The Robert G. Silvers Memorial Seminar Series

Celebrating the Best of the Human Mind

The life and spirit of Sally Silvers' beloved Robert will be celebrated in perpetuity with a generous endowment to the Osher program. She created the Robert G. Silvers Memorial Seminar Series: Celebrating the Best of the Human Mind to commemorate Robert's wondrous intelligence and humanity. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Missouri presents the seventh annual event of the seminar series.

After setting records for the number of courses in which he enrolled each semester, Silvers assumed the role of instructor. He was teaching a course in woodworking in the Osher program when he took ill seven years ago. So overwhelming was Robert's passion for the beauty of wood and opulent wood veneers, Sally's choice of speaker for the series has been a woodworking artist — the very one that was her husband's inspiration and mentor, Ian J. Kirby.

Join Sally Silvers' family, friends and acquaintances — and our students to celebrate this fine human being who shared our lives and our hopes. He was one of our finest, most caring instructors — totally committed to his students and the Osher program.

It is from Ian Kirby that Robert acquired his avocation. The devotion, the respect, the bond between the Silvers and Kirby continues unchanged. You will likely experience the avocation they shared — and, of course, Kirby's impressive insight into the development and historical importance of this great art.

Design: You and Your Stuff

Oct. 28, 1 p.m.

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It was made by nature or made by man. Look around you to understand the dichotomy. Nature made the tree. Man made the table.

All decisions are an act of design. We categorize the designers: politicos, financiers, medics… Product designers give us our stuff…your car, ballpoint pen, TV, iPhone.

This seminar will focus on how and when industrial designers came into being; what it takes to become an industrial designer; how the changing nature of technology changes the climate for designers and how, as consumers, we are part of the process.

The subjects of these lectures in memory of Robert Silvers are angled to topics that Ian Kirby believes Robert would have enjoyed listening to. Previous talks have been concerned with the arts and crafts movement in Great Britain and the U.S. emphasizing various aspects of emphasis on furniture making and types of materials used.

Kirby's topic for this occasion is design, a subject in which he is well versed. Along with degrees in furniture making and materials and wood science and technology, he holds a degree in industrial design. All of these are the results of his studies in England.

Kirby first came to the U.S. in 1973 on a sabbatical from his teaching post at Middlesex University to teach design in the California State University system. He then served as a visiting professor at The School for American Craftsmen at Rochester Institute of Technology. In 1976, Kirby emigrated and opened his school of furniture making and design. It was during summer classes at Kirby Studios that he met Robert. Soon afterwards, Robert and Sally invited him to design them a new home.

Since closing the school in 1987, Kirby has been involved in all the activities teaching leaves no time for, from commission work on interiors and furniture to writing articles and books and traveling to give three-day seminars and lectures. A year or so ago, Kirby ended all "outside" work to focus only on the design and making of his own house and its furniture.

This Robert Silvers Memorial Lecture is the only public function he commits to because of the depth of his relationship with the Silvers family.

Special events

Fridays: The Brown Bag Seminar Series

11:15 a.m.–12:45 p.m.

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Sept. 9, 16, 23, 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21 [No session Oct. 28]

Weekly seminar topics are listed below. Additional sessions may be scheduled and announced via email updates. Brown Bag Seminars are open to all Osher premium members, semester members and basic members throughout the academic year. Feel free to bring your lunch.

  • Sept. 9
    The Great American Eclipse

    In 2017, the mainland United States will experience its first total solar eclipse in more than three decades. This total solar eclipse will cut a swathe across the country with Columbia, Mo. close to the center of its path. Learn about the science behind eclipses and plans for viewing the great American eclipse of 2017.
    • Instructor
      Angela Speck is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the director of astronomy at the University of Missouri.
  • Sept. 16
    What Will Our Control of DNA Do to Human Evolution?

    In his 45 years of teaching human sexuality, Wayne Anderson has noted that a frequent topic has influenced evolution of human behavior. With new developments in the control of genetics, the topic now has become "what modifications of DNA are possible, and what does it mean for our future as humans?" He will discuss some of
    the possibilities.
    • Instructor
      From 1970 to 1995, Wayne Anderson taught a large undergraduate course in understanding human sexuality. He continued to teach this to honor students until 2015. Anderson is the author of "The Changing Face of Sex."
  • Sept. 23
    Medicare Basics

    Do you have Medicare questions? We have answers! Learn about your Medicare options with CLAIM. CLAIM can help with questions or concerns you might have about Medicare. CLAIM is the state- and federally funded State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), is not affiliated with any insurance company and will not try to sell you anything. Their sole purpose is to educate you about your Medicare options and help with any problems you might have with your coverage.
    • Instructor
      Cindy Carr is regional liaison for Region 1, and the statewide MIPPA project assistant. Carr joined the CLAIM team in 2013. Her responsibilities as regional liaison for 18 central Missouri counties include recruiting and retaining CLAIM volunteer counselors, coordinating community outreach and educational events, helping Community Partners with resources and counseling Medicare beneficiaries regarding their insurance needs. As MIPPA (Medicare Improvements for Patient and Providers Act) project assistant, she works directly with the MIPPA manager. This includes statewide outreach educational events, outreach materials and data collection for special projects.
      Carr's previous work experience includes five years with non-profit organizations and 21 years in managerial and administrative positions. She is actively involved in her Ashland, Mo. community as a past president and active member of the Ashland Garden Club. She has three grown children and enjoys outdoor activities and her gardens.
  • Sept. 30
    Marceline's Walt Disney Hometown Museum

    The memories of Marceline, Mo., became the things Walt Disney valued and held dear. He believed life in Marceline was the template of how life should be — small town life with small town virtues. Marceline's influence on Walt is the first thing you see when you enter Disneyland or any Disney World theme parks: Main Street U.S. Come and explore Marceline and through pictures and narration about The Walt Disney Hometown Museum with memorabilia of Disney's early life, his passion for trains, his accomplishments, the Walt Disney Elementary and the Walt Disney Pool.
    • Instructor
      Cheryl Fadler grew up in Marceline. She taught science at Marceline High School and managed the Walt Disney Pool during the summers until she moved to Columbia in 1991. She taught health science at Jefferson Junior High School until she retired in 2005 and continued her teaching at MU until 2013, supervising student teachers and organizing seminars. She currently mentors athletes at MU.
  • Oct. 7
    Latest Apps for Camera Phone Photography

    We'll take a quick look at the latest photo apps for both iPhones and Androids.
    • Instructor
      Val Germann got his first "real" camera, a Kodak 404 Instamatic, in 1966 and has been fascinated with photography ever since. He was photo editor of MU's "Maneater" newspaper and seriously considered photojournalism as a career. Germann has worked at Columbia Photo, has operated an optical manufacturing company and has been lugging cameras around for almost 50 years. Now retired from teaching science, he enjoys nothing more than talking photography with other interested people.
  • Oct. 14
    United Arab Emirates: Fascinating History, Fabulous Scenery

    World traveler Sharon Kinden usually visits developing countries in South America and Southeast Asia, so she expected to be aggravated by the obscene wealth on display in Dubai. Instead, she was awed by the leadership of Sheikh Zayed, who united the seven emirates and is today considered the "Father of the Nation." He also had the foresight to realize one day the oil would run out and the vision to attract Western tourism and business to Abu Dhabi and Dubai — the global cities that rise majestically from the desert sands where simple fishing villages stood a decade ago. Enjoy photography of these dazzling cities and their astonishing architecture, 4x4 rides over sand dunes and a look at the future of this country and its relationship with the U.S. Officially, there is no poverty. There is no violent crime. See why expatriates from all nations are flocking to live there.
    • Instructor
      Since 1998, Sharon Kinden has traveled the globe visiting 72 foreign countries and all seven continents. Osher@Mizzou students have enjoyed her amusing stories and amazing photography in Travels with Sharon classes. No destination has fascinated Kinden more than the astounding contrasts of the United Arab Emirates. If you know nothing about the region or have preconceived notions about human rights violations, come hear and see her perspective.
  • Oct. 21
    Refractive Characteristics of Global Populations

    Are there more nearsighted people in Asia? If so, why? This session will identify studies that raise questions about the effects that genetics, environment and stress have on why you have to wear glasses and why your prescription changes.
    • Instructor
      Robert Sutter has 30 years of experience in private practice in behavior and developmental optometry. He earned a professional doctorate in 1979 and a post doctorate in 2005.

Special events: Extramural

Travel Club

Every second Wednesday, 2 p.m.

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The Travel Club, originally an Osher@Mizzou class, is an open forum and agenda for sharing travel tips, tales, opportunities, photos, destinations and deals. We've had presentations on extended living in a foreign country, purchasing the right camera and the merits of traveling alone or in a group. If any of this sounds enticing, join the Travel Club at their monthly meetings. Please share your email address with and she'll add you to the mailing list for reminders and minutes of the topics and Web resources discussed. Anyone can become a Travel Club member for $40 for the entire year; this membership entitles Travel Club members to enjoy all the benefits of a basic Osher membership. All other Osher members may attend Travel Club meetings at no charge.

Open discussion

Thursdays, 2:30–3:30 p.m.

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The open discussion will be your chance to share ideas and get to know classmates for an informal social hour. We'll meet each Thursday so members can continue class discussions or swap stories over a cup of coffee.
No need to enroll; you are welcome to stay after class or come and go as you are able. Take time to connect with your fellow Osher members. Come as learners; leave as friends!

El Club de Español

Thursdays, 3–4:30 p.m.

Hillcrest C

This Spanish club is for participants who have studied the present and the preterite tenses in Spanish. Osher members at any level may attend at no charge. For all others, the Parks and Recreation charge for using the room is $20 per person for the entire year. Call Judy Elliott at 573-445-3194 if you plan to participate in El Club de Español.

Osher Saturday Morning Book Talks

Sept. 10
"No Certain Home" (2015) by Marlene Lee
Marlene Lee is a local writer with urban experience and a keen sense of the delicacy of personal relationships. She has presented her novels in two previous Osher Book Talks, but "No Certain Home" takes on a very different setting and narrative drama. This powerful book follows Missourian Agnes Smedley, a woman deeply involved with Chinese politics during the revolutionary time of Mao Tse-tung to impact the world.

  • Sponsor
    Two Mules Editing

Oct. 1
"Christina's Saga: From Norway to Dakota Territory" (2010) by Wayne P. Anderson
Wayne Anderson is best known because of a long and creative writing history with his wife, Carla, in the Columbia Tribune. In "Christina's Saga," he becomes voice for his grandmother from Norway chronicling her 1880 departure from Norway and ultimate resettlement in what is now South Dakota. This novel is not only a family narrative, but a rich depiction of the process tens of thousands Scandinavians faced in seeking new opportunities and life in the prairies of North America.

  • Sponsor
    Compass Flower Press

Nov. 5 
"Arrowood" (2016) by Laura McHugh
Laura McHugh is proud to have brought in the largest house the Osher Saturday Morning Book Talks have ever seen. That was with her very successful debut novel, "The Weight of Blood." We are proud to have her present "Arrowood," a novel not about Missouri but about Iowa.

  • Sponsors
    Cricket Dunn and Lyanne Riley

Dec. 3
"Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites" (2015) edited by Susan Flader
Retired history professor Dr. Susan Flader has worked with Missouri Life to bring this new volume presenting the latest maps, photos and commentaries on the beauty and variety of Missouri State Parks. In "Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites," Flader and Missouri Life have created a book that will serve for years to come as a grand guideline to seeing the amazing parks and special places in the Show Me State.

  • Sponsor
    Missouri Life

Columbia Parks and Recreation 50+

Columbia Parks and Recreation 50+ welcomes Osher members to an exciting new summer semester at Waters-Moss Memorial Wildlife Area, Hillcrest Community Center, Moss Building and Waters House!

We hope you have taken advantage of the added benefits offered this Osher academic year (September 2015 through June 2016) that included a 2016 Parks and Recreation Waters-Moss/Hillcrest 50+ membership as well. As members, you can enjoy the following activities at Parks and Recreation facilities at Waters-Moss: Travel Club, Saturday Morning Book Talks, Spanish Club, Painting Group, Mah Jongg, Adult Coloring Group and games such as Mexican train dominoes, bingo and jigsaw puzzles, as well as potlucks.

A monthly calendar is printed the last week of the month for the next month's activities and is placed in wall racks at the community center. The same information is available at when you search for "Senior/50."

50+ travel opportunities

Hop on board the bus and join Columbia Parks and Recreation for fun and relaxation. Day trip information is listed below. Additional trips may be announced as well. Travel is always an adventure that enriches your life.

50+ Tours

Escorted day and overnight trips onboard White Knight charter coaches. Trip costs will vary depending on length and included activities. Quality and pacing are important to the planning of our trips.

50+ Explorers

Our 14-passenger Parks and Recreation bus takes monthly trips at a minimal cost around Columbia. Each activity also includes a meal for social time together.

50+ musical opportunities

Unified bell choir, choir (The Good Timers), ukulele ensemble Jammers House Band provide music. The groups practice at Hillcrest and go out to perform at retirement centers, schools, nursing homes and special events.

Activities and meeting space

We are always looking for new activities and interests to fill our rooms during the day and some evening hours. Please inquire at the Hillcrest front desk for more information or to check availability.

The Moss Building is available for weekend rentals and some mid-week dates on a limited basis. With space for 150 people, this is a great place for meetings, birthdays, graduations, wedding receptions, reunions and other events. At $35 an hour (with a 2 hour minimum plus a refundable deposit), the Moss Building is an affordable and versatile space for your next gathering. Contact Parks and Recreation at 573-874-7460 for information.

Friday Afternoon Film Festival

Each Friday during the semester

Films begin at 1:30 p.m.

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Sept. 9, 16, 23, 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21 [No film Oct. 28]

Quality films are followed by genuinely interesting discussions. Films are announced weekly via email and on the Facebook page for Osher@Mizzou. All classes will be at the same location. If you wish to be kept informed about the weekly films, include your email address when you register for a course. If your email address changes, be sure to update us. The Friday Afternoon Film Festival is now open only to Osher members and guests of premium Osher members.