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Osher Institute at U of U Launches 4th Year of Lifelong Learning for Mature Adults

Aug. 1, 2007-The Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning at The University of Utah will begin its fourth year with a number of exciting new options designed to be inclusive of a wide range of people. New membership options, as well as new scholarships, mean that Utahns of all income ranges will be able to take advantage of the benefits of Osher: meeting new, interesting, engaged and engaging people; keeping the mind active by learning new things or exploring areas of interest; and learning with a peer group 50 and over in a relaxed atmosphere without the pressure of grades or a competitive environment. Classes are offered in two easily accessible locations – Salt Lake City and Bountiful – with free parking at both locations.

The new membership options allow Utahns to become Osher members without taking classes, to add classes in an a la carte fashion, or to take an unlimited number of courses during the year. For only $30 the new low-cost Basic Membership includes free access to all special events and guest lectures, and access to other member benefits whether or not the member elects to take classes. It is a great option for older adults looking for a social network, or for those who have commitments that preclude them from taking classes right now. This annual Basic Membership option also means that members who need to take a term or two off from classes won’t fall out of the loop with newsletters, e-mails, access to special events and more. As time allows, classes can be added in an a la carte fashion to suit individual needs. Additional student benefits such as free access to University libraries, computer labs, museums and Red Butte Garden, and discounted access to, recreation facilities, Kingsbury Hall, Pioneer Theater, and the Utah Symphony and Opera, among others, are available to members who take classes. This fall classes are only $99 each and discounts are available for multiple classes. The All You Can Learn Membership includes the Basic Membership and all associated benefits plus unlimited courses during the year for a discounted rate of $499 (special material fees may apply). With this membership option, students may take as many courses as they like, whenever they want.

“We are so pleased to introduce these new membership choices and to continue to offer a broad array of courses, events, and lectures to our current and prospective members. Osher is a dynamic community of learners and by providing flexibility in the membership options we hope to expand that community. The program is large enough to give our members a rich University of Utah experience, yet small enough to accommodate emerging interests and open communication,” notes Cathy House, Osher Institute director.

New for fall 2007, the Osher Scholarship Program will provide opportunities for members of the community to take Osher courses without financial barriers. The only requirements for scholarship funds are a desire to learn and a $30 Basic Osher Membership, which can be purchased after notification of award, either before or concurrent with course registration. Interested adults 50 and over may contact the Osher office at 801-585-5442 for an application form or download the pdf application on our website ( Individuals, organizations, and corporations interested in supporting this group of mature adults who have given so much to our community are invited to contribute to the Osher scholarship fund, and can contact the Osher office any time to donate.

The fall term will begin with two Open Houses, designed to give potential members a taste of what the Osher program is all about. The events will include sample classes and keynote speakers, and current members will be available to talk about how Osher has enhanced their lives. On Tuesday, August 28, the Salt Lake City Open House will take place at the Officers Club, Fort Douglas (150 S. Fort Douglas Boulevard) from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Master listener Doug Fabrizio, host of KUER’s Radio West, will speak on “The Art of Listening” at 1:30, followed by two sample classes at 3:00 PM (Astronomy and Archeology of South America).

On Thursday, August 30, the Bountiful Open House will take place at the U of U Bountiful Campus (75 E. 200 S., Bountiful) from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. At 9:00 AM, Sandi Parkes, Associate Dean of Continuing Education at the U of U, will speak about the Boomer Generation and Continuing Education. Immediately following, prospective members can get a free preview of two fall Osher classes: Musical Potpourri at 10:00 AM and Tao of Yoga at 11:00 AM. At noon, attendees can tour the acclaimed ceramics studio and see fall ceramics projects.

Sandy Overmoe, Osher curriculum committee member, explains, “The classes we’ve developed for the fall term cover a broad range of subjects, and thanks to the energy, enthusiasm, and dedication of the volunteer curriculum committee, there’s something for everyone in the upcoming term: outdoor and indoor, cerebral and hands-on, education and just plain fun.”

Most Osher classes meet once a week for 90 minutes. Thirty-four fall courses, ranging from theatre to computers to geology to drawing developed specifically for mature learners are available this fall. Classes are taught by emeritus faculty and other distinguished professionals. The Osher Institute’s fall session will begin September 17 and run through November 2. Osher fall class registration begins Thursday, August 16. In-person registration begins at 9:00 AM and phone registration at 11:00 AM.

Funded by an initial grant of $100,000 from the Bernard Osher Foundation, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University joins over 100 other campuses in providing education outreach to mature community members. The U’s Osher Institute is also sponsored the University Health Sciences Center and members of the Institute. Community partners include the AARP, the Utah Museum of Natural History, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Red Butte Garden, Le Chateau Brickyard, and the U of U Alumni Association.

More information on fall courses, membership, special events, and the Osher Institute may be obtained by calling 801-585-5442 or by visiting