3-17, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Rock 'n' Roll didn't die in 1959 (whew!), but rockers were exploring new avenues of expression as well as new markets. The songs of Jerry Lee, Fats, Chuck, Buddy and Richard were now honored "oldies," and "Rock" was firmly established as the official teenage soundtrack. Rock 'n' Roll morphed into new forms of what would now be called Rock music. These would include Motown, with its girl and guy groups; Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound;" surf music; "authentic" folk music; soul; folk rock; blues by Brits; and re-energized pop music. We will consider the first half of the 1960s music scene as a transitional time until the next Elvis appeared as Mop Tops bringing the First British Invasion to America. Join our conversation about how Rock adapted to changing times. 

Instructor Bio: Steve Lopes, AE, BA, MA, 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 25, 2021 to April 8, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Elements of a controversial phenomenon that would become rock 'n' roll, and forever alter American and world culture, gathered during the first half of the 20th century. The musical roots- country & western, rhythm & blues, pop, jazz, gospel, and folk-were integral to birth the Big Beat. But other forces-teen culture, politics, business, technology, racism, media and chance, also played roles in rock's development. The Golden Age of Rock was all teen idols, doo wop, and girl groups until 1959, when "the music died." Was this the end of Rock? Join our conversation about how rock became rock.  

Instructor Bio: Steve Lopes, AE, BA, MA, 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 5-19, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
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 Margolis received 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.


April 16-30, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)
Humans are social creatures by nature and so is the honeybee! That may be one of the reasons why humankind has been keeping bees for thousands of years. Join beekeeper Paul Post to learn about this amazing social insect, and how bees benefit our way of life. We'll begin by looking at the world's many pollinators and their symbiotic relationship with plants. Our main focus will be on the honeybee and the extensive pollination services this little insect provides. We'll take a look at the physiology and morphology of the honeybee and study the bee caste system, where the queen rules. Or does she? Finally, we'll track the evolution of the beehive from the ancients to the modern day beekeeper, and learn why we depend on the honeybee for the food we eat. 

Instructor Bio: Paul Post is a native Kansan and retired lawyer. He lives in Topeka and now pursues several hobbies, including beekeeping.  Paul's interest in beekeeping began in 2013, when he saw a demonstration hive at the Mother Earth News Fair in Lawrence.  He joined the Northeast Kansas Beekeepers Association, and after attending beekeeping classes, began keeping bees in backyard hives.


March 2-16, 2021, Zoom Facilitated Sessions (Online, WEB)