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Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Osher LogoThe Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Richmond combines intellectual stimulation and civic engagement with a vibrant community of like-minded students age 50 and better on the campus of the University of Richmond.

Established in 2004 at the University of Richmond through an endowment from The Bernard Osher Foundation of San Francisco, our membership organization offers an extensive array of courses in the liberal arts in the fall, spring and summer semesters. These offerings are a combination of undergraduate credit courses for audit, special interest mini-courses, free lectures, community service projects, performing arts events and more.

There are no entrance requirements, no tests and no grades. In fact, no college background is needed at all. It’s your love of learning that counts.

Update from the Director

Peggy Watson photoDear Osher Members,

The 11th National Osher Institutes conference was held April 3-5, 2017 in Irving, Texas. University of Richmond’s Osher Institute sent as its representatives Osher Leadership Council Chair Charlie Huffstetler and Director Peggy Watson.

Topics included the best ways to engage and keep volunteers, new approaches to the theories on aging, distance learning as an option for Osher institutes, innovative ways to develop curriculum, and ways to create a culture of giving.

Coordinated and sponsored by the National Resource Center for Osher Institutes of Lifelong Learning and the Bernard Osher Foundation, this conference is scheduled every 18 months and two representatives from each of the 120 Osher institutes attend.

I was thrilled and honored to chat with Bernard Osher, founder of The Bernard Osher Foundation, at the conference, and I’ve included a couple of photos of the two of us chatting.

—Peggy

Charlie Huffstetler
Bernard Osher & Mary Bitterman

Peggy Watson, UR Osher director, chats with The Bernard Osher Foundation founder Bernard Osher and president Mary G.F. Bitterman at the 11th annual National Osher Institutes conference held in Irving, Texas.

Charlie Huffstetler
Bernard Osher

Peggy Watson, UR Osher director, chats with The Bernard Osher Foundation treasurer and founder Bernard Osher at the 11th annual National Osher Institutes conference held in Irving, Texas. In the background is Steve Thaxton, executive director of the National Osher Institutes Resource Center.

What Osher Members are Doing

UR Osher at Local Farmers Markets

Volunteers from the Osher Marketing Team set up display booths at local farmers markets to talk to shoppers about the Osher Institute. The 2017 schedule:

Osher Members Tour China

Osher members visited China October 11-22, 2016. Photos and captions by Osher member Debbie Mahone.

Osher Members Tour Ireland

Osher members visited Ireland October 21-28, 2016. Photos by Osher member Penny Roman.

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Folk Art of Queena Stovall

Osher members learned about the folk art and music of artist Queena Stovall from her granddaughters and other artists and musicians during a multimedia presentation that featured Stovall’s work — and ended with slices of pie for everyone on the Cannon Memorial Chapel lawn.

What to Listen for in Music

In April 2016, Osher members enjoyed the opportunity to participate in a class on music appreciation led by UR’s President Crutcher. The course introduced participants to approaches to listening to musical ensembles (both large and small) for the most enjoyment and understanding.

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Osher & SPCS News

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Age Range of Osher Members
Number of Osher Members
Number of Osher Classes by Year
Number of Osher Volunteers, Per Year