Continuing education, seminars and courses

On these pages

For viewing and printing

Courses and events

Like usLike Osher on Facebook

Make a gift to OLLI


All Osher at Mizzou courses will meet at the Moss Building about 1/3 mile from the Stadium/Old Highway 63 intersection. Turn on Hillcrest Drive. The Moss Building (Osher at Mizzou) and the Hillcrest Community Center will be on the left. The Moss Building entrance is located on the east side. Parking is conveniently located.

As a registered student in our program, you may request a library card for use in the MU Libraries. Should you wish a library card, please apply through our office.

If the Columbia School System cancels classes, the Osher classes, too, will not meet on that day.

Contact Osher at Mizzou

Call 573-882-2585.

ADA Accessibile AddThis Widget


The Civil War in Missouri — 1864 (5 sessions)

June 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30

10 to 11:30 a.m.

The Mid-Missouri Civil War Roundtable returns for its fourth summer session at Osher @ Mizzou, presenting a sample of the monthly programs conducted by its members at roundtable meetings since 1981.

Similar to other roundtables across the state and the nation, the Mid-Missouri Roundtable is comprised of historians, professional and amateur, and just plain folks who maintain an interest in the Civil War.Anyone interested in the Civil War is invited to attend our meetings on the third Wednesday of the month at the Boone County Historical Society Museum at 7 p.m. The roundtable does not meet during the summer (that is why we are at Osher) but our 32nd year begins on Sept. 14, 2014.

This summer, as part of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, we will focus on events of 1864. In addition to ourfive programs we will have a five part take home lesson focusing on the guerrillas in Missouri leading up to the Centralia Massacre led by “Bloody Bill” Anderson on Sept. 27, 1864. The topics addressed over the five week course follow.

June 2
Life During Wartime

Rudi Keller, who writes the Life During Wartime column in the Columbia Daily Tribune will tell you how he does his research. And, he help you find your Civil War era ancestors. Was your ancestor a slave who joined the U.S. Colored Troops under a new name? Did your ancestors own slaves? There’s a website for at which you are able to find such details. Keller will also tell us stories about interesting people he met on his visits to the past.

  • Instructor
    Rudi Keller, in addition to his column, he writes about Missouri government. At times, ironically, he isn’t sure if he’s writing about the 2010s or the 1860s! He has compiled his columns into two books: Life During Wartime 1862: The Rise of the Guerrillas. A volume on 1863 will be out soon. Rudi will have books to sell — so bring your checkbook! Volume 1 is $39.95 and Volume 2 is $44.95 plus tax.

June 9
The Letters of James McGonigal

Vanette Hamilton will personalize the Civil War by reading letters written by her grandfather’s grandfather to his wife, and the letters she wrote to him. James McGonigal was serving with the Union army in Georgia as General Sherman began his Atlanta Campaign. The letters, written during April to July 1864, tell of his experience and her concerns. As she reads, Ms Hamilton will include details of historical events cited in the letters.

  • Instructor
    Vanette Hamilton is a retired university geology teacher. She became interested in Civil War history through pursuing genealogy for the past 20 years. She is a member of the Mid-Missouri Civil War Roundtable.

June 16
The Hat, The Horse, and The Hero

Harper’s Weekly and Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper provided the main contemporary pictorial coverage of the Civil War. They are artist-correspondents’ on-the-spot drawings of what happened on the battlefield. These were made into woodcuts to enable printing in newspapers.

Joan Stack will show us how the illustrated newspapers used imagery to make a hero of General Lyon after his death at Wilson’s Creek. He was the first Union General to die in the Civil War. She will also convey details of the fact that his image faded after the war.

  • Instructor
    Joan Stack, PhD, is curator of Art Collections at the State Historical Society of Missouri. The collections include images of General Lyon from the newspapers and, of course, George Caleb Bingham’s painting, “Order No. 11.”

June 23
Price’s Invasion of Missouri, Part 1

On Sept. 19, 1864, Confederate General Sterling Price led an invasion to retake Missouri for the Confederacy. Price, the former governor who commanded the Missouri State Guard in 1861 to 1862, hoped Missourians would join his Army of Missouri, help capture St. Louis and install a Confederate governor in Jefferson City. Events did not go according to his plan.

June 30
Price’s Invasion of Missouri, Part 2

General Price heads West along the Missouri River, capturing towns and skirmishing with Union troops while calling on the people of Missouri to help him redeem the state. With Federal Armies closing in on him from three directions, Price tries to defeat each army in turn before they are able to unite. They will meet at the Battle of Westport.

  • Instructor
    Harold Miederhoff, a retired secondary education mathematics teacher, is a charter member of the Mid-Missouri Civil War Roundtable. He has long been interested in the American Civil War.


Writing a Newspaper Column — For Fun and Maybe a Few Bucks (4 sessions)

June 3, 10, 17 and 24

9 to 11 a.m.

Writing a column may be one of life’s truly rewarding experiences, even if the writer’s production fails to make the newspaper. You’ll learn how to choose a subject of value and interest, gather facts, conduct interviews, snare the reader with an interesting lead and entertain with a good story. Clark will invite you to criticize his columns and challenge you to beat him at his own game. You’ll write at least two columns, meet with local columnists in classroom question-and-answer sessions and renew acquaintance with the dictionary and thesaurus. The class should be a stepping stone to writing not only columns, but writing for any market. It will teach a respect for language and offer at least some ideas about turning language into art.

Don’t’ miss this opportunity for an up close and personal experience of one of the true folk heroes of Columbia Town. His droll style will keep you laughing the while, yet learn you will. Enjoy Ol’ Clark, creative colossus! — LDS

Bill Clark, our beloved, ol’ Clark, is a former sports writer and a major league baseball scout for 36 years, is a four to five-times per week columnist for the Columbia Daily Tribune. He’s a veteran bird watcher, amateur botanist, hall of fame weightlifter, gym instructor and an avid concert and theatergoer. He has an opinion on everything — and he is a self-described curmudgeon!


Qigong (4 sessions)

June 4, 11, 18 and 25

8:45 to 10:15 a.m.

The word Qigong (Chi Kung) is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is pronounced chee and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe.The second word, Gong, pronounced gung, means accomplishment, or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Together, Qigong (Chi Kung) means cultivating energy, it is a system practiced for health maintenance, healing and increasing vitality.

Qigong encompasses ancient Chinese exercises which are excellent for overall good health. Many people are familiar with Tai Chi, a form of moving Qigong.

Qigong is a series of stationary flowing movements done in a circle to relaxing music. The exercises are typically done standing, but may be done seated as well.

The exercises are simple and relaxing, while also giving a nice workout.They are accessible for a wide variety of ages and abilities. Qigong exercises are good for easing muscular tension, loosening joints (esp. good for shoulders, hips, and knees), improving balance and posture, increasing bone density, lowering blood pressure, strengthening the muscles of the eyes, and overall toning.The type of movements, and a focus on the breath, help calm the body and the mind; giving the added benefit of increased mental focus and acuity

Students enrolled in the class may wear anything that allows them to move freely, unrestricted. Sweats or exercise clothes are fine — just something in which you feel good. Shoes are optional. If wearing shoes, it is good to wear something flexible, tennis shoes usually work.

Suzanne Norton has been studying Qigong and Tai Chi for several years, and teaching for the past two years.She has taught in many different locations with a variety of groups- including: city park public classes, day-long and week-long writing retreats, school garden children’s classes, public classes in church settings, small groups in her home, and at Festivals.Suzanne’s style is said to be very graceful.She is a compassionate teacher with respect for all levels of fitness. For her current class schedule, please contact Suzanne at


Making Your Life Easy: Living Better With Ingenious Devices and Creative Implements (4 sessions)

June 5, 12, 19 and 26

10:30 a.m. to noon

This highly informative course offers you the opportunity to learn how to modify your home, auto and garden to suit your current level of physical abilities. No matter your age, new challenges come along with the gradual, lifelong developmental changes our bodies undergo. You are not likely to be aware of the continuous outpouring of physical and sensory assists that ingenious OT professionals create. Learn how to make your personal environment adjust to the changes you are continually experiencing. Along with “home and leisure modifications” related to gardening, computing, hobbies and driving, you will learn how to work more easily at home, amplify visibility of important objects, decrease risks of falling and, in general, make things ‘friendlier’ around the house.

Please give serious thought to enrolling in this infrequently offered course. The instructor is a well-informed occupational therapist — always at the top of her specialty; the information is rich and exceedingly useful. You are apt to be surprised by the empowering techniques now available to you. — LDS.

Diana Baldwin, MA, OTR/L, FAOTA, occupational therapist and researcher at MU’s Missouri Arthritis Rehabilitation Research and Training Center

Celestial Wonders of the Summer Sky (4 sessions)

June 5, 12, 19 and 26

8 to 9:30 p.m.

There truly will be celestial wonders on display this summer season. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, the three most amazing planets, will be spread out across the evening sky in June, joined by the beautiful first quarter moon early in the month. Late in the month, near new moon, the staggering expanse of the Virgo galaxy cluster, extending millions of light-years into space, will be visible in our telescopes. We will start every session with an indoor presentation on what we will be seeing in the sky that night, including new discoveries that may appear. We will then head outside for spectacular views of the moon and planets, and some of the most distant galaxies. If you can, bring your camera for lunar photography, and a tripod, too, if possible. We will have attachments for most popular digital SLR cameras, for photography through the telescope. All ages welcome, star charts and moon maps will be provided.

The new location for the Osher program, the Waters-Moss area offers a fine setting for nighttime viewing of the heavens. As spring and summer bring trees and shrub into full bloom, the area is relatively removed from imposing light sources.Be sure to wear shoes that are solidly well-fitting and comfortable. And, please note, as we learned from a student when last Val conducted this course, it a truly fine opportunity for grandparents and grandchildren to share a most interesting educational event. Give consideration to enrolling yourself and your beloved family members. It may well result in delightful evenings that mature into lifelong shared interests. It’s summer time. Youngsters are out of school. It is a perfect opportunity to facilitate their discovery of a powerful source of knowledge — one that is sure to grow in salience as our technological abilities enable us to probe even more deeply into space. — LDS

Val Germann has been viewing and photographing the sky since the 1960s. Recently retired, he is currently an officer of the Central Missouri Astronomical Association which he joined in 1978. Val taught astronomy at Columbia College for many years — and even had an optical business in Columbia. For the last three years, he has been a volunteer assistant at Rock Bridge High School planetarium, doing occasional presentations and helping to develop new programs. Originally from Carrollton, Missouri, Val is an MU graduate and Army veteran, having served in both Vietnam and Germany.


Potpourri of the Arts (4 sessions)

June 6, 13, 20 and 27

June 6
Antonín Dvorak’s Sojourn in the United States: Contributions to the American Style

In the early 1890s, Bohemian composer Antonín Dvorak accepted an offer from New York socialite Jeannette Thurber to become the director of the National Conservatory of Music. With a mission to reveal a unique American style to young American composers, he instructed artists to look to their own indigenous culture, particularly the tradition of African-American music, a not-so-popular concept at the time. He taught courses at the conservatory that included the rejected social classes — women and African-Americans. And he indeed created a sound recognizable to many as American in his Symphony No. 9 From the New World and String Quartet, Op. 96 American. But was it the music with its leading subtitles or the mission itself that resulted in the greatest possibilities for aspiring American composers? Was Dvorak re-inventing himself as an American composer, or was he simply continuing what he always claimed to be, a humble Czech musician?

  • Instructor
    Judith Mabary, PhD, MU associate professor, School of Music

June 13
A Lesson in Composing Music with The Guitar

Our delightfully accomplished guitarist joins our summer session faculty to instruct Osher students in a particular use of this stringed instrument — creating new compositions with the guitar. Whether you play the instrument or not, Ed is likely to peek your creative interests with his fine dexterous skill — and warm sociability.

  • Instructor
    Ed Riegler, director of sales, Piano Distributors, has a degree in music education from Webster University. He went on to use his knowledge in the music industry — working in music publishing and currently manages sales for Piano Distributors. He has dabbled in a performing career. His instrument is the guitar.
  • Note
    I know this wonderful human being as the source of the magnificent pianos used in Columbia’s annual Blind Boone Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival. Join me in thanking him for his gifts to our community. — LDS

June 20
Dictionaries And The Words We Love Most
We’ll take a look at a variety of dictionaries, how they came to be and why all dictionaries are not created equal. And, of course, we’ll talk about words and how they earn a spot in dictionaries.

  • Instructor
    Maggie Walter is an associate professor and interactive news editor at the Columbia Missourian. She joined the MU faculty in August 2003. Walter serves as the faculty adviser for the MU Chapter of the American Copy Editors Society and is a member of the national organization. She is a faculty member for the annual Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Missouri Editing Excellence Workshop held at the Missouri School of Journalism. She is also a Wakonse Fellow and a Difficult Dialogues Fellow. She usually can be found with her nose in a book — a lifelong habit that she never intends to break.

June 27
The Fascinating World of Tambourines

There are not many instruments that are played in every culture around the world but the tambourine, or a version thereof, is one of them. Beginning in biblical times with sistrums and ending with the rock ‘n roll rhythm shakers, the tambourine has roots everywhere. Come to this class to learn a little ethnic culture, hear a few unusual rhythms, and see several examples of tambourines from around the world.

  • Instructor
    Julia Gaines is director of percussion studies at MU. She received her DMA from the University of Oklahoma, her MM as well as a Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, and her BM from the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. She has performed internationally in Russia, Japan, England, Wales, Brazil, and China and gave her solo debut in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in March 2007. Recent performances include a solo recital at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and guest soloist with the Kansas City Youth Percussion Ensemble at the National Conference of Percussion Pedagogy. As a pedagogue, she published her first book, Sequential Studies for Four-Mallet Marimba – Level 1, as part of a series dedicated toward the beginning and intermediate marimbist. As a result of the popularity of her book she presented fundamental four-mallet marimba clinics at PASIC 2013 in Indianapolis and the Midwest Band Clinic in Chicago. A member of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) for twenty+ years, she currently serves on their board of directors and is an associate editor for Percussive Notes with the primary responsibility of Review Editor. She proudly endorses Vic Firth sticks and mallets, Pearl/Adams percussion, Sabian cymbals, and Remo drumheads.

Updated 4/28/14