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.
- 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.
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.
- Fall 2019 DLS Brochure (pdf)
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.
This five themes for 2019-20 are:
- South Africa (9/12-10/17)
- Voting in America (10/31-12/12)
- Social Media (1/9/20-2/13/20)
- Visual Arts in Southeast Michigan (2/20-4/2)
- Trade and International Relations (4/16-5/21)
Lectures are presented from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. (with occasional exceptions when a lecture might start earlier and run from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. or later and run from 10:30 a.m. to noon) on Thursdays at Towsley Auditorium, Morris Lawrence Building, Washtenaw Community College, 4800 E. Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor.
OLLI members can pay $35 per 6-week session or $140 for a pass admitting them to all five Thursday Morning Lecture series (a savings of $65 - package pricing only available in the fall). In addition, OLLI members may drop in to individual lectures by paying $10 at the door.
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.
The theme for the Summer 2020 Lecture Series will be "Water in Michigan".
There are five lecture series packages:
- Distinguished Lecture Series Package, September–June
- 10 lectures for $55, save $45, available only in the fall
- Distinguished Lecture Series Session 1, September–January
- 5 lectures for $30, save $20, available only in the fall
- Distinguished Lecture Series Session 2, February–June
- 5 lectures for $30, save $20, available in fall and winter/spring
- Thursday Morning Lecture Series Package
- 33 lectures for $140, save $65, 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 $180, save $125, 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)
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 $95 per event.
“Evenings With OLLI” is the new name for what was called "After 5" in previous years. Evenings With OLLI 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 an event registration form to the office.
Cost: $5.00 per event or $15 for a package of 5 events.
“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. Keep your eye out for OLLI volunteers and staff 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 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.
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: $75 to $142 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 $25 per year and is paid directly to OLLI.
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.
- Fall 2019 Kickoff Brochure (pdf)
- View OLLI's 2019 Kickoff speaker Alfreda Rooks on OLLI's New Vision - Implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (video)
- Fall 2019 OLLI Dialog on Freedom & Diversity Brochure (pdf)
For more information on Big Hearts for Seniors see:
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 $25/year and covers the period from September through August. Once you are a member, you can drop in to any lecture for $10.
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.
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:
- Online — Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
- 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 email@example.com.
For Winter/Spring term 2019 OLLI implemented a new registration procedure for Study Groups and OLLI Out of Town Trips. Registration for lectures and Evenings With OLLI (After 5) events did not change. OLLI will use the new procedure for Fall term registration as well. The goal of the new procedure is to reduce stress on the first day of registration, especially for classes that close early and to make the registration process more equitable, particularly between those who register online and those who submit paper registration forms.
An initial equal opportunity registration period opens for Study Groups and Out of Town Trip events in August (Fall term) or December (Winter/Spring term). Final processing of registrations during this period is delayed until the first or second week in September for Fall term or January for Winter/Spring term, so you can register any time during this period. All events that are oversubscribed when the equal opportunity period closes will be subject to a lottery to provide an equal chance for everyone to get in. Members who are not selected will be placed on a wait list and invited to join if space becomes available. Registration on a first-come-first-served basis will still be possible after this period, provided spaces are available.
As before, you can register on-line, by mail or in-person at the OLLI office. Early submission during the equal opportunity period does not increase chances of getting into a Study Group or an Out of Town Trip. Other registration opportunities are at the OLLI Fall Kick-off event, at the Winter Open House, and at OLLI lectures all held at Washtenaw Community College. All payments must be made at the time of registration and the methods of payment remain the same.
Additional things to know:
• Everyone who applies for events subject to a lottery will be notified of the outcome during the week following the lottery.
• Refunds will be provided for those who are not selected for events via the lottery during the week after the lottery.
This system enables you to register at your leisure. By spreading initial registrations out over the entire equal opportunity period it will help prevent computer problems caused by a high volume of first-day registrations. It will also reduce the stress on the staff and registration volunteers.
OLLI offers scholarships for all programming, including Out of Town Trips. To request a scholarship, please contact the OLLI office.
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.
If an OLLI event is cancelled, we will make every effort to reschedule. If you are not able to attend, or if we are not able to reschedule, you may request a refund or credit. The OLLI annual membership fee is not refundable.
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 fee to cover the cost. Please register for lunch online or in-person at least one week in advance.