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ASU's fall Lifelong Learning courses span the Valley

August 30, 2010

Relationships across the lifespan, the history of American music, investing during retirement, digital photography, and religion in the modern world are just a few of the dozens of topics addressed by Fall 2010 course offerings from Arizona State University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. The Institute provides educational and cultural courses and programs for Valley residents age 50 and above.

Courses are offered at ASU Osher Institute locations including ASU’s West campus in northwest Phoenix, Sun City Grand in Surprise, and Tempe Connections at the Tempe Public Library. The West campus and Sun City Grand locations also are hosting individual lectures on a wide range of topics.

“We’re pleased to provide a great mix of classes and other activities at locations around metropolitan Phoenix,” said Patricia Feldman, ASU Osher Institute director. “Our students tell us that the quality of the offerings and caliber of the instructors, combined with the reasonable price and member benefits, make the ASU Osher Lifelong Learning Institute one of the best lifelong learning offerings in the Valley.”

The schedule starts in late September, with most programming taking place in October, November and December. Courses, offered on weekdays, vary in length from a single session up to eight weekly sessions.

Classes are taught by ASU professors, emeritus faculty, and top community instructors. Fall 2010 titles include: What is Christianity; Beginner Guitar; Arizona Law: Estates, Trusts, Wills & Probates; Women and Film; and The Search for Life in the Universe.

There are no tests or grades in Osher Lifelong Learning Institute courses, only a shared desire to learn. Students should plan on being active participants in their classes; participation can range from reading assigned materials to contributing to class discussions.

Three lecture series are scheduled in Sun City Grand. One features experts from the Heard Museum discussing various aspects of Southwestern arts. This series culminates in a guided tour of the museum in central Phoenix. Another lecture series explores the future, with topics including the evolution of marriage and of the human mind. The third series spotlights “American originals” including Harriet Tubman and Yogi Berra. Additionally, a special event lecture focuses on the Arab/Israeli conflict.

At ASU’s West campus, fall lectures cover topics from political protests to writing one’s memoirs to Arizona’s female politicians. The West campus also hosts an event to commemorate THE BIG READ, a national program encouraging communities across the country to read and discuss the same book at the same time. This year’s book is Jack London’s classic, “The Call of the Wild.”

All Osher Lifelong Learning Institute members are invited to a free Dec. 9 tour of the Deer Valley Rock Art Center in north Glendale. The center displays ancient rock markings made by native peoples from hundreds to thousands of years ago.

While most Osher Institute offerings require a registration fee, there are also free lectures in Sun City Grand.

“Whether they attend one free lecture or sign up for multiple classes, people who take advantage of Osher Institute programming have the opportunity to explore fascinating and relevant subjects while cultivating new relationships and forming new social networks,” Feldman said.

ASU Osher Lifelong Learning Institute programs are funded in part by the Bernard Osher Foundation, which supports university-quality educational offerings for mature students interested in learning for the love of learning. ASU is one of several colleges and universities across the United States to have been awarded a permanent Osher Foundation endowment to sustain and support its programs.

Registration procedures vary by location; details are available at or by calling (602) 543-6440.