For 20 years, retirees in the Fox Valley have been keeping up with current trends, practicing new skills and staying active with dozens of classes offered each semester through the Learning in Retirement (LIR) program at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
The member-directed, adult learning group—affiliated with UWO’s Division of Online and Continuing Education—celebrates its 20th anniversary on Wednesday, May 24, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Alumni Welcome and Conference Center, 625 Pearl Ave.
“We offer a smorgasbord of classes from theatre outings to public library programs, art history talks and music lessons,” said Mary Bayorgeon ’71, LIR archivist and anniversary celebration committee chair.
Bayorgeon discovered LIR when she was retiring from her 35-year career as a librarian. “This was right up my alley,” she said. “I like the broad spectrum of programming that open up different aspects of the world to me.”
In fall 1988, a membership in LIR included 11 classes and one field trip to choose from for one basic fee. By fall 2016, LIR offered members 47 classes and seven field trips with knowledgeable instructors but no tests or grades.
Today, an annual fee of $100 covers the classes. But meals, tickets to shows and bus transportation for tours, luncheons and demonstration suppers are extra.
LIR’s annual membership ranges from 250 to 300, including many UW Oshkosh alumni and former faculty and staff.
“The Alumni Relations team is thrilled to partner with our robust UWO Learning in Retirement organization,” said Christine Gantner, Alumni Relations director.
“The ability to offer our alumni and friends lifelong learning opportunities is extremely important and this partnership allows us to share many unique offerings. The Lunch and Learns with the Theatre Department are becoming increasingly popular and an excellent way to showcase our talented students, faculty and staff.”
The May 24 anniversary celebration, which costs $25 per person, includes music and social hour beginning at 4 p.m., and a dinner at 5 p.m. A program from 6 to 8 p.m. includes remarks by UWO Chancellor Andrew Leavitt, recognition of founding members and viewing of a LIR history video.