New Lifelong Learning Campus Opening in Aurora

Aurora-area older adults with a desire to learn are getting a new resource to pursue their passion.

A leading lifelong learning program based at the University of Denver that provides academic courses to people 50 and over throughout the great Denver area is opening a campus in Aurora for its spring term that begins April 2. An Open House is planned Friday, Jan. 19 to showcase this exciting opportunity.

The nonprofit Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Denver (OLLI) serves a rapidly growing senior population through its OLLI Central, OLLI West, OLLI South and OLLI-on-Campus programs. Now it is adding OLLI East to the mix, scheduling classes at the Mississippi Avenue Baptist Church (MABC) at 13231 E. Mississippi Avenue. Students who pay a single fee become OLLI members who can choose from a wide array of course topics in three eight-week terms during the academic year.

The community is invited to the Open House at MABC from 10 a.m. – noon on Jan. 19 to learn more about OLLI and to preview classes scheduled for the inaugural Spring term.

Barbe Ratcliffe, OLLI at DU’s executive director, cited the value of lifelong learning to those 50 and older.
“The health benefits of lifelong learning continue to mount with recent research,” she said. “As a premier provider of lifelong learning in the Denver metropolitan area, we are proud to announce our most recent expansion in the Aurora community.”

OLLI classes are taught by members who are volunteer facilitators with knowledge of a subject or a deep passion to learn about a new topic. There are no admission requirements, no papers, no tests, no grades – just the thrill of learning something new and sharing stimulating discussions with other “mature adults.” The fee that members pay for each eight-week term gives them access to classes at any OLLI at DU site.

The Bell Policy Center reports that Between 2000 and 2010, Colorado’s population of those 65 and older grew by 32 percent compared with the state’s total population, which grew by 17 percent. Studies show that in just 15 years, nearly one in four adults in Colorado will be older than 60.

OLLI at DU, is one of the longest operating and largest of more than 120 national groups. More than 1700 “students” enroll for classes at the various OLLI at DU sites during each of its Fall, Winter and Spring terms.