The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Kansas provides intellectually engaging and enriching classes and events solely for the joy of learning to diverse communities of lifelong learners, with a focus on those 50 years of age and older.
The University of Kansas is one of 117 sites in 50 states selected by the Bernard Osher Foundation of San Francisco to become a member of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Since our inaugural season in the fall of 2004, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Kansas has offered several hundred courses to more than 3,000 registered participants at 25 venues in Lawrence, Topeka and the Greater Kansas City area, as well as sites in southeast, central and southwest Kansas. In our eight years, more than a hundred instructors have shared their expertise, developing fascinating courses on a wide array of topics.
Formal partnerships have been developed and successfully sustained with more than a dozen residential retirement communities in Kansas and Missouri. Additional Osher Lifelong Learning sponsorships have been created with museums, art organizations, libraries, private foundations, higher education institutions including community colleges, senior centers and other community organizations.
In 2007, the Osher Foundation recognized the number of persons served and the quality of the programs offered and awarded the Osher Institute at KU one million dollars to be endowed in support of the Institute’s ongoing work. As with all endowments, the principal cannot be used. However, as the economy improves, the interest will help underwrite programs. We also rely on small grants and the generous contributions from Friends of Osher to keep course fees low and meet the needs of seasoned adults who want to learn for the joy of learning and personal fulfillment.