All Osher memberships give you access to fun activities outside the classroom! The Osher staff will email throughout the semester with instructions and details on how you can take part.

Photos of Osher members at various special events.

Currently, three clubs are active and engaged. We have room for more, however, so if you have a bright idea or would like to coordinate a new club, contact the Osher staff.

  • Social Justice Book Club: Meets on the third Thursday of the month when Osher classes are in session. Coordinated by Osher member Nancy Browning, professor emeritus of cultural diversity at Lincoln University. Books are announced in the Osher e-newsletter.
  • Travel Club: Meets the second Wednesday of each month. Come and share your travel stories with an engaged group. Coordinated by Osher member and world traveler Sharon Kinden.
  • Social Club: Current Osher members will receive occasional invitation emails for unique and creative outings. Coordinated by the Osher@Mizzou Outreach Committee.

The series has evolved from its Saturday-morning time slot, but will still offer coffee, scones, author visits and book signings. Sessions will take place on the first Friday of each month, from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. in the Moss Building (1905 Hillcrest Drive in Columbia). Doors open at 9:00 a.m.

The sessions are open to the public – free for current Osher@Mizzou and Columbia Parks and Rec 50+ members; $3 at the door for others.

2023 Schedule

Feb 3 • Justin Hamm
Drinking Guinness with the Dead
Spartan Press 2022

Mar 3 • Stephen Paul Sayers
100 Things to Do in Columbia, MO Before You Die
Reedy Press 2022

Apr 7 • W. Arthur Mehrhoff
Explore Missouri’s German Heritage
University of Missouri Press 2019

May 5 • Lynn Rossy
Savor Every Bite: Mindful Ways to Eat, Love Your Body, and Live with Joy
New Harbinger Publications 2021

Jun 2 • Lynne Jensen Lampe
Talk Smack to a Hurricane
Ice Floe Press 2022

Jul 7 • Alex George
The Paris Hours
Flatiron Press 2020

Aug 4 • Sarah Kohnle
For Such a Time as This: Flavors and Recipes of My Honduras
Compass Flower Press 2020

September • No Book Talk

Oct 6 • Walter Bargen
Too Late to Turn Back, Singing Bone Press 2023
Radiation Diary, Lamar University Literary Press 2023

Nov 3 • Dianna Borsi O’Brien
Historic Movie Theaters of Columbia, Missouri
Arcadia Publishing 2021

Dec 1 • Steve Wiegenstein
Land of Joys
Amphorae Publishing Group 2023

Robert and Sally Silvers

The Robert G. Silvers Memorial Seminar Series:
Celebrating the Best of the Human Mind
Friday, March 22, at 10:00 a.m. in Moss A
Furniture Yesterday and Today—Observations from a Celebrated Woodworker
Open to all current Osher members and other guests, by invitation

After a four-year break, we are pleased to announce the return of the Robert G. Silvers Memorial Seminar Series: Celebrating the Best of the Human Mind.

Sally Silvers created and endowed this series to commemorate her husband Robert Silvers’ wondrous intelligence and humanity. After setting records for the number of Osher courses in which he enrolled each semester, Robert assumed the role of instructor. He was teaching an Osher course in woodworking in 2008 when he took ill. So overwhelming was Robert’s passion for the beauty of wood and opulent wood veneers, Sally’s choice of speaker for the series is the woodworking artist Ian Kirby, her husband’s inspiration and mentor.

Join Sally Silvers’ family, friends and acquaintances to celebrate Robert Silvers, one of Osher’s finest, most caring instructors who was totally committed to his students and the Osher program.

Instructor: Ian Kirby’s foundations in solid-wood furniture making were laid in England in the 1950s, in workshops where Edward Barnsley was the guiding light. Kirby has a national diploma in design from Leeds College of Art and completed advanced courses at the prestigious London School of Furniture.

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 their new home.

Since closing the school in 1987, Kirby has been involved in commission work on interiors and furniture, writing articles and books and traveling to give seminars and lectures. Recently, Kirby ended all “outside” work to focus only on the design and creation of his own house and its furniture. The Robert G. Silvers Memorial Lecture is the only public function he commits to because of the depth of his relationship with the Silvers family.

“Because of how my Robert loved this program, I wanted to give a gift to him and to our community by creating an endowment establishing The Robert G. Silvers Seminar Series: Celebrating the Best of the Human Mind. Robert wanted to learn everything ... all of the time. This tribute series is a bequest to all who seek, as he did, to grow in knowledge and understanding.” –Sally Silvers