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OU is recruiting new members for continuous learning program

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Oklahoma offers noncredit courses to adults 50 and older on the Norman campus and the Health Sciences Center campus in Oklahoma City. Program director Chris Elliott wants to enroll 1,000 members this academic year.
by Kathryn McNutt Modified: August 11, 2014 at 5:00 pm •  Published: August 11, 2014
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Barbara Cunningham enjoys studying history while keeping up with current events.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Oklahoma lets her do both.

The program offers noncredit courses to adults 50 and older on the Norman campus and the Health Sciences Center campus in Oklahoma City.

Cunningham has taken courses that examine ancient Greece and what’s going on in the Middle East today.

“It keeps you alert with what’s going on. You want to keep on learning,” said Cunningham, who takes two or three courses each semester.

Her husband, Don, has joined her for several.

One class on Beethoven was so good that a group of classmates continued meeting in their home for weeks afterward to listen to and discuss the composer’s music, Don Cunningham said.

“There are so many different things. It would be hard not to find something of interest,” he said.

That’s music to the ears of Chris Elliott, director of the program, which has grown from five classes per semester in 2006 to 50 each spring and fall and 10 in the summer.

“It’s fun. It’s easy. No tests, no papers,” Elliott said. “They’ve done that. They’re in it for the learning and the discussion and the socialization.”

The annual membership fee is $40, and each class costs $35. Some scholarships are available.

Elliott said to keep the program fresh for returning members, the same courses rarely are offered back-to-back. Notable exceptions are the always popular iPhone Basics and BookBuzz, which features different books each semester.

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by Kathryn McNutt
Higher Education Reporter
Kathryn McNutt covers higher education for The Oklahoman and NewsOK. Since joining the staff in August 2000, she also has worked as the Breaking News editor, Metro editor and assistant Local editor. A native of Oklahoma City, she graduated from...
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AT A GLANCE

Try before you buy

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Oklahoma will kick off its new semester with a preview event from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the College of Continuing Education Forum Building, 1704 Asp Ave. This is a chance for nonmembers to hear four of the institute’s most popular faculty members give short lectures, meet current members and the staff, Director Chris Elliott said.

The event also is a way to thank current members. “It’s their back-to-school night,” Elliott said.

To RSVP or for more information, contact Elliott at celliott@ou.edu or 325-3488.

Learning program also is offered

at OSU branches

Oklahoma State University offers Osher Lifelong Learning Institute courses in Stillwater, Tulsa, Bartlesville, Oklahoma City and Yukon. The program includes classes, travel, class-related experiences and social activities. For information, go to www.education.okstate.edu/olli or call (800) 765-8933.

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