The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Towson University is a 50-50 proposition this fall, when Osher offers adults 50 and older nearly 50 classes and activities for "cultural and social enrichment."
Though classes will be held at TU, the preview of what Osher has to offer will be held at Goucher College in Merrick Lecture Hall on Thursday, July 7, from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
There are no grades or credits given for classes, which and no educational requisites for membership, according to Osher's mission: "The basic concept is...learning is a lifelong process and is enhanced in a congenial atmosphere with like-minded individuals."
However, membership is required to take classes. Annual dues are $50 for an individual and $75 for a couple, in addition to tuition fees for classes, which usually run about $65 for a four-week course.
Open to the public, the preview will feature short presentations by those who are teaching the classes. For the most part they are TU and Goucher professors and retirees, as well as former school teachers.
Volunteers are an important part of Osher, according to institute director, Jackie Gratz. Half of the instructors are paid; half are not.
A sampling of the catalogue that will be available during the preview reveals a wide variety of topics covered during two four-week semesters: Sept. 12-Oct. 6 and Oct.17-Nov.10.
Subjects range from Bob Dylan, the dynamics of the Arab-Israeli conflict and forensic science used at crime scenes, to Mozart, French for the tourist, the continuing impact of eight Pacific battles during World War II and Hollywood director Frank Capra and his films.
Classes generally meet once a week for an hour and 15 minutes at TU's Administration Building, 7400 York Road, Suite 100.
Osher also offer a book club and special lectures, occasional day trips and a variety of social and cultural activities.
There are numerous reasons to become a member of Osher, according to Gratz.
"Join if you travel and want to find out more about where you're going, if you want to know more about how to listen to music, or if you want to understand more about what's going on in the world and what got us to where we are today," she said.
"You'll make new friends, enjoy an intellectually interesting environment and keep learning."