By Stephanie Reinke, Ed.D.
These are words we often hear in relation to our muscles; if we don’t use them, they will atrophy. It turns out, this old adage can be applied to our brains as well. Staying intellectually engaged is a great benefit to our health; especially as we age. The research is clear…learning new information or learning new motor skills keeps the brain sharp, and can potentially delay aging effects on the brain. In addition to providing direct cognitive stimulation, a research study found members of lifelong learning institutes to be highly energized by the “joy of learning” and uncovered a dramatic increase in the self-esteem of participants.
Many people over the age of 50, struggle to imagine ways to remain intellectually stimulated and I am here to tell you, the struggle is over! Adults 50+ in the north Texas area have a treasured resource right in their own backyard! The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at University of North Texas is one of only 123 Osher Institutes in the United States. OLLI at UNT is a lifelong learning program designed by and for adults 50 and better and offers over 300 classes each year! These academic-based classes are taught by professors and area experts covering every topic imaginable. Classes this spring include topics such as “Essential Israel: Introduction to a Post-Colonial State”, “The Enjoyment of Classical Music”, and “Gerrymandering: Just the Facts”. There is truly something for everyone!
Classes are offered year-round and are available in five different locations: UNT Denton, Robson Ranch, Good Samaritan Lake Forest Village, Flower Mound Senior Center and UNT New College in Frisco (moving to the Frisco Senior enter in June!). Adults 50+ are flocking to OLLI at UNT as membership now include people from more than 46 different towns in the region.
Not only does OLLI at UNT offer classes Monday through Friday year-round, but also provides many educational special events, exceptional lecture series and even domestic and international travel opportunities. This spring OLLI at UNT members are heading to Cuba for an educational person-to-person tour. Travel-goers have described this as a “bucket list trip that they would not have been able to go on without the opportunity through OLLI at UNT”.
Annual memberships are affordable and start as low as $55. If you would like to see a complete class calendar for the spring, please visit https://olli.unt.edu/catalog. Please contact us for information on how you can become a part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNT! We also provide the opportunity to give the gift of learning to someone special in your life.
Contact us at (940) 369-7293 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you in class!