Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

banner featuring osher foundation logo and olli event

 

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is an inclusive community of nearly 2,000 adults who share a love of learning. By becoming a member, you’ll join peers who seek to foster connection, exploration, and engagement. We take pride in providing an excellent lifelong learning experience for our members.

Mission Statement: The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Duke University seeks to engage the minds, elevate the spirits and foster the well-being of its members through numerous educational programs and opportunities for volunteer service and social activity.

Connect with others who share your love of learning. 

Explore new ideas and activities. 

Challenge yourself and your assumptions. 

Build community with your peers. 

OLLI annually offers more than 200 courses over three terms – fall, winter, and spring. Courses are reviewed and selected by a Curriculum Committee made up of peer members. Topics come from member suggestions as well as instructors and advisors. Our goal is to present a balanced variety of courses with something for everyone. Course topics generally fall under these areas:

  • Art and Architecture
  • Economics & Public Policy
  • Hands-On Art 
  • History: Past & Present
  • Literature and Languages
  • Performing Arts
  • Photography
  • Religion & Philosophy
  • Science & Technology
  • Society and Culture
  • Wellness Activities
  • Writing

OLLI’s dedicated instructors may be retired from Duke and nearby institutions; graduate and postdoctoral students; working artists; and independent scholars. If you have a suggestion for a course topic, or know of someone who could be a great OLLI instructor, please contact jenny.levine@duke.edu.

Monday
Course Time Tuition Status
"Titanic" to "Oppenheimer": The Best Film Music From the '90s to TodayONLINE: More than ever, music is a fundamental component of a film's emotional force. We will explore what is behind the best film scores in today's evolving world. Anecdotes and superb audiovisuals will introduce students to the…
-
9:00AM - 10:15AM $90.00 available
Beyond Cable! Making Smart Streaming ChoicesIN PERSON: Baffled or frustrated by the ever-changing world of streaming television? This course, updated for 2024, provides a comprehensive guide to navigating the complexities of modern streaming technology, services and content.…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $60.00 available
Birth, Life and Death of StarsIN PERSON: Stars are born quietly, but many die in spectacular, violent ways. A century ago, nuclear fusion was identified as the main energy source powering the stars. Ever since, astrophysicists have studied stellar evolution…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $45.00 available
Black-and-White PhotographyONLINE: Have you ever found yourself spellbound by an ethereal black-and-white photograph, with something about it capturing your attention and compelling you to take it in? Did the image make you feel that way because it spoke…
-
1:30PM - 3:30PM $90.00 available
Discovering Your MemoirIN PERSON: This is a dynamic six-week writing course designed to help participants explore the rich tapestry of their lives and discover the unique stories waiting to be told. Through a series of engaging exercises and discussions,…
-
9:00AM - 10:30AM $85.00 available
Who Will Protect the U.S.?IN PERSON: America can buy as much military hardware as it can afford, but if the people aren't willing to serve and the public loses confidence in the military, what does that mean for protecting America's national interests? In…
-
1:30PM - 3:00PM $60.00 available
Writing True & Difficult StoriesIN PERSON: This six-week course delves into the transformative power of expressive writing, with a specific emphasis on crafting true and difficult stories. Participants will explore how expressive writing serves as a therapeutic…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $85.00 waitlist_available
Tuesday
Course Time Tuition Status
A Study of Five NovellasIN PERSON: The novella is a strange fictional breed. The one definition on which literary critics agree is its length: narrative fiction that is shorter than a novel and longer than a short story. Saddled with labels like the…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $90.00 waitlist_available
Build a Website Using WeeblyIN PERSON: Do you want to build a website? In this course, students will gain a comfortable understanding of the tools that are available in the Weebly editing system to build and maintain a personal website. These tools include the…
-
1:30PM - 3:00PM $90.00 available
Camels, Dolphins and MulesONLINE: At first blush, camels, dolphins and mules seem to have little in common. Yet they each have had a place alongside humans for centuries. This lecture-based course will explore topics such as: What is inside camels' humps?…
-
3:30PM - 4:45PM $45.00 available
Chinese Brush Painting: Vegetables and FruitsIN PERSON: Chinese brush painting attempts to capture the essence or spirit of its subject. In this hands-on art course, students will learn how to paint various vegetables and fruits, which are popular brush painting subjects. Each…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $100.00 available
Embracing ImperfectionONLINE: Are you seeking the perfect lens? The perfect sensor size? The perfect landscape? Why do we chase perfection? And why are so many young people going back to shooting with film and in love with instant cameras? This course…
-
9:00AM - 10:15AM $90.00 canceled
Financial Planning in Retirement: Protecting & Growing Your Nest EggIN PERSON: You spent a lifetime building savings. How do you make your money last, and how do you leave a legacy for future generations and nonprofits? Over six sessions, we will review the keys to financial success in retirement.…
-
9:00AM - 10:30AM $90.00 available
From "Godspell" to "Wicked": The Musicals of Stephen SchwartzONLINE: In 1971, Stephen Schwartz wrote the music and lyrics for "Godspell," a musical adaptation of the Gospel of St. Matthew. That same year, Leonard Bernstein invited Schwartz to contribute lyrics for the composer's "Mass." By…
-
9:00AM - 10:15AM $75.00 available
Narrative and Moral Crisis: How Stories Help Solve Life's Most Persistent ProblemsIN PERSON: A moral crisis is a condition of sudden uncertainty involving competing values or principles with no obvious resolution. The experience can be profoundly confusing, but narratives can help us understand ourselves and our…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $90.00 waitlist_available
Poetic License: Telling It SlantONLINE: People talk about poetic license, but what is it? Emily Dickinson called it “telling it slant.” Poetic license permits the poet to depart from the facts of a story, or ignore the rules of language. It allows the poet to…
-
11:00AM - 12:15PM $85.00 available
Profiles in DeceitONLINE: If you came of age when the war in Vietnam was in the daily news, you may wonder how it all began. Would it surprise you to learn that crucial decisions that influenced the war were made by both President Kennedy and…
-
1:30PM - 2:45PM $90.00 available
Rock Music Rarities '50s-'80s: Songs & ArtistsIN PERSON: After a turbulent start in the 1950s, rock music has survived “doom and gloom” prophesies and secured a firm niche in our culture. So many well-known and respected artists and songs come to mind. Rock lives on. Stores and…
-
1:30PM - 3:00PM $90.00 waitlist_available
Three Female FilmmakersIN PERSON: Explore the contributions of pioneering film directors Dorothy Arzner, Ida Lupino and Lina Wertmuller in this course that delves into the historical context of female directors working in the male-dominated film industry…
-
11:00AM - 1:00PM $90.00 available
Wines of the AdriaticIN PERSON: Join us on a journey through the vineyards of the Adriatic. We will explore some of the most famous wine regions surrounding the Adriatic Sea, such as those in Italy, Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro. Each week, we will…
-
1:30PM - 3:00PM $60.00 available
Wines of the AdriaticIN PERSON: Join us on a journey through the vineyards of the Adriatic. We will explore some of the most famous wine regions surrounding the Adriatic Sea, such as those in Italy, Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro. Each week, we will…
-
3:30PM - 5:00PM $60.00 waitlist_available
Wednesday
Course Time Tuition Status
A Tour of Literary BritainIN PERSON: Certain parts of England and Scotland are strongly associated with particular authors, such as the Lake District with Wordsworth, London with Dickens and Yorkshire with the Bronte sisters. This course will focus on the…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $90.00 available
Can We Stop Climate Change?ONLINE: Are you concerned about climate change and want to be more knowledgeable and involved? This course's five 90-minute sessions will cover the following topics: 1) the science and problems associated with climate change; 2)…
-
9:00AM - 10:30AM $75.00 available
Conversational Spanish: Beginner's LevelONLINE: Expanding your vocabulary is key to improving your conversational ability in Spanish. By using a thematic approach, this course allows students to learn vocabulary words in context. This technique allows students to enhance…
-
11:00AM - 12:15PM $60.00 available
Eco-Friendly Gardens: Harmony in HabitatONLINE: This three-session course explores the creation of home gardens that support wildlife, promote pollinators and adapt to local ecosystems. It focuses on creating "ecological gardens," which promote balance and coexistence…
-
11:00AM - 12:15PM $45.00 available
Happy ConversationsIN PERSON: Successfully developing and maintaining relationships with our adult children requires fine-tuning our listening skills and understanding how our emotional intelligence skills affect our relationship dynamics. Realizing…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $90.00 available
Lemur 101: Duke’s Lemur CenterONLINE: This course offers an in-depth introduction to the world of lemurs. Each lesson will be led by an expert from the world-renowned Duke Lemur Center. Students will have the opportunity to learn from the people leading the…
-
1:30PM - 2:45PM $90.00 available
Mastering the InternetIN PERSON: Do you wonder what the cloud really is and how it works? Do you get frustrated by the pop-up windows in your browser that ask if you are willing to accept cookies? Are you curious why some sites prompt you to provide both…
-
9:00AM - 11:00AM $90.00 available
Picture Portfolio: Telling Your StoryONLINE: This course is about using pictures to tell a story. A portfolio is an organized series of pictures with an artist’s statement about their meaning. By the end of this six-week course, you will have a portfolio of seven to 15…
-
1:30PM - 3:00PM $90.00 available
The End of Life: Options and DecisionsIN PERSON: Many people say they want to die peacefully at home among their family and friends, but the health care system's default is to do everything possible to keep a patient alive. Thus, many people die in a hospital bed or in…
-
1:30PM - 3:00PM $60.00 waitlist_available
The World TodayONLINE: Do you enjoy following and discussing current events? Each week, we will look at news and issues from around the world and at home. The instructor will provide an agenda with notes and links, and members of the class are…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $90.00 available
Watercolor Painting With Collage: Florals for Beginners Through AdvancedIN PERSON: If you have always thought it would be wonderful to paint in watercolors, but you have never had real success, then this active, hands-on course is your opportunity to learn how. Every step and technique will be…
-
9:00AM - 12:00PM $140.00 waitlist_available
What the Camera Showed Them: How Artists Used the Camera to Extend Their Artistic VisionIN PERSON: It is not widely known that many contemporary artists used photography to inform and expand their work in other media. Through lectures, slides and class discussion, this course will explore this phenomenon in the works…
-
1:30PM - 3:00PM $60.00 available
Writing a Legacy LetterONLINE: This four-session online course is designed to introduce the concept of legacy letters and to encourage participants to craft their own legacy documents. A legacy letter (also called an ethical will) is a written document…
-
9:00AM - 10:15AM $70.00 available
Thursday
Course Time Tuition Status
Creating Colored Pencil FlowersONLINE: Are you ready to add some spring color to your life? In this course, we will use Prismacolor colored pencils (or a brand of the student's choice) to create two gorgeous flowers — perfect for spring! The first flower will be…
-
11:00AM - 1:00PM $100.00 available
Liberalism and Its DiscontentsIN PERSON: Classical liberalism is a system for governing diverse societies grounded in fundamental principles of equality and the rule of law. It emphasizes the right of individuals to pursue their own forms of fulfillment free…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $75.00 waitlist_available
Process Philosophy: A Theory of Everything?ONLINE: In 1929, Cambridge theoretical physicist turned Harvard philosopher Alfred North Whitehead published a truly revolutionary model of the universe. This model is grounded not in matter, but in events and processes, driven by…
-
1:30PM - 2:45PM $90.00 available
So What Is Structural Racism?ONLINE: Structural racism. Systemic inequality. White supremacy. Reflecting decades-long activism to rectify racial inequities, these and similar terms are increasingly being used in U.S. popular discourse, on the news, on social…
-
9:00AM - 10:15AM $90.00 available
Taiji Ball & Restorative QigongONLINE: Looking for an easy, entertaining, weight-bearing exercise you can do at home that tones the whole body and builds strength, stamina and ease of motion? Taiji (tai chi) ball has been practiced for generations to do just that…
-
9:00AM - 10:15AM $90.00 available
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated AmericaONLINE: Prior to the publication of Richard Rothstein’s groundbreaking work, citizens, policymakers and courts alike subscribed to the myth that Black and white Americans live separately by choice. By meticulously documenting the…
-
11:00AM - 12:15PM $90.00 available

In-Person Courses

Course Time Tuition Status
A Study of Five NovellasIN PERSON: The novella is a strange fictional breed. The one definition on which literary critics agree is its length: narrative fiction that is shorter than a novel and longer than a short story. Saddled with labels like the…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $90.00 waitlist_available
A Tour of Literary BritainIN PERSON: Certain parts of England and Scotland are strongly associated with particular authors, such as the Lake District with Wordsworth, London with Dickens and Yorkshire with the Bronte sisters. This course will focus on the…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $90.00 available
Beyond Cable! Making Smart Streaming ChoicesIN PERSON: Baffled or frustrated by the ever-changing world of streaming television? This course, updated for 2024, provides a comprehensive guide to navigating the complexities of modern streaming technology, services and content.…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $60.00 available
Birth, Life and Death of StarsIN PERSON: Stars are born quietly, but many die in spectacular, violent ways. A century ago, nuclear fusion was identified as the main energy source powering the stars. Ever since, astrophysicists have studied stellar evolution…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $45.00 available
Build a Website Using WeeblyIN PERSON: Do you want to build a website? In this course, students will gain a comfortable understanding of the tools that are available in the Weebly editing system to build and maintain a personal website. These tools include the…
-
1:30PM - 3:00PM $90.00 available
Chinese Brush Painting: Vegetables and FruitsIN PERSON: Chinese brush painting attempts to capture the essence or spirit of its subject. In this hands-on art course, students will learn how to paint various vegetables and fruits, which are popular brush painting subjects. Each…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $100.00 available
Discovering Your MemoirIN PERSON: This is a dynamic six-week writing course designed to help participants explore the rich tapestry of their lives and discover the unique stories waiting to be told. Through a series of engaging exercises and discussions,…
-
9:00AM - 10:30AM $85.00 available
Financial Planning in Retirement: Protecting & Growing Your Nest EggIN PERSON: You spent a lifetime building savings. How do you make your money last, and how do you leave a legacy for future generations and nonprofits? Over six sessions, we will review the keys to financial success in retirement.…
-
9:00AM - 10:30AM $90.00 available
Happy ConversationsIN PERSON: Successfully developing and maintaining relationships with our adult children requires fine-tuning our listening skills and understanding how our emotional intelligence skills affect our relationship dynamics. Realizing…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $90.00 available
Liberalism and Its DiscontentsIN PERSON: Classical liberalism is a system for governing diverse societies grounded in fundamental principles of equality and the rule of law. It emphasizes the right of individuals to pursue their own forms of fulfillment free…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $75.00 waitlist_available
Mastering the InternetIN PERSON: Do you wonder what the cloud really is and how it works? Do you get frustrated by the pop-up windows in your browser that ask if you are willing to accept cookies? Are you curious why some sites prompt you to provide both…
-
9:00AM - 11:00AM $90.00 available
Narrative and Moral Crisis: How Stories Help Solve Life's Most Persistent ProblemsIN PERSON: A moral crisis is a condition of sudden uncertainty involving competing values or principles with no obvious resolution. The experience can be profoundly confusing, but narratives can help us understand ourselves and our…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $90.00 waitlist_available
Rock Music Rarities '50s-'80s: Songs & ArtistsIN PERSON: After a turbulent start in the 1950s, rock music has survived “doom and gloom” prophesies and secured a firm niche in our culture. So many well-known and respected artists and songs come to mind. Rock lives on. Stores and…
-
1:30PM - 3:00PM $90.00 waitlist_available
The End of Life: Options and DecisionsIN PERSON: Many people say they want to die peacefully at home among their family and friends, but the health care system's default is to do everything possible to keep a patient alive. Thus, many people die in a hospital bed or in…
-
1:30PM - 3:00PM $60.00 waitlist_available
Three Female FilmmakersIN PERSON: Explore the contributions of pioneering film directors Dorothy Arzner, Ida Lupino and Lina Wertmuller in this course that delves into the historical context of female directors working in the male-dominated film industry…
-
11:00AM - 1:00PM $90.00 available
Watercolor Painting With Collage: Florals for Beginners Through AdvancedIN PERSON: If you have always thought it would be wonderful to paint in watercolors, but you have never had real success, then this active, hands-on course is your opportunity to learn how. Every step and technique will be…
-
9:00AM - 12:00PM $140.00 waitlist_available
What the Camera Showed Them: How Artists Used the Camera to Extend Their Artistic VisionIN PERSON: It is not widely known that many contemporary artists used photography to inform and expand their work in other media. Through lectures, slides and class discussion, this course will explore this phenomenon in the works…
-
1:30PM - 3:00PM $60.00 available
Who Will Protect the U.S.?IN PERSON: America can buy as much military hardware as it can afford, but if the people aren't willing to serve and the public loses confidence in the military, what does that mean for protecting America's national interests? In…
-
1:30PM - 3:00PM $60.00 available
Wines of the AdriaticIN PERSON: Join us on a journey through the vineyards of the Adriatic. We will explore some of the most famous wine regions surrounding the Adriatic Sea, such as those in Italy, Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro. Each week, we will…
-
1:30PM - 3:00PM $60.00 available
Wines of the AdriaticIN PERSON: Join us on a journey through the vineyards of the Adriatic. We will explore some of the most famous wine regions surrounding the Adriatic Sea, such as those in Italy, Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro. Each week, we will…
-
3:30PM - 5:00PM $60.00 waitlist_available
Writing True & Difficult StoriesIN PERSON: This six-week course delves into the transformative power of expressive writing, with a specific emphasis on crafting true and difficult stories. Participants will explore how expressive writing serves as a therapeutic…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $85.00 waitlist_available

Online Courses

Course Time Tuition Status
"Titanic" to "Oppenheimer": The Best Film Music From the '90s to TodayONLINE: More than ever, music is a fundamental component of a film's emotional force. We will explore what is behind the best film scores in today's evolving world. Anecdotes and superb audiovisuals will introduce students to the…
-
9:00AM - 10:15AM $90.00 available
Black-and-White PhotographyONLINE: Have you ever found yourself spellbound by an ethereal black-and-white photograph, with something about it capturing your attention and compelling you to take it in? Did the image make you feel that way because it spoke…
-
1:30PM - 3:30PM $90.00 available
Camels, Dolphins and MulesONLINE: At first blush, camels, dolphins and mules seem to have little in common. Yet they each have had a place alongside humans for centuries. This lecture-based course will explore topics such as: What is inside camels' humps?…
-
3:30PM - 4:45PM $45.00 available
Can We Stop Climate Change?ONLINE: Are you concerned about climate change and want to be more knowledgeable and involved? This course's five 90-minute sessions will cover the following topics: 1) the science and problems associated with climate change; 2)…
-
9:00AM - 10:30AM $75.00 available
Conversational Spanish: Beginner's LevelONLINE: Expanding your vocabulary is key to improving your conversational ability in Spanish. By using a thematic approach, this course allows students to learn vocabulary words in context. This technique allows students to enhance…
-
11:00AM - 12:15PM $60.00 available
Creating Colored Pencil FlowersONLINE: Are you ready to add some spring color to your life? In this course, we will use Prismacolor colored pencils (or a brand of the student's choice) to create two gorgeous flowers — perfect for spring! The first flower will be…
-
11:00AM - 1:00PM $100.00 available
Eco-Friendly Gardens: Harmony in HabitatONLINE: This three-session course explores the creation of home gardens that support wildlife, promote pollinators and adapt to local ecosystems. It focuses on creating "ecological gardens," which promote balance and coexistence…
-
11:00AM - 12:15PM $45.00 available
Embracing ImperfectionONLINE: Are you seeking the perfect lens? The perfect sensor size? The perfect landscape? Why do we chase perfection? And why are so many young people going back to shooting with film and in love with instant cameras? This course…
-
9:00AM - 10:15AM $90.00 canceled
From "Godspell" to "Wicked": The Musicals of Stephen SchwartzONLINE: In 1971, Stephen Schwartz wrote the music and lyrics for "Godspell," a musical adaptation of the Gospel of St. Matthew. That same year, Leonard Bernstein invited Schwartz to contribute lyrics for the composer's "Mass." By…
-
9:00AM - 10:15AM $75.00 available
Lemur 101: Duke’s Lemur CenterONLINE: This course offers an in-depth introduction to the world of lemurs. Each lesson will be led by an expert from the world-renowned Duke Lemur Center. Students will have the opportunity to learn from the people leading the…
-
1:30PM - 2:45PM $90.00 available
Picture Portfolio: Telling Your StoryONLINE: This course is about using pictures to tell a story. A portfolio is an organized series of pictures with an artist’s statement about their meaning. By the end of this six-week course, you will have a portfolio of seven to 15…
-
1:30PM - 3:00PM $90.00 available
Poetic License: Telling It SlantONLINE: People talk about poetic license, but what is it? Emily Dickinson called it “telling it slant.” Poetic license permits the poet to depart from the facts of a story, or ignore the rules of language. It allows the poet to…
-
11:00AM - 12:15PM $85.00 available
Process Philosophy: A Theory of Everything?ONLINE: In 1929, Cambridge theoretical physicist turned Harvard philosopher Alfred North Whitehead published a truly revolutionary model of the universe. This model is grounded not in matter, but in events and processes, driven by…
-
1:30PM - 2:45PM $90.00 available
Profiles in DeceitONLINE: If you came of age when the war in Vietnam was in the daily news, you may wonder how it all began. Would it surprise you to learn that crucial decisions that influenced the war were made by both President Kennedy and…
-
1:30PM - 2:45PM $90.00 available
So What Is Structural Racism?ONLINE: Structural racism. Systemic inequality. White supremacy. Reflecting decades-long activism to rectify racial inequities, these and similar terms are increasingly being used in U.S. popular discourse, on the news, on social…
-
9:00AM - 10:15AM $90.00 available
Taiji Ball & Restorative QigongONLINE: Looking for an easy, entertaining, weight-bearing exercise you can do at home that tones the whole body and builds strength, stamina and ease of motion? Taiji (tai chi) ball has been practiced for generations to do just that…
-
9:00AM - 10:15AM $90.00 available
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated AmericaONLINE: Prior to the publication of Richard Rothstein’s groundbreaking work, citizens, policymakers and courts alike subscribed to the myth that Black and white Americans live separately by choice. By meticulously documenting the…
-
11:00AM - 12:15PM $90.00 available
The World TodayONLINE: Do you enjoy following and discussing current events? Each week, we will look at news and issues from around the world and at home. The instructor will provide an agenda with notes and links, and members of the class are…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $90.00 available
Writing a Legacy LetterONLINE: This four-session online course is designed to introduce the concept of legacy letters and to encourage participants to craft their own legacy documents. A legacy letter (also called an ethical will) is a written document…
-
9:00AM - 10:15AM $70.00 available
Science & Technology
Course Time Tuition Status
Beyond Cable! Making Smart Streaming ChoicesIN PERSON: Baffled or frustrated by the ever-changing world of streaming television? This course, updated for 2024, provides a comprehensive guide to navigating the complexities of modern streaming technology, services and content.…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $60.00 available
Birth, Life and Death of StarsIN PERSON: Stars are born quietly, but many die in spectacular, violent ways. A century ago, nuclear fusion was identified as the main energy source powering the stars. Ever since, astrophysicists have studied stellar evolution…
-
11:00AM - 12:30PM $45.00 available
Build a Website Using WeeblyIN PERSON: Do you want to build a website? In this course, students will gain a comfortable understanding of the tools that are available in the Weebly editing system to build and maintain a personal website. These tools include the…
-
1:30PM - 3:00PM $90.00 available
Camels, Dolphins and MulesONLINE: At first blush, camels, dolphins and mules seem to have little in common. Yet they each have had a place alongside humans for centuries. This lecture-based course will explore topics such as: What is inside camels' humps?…
-
3:30PM - 4:45PM $45.00 available
Can We Stop Climate Change?ONLINE: Are you concerned about climate change and want to be more knowledgeable and involved? This course's five 90-minute sessions will cover the following topics: 1) the science and problems associated with climate change; 2)…
-
9:00AM - 10:30AM $75.00 available
Eco-Friendly Gardens: Harmony in HabitatONLINE: This three-session course explores the creation of home gardens that support wildlife, promote pollinators and adapt to local ecosystems. It focuses on creating "ecological gardens," which promote balance and coexistence…
-
11:00AM - 12:15PM $45.00 available
Lemur 101: Duke’s Lemur CenterONLINE: This course offers an in-depth introduction to the world of lemurs. Each lesson will be led by an expert from the world-renowned Duke Lemur Center. Students will have the opportunity to learn from the people leading the…
-
1:30PM - 2:45PM $90.00 available
Mastering the InternetIN PERSON: Do you wonder what the cloud really is and how it works? Do you get frustrated by the pop-up windows in your browser that ask if you are willing to accept cookies? Are you curious why some sites prompt you to provide both…
-
9:00AM - 11:00AM $90.00 available
Society and Culture
Course Time Tuition Status
So What Is Structural Racism?ONLINE: Structural racism. Systemic inequality. White supremacy. Reflecting decades-long activism to rectify racial inequities, these and similar terms are increasingly being used in U.S. popular discourse, on the news, on social…
-
9:00AM - 10:15AM $90.00 available
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated AmericaONLINE: Prior to the publication of Richard Rothstein’s groundbreaking work, citizens, policymakers and courts alike subscribed to the myth that Black and white Americans live separately by choice. By meticulously documenting the…
-
11:00AM - 12:15PM $90.00 available
Three Female FilmmakersIN PERSON: Explore the contributions of pioneering film directors Dorothy Arzner, Ida Lupino and Lina Wertmuller in this course that delves into the historical context of female directors working in the male-dominated film industry…
-
11:00AM - 1:00PM $90.00 available
Wines of the AdriaticIN PERSON: Join us on a journey through the vineyards of the Adriatic. We will explore some of the most famous wine regions surrounding the Adriatic Sea, such as those in Italy, Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro. Each week, we will…
-
1:30PM - 3:00PM $60.00 available
Wines of the AdriaticIN PERSON: Join us on a journey through the vineyards of the Adriatic. We will explore some of the most famous wine regions surrounding the Adriatic Sea, such as those in Italy, Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro. Each week, we will…
-
3:30PM - 5:00PM $60.00 waitlist_available

As we age, learning styles may shift, but the desire to grow intellectually remains. Experiential learning, where knowledge is acquired through hands-on activities like traveling to new locations, participating in fitness programs, or pursuing hobbies, becomes even more valuable. Learning is a lifelong journey. Opportunities outside the classroom provide valuable ways for older adults to stay mentally stimulated, connect with their interests, and continue to grow as individuals. 

Workshops are short-form courses that are offered a la carte as an extra benefit to OLLI members. Announcements about upcoming Workshops will be posted in the member newsletter. 

More information about Experiential Learning and Workshops can be found in the catalog and member newsletter. For questions, please email olli@duke.edu.

Experiential Learning

Course Time Tuition Status
Build Your Strength With VivoONLINE: Muscle strength and balance are critical to maintaining health and independence as we age. Without additional strength training, most older adults will suffer a loss of strength that can negatively impact their balance and…
-
9:00AM - 9:45AM $255.00 enrollment_closed
Build Your Strength With VivoONLINE: Muscle strength and balance are critical to maintaining health and independence as we age. Without additional strength training, most older adults will suffer a loss of strength that can negatively impact their balance and…
-
10:00AM - 10:45AM $255.00 enrollment_closed
Build Your Strength With VivoONLINE: Muscle strength and balance are critical to maintaining health and independence as we age. Without additional strength training, most older adults will suffer a loss of strength that can negatively impact their balance and…
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9:00AM - 9:45AM $255.00 enrollment_closed
Build Your Strength With VivoONLINE: Muscle strength and balance are critical to maintaining health and independence as we age. Without additional strength training, most older adults will suffer a loss of strength that can negatively impact their balance and…
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10:00AM - 10:45AM $255.00 enrollment_closed
Exploring the Piedmont ArtsThis special event will offer opportunities to visit some of the less well-known arts venues in the Piedmont. These excursions will consist of four, daylong outings in May. Each week we will visit two of the smaller gems in our…
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9:00AM - 4:00PM $360.00 available

Workshops

There are no workshops open for enrollment at this time.

Find your course links for Duke OLLI courses in the Student and Instructor Portal

OLLI Registration

Viewing OLLI at Duke Course Catalog Online

Becoming a member of OLLI is easy. Annual membership dues are $60 and are good for the academic year. 

Membership is available starting March 1 and is good through June 30 of the following calendar year and can be purchased at any point during the year. Membership dues are nonrefundable.

Benefits of membership include the opportunity to: register for classes, participate in special events, join Special Interest Groups, volunteer, and participate in social activities.

There are two ways to purchase an OLLI at Duke membership:

  • Automatically during registration: If you have been a member, but your membership has expired, the online registration system will automatically add a new membership to your cart when you enroll in courses.
  • From this website: Click here to add a current membership to your cart.


Scholarship Support

We want OLLI at Duke courses to be accessible to all who have a passion for lifelong learning. Thanks to the generosity of Lynne Blake, a former OLLI president, scholarship support is available to those who may not otherwise be able to attend. For information, please email Kathy.Parrish@duke.edu and ask about our Community Membership. All requests are confidential.

Dates

Spring 2024 registration:

For classes held on Monday and Tuesday, registration opens Tuesday, April 9 at 9:00 a.m. ET.

For classes held on Wednesday and Thursday, registration opens Wednesday, April 10 at 9:00 a.m. ET.

Registration remains open through the first week of the course. To transfer or drop a course, please email learnmore@duke.edu. Please refer to the refund policy for more information.

Check out the video below for a demo of how to register for an OLLI course. The OLLI at Duke FAQ page lists questions about the registration process.

OLLI Registration video demo

Enrollment and Waitlists

Course capacities are determined by instructors, staff, and parking limits. Most online courses tend to have a higher capacity while in-person courses tend to be smaller and fill faster. You can find the max enrollment for each course at the bottom of the course’s description. Click the Courses tab on this website to review the course profile pages. 

Once a course fills, members can join the waitlist. Waitlists are monitored by OLLI staff. If a spot opens in the class, the first member on the waitlist will be invited to join. You’ll have three days to accept the spot and pay for the course.

Payments

Courses are priced individually. These prices (and any materials fees) can be found in the Course Catalog and on the Course’s profile page on this website. Payment of course fees is required at the time of registration and must be paid by credit card. Checks are not accepted.

Refund policy can be found on the OLLI Policies page.

All OLLI events are in Eastern Time (ET). Please read carefully as all dates are subject to change.

When Event
Spring 2024
April 5

Last day for most Winter courses

April 8-12

Make up days

April 9

Registration for Spring courses open at 9:00 a.m., ET

-For classes held Monday and Tuesday

April 10

Registration for Spring courses open at 9:00 a.m., ET

-For classes held Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday

April 11 Zoom Basics and Refresher for OLLI members, 10:00 a.m., ET
April 25 10 a.m. ET in-person and 2 p.m. ET online - New Member Meet & Mingle
April 29 Spring courses begin
May 27 Memorial Day, OLLI office closed, no classes
June 7 Last day of most Spring classes
June 10-12 Make up days
July 7 Last day to watch Spring course recordings

Teach for OLLI Would you like to teach a course, or do you know an outstanding teacher? Let us know! Contact Jenny Levine at Jenny.Levine@duke.edu, Program Coordinator for OLLI at Duke.

Course Moderators are members who support online courses. The moderator’s primary role is to assist the instructor. They monitor the Zoom chat for the instructor or call on people who have virtual hands raised. They also assist in welcoming students and introduce the instructor on the first day of class. Given their important role, moderators do not pay for the course they are moderating. If you are interested in this role, please email OLLI@duke.edu

Class Assistants are members who support in-person courses. They make announcements, take attendance, and support instructors. Contact Kathy.Parrish@duke.edu to sign up.

Other ways to help: We are always looking for people to help with events and committees. If you are interested in volunteering, or if you have ideas for a new activity or improvements to an existing program, please email OLLI@duke.edu.

Who is OLLI at Duke?

All adults with a passion for learning are welcome. Our members include people from all walks of life, from educators to lawyers, from essential workers to doctors, and from native Durhamites to new arrivals. We believe such a rich and diverse mix of backgrounds and interests makes the classroom discussion even more interesting. In this relaxed and congenial atmosphere, our goal is to deepen our understanding of the world around us through study and discussion, to rekindle former interests and discover new ones with no grades or tests. Our members share a passion for learning and all the benefits of keeping mind and body active and engaged.

OLLI at Duke is a learning community where you can enjoy daytime courses, good conversation, and the companionship of peers. In addition to outstanding instructors, being a member of this community offers you access to a broad range of intellectual and cultural activities.

OLLI at Duke is a cooperative venture and we rely on the contributions and participation, both in class and out, of our members. Our members teach classes, coordinate lecture series, lead small-group discussions, and serve on the Board of Advisors and committees. We invite you to join us.

Founded in 1977, the Duke Institute for Learning in Retirement (DILR) was a joint venture of Duke University Continuing Education and the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development. In 2006, DILR became OLLI at Duke and has since grown from its 42 original members to over 1900, and offers 40 to 60 courses each term.

Leadership

The Advisory Council consists of the Chair, the Vice Chair, Immediate Past President, Recording Secretary, chairs of the standing committees, and At-Large Advisors. If you are interested in learning more about the positions on the Council please contact olli@duke.edu.

2023-2024 Officers (one-year term)
  • Chair: Bobbie Hendrix
  • Vice Chair: Ellen Luken
  • Past President: Marion Jervay
  • Recording Secretary: Donna West
Advisors at Large (two-year term)
  • To 2025: Ben Edwards, Carol Hamilton
  • To 2026: Vacant
Committee Chairs (one-year term)
  • Community Engagement: Diane Hundley
  • Curriculum: Vacant
  • Instructor Relations: Alan Teasley
  • Legacy: Lisa Gabriel
  • Leadership Development: Susan Dennison
  • Member Engagement: Vacant
  • Social Activities & Hospitality: Vacant
Staff
  • Director: Vacant
  • Program Coordinator: Jenny Levine
  • Administration/Finances/Operations: Kathy Parrish
  • Technical/Communication: Betina Huntwork
  • Staff Representatives: Jonathan Bitner, Beth Bowling, Alease Davis, Annette Gooch, Jay Starks, Annie Taft, Mary Thompson, Beverly Thorpe

OLLI at Duke keeps members informed and connected to the program in a number of ways.

The OLLI Newsletter is produced by staff to inform the membership of upcoming events, special workshops and course registration details. Click here to sign up for Newsletters 

Online Learning Website

OLLI at Duke has created a website to host information about Online Learning activities. This site provides Zoom how-to guides, requests for technical assistance, and information on the current Online Learning term. Please visit: https://www.olliatduke.online.

Our online courses are taught via Zoom. Links to your class can be found in your Student Portal by logging in at the top right of this website.

In-person courses are taught at our classroom facility at the Judea Reform Congregation, 1933 W Cornwallis Rd. Durham, NC, 27705, unless otherwise noted in the course description. 

Please join our Newsletter Mailing list for more information on in-person events.