By Elizabeth Keys
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute begins its seventh season in Stillwater on Tuesday with sessions from examining great film directors to exploring the solar system and learning new skills like playing bridge. The institute is Oklahoma State University’s college for senior citizens, OLLI Director RuthAnn McCarthy Sirbaugh said.
“There are no tests or grades — it’s noncredit classes geared toward those aged 50 and over,” she said.
Retired OSU professor Mary Frye said OLLI is the best opportunity for continued learning “for fun.” She said it’s a chance to delve into a variety of subjects with experts in their fields. One of her favorites has been the continuing movie series in viewing classic films she had never seen before because the discussion looks into the acting and directing background.
Vickie Sturgeon leads the popular evening film series where the class views an entire film and she expands the understanding of the film with research notes and comments.
“The sessions are a great place to interact with people,” Frye said. She tries to attend every component and said the groups will sometimes meet after class for lunch together with the programs expanding outside of Stillwater, too.
OLLI is operating in five cities with more than 1,000 active learners. The program is sponsored by the OSU College of Education and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute for people who want to enrich their lives through new experiences. Courses on a variety of topics are offered each semester to retirees and other adults in the community. Instructors are qualified volunteers from various career backgrounds including academia, business, the arts and government. Enrollment is per class or members can join with a $150 annual membership which allows unlimited course enrollment through June 30. Joining OLLI at the $50 annual membership permits one academic year of participation in the Town Hall meetings with other courses costing $25 each.
Limited enrollment is available at the Stillwater site for learning basic bridge and creating stained glass stepping stones. All enrollment information, along with class times and locations, are posted at http://education.okstate.edu/olli or call 405-744-5868. Walk-in enrollment is accepted as space permits.