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The election, the eclipse and more: Osher@Mizzou fall programming

Media contact:

Curt Wohleber
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-5409

Published: Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Story source:

Kristin Millikan, 573-882-8189

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The 2016 presidential election and the 2017 solar eclipse are among the topical offerings from the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Missouri this fall.

A program of University of Missouri Extension, Osher@Mizzou provides noncredit courses, seminars, book talks, clubs and other educational opportunities for people age 50 or better on a wide range of subjects, said Kristin Millikan, director of Osher@Mizzou.

“The Year of the Eclipse” is the theme for 2016-17, said Millikan. Throughout the academic year, Osher will feature programming related to the total solar eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017, including a Sept. 9 seminar presented by Angela Speck, astrophysicist and director of astronomy at MU.

“The Nov. 8 Elections” is an eight-session class led by David Leuthold, professor emeritus of political science at MU. The class, which begins Sept. 22, will look at not just the presidential election but senatorial, congressional, and state- and county-level races as well. Each class is followed by an open discussion where all Osher members are invited to share their thoughts on the events of this election season. Jay Ward, a retired physician and historian, will lead an eight-session examination of American presidential history through the Civil War.

The 27 classes on the fall schedule will cover topics such as freedom of speech, Islam, genealogy, photography, criminal justice, climate change, poetry, French and Spanish. Members can brush up on technology and social media skills with a series of workshops on iPhones and iPads, and a four-session class on Facebook.

John Parker, a founder of Osher@Mizzou, curates a Monday-morning discussion series featuring a variety of speakers on historical, political and cultural topics, including former prosecutor and circuit judge Frank Conley’s discussion of “Murderers I Have Known,” retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Rich Hardin’s examination of “How 9/11 Changed the Laws of War,” and former pastor John Yonker’s talk on “Finding Jesus: Looking for the Man of Nazareth Behind the Creeds and the Gospels.”

A Friday brown bag seminar series, open to anyone taking a class, combines lunch and learning, and is followed by an afternoon movie and discussion.

“With no tests and no grades, the classes are an opportunity for seniors to enjoy learning for its own sake with others who share similar interests,” Millikan said.

“Some courses are academic, others practical and some just plain interesting,” she said. “All provide a stimulating educational and social experience.”

Most classes begin the first week of September. There will be an orientation for new members 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, in the Moss Building at the Waters-Moss Memorial Wildlife Area, 1905 Hillcrest Drive, Columbia.

To download the fall course catalog, go to For more information, contact Osher@Mizzou at 573-882-8189 or