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Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

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About the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at KU

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Kansas is a part of KU Professional & Continuing Education. We are committed to creating accessible and innovative learning environments throughout Kansas and the Greater Kansas City area, with special focus on participants age 50 and over although anyone can participate. Learners from all backgrounds and levels of education are welcome to enjoy the benefits of Institute membership.

Choosing from a diverse collection of courses, learners create their own program of personal development, expanding their views of the world and enriching their lives and their communities.

Faculty and facilitators are carefully selected to assure they have the academic qualifications, a passion for the topic, and a love of teaching to create a meaningful and fun learning environment.

The University of Kansas is deeply grateful to the Bernard Osher Foundation in San Francisco for partial funding of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Kansas as one of its affiliates in the United States.


The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Kansas provides intellectually engaging and enriching classes and events solely for the joy of learning to diverse communities of lifelong learners, with a focus on those 50 years of age and older.


The University of Kansas is one of 124 sites in 50 states selected by the Bernard Osher Foundation of San Francisco to become a member of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Since our inaugural season in the fall of 2004, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Kansas has offered several hundred courses to close to 5,000 registered participants at 45 venues throughout Kansas and the Greater Kansas City area. In our 17years, more than 140 instructors have shared their expertise, developing fascinating courses on a wide array of topics.

Formal partnerships have been developed and successfully sustained with nearly two dozen residential retirement communities in Kansas and Missouri. Additional Osher Lifelong Learning sponsorship's have been created with museums, art organizations, libraries, private foundations, higher education institutions including Regents Institutions, community colleges, senior centers and other community organizations.

In 2007, the Osher Foundation recognized the number of persons served and the quality of the programs offered and awarded the Osher Institute at KU $1 million to be endowed in support of the Institute’s ongoing work. In 2014, the Osher Foundation again recognized the progress of our Institute with a second $1 million endowed gift. As with all endowments, the principal cannot be used. However, as the economy improves, the interest will help underwrite programs. We also rely on small grants and generous contributions from Friends of Osher to keep course fees low and meet the needs of seasoned adults who want to learn for the joy of learning and personal fulfillment.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend University of Kansas sponsored events. If you require reasonable accommodation in order to participate in an event, please email lpe@ku.edu or call 913-897-8530 at least three weeks before the first day of the event. Some events may require notice earlier than three weeks and require you to contact a specific individual; if so, that information is provided in the event-specific information.