LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — Learning later in life: a program at the University of Kentucky caters to education and experiences for adults 50 and over.

For almost 60 years, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) has served as a chance for adults to learn something new.

As we age, it becomes more and more important to stay active, not just physically but mentally and socially.

“We are social beings, and we have to keep our minds active, and so the great thing about this program is that we’re combining both of those together,” said OLLI Executive Director Joey Conrad.

OLLI provides the opportunity to stay active for adults in our community for an annual fee.

You’re not doing these classes to earn a degree, but rather to feed your love of learning.

“Anything from computers in technology to history to performing arts, we have a 115-person choir,” Conrad explained.

Instructors like Jack Furlong, a long-time professor at Transylvania University, are volunteers who have the same love for knowledge.

“I got involved because I was working on a book and I missed teaching,” Furlong described. “What I especially missed about teaching, was the engagement of curious people.”

Furlong calls OLLI the perfect microcosm for Lexington—people of different backgrounds coming together to better themselves.

“Every single person I have had in that course knows much more about plants than I,” Furlong explained. “It became a dialog. It became a sort of rich experience for all of us, and it’s pleasing to me to see that the world is a whole lot more varied and possible than I had thought.”


Although you can learn so many different topics, there is one thing that you’ll learn most of all, regardless of the class you take.

“What you’re going to do is to find your interest, you yourself, with your own brain,” Furlong detailed. “I don’t know if you don’t like octopuses, but I can tell you about octopus minds in a course that I teach and you can say stop, or you can say, I get it. Do they do this? You know, I don’t. So, I’ve been informed, and they have been informed.”

OLLI has classes across Lexington and in Morehead throughout the course of the week.

You can learn more, including becoming a member, here.