Stillwater News Press

September 1, 2007

OLLI at OSU expands to Tulsa, Oklahoma City

Starting Sept. 18, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Oklahoma State University (OLLI at OSU) will open its doors to students in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, while in Stillwater the OLLI at OSU program will begin its second year of lifelong learning classes.

OLLI at OSU Director RuthAnn McCarthy Sirbaugh said the Stillwater program has exceeded all of the goals it set for the 2006-2007 year, and the institute is expecting an even more successful year with the addition of sites in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

She noted that the Stillwater lifelong learning program began as the Stillwater Academy of Lifelong Learning in the fall of 2005. It was sponsored by the OSU Emeriti Association and the OSU College of Education.

Sirbaugh said the Bernard Osher Foundation of San Francisco awarded a grant to the program in 2006, and with their support, as well as the continuing support of the OSU Emeriti and the College of Education, OSU’s lifelong learning program has been able to reach many more people.

Instructors for OLLI classes in Stillwater are frequently retired OSU professors who volunteer their time. In Tulsa and Oklahoma City, a variety of experts and authorities on a wide range of subjects have stepped forward to teach lifelong learning classes.

Sirbaugh said, “There are no tests, grades, prerequisites or college credit given. Our students learn just for the joy of learning.”

The OLLI at OSU classes meet once a week for a six-week session in the fall and in the spring. A three-week summer session is held in June.

Many of the OLLI students would qualify as senior citizens, but not all do. The only official age requirement for OLLI at OSU is that a student must be an adult. Fees for membership and classes are modest and scholarships are available.

Site coordinators see that everything goes smoothly during the courses, which will meet in the public library in Stillwater, in Central Center at 1028 E. 6th Street in Tulsa and in St. Luke’s Church at 222 N.W. 15th Street in Oklahoma City.

Courses for OLLI’s fall semester this year cover a range of subjects, from “Milton’s Paradise Lost” at the Stillwater site to cardiovascular diseases at the Oklahoma City site.

Meanwhile, lifelong learners in Tulsa can study rose culture or changes in male/female roles in American marriages over the last four generations. These are just a few of the six-week courses being offered at each site.

At Stillwater, classes offered on Tuesday mornings are “Milton’s Paradise Lost: Justifying the Ways of God to Man,” taught by Dr. Duke Pesta from 10 a.m. to noon and “Stories From the Washington Irving Trail Museum: History in Our Own Backyard,” taught by Dale and Carla Chlouber, also from 10 a.m. to noon,

A Tuesday lunch has been a popular feature of the OLLI program in Stillwater. OLLI students can order a set of six catered meals or bring a brown bag lunch for an hour of fellowship and discussion.

This fall, the Town Hall series after lunch on Tuesdays will feature the experiences of travelers who have been to exotic and interesting places around the world.

On Thursday mornings, from 10 a.m. to noon, Dr. Larry Perkins will teach “Cross-Cultural Understandings of The After Life.” Also on Thursday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon, Dr. Raymond Habiby will teach “Understanding the Middle East: Culture and Politics.”

On Thursday afternoon, from 1 to 3 p.m., Peter Moretti will teach a class on “The Early Church.” Also on Thursday, from 1 to 3 p.m., William B. Stacy will teach “American Roots Music.”

For more information about OLLI at OSU, descriptions of classes at all three sites and an enrollment form, call OLLI at OSU at 744-5868 or 800-765-8933. Send e-mail to or mail requests to OLLI at OSU, 201 ConocoPhillips Alumni Center, Emeriti Suite 102, Stillwater, OK 74078.