You're Invited!

Looking for high-quality courses throughout the year? Would you like to share intellectually stimulating social, cultural, and volunteer opportunities with a community of dedicated lifelong learners? Look no further! The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the U offers these things and more.


Register now for our annual OLLI Sampler on Thursday, August 17, 9:3011 a.m. (CT). This free online Zoom event gives you the chance to learn about the wealth of activities OLLI has to offer, such as year-round online and in-person courses that feature a range of topics and approaches to learning, as well as special interest groups, field trips, member events, and volunteer opportunities. You’ll also learn about the OLLI experience from a member’s perspective.

During the Sampler, hear the mini lectures (or samples) below. Following the Sampler, you’ll receive OLLI’s Fall 2023 Course Guide via email, allowing you to explore the wealth of courses available.

Sampler Highlights

The Roots of Conflict in the Middle East 

Henry Berman

Politics, history, economics, spirituality: these are all factors that have contributed to the never-ending conflict in the Middle East. Drawing on years of presentations about the region, instructor Henry Berman will touch on these factors and discuss the large and diverse geography of the Middle East landscape. 

Henry Berman is retired from Ecolab, where he worked for 34 years. For the last seven years, he has been a speaker on numerous global-affairs topics for Great Decisions. He's also a popular OLLI instructor whose courses focus primarily on the unique dynamics and conflicts in the Middle East and Africa. Berman will teach The Legacy of the Arab Spring in fall 2023. 

Romeo and Juliet: Love and Family

Emily Schoenbeck

There’s more at stake in Romeo and Juliet than the well-defined struggles between the Montagues and the Capulets. Changing attitudes toward personhood in the Renaissance led to conflicts between what young people wanted versus what their families wanted for them. (Consider the ill-fated couple’s famous balcony scene.)

Emily Schoenbeck is a sixth-year PhD candidate in English Literature at the University of Minnesota, where she specializes in Shakespearean drama and film adaptation. She has taught four OLLI courses in the last three years as an OLLI Scholar. Schoenbeck will teach Everybody but Shakespeare in winter 2024.

The Power of Place

Kay Miller and Emily Shapiro

“Place” has many facets, defining who we are and where we belong. It has geographic boundaries and spiritual, emotional, and psychological dimensions. Place is deeply poetic, churning within us and outside us. It is environmental, touching every aspect of our lives, including our very survival. These immense and small places are beautifully translated into visual form through art.

Kay Miller became a Minneapolis Institute of Art docent in 2009 after retiring from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, where she was a reporter for 29 years. She’s a musician and gardener who shares, “Storytelling and sharing enticing ideas with others have been at the heart of my love of art, research, writing, and how they all come together in OLLI [course] tours—the best of all possible worlds.”  

Emily Shapiro is a (mostly) retired attorney, who has been an OLLI member since 2003 and a Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) docent since 2005. Merging these activities, Shapiro has led museum tour courses for OLLI for many years and credits a similar type of course early in her OLLI membership with inspiring her to become a Mia guide.

They will teach The Power of Place: OLLI@Mia in fall 2023.