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Osher at JHU Celebrates 15 Years of Proudly Serving Montgomery County’s Retired Community

“If it weren’t for the Osher program, I would be sitting at home watching TV or not doing anything.” – Milton Baer

“[Osher] has been the salvation of my late years.” – Stanley Umans

“I fell in love with the [Osher program] and everything they have to offer.” – Virginia Schultz


And so went testimonial after testimonial as more than 200 guests recently helped the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Johns Hopkins University (Osher at JHU) celebrate 15 years of serving Montgomery County’s retired (and semi-retired) community.

Osher at JHU was created in 1986 as the Evergreen Society with a mission of enhancing the leisure time of semi-retired and retired individuals. Soon after, in 1995, the program began offering its non-credit classes in Montgomery County. osher-anniversary-kathy.jpg

“We had a goal the first year of enrolling 75 students,” Kathy Porsella, Director, Osher at JHU, said during the celebration. “People didn’t think we could do it. We enrolled 125 that first year.”

Today, the program — which operates in Montgomery County, Columbia, and Baltimore — boasts more than 450 members in Montgomery County alone and offers classes on topics as diverse as French literature (read in French), the Bible, Movie Musicals and Current Events.

“This is a community of unique individuals – both students and faculty – with life experiences that are so rich that we all learn from each other,” said Mickey Stevens, Chair of the Montgomery County Advisory Board for Osher, during the festivities.

“What has made Osher so successful?” Porsella asked. “The diversity of classes. The chance to learn or discuss something entirely new. The quality of the faculty and staff. … But as good as our faculty and staff are, Osher wouldn’t be as great as it is without our members.

“This is a place with brains and hearts,” she continued. “This is a place where people learn for the sheer joy of learning.”

“We can feel your energy every day,” said Elaine Amir, Executive Director, Johns Hopkins Montgomery County, in praising the program and its vibrant presence on the campus.

The anniversary celebration concluded with Lilienstein and Company presenting stirring renditions of the great and beloved songs of Gershwin, Porter, Kern and more, after which members and guests attended a reception.


CATEGORY: Academics