Article by Peggy Watson

Oh my! As I sit at my desk this afternoon, I realize how quickly things can change on this campus. Summer always has a different vibe than the academic school year, but this year the contrast seemed even greater. Most notably, we bid adieu to President Ayers and Dean Narduzzi and welcomed President Crutcher and Dean Wilson. We were rerouted throughout campus, due to construction. Thank goodness the road has been reopened (but the building continues at a frenetic pace). We had only a few students here, so parking was rarely a challenge. That’s changed almost overnight, as the undergrads have arrived in full force. That warm, lazy feel of summer has shifted to an exciting, much higher energy level, with the promise of cooler days, football games, and lots of wonderful academic lectures and fine arts events.

And, for Osher, we have changed it up for the fall, but not to the exclusion of your favorite instructors. We have a good number of new instructors, all of whom sound great, so take a close look at their courses and their bios online. We are excited about our offerings, but are already busy planning for spring. Whew! This office always seems to be jumping ahead to the next schedule and the next semester, when the current one is just getting underway!

On the National Front

As many of you know, the Bernard Osher Foundation has endowed the University of Richmond’s Osher Institute, along with 118 others across the US. For many years, the foundation supported a resource center based in Maine. However, the National Osher Foundation’s Resource Center has now moved and is now situated in its new home at Northwestern University. The center has a new staff and a new website, which you’ll enjoy reviewing at

Additionally, the National Resource Center hosts a conference for all of its institutes every 18 months. The upcoming one is in mid-October in Charlotte, NC. A member of our Leadership Council and I will be representing UR’s Osher Institute. We are both looking forward to meeting others who love and are very involved in lifelong learning, and we’re excited to hear what other institutes are doing and how we might benefit from their experiences.

Osher Art Gallery

Throughout this past year, we’ve turned our Osher office into exhibit space for our fabulous Osher artists. Be sure to read the article in this Insider about contributing artist Donna Callery.

Each artist’s work has been uniquely different and thoroughly enjoyed by Osher members and UR staff alike. Many thanks to the following artists who have willingly packed up and hauled their pieces here and shared their works with us:

  • Larry Bagranoff
  • Bill Bailey
  • Donna Callery
  • Richard Hollands
  • Tommy Hudson
  • Barbara Kaplowitz
  • Becky Rose
  • Sheryl Smith

We do have space available for additional artists in the coming months, so please contact me if you are interested in exhibiting.

Details, Details, Details

I don’t want to forget the details... about ways to get involved, ways to contribute, and ways to just have fun!

First, please take full advantage of your Osher membership by signing up for and joining other Osher students in interest groups and classes. Read SpiderBytes regularly and attend the many lectures, presentations, and musical/artistic events happening here at UR.

We now have a list of volunteers whom we can call upon to help with events across campus. Would you be willing to serve in this capacity? Just let me know!

Accept an invitation to serve on a team... or two! Your input is critical to the continued success of our Osher Institute, and again, serving is a great way to meet other members and to help chart the course for the Osher Institute.

As always, thank you for the opportunity to work with you. This is the most fun job EVER! I am happy to back at my alma mater, grateful to be a part of this great institute, thankful that Deb keeps me straight on a daily basis, and truly indebted to each of you for making this institute such an interesting, vibrant component of the university and our community.