Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

OLLI spring registration is open now!

Experience UD lifelong learning in person and virtually

Open houses throughout Delaware, Jan. 8-11, and free online mini-classes, Jan. 16-26

OLLI Spring catalog is available now!

The community is invited to learn all about the University of Delaware’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) by attending an open house in Lewes (Jan. 8), Wilmington (Jan. 9), Ocean View (Jan. 10) or Dover (Jan. 11) and by participating in free online classes, Jan. 16-26.

A volunteer-driven learning cooperative for adults age 50-plus with over 2,000 members, UD OLLI holds classes throughout Delaware and online, featuring a variety of learning and social opportunities with no exams or grades.

Open houses provide up-close look at OLLI

While touring classrooms and enjoying refreshments, guests at the open houses will have the opportunity to meet volunteers and fellow OLLI participants, and pick up a course catalog. In-person registration will be available.

The OLLI open houses take place 10 a.m. to noon — except for the Wilmington event, which is set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. — at OLLI’s primary classroom locations:

  • Lewes – Trinity Faith Education Building, 15516 New Road
  • Wilmington – Arsht Hall, 2700 Pennsylvania Ave.
  • Ocean View – Ocean View Community Center, 32 West Ave.
  • Dover – Wyoming Church, 216 Wyoming Mill Road

Expand your knowledge in ‘January Explorations’ online mini-classes

OLLI’s free “January Explorations” online mini-courses, Jan. 16-26, feature a variety of topics like the JFK assassination, Emily Dickenson poetry, bird nest monitoring, James Bond, solar eclipses, end-of-life care and more.

“We are delighted to invite the public to experience examples of the breadth of OLLI’s courses and the excellence of our instructors,” said Karen Asenavage Loptes, UD OLLI director. “Our OLLI members know that learning is just one part of an enriching OLLI experience that also includes social events, extracurricular activities and travel opportunities.”

Prior OLLI membership or participation is not required. For more information or to RSVP, https://www.olli.udel.edu/january/.

More than 300 spring classes

With volunteer instructors at the heart of the OLLI program, the expertise from their professional careers, educational backgrounds, avocations and passions provide the source material for the breadth and depth of OLLI’s class offerings. Spring highlights include:

Offered in Lewes, Ocean View and online, Artificial Intelligence and the News Media is presented by former CNN journalist Ralph Begleiter of Ocean View and explores effects of artificial intelligence on how news is gathered, presented and consumed, and possibly manipulated, and touches on how world affairs could be affected by AI-prompted changes in journalism.

Offered in Lewes and online, Astronomy 101 is led by Jim O’Leary, host of Radio Rehoboth’s weekly “Skywatch at the Beach” and retired senior scientist from the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore. O’Leary discusses black holes, dark matter and the Big Bang, and addresses questions like Earth’s fate as a planet and the likelihood of life on other planets.

Offered in Ocean View, Pacific Island Dance is taught by OLLI volunteer instructor Cezarina Cornejo Alzona of Frankford, who first learned Pacific Island dances at age 5 from her mother and performed with a semiprofessional South Sea Island dance group for many years. The class covers Pacific Island culture and heritage and introduces the dances of Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand and the Philippines.

Offered in Dover and online, Tragic Era: The Story of Reconstruction, taught by Daniel Pritchett, longtime history teacher in the Capital School District and Delaware State University, discusses the brief era of Reconstruction and its short-lived efforts to create a biracial democracy after the Civil War.

Offered in Wilmington, The Slow-Art Experience is taught by Danielle Battaglia and Carol Griffin. Both Delaware Art Museum senior guides, they lead the class in exploring artworks and artists beyond what may be included on an exhibit label, with the final class held on site at the Delaware Art Museum.

Additional classes, which are representative examples of each location’s offerings, include:


  • Investing and Planning
  • Stained Glass Fundamentals
  • Chorus
  • RV Travel Lifestyle


  • Great Women in American Life
  • Hitchcock Films
  • The Bible as Literature
  • Botany Walking Group

Ocean View

  • Creative Card Making
  • History of the Great Depression and the New Deal
  • Financial Planning
  • Supreme Court Current Issues


  • America in the 1970s and 1980s
  • Aviation Behind the Scenes
  • Bird Watching Club
  • Principles of Investing
  • Rock Band
  • Shakespeare in Performance


  • American Sign Language
  • Car Movies
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
  • Genealogy
  • Languages: French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Ikebana (Japanese Flower Arranging)
  • iPhone Camera Ultimate Guide
  • How the Brain Works

OLLI spring classes start Feb. 5, priority registration is available Jan. 4-17

OLLI’s spring semester kicks off on Feb. 5 with 13-week, 11-week and five-week sessions. A second five-week session starts April 1. To register for OLLI classes, participants sign up for OLLI membership with a flat membership fee of $260 for the semester, which includes unlimited classes and activities at all UD OLLI locations and online. A few classes may have an additional fee, noted in the course description, for supplies or special partnership programs. There is no cost for parking at UD OLLI locations. Delaware residence or prior OLLI membership is not required, and need-based financial assistance is available. Priority registration is available Jan. 4-17.

For more information, visit http://www.olli.udel.edu/.