Osher Institute announces Fall 2012 course schedule

Native American History, Getting to Know Our Poets Laureate, Constitutional History of the U.S., Ink and Water Color Landscape, Pop Culture & Protest Music of the 60s, and several film courses are among the many courses being offered this fall by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at ASU.

The institute provides low-cost educational and cultural courses and programs for participants ages 50 and above. Fall classes start in September and run through November, with most courses running four sessions.

Courses are offered at locations around the Valley, including new programs at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus and at Maravilla Scottsdale. There also will be courses at ASU’s West campus in northwest Phoenix, Tempe Connections at the Tempe Public Library, and Friendship Village Tempe.

This semester, the Osher Institute program is partnering with the three major entities in the area. The first is the Musical Instrument Museum, where students will be treated to four sessions about music around the world, including a Gamelan workshop. There will be a Phoenix Art Museum course to learn about the many facets of art including paper-making, fashion, photography and bronze casting, and finally the Childsplay Theatre program will feature a backstage workshop on the creation of the story, and then students will attend “The Giver” production. All programs are exclusive for OLLI at ASU students.

“The 50-plus generation is now known as the encore generation,” said Richard Knopf, director of the OLLI at ASU. “Never has there been a greater thirst by seniors to explore, chart new destinies, expand horizons and serve others. The OLLI at ASU opens doors not only to learn, but to find meaningful pathways to ignite people’s talents in a way that gives back to their communities.”

Knopf’s sentiments were echoed by retired Valley physician Gene Severino, who has taken a number of OLLI courses at the Tempe Connections site and at ASU’s West campus with his wife, Carol.

“Not that there’s anything wrong with golf, but playing golf 24/7 is the old version of retirement,” Severino said. “The new retiree wants to explore topics and ideas he or she didn’t have the time to learn about before. The OLLI at ASU provides a perfect opportunity to exercise your mind. All of the courses and instructors I’ve experienced have been top-quality.”

Rabbi David Davis has been teaching religious studies for nearly 45 years. He says it’s a wonderful adventure teaching others about religious history. “This fall’s course 'Death of Judaism' is a look at events that shaped the Jewish world through the ages. Most students who enroll in my classes are not Jewish. They enjoy learning about the connections between Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” says Rabbi Davis.

The OLLI at ASU is 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.

The printed schedule will be available in late August at most public libraries, senior centers and community centers and is on-line at lifelonglearning.asu.edu  This semester students will be able to register for courses on-line through the website. Call (602) 543-6440 for further details.

Karla Burkhart, karla.burkhart@asu.edu
Coordinator, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute