The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Kansas and Hutchinson Community College recently  announced Osher Institute courses will be offered at Hutchinson Community College Newton Center at 203 E. Broadway, beginning this spring. The Osher Institute and Hutchinson Community College have partnered to offer courses in Hutchinson since 2008. Newton now joins seven other locations in south central Kansas offering programs.

Osher Lifelong Learning courses are held as three two-hour sessions, generally for three consecutive weeks. A unit of KU Continuing Education, the Osher Institute develops enrichment programs — learning for the joy of it — focusing on those 50 and over but welcomes learners of all ages.

"We are excited about extending lifelong learning courses to Newton, a community where many folks retire in place and remain actively engaged in the community," said Jim Peters, director of the Osher Institute at KU. "It’s a perfect fit."

Loni Jensen, Newton Center Coordinator, will oversee the program. "I am really looking forward to bringing more community members into our facility, as well as recruiting local instructors. There are wonderful resources and stories in this community to share," said Jensen.

The first class, "Arlington National Cemetery: Its History and Its Heroes" will be taught by Jim Peters, the author of the nation’s bestselling book on Arlington Cemetery, and who happens to be the director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at KU. It meets from 2 to 4 p.m. April 1, 8 and 15. Peters reviews the cemetery’s colorful history from its pre-Civil Wars days as Robert E. Lee’s home through current U.S. conflicts. He also recounts the lives of the famous and not-so-famous who are buried there and gives insights into the national cemetery’s inner workings.

The Center will also host a special event from 7 to 8:30 p.m. April 10. Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, former Poet Laureate of Kansas, presents "Needle in the Bone: How a Holocaust Survivor and a Polish Resistance Fighter Beat the Odds," based on her recently released book. She will profile two extraordinary KU professors whose stories of survival and later, their friendship and accomplishments, demonstrate the triumph of the human spirit. The event costs $10.

Another Osher course in the area, "The Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century," will meet at Kidron Bethel Village in North Newton, 3001 Ivy Way, from 3 to 5 p.m. March 10 and 17. Osher courses have been offered at Kidron Bethel Village since 2012 through a partnership between the Osher Institute at KU and Bluestem Communities (Schowalter Villa and Kidron Bethel Village). The public is invited to attend.

Osher also offers day trips. This spring, Newton residents are welcome to register for "Seeing Lindsborg with New Eyes,"  April 25. Newton participants can join the coach in either Hutchinson or McPherson. The day begins with a film and tour through the Old Mill Museum (filled with artifacts from early settlement days) as well as a guided tour through the restored mill. The group will enjoy a Swedish meatballs lunch at the Swedish Crown restaurant. The afternoon will be devoted to gallery-hopping and shopping on Main Street, followed by a docent-guided visit to the Sandzén Memorial Gallery. The $40 fee includes coach transportation, lunch and admission fees. Space is limited, so those interested are urged to register early.

Newton residents may also attend courses in Hesston, Hutchinson and McPherson. Courses range from "Feeding the Threshers: Harvest Customs of Kansas" to "Stars in Your Eyes," a look at new information about our galaxy and universe. For more details, including fees for courses and special events, visit or call toll free (877) 404-5823 to request a catalog or to register.