Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Community invited to sample OLLI presentations at area libraries

OLLI speakers

OLLI instructors present at New Castle County libraries

Community invited to OLLI presentations at New Castle County public libraries

The community and prospective OLLI members are invited to learn more about classes and activities at the University of Delaware’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) program by attending free presentations at Bear, Brandywine Hundred and Hockessin public libraries this spring and summer. 

A recent community engagement effort through New Castle County Public Libraries by UD’s Wilmington-based OLLI program, the UD OLLI Speakers Bureau features a group of OLLI instructors who volunteer their time to promote lifelong learning in the community, while raising awareness of UD’s OLLI program. “When we started our Speakers Bureau program this past winter, we found a welcoming partner in New Castle County’s libraries as they were actively re-opening to bring back their senior constituents,” said Marty Cohen, OLLI-Wilmington’s volunteer marketing committee chair. “We truly appreciated this opportunity to help.” 

The following free presentations are intended to provide a fun sampling of OLLI course offerings:

Curtain Up presentationCurtain Up: Introduction to Broadway’s Golden Age
Saturday, May 6, 1 p.m., Bear Public Library
The Broadway musical is America’s legendary contribution to the world of performing arts. Using video clips, we will follow the life of a musical from a writer’s pen and composer’s piano to the Broadway stage. Led by OLLI instructor Tom Powderly, a theater and Broadway aficionado with a 50- year career in the travel industry. Click here to RSVP for this presentation at Bear Public Library.
UD OLLI flute choirOLLI Flute Choir
Thursday, May 11, 3 p.m., Bear Public Library
This ensemble is a small group of flutists passionate about their instruments and who enjoy playing together. It has been part of OLLI’s musical course offerings for many years, and welcomes new members. Their spring program includes titles such as Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Funeral March of a Marionette, Camptown Races, Canonic Sonata and Pizzicato Polka. Click here to RSVP for this presentation at Bear Public Library.
OLLI speakers bureauFirst World’s Fair
Wednesday, May 31, 1 p.m., Brandywine Hundred Library
Learn about the innovative idea of this extraordinary event, held in London, England in 1851 at the innovative Crystal Palace. People came from all over, and were exposed to the cultures of China, India and North Africa, as well as Yankee ingenuity. Led by OLLI instructor Robert Ehrlich, who regularly teaches history and technology classes. Click here to RSVP for this presentation at Brandywine Hundred Library.
OLLI Speakers Bureau - birdingBeginners Birding in Delaware: A Healthy Outdoor Activity
Friday, June 9, 11 a.m., Hockessin Public Library
Delaware is a great birding state! Learn about bird walks, benefits of birding to the birder and the birds, conservation more. Led by OLLI instructor Lloyd Maier, a member of the Delmarva Ornithological Society for more than 30 years, and a fellow for contributions to the study of birds through participation in two breeding bird atlases and many Delaware bird counts. Click here to RSVP for this presentation at Hockessin Public Library.
OLLI Speakers Bureau - acoustic guitarAcoustic Guitar & Vocals: Music from the 60s & 70s
Saturday, June 17, 11 a.m., Hockessin Public Library
Musician Andrew Levin plays the music he grew up with and that inspired him to learn guitar — classic 60s and 70s folk, pop, and rock, including The Beatles and Cat Stevens, mixing in Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and a few modern classic rockers. A self-taught musician with a strong baritone voice, Levin is co-instructor of OLLI’s Intermediate Guitar class. Click here to RSVP for this presentation at Hockessin Public Library.

OLLI is a volunteer-based learning cooperative for adults age 50-plus, with all classes led by volunteer instructors who develop and teach subjects drawn from their career and professional expertise, as well as their avocation, hobby or passion. OLLI’s volunteer instructors include retired UD faculty, as well as experts, leaders, executives and advocates from an extremely diverse array of fields like science, medicine, the arts and humanities, education, business, industry, government and more. 

Each fall and spring, UD’s OLLI program offers over 300 courses on-site in Wilmington, Dover, Lewes and Ocean View, as well as online, all with no grades, exams or educational prerequisites. The OLLI program also features social activities, as well as opportunities to volunteer, teach and share knowledge in a fun, engaged community.


UD OLLI speakers bureauNew York City Skyscrapers
Wednesday, April 26, 2023, 1 p.m., Brandywine Hundred Library                                            
Learn about the diverse architecture of New York City starting from the earliest New York City tenements and first skyscrapers like the Empire State Building, to the Twin Towers and the World Trade Center, tallest in the world. Led by Judy Filipkowski, an architectural tour guide in Philadelphia for over 10 years, as well as at Delaware Art Museum and Rockwood Museum. Click here to RSVP for this presentation at Brandywine Hundred Library.
History of Mysteries: Women Reinvent the Genre
Saturday, April 29, 11 a.m., Bear Public Library
Recent statistics tell us that women write, read and buy the most mystery novels. Although male novelists still publish, women writers have captured the genre. Learn how the mystery genre has changed in the hands of women writers! Presented by OLLI instructor Becky Worley, a retired UD faculty member in the Department of English and Professional Writing Program. Click here to RSVP for this presentation at Bear Public Library.
Solid Gold Singers presentationSolid Gold Singers
Saturday, April 29, 11 a.m., Hockessin Public Library
Come sing along with this OLLI music performance and sing-along group who loves to sing and play the pop and rock ‘n’ roll music of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Program is led by Becky Varlas, who directs the Solid Gold Singers class at OLLI. Click here to RSVP for this presentation at Hockessin Public Library.