On the Road… with OSHER at JHU
When Mary Kay Shartle Galotto became Director of Osher at JHU, one of her first surprises was how long the program’s waiting list was at the Montgomery County location. The list included more than 350 individuals. She knew it was a problem she needed to solve, but there wasn’t an easy answer. After all, there was no room to expand at the Montgomery County Campus.
The solution came from one of her county colleagues, David Denton, Executive Director, Asbury Methodist Village, who suggested Osher take advantage of Asbury’s 275-seat, state-of-the-art auditorium.
And starting next week, Osher will be doing just that when it offers two of its most popular courses — “For the Love of Schubert,” taught by Saul Lilienstein, and “The Art of Filmmaking,” taught by Stan Levin — in Asbury’s Rosborough Theatre.
“This is such a win-win opportunity for Osher and Asbury,” Galotto said. “We were delighted to be able to offer Asbury Village residents on campus access to Osher’s quality courses. We have not been able to increase the number of classes at the Montgomery County Campus because of space constraints. We have a waiting list and we don’t want people to have to wait endlessly to get off that list. Now they don’t have to. And Asbury can offer this wonderful benefit to its residents.”
So far, 130 individuals have signed up for the course, and room still remains. One hundred of the enrollees are from the Asbury community, from the community, or from the existing Osher waiting list. Thirty are full-time Osher members who couldn’t get into those two courses on the Hopkins Campus.
"We're delighted to partner with Osher and offer Monday classes on our campus," Denton said. "The enrollment is just proof that piloting this program at Asbury clearly makes sense. Those from outside our campus will find a welcoming community of like-minded individuals who aspire to a lifetime of learning and celebrating the joys of stimulating discussion and camaraderie. We are confident this will be a great beginning to a long-term partnership between our well-established and highly regarded organizations."
Beyond the two courses offered at Asbury, associate members will be able to participate in the extremely popular special events and field trips offered by the program.
Excitement about the program at Asbury is evident.
“Osher starts next week and we’re in it!” said Asbury resident Hal Gaut. “We’re looking forward to learning new things. We already had a chance to meet Saul Lilienstein, and he’s going to be a fascinating lecturer.”
Galotto said she hopes that this first session at Asbury will prove to be a success and that she can start offering similar programming at other retirement villages and senior communities not only in Montgomery County, but also in the program’s Columbia and Baltimore communities.
“It’s wonderful to be able to provide services for retired individuals throughout the County,” she added. “We’re so delighted that we can reach out and provide quality courses to people where they are rather than solely relying on people coming to us on the campus.”