OLLI Student in Classroom

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)

Experience the joy of learning from those who find joy in teaching. 

Ways to Engage with OLLI

OLLI Students Laughing in Classroom

Sign-Up to Attend OLLI Courses this Fall

The 2021 fall session will take place September 13 - November 19, 2021. Please consult the course descriptions for specific scheduling information. Registration for our fall courses is now closed. Stay tuned for our spring course registration. More details will be available late fall.

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Course Topics

Broadway Revisited
Instructor: Dick Smolens
5 sessions | $50
September 13, 20, 27, October 4, 11
10:30am – 11:40am

The classical musicals of Jerome Kerns, Richard Rodgers, George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and their peers have provided us with much of our great musical heritage. This course will explore how some of the most played songs were first performed and how instrumentalists and vocalists have interpreted and reinvented these wonderful tunes.

Bing Crosby
Instructor: Dick Smolens
5 sessions | $50
September 13, 20, 27, October 4, 11
1:00pm – 2:10pm

The first multimedia star, Bing Crosby, was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. This course will explore Bing Crosby’s influences, his early fame, his time as a member of The Rhythm Boys, as well as other musical personalities of his era.

Shots in the Dark: A Taste of Film Noir
Instructor: Michael Simeone
10 sessions | $100
September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2, 9, 16
1:00pm – 3:40pm

Some of the best crime films of the past fall into the category of “Film Noir.” They are typically black and white melodramas featuring cynical men and dangerous women. In this 10-week course, the group will view and discuss several classic films that were popular in their time and are still well regarded.

Off the Beaten Path: Travel to Exotic Destinations
Instructor: Robert Cockfield
5 sessions | $25
September 15, 22, 29, October 6, 13
9:00am – 10:10am

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and join world traveler Robert Cockfield as he presents on his experiences traveling to destinations very rarely considered. Each week, participants will journey to a new location including Tari, Papua New Guinea; Bunlap, Vanuatu; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Baddeck, Nova Scotia; and Irkutsk, Siberia.

Portrait Drawing for Beginners
Instructor: Veronica Batter
5 sessions | $50
September 15, 22, 29, October 6, 13
10:00am – 11:00am

Learn to draw the proportions of the face and facial features in a realistic style using pencil and paper. Students learn pencil drawing techniques, including shading, blending, and creating textures, while focusing on accurate proportions and placement. Each class includes step-by-step directions with detailed instructions, and students are welcome to share their work and receive feedback. The course commences with a portrait drawing. This course takes place at the Rockdale Art Center in Aston. There are two steps to enter the building. Class size is limited to 10 students.

The Golden Age of Cinema
Instructor: Loretta Wehbe
5 sessions | $50
September 15, 22, 29, October 6, 13
1:00pm – 2:10pm

Watch clips from iconic movies and listen to the director’s input and comments, offering uniquely intimate access to the thinking, wisdom, and genius of the cinema’s most talented directors. Frank Capra, Elia Kazan, William Wyler, Frederico Fellini, and more. Movies include East of Eden, On the Waterfront, Arsenic and Old Lace, Ben-Hur, Funny Girl, Roman Holiday, and others.

Musical Echoes of WW2
Instructor: Dick Smolens
5 sessions | $50
October 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15
10:30am – 11:40am

Despite the scourge of global war, this period contributed so many timeless melodies and lyrics that still resonate in our memories. Students will see and hear the poignant, timely, and nonsensical songs shared during this difficult time, plus the many personalities who kept the nation’s spirits high.

Harlem on Our Minds
Instructor: Dick Smolens
5 sessions | $50
October 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15
1:00pm – 2:10pm

So much of our popular music was either introduced or heavily influenced by black composers and performers. Participants will dig into the compositions of Eubie Blake, Fats Waller, and Duke Ellington, listen to interpretations of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, along with many great bands and personalities who contributed to our musical heritage.

Sociodrama
Instructors: Loretta Wehbe and Lois Levine-Elman
5 sessions | $25
October 20, 27, November 3, 10, 17
1:00pm – 2:10pm

This course introduces role playing and dramatic self-presentation to investigate and gain insight into issues of daily life. Students will be assigned roles centered on problematic situations that can be resolved. Through spontaneous dramatization and fun role playing, the group will demonstrate how to eliminate everyday problems. Laugher is always the best medicine!

All Our Feathered Relations
Instructor: Rob Fergus
5 sessions | $50
September 16, 23, 30, October 7, 14
10:30am – 11:40am

This course explores the rich connections between Native American cultures and birds. With over 700 native bird species and 300 original native languages in North America, there are a lot of potential connections! The class will look at the archaeology, ethnohistory, folklore, and current relationship between birds and native communities in the various culture areas of North America from the Arctic to the American Southwest.

A Closer Look at Owls
Instructors: Pamela Dimeler and Petra Solarik
2 sessions | $20
October 20, 10:30am – 12:00pm | October 27, 10:30am – 11:40am

This 2-part program begins with a multi-media presentation by wildlife photographer and videographer Pamela Dimeler. Her lecture will focus on eight different species of owls found in Pennsylvania and features photographs, video and audio recordings, as well as interesting facts and details about these fascinating and mysterious creatures. The following week, participants will meet a live owl, receive an owl pellet dissection kit, and follow along with an instructor to learn more about these birds of prey and their strange habits around the dinner table.

Zumba Gold®
Instructor: Judy Leahy
5 sessions | $25
October 21, 28, November 4, 11, 18
10:30am - 11:40am

ZUMBA GOLD® is a fitness program that brings Latin and global dance rhythms from the original ZUMBA® program to active older adults, beginners, and adults who need modifications. It is a safe and effective total body workout for anyone wanting a modified ZUMBA® class at a lower intensity level. Each class includes a warm-up, cool down, and flexibility components. Those with limited mobility or exercise tolerance can perform movements while seated. This course takes place at Taylor Arboretum in Wallingford.

Ta’i Chi Chih
Instructor: April Leffler
4 sessions | $40 | September 17, 24, October 1, 8
5 sessions | $50 | October 22, 29, November 5, 12, 19
10:15am – 11:25am

Learn the centering beauty of T’ai Chi Chih, a soft, flowing, moving meditation practiced by thousands of people worldwide. It’s easy to learn and brings many benefits, including peace of mind, improved health, and joy. It requires no particular level of fitness, no special equipment or clothing, and may be done while seated. New participants are welcome. This course takes place at Taylor Arboretum in Wallingford.

Hiroshima to Fukushima: 100 Years of Nuclear Energy
Instructor: Lee Bettenhausen
5 sessions | $50
September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12
10:30am – 11:40am

This course will examine the history of nuclear energy, including the Manhattan Project, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima, and more. The human and environmental impacts of nuclear energy will be explored, as well as a comparison of nuclear programs in the United States, Russia, and other countries.

Famous Aircraft: Successes and Failures
Instructor: Robert Cockfield
5 sessions | $50
September 15, 22, 29, October 6, 13
10:30am – 11:40am

This course will trace the history of aviation through a few of its most famous aircraft, both successes and failures. Each week will cover a different aircraft. The successes include the Douglas DC-3, Supermarine Spitfire, and North American Aviation P-51. The failures feature the De Havilland Comet and the Convair 990.

The President’s Cabinet
Instructor: David Hudiak
4 sessions | $40
September 15, 22, 29, October 6
2:30pm – 3:40pm

This course will study the special group of Presidential advisors known as the Cabinet. Participants will learn the language in the Constitution which authorizes the Cabinet, as well as statutory language which regulates the Cabinet. The course will then review the confirmation process for Cabinet members and the evolution of the Cabinet throughout our country’s history. Finally, notable Americans who have served in the Cabinet will be profiled.

The Milton Hershey School: Home to the Richest Orphans in America
Instructor: John Furmanak
5 sessions | $25
October 19, 26, November 2, 9, 16
9:00am – 10:10am

Milton Hershey built the industry and town that is often called the sweetest place on Earth, noted for its rich history in chocolate and entertainment. However, his real dream was to create a home and school for orphaned boys. In 1909, he and his wife, Catherine, founded the Milton Hershey School for boys. Milton Hershey deeded his entire fortune in 1913, then worth $60 million, to children he would never meet. The trust is worth over $13 billion today and is home to more than 2,220 boys and girls who are considered the richest orphans in America. This course covers the chronological events from then until now.

Chester: Its Past, Present, and Future
Instructor: Mitchell Rothman
5 sessions | $50
October 19, 26, November 2, 9, 16
10:30am - 11:40am

Chester was once one of the richest industrial towns on the eastern seaboard. Industries, primarily shipbuilding, kept the city humming. In Delaware County, it was the place to go for live music, the latest in fashion, and a good time. The current city is in a seemingly permanent recession. Unemployment is through the roof, its public education system is failing, and the air is full of particles from burning garbage and medical waste. What happened to so change the city of Chester? Who were the players involved? What are its possible futures?

The Great Mughals – Part 2
Instructor: Jeff Heim
4 sessions | $40
October 21, 28, November 4, 11
10:30am – 11:40am

The Great Mughals - Part 1 is not a prerequisite, and anyone interested in learning more about India is welcomed. The story of the Mughal dynasty continues. The reigns of Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb complete the story of the greatest era of Mughal rule. The artistic disinterest in ruling by Jahangir, to the ascetic intolerance of Aurangzeb, was bridged by the brilliant but sad reign of Shah Jahan. It was an era of magnificent architectural construction and splendid decadence that ended with faded glory.

America’s First Ladies – Part 1
Instructor: David Hudiak
3 sessions | $30
November 3, 10, 17
10:30am – 11:40am

Throughout our history, a fascinating procession of women have accompanied their spouses to the White House and served as the First Lady. Some reveled in the position, while others did not. In some instances, illness prevented them from discharging the traditional duties of First Lady. Sadly, some Presidential spouses did not live to join their husbands in the White House. This course – the first of a two-part series – will tell the stories of the First Ladies who served during the early half of American history.

Held regularly on Thursday afternoons, the OLLI Seminar Series is just one of many membership benefits. Meet fellow attendees and bring your friends for free. Speakers include faculty members and administrators from Widener University, as well as regional experts on a variety of topics.

Edward “Ned” Hector – Black Revolutionary War Hero
Instructor: Noah Lewis
September 16, 1:00pm

Chimeras, DNA Evidence, and Sex Determination at Birth
Instructor: Theodore O’Tanyi
September 23, 1:00pm

The Sign of the Dove
Instructor: Rob Fergus
September 30, 1:00pm

"Yes, Virginia. It's a Real Instrument!" - Playing the Recorder
Instructor: Nancy Daniel
October 7, 1:00pm

Practical Tools for Everyday Wellness
Instructor: Charlene Brown
October 14, 1:00pm

Medicare Options in Retirement
Instructor: Joe Cisco
October 21, 1:00pm

Jazz Music of the 20th Century
Instructor: Mark Ross
October 28, 1:00pm

George Washington at Valley Forge
Instructor: David Hudiak
November 4, 1:00pm

Arts & Crafts - Giant Paper Snowflake
Instructor: Linda Sivilich
November 11, 1:00pm

The History & Legacy of Pennsylvania Military College
Instructor: Ronald Romanowicz
November 18, 10:00am

OLLI End of Semester Celebration & Trivia Game!
Host: OLLI Hospitality Committee
November 18, 1:00pm

Support the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Thanks to the generosity of friends, neighbors, and current members, OLLI can make powerful programming and compelling courses available to hundreds of lifelong learners. These supporters ensure that adults in nearby communities never stop learning. Will you join them? Find out how your gift will extend OLLI offerings for years to come. 

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