OLLI members in calligraph class
OLLI study groups give members the opportunity to try new things.

Programs & Activities

OLLI-UM offers multiple avenues by which members can explore new ideas, enhance creativity, and engage their minds.

Included below are brief descriptions of the categories of events OLLI offers followed by information on scholarships, event cancellation, other policies, and a list of OLLI venues. Click on the links for more information about a topic.

  • For a complete list of OLLI events, you can view the online catalog or a PDF of the printed catalog.
    • Fall Term 2018 events are listed in the Online Catalog.
    • Registration for Fall Term 2018 events opened on August 22nd at 9:30 a.m.
  • To register and pay for events online using a credit card, click on the blue "Register Online" button at the left of the page.
  • To register by filling out a "paper form", click the blue "Register for Events by Mail or in Person" menu item at the left to download the form as a PDF. Then print it, fill it out, and send it by U.S. Mail or bring it to the OLLI Office.
  • You may also register for events in person at OLLI lectures.
  • If you haven't yet paid your annual OLLI membership fee (September to August), you can do that at the same time that you register for an event.


Distinguished Lecture Series

The OLLI Distinguished Lecture Series consists of ten lectures held on Tuesday mornings from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m., once per month from September through June. The speakers are well-informed experts from town and gown who share their specialized knowledge in an engaging manner. Each lecture is just the beginning; a stimulating question-and-answer period follows most sessions, and frequently there is an opportunity to join the speaker at a dutch-treat lunch afterwards.

Lectures are presented from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays at Towsley Auditorium, Morris Lawrence Building, Washtenaw Community College, 4800 E. Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor.
The full ten lecture series costs $50 (package pricing only available in the fall). Two half term sessions of five lectures each are also available. Session One runs from September through January. Session Two runs from February through June. The half term sessions cost $25 each. In addition OLLI members may drop in to individual lectures by paying $10 at the door.
Also see:
Distinguished Lecture Series Session 2, February 12 to June 11

Thursday Morning Lecture Series

There are five OLLI Thursday Morning Lecture Series each year. Each series offers six lectures on a unifying theme and a variety of speakers covering specific aspects of the theme. Learning continues in an active question-and-answer period following each lecture.

Lectures are presented from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. (with three exceptions throughout the year when the lecture is from 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. and one exception when the lecture is from 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.) on Thursdays at Towsley Auditorium, Morris Lawrence Building, Washtenaw Community College, 4800 E. Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor.

OLLI members can pay $30 per 6-week session or $125 for a pass admitting them to all five Thursday Morning Lecture series (a savings of $25 - package pricing only available in the fall). In addition, OLLI members may drop in to individual lectures by paying $10 at the door.

Also see:

The Koreas - More Than You Know, 1st Thursday Morning Lecture Series, September 13 to October 18

Immigration, 2nd Thursday Morning Lecture Series, October 25 to December 6

The Future of Work: How will your Grandkids make a Living?, 3rd Thursday Morning Lecture Series, January 3 to February 7

History of Comedy, 4th Thursday Morning Lecture Series, February 14 to March 28

Changing Gender Roles, 5th Thursday Morning Lecture Series, April 4 to May 9

Summer Lecture Series

Part of the Thursday Morning Lecture Series, this three lecture series is held on Thursdays in June and July from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at Towsley Auditorium, Morris Lawrence Building, Washtenaw Community College, 4800 E. Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor. Fee $15 for the series or $10 per lecture at the door. OLLI membership is not required.

Lecture Series Packages

There are five lecture series packages:

  • Distinguished Lecture Series Package, September–June
    • 10 lectures for $50, save $50, available only in the fall
  • Distinguished Lecture Series Session 1, September–January
    • 5 lectures for $25, save $25, available only in the fall
  • Distinguished Lecture Series Session 2, February–June
    • 5 lectures for $25, save $25, available in fall and winter/spring
  • Thursday Morning Lecture Series Package
    • 33 lectures for $125, save $55, available only in the fall
    • Includes all 5 Thursday Morning Lecture Series (30 lectures)
    • Includes Summer Lecture Series (3 lectures)
  • All Lecture Series Package
    • 43 lectures for $165, save $65, available only in the fall
    • Includes Distinguished Lecture Series (10 lectures)
    • Includes all 5 Thursday Morning Lecture Series (30 lectures)
    • Includes Summer Lecture Series (3 lectures)

Study Groups: Small group learning

From “Falling in Love with Love Poetry” to “Where Two Worlds Meet - The Great Lakes Fur Trade,” OLLI Study Groups offer something for everyone. For a small-group learning experience in which participants can discuss issues, share knowledge, and grow in unexpected ways, OLLI Study Groups can’t be beat! More than 75 high-quality courses are offered each term (Fall and Winter/Spring/Summer), and may last anywhere from one to 10 weeks or more.

Cost: $10 to $90 per event.

After 5: Informal learning at friendly gatherings

“After 5” provides informal learning in a congenial group setting. Local personalities present programs in the early evening to encourage attendance by pre-retirees as well as retirees. This is one OLLI activity that you do not need to be a member to attend. To register without being a member, please mail in a event registration form to the office. 

Cost: $10.00 per event, $90 for a package of 11 events (available only in the fall), $35 for a package of 4 fall events (available only in the fall), or $65 for a package of 7 winter-spring events (available in the fall or winter/spring).

Show Your O: Informal events, scheduled on short notice

“Show Your O” Events are activities around town you can enjoy with other OLLI members. Explore Ann Arbor with OLLI friends new and old! Show Your O events are informal events, often scheduled on short notice. OLLI membership is not required. Show Your O events are announced via e-mail, on our Facebook page, and in the OLLI online catalog. No R.S.V.P. required.

Refugee Symposium: Keeping our Door Open
A multi-dimensional approach to Refugee Resettlement.

Look for other OLLI members at this Show Your O event! Show Your O events bring awareness to OLLI members of happenings in our community of interest to OLLI members. Please join OLLI Director Lisa Barton and other OLLI members at this symposium.  This symposium includes leaders, scholars, politicians and professionals discuss crucial topics surrounding health and wellness, Impact & Integration, Policy and Advocacy, and Transformative Practices.  This event is presented by Jewish Family Services, U of M School of Social Work, and UM’s C.S. Mott Children’s hospital.

On Monday, keep your eye out for member Barbara Hooberman and on Tuesday morning Bruce Campell who will be greeting OLLI members in the lobby before the event begins, wearing their “OLLI O” buttons.  OLLI O buttons will be available that day to any OLLI members attending.

OLLI Out of Town (Travel)

Southeast Michigan is replete with fascinating exhibits, museums, and neighborhoods of historical/cultural significance. OLLI in cooperation with external travel companies is happy to offer interesting and informative day trips to explore what our area has to offer.

Cost: $68 to $136 per trip (depending on the trip), which includes lunch, snacks, and tips.

Please be aware that these trips are not provided by the University of Michigan. You must be an OLLI member to participate in these trips. The OLLI membership fee is $20 per year and is paid directly to OLLI.

Also see:
Ann Arbor and the Korean Experience, Monday, November 5 
     Click here for trip release form.
Please print out and complete this emergency medical form to keep with you on the trip.

OLLI Special Projects     Check out these two exciting upcoming events!

The Value of Broad Perspectives and Free Speech: A Panel Discussion - Free to OLLI members

On October 3rd, OLLI will offer a special projects pop-up event entitled "The Value of Broad Perspectives and Free Speech: A Panel Discussion." This panel discussion featuring U-M scholars will focus on: free speech and how it impacts our society, how to talk across the divide, and barriers to listening, especially our emotional reactions. This event is free to OLLI members and $5 for non-members. If you have a friend that isn't an OLLI member, please have them contact the OLLI office to arrange for payment.
Panelists for this event are: Jack Bernard, U-M Associate General Counsel
Anne Berg, Ph.D., U-M Department of History
LoraLeigh Keashly, Professor, Communication, College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts, Wayne State University

Jack Bernard 

Jack has worked in the academy for over 30 years and has been with the University of Michigan’s Office of the Vice President and General Counsel since 1999. During the eleven years prior to this work, Jack had been an academic administrator and/or instructor at Macalester College, Saga Daigaku (Japan), and the University of Michigan. He teaches at the University of Michigan’s Schools of Law, Education, and Information, as well as at the Ford School of Public Policy. He is Chair Emeritus of the University of Michigan’s Council for Disability Concerns, where he served for over seventeen years.

In 2009, Jack received the American Library Association’s “L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award,” as well as the First Decade Award from the National Association of College and University Attorneys. At the University of Michigan, he was a 2014 Distinguished Diversity Leadership recipient and, in 2016 he received the Carol Hollenshead Award from Center for the Education of Women.  He has also been a Spencer Fellow and a researcher at the National Center for Postsecondary Improvement. He earned his J. D. from the University of Michigan Law School and Master’s in Higher Education from the University of Michigan’s Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education. Jack studied neuroscience at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Anne Berg

Anne Berg is a lecturer at the University of Michigan, where she teaches courses on the History of National Socialism, World History and the Environmental History. She studies cities, war, popular culture, and is most deeply interested the global politics of waste and recycling. Berg currently works on book project entitled Empire of Rags and Bones: Waste and War in Nazi Germany and is doing research to write a global history of the dump. The courses Berg teaches include: “Origins of Nazism,” “Trashed! A Global History of Garbage,” and “Wastes of War: A Century of Destruction.”

Loraleigh Keashly

Professor, Department of Communication; Associate Dean, Curricular & Student Affairs, College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts at Wayne State University


OLLI Reads!

Check out our NEW OLLI Reads! event on November 2nd. We'd like to share a Michigan radio Stateside broadcast discussing and interviewing Lillian Li, author of the book, Number One Chinese Restaurant. Please click this link to listen.

Special Events

Special Events are activities that don't fit neatly into one of the categories listed above. They typically include the fall kickoff event held each September, the OLLI Open House held at the start of the winter term in January, the OLLI Annual Meeting and Election held in May, and the Big Hearts for Seniors fund raising event.

OLLI study group committee is offering a unique opportunity through WeListen, a University of Michigan program, about how to have difficult dialog about complex topics. Our aim is to bring liberals, conservatives, libertarians - everyone across the political spectrum - together for constructive conversation. The goal of WeListen discussions is not to debate or argue, but to understand the views and values of others and to learn from their perspectives. Please join us for a discussion about immigration on November 19th from 11:00 to 1:00 at Washtenaw Community College. Click here to see the flier.



OLLI reserves the right to substitute speakers. The views expressed are those of the speaker(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Michigan.

First Lecture

You may attend your first OLLI lecture for free and without becoming an OLLI member. After that, membership is required in order to attend lectures. The annual membership fee is $20/year and covers the period from September through August. Once you are a member, you can drop in to any lecture for $10.

Hearing Assistance at Lectures

Headsets for the hearing impaired and attachments for a hearing loop for those that have a T-coil in their hearing aid are available at OLLI lectures at no charge. 

Dropping OLLI Lectures, Study Groups, and Other Events

Contact the OLLI Office to drop OLLI lectures, study groups and other events. If the event is dropped before the first meeting for single session events and before the second meeting for multiple session events, you will be given a credit for the event’s fee. Call the OLLI Office to use your credits as payment toward other OLLI events. If the event is dropped after the second meeting, no credit will be given, but it is still important to drop so that we’ll know who is attending and to possibly open up space for someone on a waiting list.

Credits and Refunds

Contact the OLLI Office to find out what your credit balance is and to use your available credits as payment toward other OLLI events. Credits do not expire, but you need to explicitly ask to use them. Unfortunately, at this time, you cannot use your credits online.

OLLI will issue credits for study groups that are cancelled.

The OLLI annual membership fee is not refundable.

There are two ways you can access your credit:

  1. Online — Please send us an email at olli.credit@umich.edu requesting a credit when you submit your online registration. Unfortunately we are unable to process credits during your online registration, but we can issue a refund from the office when you send us an email.
  2. Paper Registration — When you send in or drop off your paper registration form, please make a note that you are using a credit, and subtract the credit amount from the total due.

The OLLI office tries to process refunds as quickly as possible, but it may take several weeks to receive your credit/refund. Refunds are given online for online payments, and by check for cash or check payments. If you have any questions please direct them to olli.credit@umich.edu.

Waiting Lists

When an event is full, members who would like to attend are placed on a waiting list. If space for the event opens up, the OLLI Office will contact the individuals on the waiting list by e-mail or phone in first come first served order to see if they still wish to register.

Lottery Events

Most OLLI events are filled on a first come, first served basis. But a few events that are expected to fill within the first few days after registration opens for a term are flagged as "lottery events". Online registration is not available for lottery events. Instead, members submit a paper registration form and a separate check for the event fee by U.S. Mail or in person by a deadline specified for the event in the print and online Catalogs. Shortly after the deadline, a lottery is held and the "winners" will be informed that they are registered for the event. Others may remain on the waiting list in case a space opens up. Checks for members who are not selected are returned.

Gift Certificates

OLLI members may purchase gift certificates and give them to others to cover the fees for OLLI lectures, study groups, and other events. Contact the OLLI Office for details.


Scholarships are available to OLLI members who need assistance paying for OLLI study groups or lectures. Please contact the OLLI office (734-998-9351) if you are interested in learning more.

Severe Weather Class Cancellation

OLLI study groups and lectures are automatically cancelled whenever Ann Arbor Public Schools cancels school due to severe weather. Check your local television or radio stations, the AAPS Web site, or call the AAPS at (734) 994-8684 or OLLI at (734) 998-9351 for recorded messages.

Post Lecture Lunches

 Thursday Morning Lecture Series: OLLI offers a post lecture lunch at the lecture venue once every series. The dates for the individual lunches are listed in the print and online catalogs and in the lecture brochures. There is a small fee, currently $8, to cover the cost. Please register for lunch online or in-person at least one week in advance.

No Fragrances Please

Because some people have sensitivity to fragrance, we request that fragrances of any kind not be worn to OLLI programs.

OLLI Venues

A list of venues where OLLI holds its lectures, study groups, and special events.

Parking Passes

Parking passes may be purchased in advance for some events held at the UM's North Campus Research Complex (NCRC).