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Lifelong Learning classes made permanent

Monday, December 17th, 2012 | Posted by

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is coming to Healdsburg permanently, say its organizers.

Sonoma supervisor Mike McGuire with Bob Santos, of OLLI, at the grand opening of the institute in Healdsburg last August.

The institute, called OLLI, offers college-level courses for residents who are “50 years old or better” on a variety of subjects from history to travel to music appreciation. OLLI and Sonoma State University began offering classes in the fall on a trial basis but decided to install them permanently after the response was so positive.

“We thought there would be interest having them in Healdsburg,” said Bob Santos, a Healdsburg resident who serves on the Osher advisory board at SSU. “But it was much better than we expected. We’re happy to be here.”

Courses to be offered during the winter session include “Great Cities: Capitals Of Western World,” which will be taught Tuesdays by Bruce Elliott; “World Cultures: The Anthropology of Tradition and Custom,”  to be held Wednesdays and by Dianne Smith; and “Exploring Jazz: An American Music,” which will be taught on Thursdays by Len Lyons.

“The lecturers are fabulous,” says Santos. “It really is a tremendous opportunity for people to learn from the best OLLI has to offer.”

Elliott teaches European History at UC Berkeley and Stanford, Smith has almost 40 years teaching at the university level and has done field work as an anthropologist in the Andes of Colombia, and Lyons is a jazz pianist and author who will be appearing as a performer in February at the Hotel Healdsburg as part of the Healdsburg Jazz Festival.

Classes begin on Jan. 22 and run for six weeks until Feb. 28.

In Sonoma County, classes also are taught at Oakmont and on the SSU campus in Rohnert Park. The classes in Healdsburg are held at the Villa Chanticleer. Registration is $80 for one course, $150 for two and $210 for all three.

OLLI will hold an Open House on Jan. 10 from 2-4 p.m., where residents can meet the professors and learn details about each course.

To find out more information or to register, visit sonoma.edu/exed/olli.


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