High School Wasn’t Nearly as Fun as the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Members of University of Delaware’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute play music at a recent rally for the Philadelphia Eagles.

You can certainly call yourself an “active senior” if you’re out playing pickleball or swimming laps or walking the trails around one of the many 55+ communities spotlighted on our website. But if you’re anything like Bill and me you also need a good amount of mental stimulation, interesting conversation, and the certainty that you’re still expanding your intellectual horizons. For those reasons and more I’m glad to share details about the University of Delaware’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute for adults aged 50 and above.

Known to a lot of us as “OLLI” in its abbreviated form, this is one of the largest lifelong learning programs in the country, with classes in Wilmington, Dover, Lewes, Ocean View and online. It’s distinguished by two unique qualities – one is that its courses don’t require prerequisites and aren’t graded, which means no tests. The second is that you might find yourself as a student in one course and a teacher of another. Equally interesting in my view is that the course offerings are determined largely by what instructors are able to teach but also by what students want to learn.

As an organization with about 3,900 members from Delaware and neighboring states, OLLI offers courses that tend to be especially interesting to people who have lived through different life phases and who want to balance a bit of rigor with the joy of social engagement and learning without pressure.

At the Wilmington campus, for example, you can nurture your musical interests with dancing classes and being part of a choir, attend lectures about medicine and health, and get helpful insights on how to sell your home.

In Dover, popular classes focus on genealogy and ways to learn about branches of your family tree that pre-date arrival in the U.S. Committed Anglophiles with a longstanding interest in theatre can also immerse themselves in a course that fosters a “re-imagining” of Shakespeare’s Richard III.

In Lewes you can learn about the origins and enduring appeal of our historic baseball club, which plays the game as it was in the 19th century, vintage uniforms and all and learn about stained glass.

And in Ocean View there are more dancing classes and lessons on WWII in the Pacific.

If you’re not quite ready to mingle in larger groups or just want to enjoy classes from your home there are also some interesting online courses on investing, introductory American Sign Language, writing memoirs and more.

This is just a small sample of the broad array of courses and experiences available at OLLI, as you’ll see with just a glance at the 2023 Spring Calendar.

In addition to not stressing over exams or grades, you’ll also be pleased to know membership fees aren’t at all expensive and that financial assistance is available.

Visit the website for some great testimonials and this firsthand view from students and instructors. It’s a great way to tap into your desire to keep learning, stay informed and make new friends during what can be a truly excellent time in your life.

About Christine Davis

Christine grew up in northeastern PA and served in the United States Air Force for 8+ years. She worked in the civil engineering career field and traveled to various bases throughout the world. After leaving the Air Force, she moved to Rehoboth Beach and finished her degree in Business. She became a REALTOR in 2003 and aims to make the buying or selling process as smooth and fun as possible while educating clients. Christine now lives above their downtown Lewes office with her husband and fellow REALTOR, Bill Davis, and enjoys owning the brokerage and assisting the agents and meeting all the new clients moving to the area. Christine and Bill's philosophy is to be #bettereveryday. Life is short, make it count!

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