The Fall 2021 Term of the Lifelong Learning Institute of OWU is well underway! Featuring 15 courses on topics ranging from Hitchcock to Woodland Pool Animals, spanning from the Ice Age to today, there is something for every lifelong learner to soak in.

Courses are taught by volunteers, including professors, practitioners and others in a non-competitive environment, with each class meeting for approximately two hours. Join the community of lifelong learners 55 and older for the exciting classes presented below.

The term begins October 11th and ends November 19th.  Registration for the Fall term has closed.  Please check back for updates on the Spring 2022 term.

Be sure to join our email list to be kept up-to-date on LLI happenings.

We look forward to seeing you this fall!

Women of Hitchcock

Tracey Peyton, Managing Director of the Strand Theatre

Peyton Ennis, Strand Theatre Projectionist, OSU Film Studies

Mondays, 9:00 am - Noon (October 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15)

Class Location: Strand Theatre, 28 E. Winter Street, Delaware

Women of Hitchcock will explore six films made by the Master of Suspense, and the talented actresses who starred in them. Hitchcock’s style and filmmaking techniques as well as the talent these actresses brought to the screen will be examined.  Come see the iconic films in Delaware’s historic theatre. 

Note: Enrollment is capped at 65 participants.  This course will be held at the Strand Theatre with each session lasting 2.5 to 3 hours, based on the run time of the films.

A Deep Dive into DNA Tools

Kelli Bergheimer, nationally recognized DNA testing/genealogy expert

Mondays, 1:00-3:00 pm (October 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15)

Class Location: Delaware Community Room, Delaware County Main Library, 84 E. Winter Street, Delaware

If you have a DNA test, worked on your matches, and are wondering what other tools you can use to analyze your results, this class might be for you! This laptop workshop will cover Ancestry Thrulines, GEDmatch, DNA Painter, Genetic Clustering, and chromosome browsers. (This class is not for y-DNA or mt-DNA tests, just autosomal DNA.) 

Required for class: laptop during class (not tablet); autosomal DNA test (Family Tree DNA, Ancestry, MyHeritage, 23andMe)--results loaded; and GEDmatch Tier One $10 membership for one month.

Note: Enrollment is capped at 20 participants.

A Matter of Balance

Clare Decker, Administrator of Community Programs, SourcePoint

Tracy Brannon, Executive Director, United Church Homes: The Polaris Community

Mondays, 3:00 - 5:00 pm (October 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15, 22, 29)

Class Location: 1st Floor Benes Room in the OWU Hamilton-Williams Campus Center.  The Campus Center is on the map found at:

The award-winning A Matter of Balance program emphasizes practical strategies to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels. Participants learn to set realistic goals to enhance activity, change their environment to reduce fall risk factors, and exercise to increase strength and balance.

Note: Enrollment is capped at 12 participants.

Heavy Metal Astronomy - The Origin of Us

Offered via zoom and in-person

Don Stevens, Director, Perkins Observatory

Mondays, 7:00-9:00 pm (October 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15)

Class Location: Perkins Observatory, 3199 Columbus Pike, Delaware.  This class is also offered via Zoom.

The short history of the origin of (nearly) everything from the Big Bang to the formation of the solar system will be explored. Each of the first four classes will focus on one of the important elements of life - hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and iron - and its formation. The fifth lecture will review everything else on the period table of elements with the final session bringing it all together. A little pop culture will be thrown in and its connection to science.

Understanding Your Personality Style

Dee Ketterling, Educational consultant, former school administrator

Tuesdays, 10:00 am - Noon (October 12, 19, 26, November 2)

Class Location: 1st Floor Benes Room in the OWU Hamilton-Williams Campus Center.  The Campus Center is on the map found at:

Based on the Myers Briggs Indicator, we will explore the various personality traits and identify your type.  This course will provide deeper layers of understanding yourself, how you relate to others, how you make decisions, how you take in information, and live your everyday life.   The class will offer insight as to why you are the person you are, why others behave the way they do, and to celebrate those differences.  Various stages of life form birth to the end of life will be included.

Note: Enrollment is capped at 25 participants.

LLI Potpourri

Explore an array of topics with distinguished professors representing multiple disciplines as they share their expertise. 

Tuesdays, 10:00 am - Noon, 1:00-3:00 pm OR 2:00-4:00 pm (October 12, 19, 26, November 2, 9, 16)

Class Location: 1st Floor Benes Room in the OWU Hamilton-Williams Campus Center.  The Campus Center is on the map found at:

  • Rethinking the American Revolution: What Was It Really About, with Pete Kakel, Ph.D., research historian and lecturer, Johns Hopkins University
    October 12, 1:00-3:00 pm
    Our popular understanding portrays the American Revolution as a tax revolt, orchestrated by 'great white men in great white wigs'. Informed by a new wave of scholarship, this talk will focus on the Revolution's causes and the reasons some colonists in British North America decided to separate from Great Britain. If you want to better understand today's great political divide over what America is and should be, you will benefit from a 'rethink' of the Revolution's origins and legacies. It is likely you will never think about the American Revolution in the same way. 
  • Love, the Devil and Schubert: listening to Gretchen am Spinnarade with Tim Roden, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Music, Ohio Wesleyan University
    October 19, 2:00-4:00 pm
    At the ripe age of 17, Franz Schubert crafted one of the most significant songs of the nineteenth century.  Based on a poem in Goethe's Faust, it explores love and passion in a dramatic setting of temptation and redemption.  Exploring the song's biographical and dramatic context as well as engaging in musical analysis opens up a deeper appreciation of this masterpiece in miniature.
  • Meet the Neighbors: Lives and Times in a Springtime Woodland Pool by Wendell Patton, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Zoology, Ohio Wesleyan University
    October 26, 2:00-4:00 pm
    Vernal pools dry up part of each year, creating a peculiar habitat for aquatic life. The structures and life cycles of some of the animals that live in a vernal pool at the Stratford Ecological Center, their interactions with each other, and their survival strategies in an ever-changing environment will be explored in this session. 
  • November 2 - No classes offered this week but two classes are scheduled on November 9th.  See below.
  • Ice Age Ohio by Dale Gnidovec, Curator, Orton Geological Museum, The Ohio State University
    November 9, 10:00 am - Noon
    Ice Age Ohio —more than mammoths and mastodons. The glaciers had huge effects on Ohio’s landscape, filling valleys and leaving behind hills, ridges and unusual rocks. This course will look at how glaciers form and the changes they caused all over the planet.  We will also look at some of the neat animals that lived in Ohio during the Ice Age including giant beavers, muskox, and of course mammoths and mastodons, and see how their remains are excavated, dated and interpreted.  A possible visit to the Orton Geological Museum as a follow-up to the class will be discussed.
  • East Asia's Past and Today's Problems by Jim Peoples, Professor Emeritus of Sociology-Anthropology, Ohio Wesleyan University
    November 9, 2:00-4:00 pm
    We begin with a broad geographical and historical overview of East Asia, which includes the modern Peoples' Republic of China (PRC), South and North Korea, and Japan.   Events and social patterns in East Asia's past will help Americans understand many current issues and problems. We discuss why the PRC tends to "repress" its Muslim Uyghurs of the northwest, why relationships between Japan and South Korea are so often tense, and recent problems between the PRC and the former British colony of Hong Kong.
  • Think Before You Shoot by Justin Kronewetter, Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts, Ohio Wesleyan University and former director of the Richard M. Ross Art Museum
    November 16, 2:00-4:00 pm
    What is the simple thought process one should engage in prior to making a photograph?   Any photograph!   Learn about the basic principles a person should apply prior to tripping the shutter on his/her camera.  Participants in this session will view photographs that illustrate how both professional and amateur photographers applied the basic principles to create images which helped establish the standards by which all subsequent photographs are judged. Those who participate will end the session knowing there is a significant difference between being known as a photographer or being thought of as a mere camera carrier

Vincente Minnelli: Delaware's Own Superstar

Greg Patterson, Founder of three performing arts groups, Past President of Central Ohio Theater Roundtable

Tuesdays, 7:00-9:00 pm (October 12, 19, 26, November 2, 9, 16)

Class Location: 1st Floor Benes Room in the OWU Hamilton-Williams Campus Center.  The Campus Center is on the map found at:

This course is course is an overview of the life and career in international show business of Delaware's native son, Vincente Minnelli. Although born in Chicago, his family moved to live with extended family in Delaware. Here he was raised and lived with his grandparents in a home on Washington Street. He attended St. Mary's school and graduated from Delaware High School. Born into a theatrical family, he performed throughout the region in professional tab shows and Vaudeville shows. He developed his talent for art and scenic design and worked that craft locally before making the jump to Broadway to perform set design and eventually in his direction of full-staged productions. Like many of the times, he was lured away to Hollywood. He directed many of Hollywood's major motion pictures in the Golden Age of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. But, he was best known for his direction and the primal artistic force behind many of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's most artistic and successful musicals of the 1940s and 50s. 

What Made Us Laugh

Jim Bartha, Old Time Comedy Aficionado

Wednesdays, 10:00 am-Noon (October 20, 27, November 3, 10)

Class Location: 1st Floor Benes Room in the OWU Hamilton-Williams Campus Center.  The Campus Center is on the map found at:

Take an entertaining look at the comedians from the 1920s & 1930s, especially those that made the transition from the vaudeville stage to the silver screen.  Watching old 16mm short films and video clips together, we’ll have some laughs, and discuss the traits that made these performers unique.

Session 1:  W.C. Fields, my favorite, and other solo artists.

Session 2:  Duos, like Laurel & Hardy, and Abbott & Costello

Session 3:  The Little Rascals, and Our Gang comedies

Session 4:  Early animations like Mickey Mouse, Betty Boop, and the Merry Melodies characters.

Note: This class begins on October 20th.

Chess: The Game, The History, The Culture

Richard Vail, Central Ohio club level chess tournament director

Wednesdays, 1:00-3:00 pm (October 13, 20, 27, November 3, 10, 17)

Class Location: 1st Floor Benes Room in the OWU Hamilton-Williams Campus Center.  The Campus Center is on the map found at:

This course is is intended to stimulate interest in all aspects of the great game of chess.  Absolute beginners will learn how the pieces move and will be able to play chess from day one of the class.  The many benefits of chess as part of the lifelong learning process will be stressed.  Opportunities to participate in local chess activities will be presented with the possible formation of a Senior Level Chess Activities group as a result of the class.

Note: Enrollment is capped at 20 participants.  However, if demand exceeds enrollment limit, additional classes will be scheduled in the fall term. 

Raise Your Spirits

Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00 pm (October 13, 20, 27)

Explore the history, craft and an array of spirits as we sample a couple of Delaware County’s growing number of breweries and wineries and learn the basics of making cocktails from the Lost Generation. 

October 13, 4:30 pm – 6: 30 pm - Tristan Swan, Olivina Taproom, Delaware*

October 20, 4:30 pm – 6: 30 pm - Nick Sheets, Henmick Farm and Brewery, Delaware

October 27, 4:30 pm – 6: 30 pm - Eric Sainey, Winemaker, Soine Vineyards, Powell*

Note: Enrollment is capped at 40 participants.  Participants will provide their own transportation to each location.  Directions and other details will be provided before each class.

*Note: The Presenters of two of the sessions have switched with one another since the class was originally announced.  Tristan Swan will present at Olivina on October 13 while Eric Sainey of Soine Vineyards will now offer his class on October 27.

Reading for Success: Six Books This Doctor Thinks Should Be In Your Library

Bryan Martin, DO, MMAS

Offered via zoom

Thursdays, 10:00-Noon (October 14, 21, 28, November 11, 18)

This course is based on the ideas presented in books that have been important in my professional life as a physician and which have important ideas that help with social interactions.  While each of these books has been written with a different reading audience in mind, each provides lessons to make life easier or more enjoyable for people of all ages and social interactions. Participants do not have to read the books prior to each class, but it is hoped that the presentation of basic ideas of each book will encourage participants to be curious enough to go on to read them.  Six of the seven books listed below will be used.

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

The Four Things That Matter Most by Ira Byock, MD

Good to Great by Jim Collins

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold Kushner

The Shack by William Paul Young 

Making Your Home Accessible

Beth Glas, Executive Vice President, and Mara Layne, Outreach Coordinator, Maximum Accessible Housing of Ohio, Cleveland 

Offered via zoom

Thursdays, 2:00-4:00 pm (October 14, 21, 28, November 4)

Representatives of the Maximum Accessible Housing of Ohio (MAHO) organization will share their accessibility knowledge and experience so that you can make your home a more accessible place to live. The four sessions will focus on:

1. “What is aging in place?” – covering basics of terminology, what to look for when downsizing, how to prioritize home modifications and consideration of renting.

2. “Aging in place at home” – exploring the basic and most critical accessibility features throughout the home, including the bathroom.

3. “Technology for aging in place” – focusing on a variety of smart home solutions, from kitchen appliances to home security.

4. “The real accessible home” – offering a panel discussion with older adults who have made their homes more accessible, along with information on working with contractors and finding resources.

This four-week series is followed by two sessions on Delaware County efforts in addressing aging in place within the six “domains of livability” of the Age-Friendly initiative, led by SourcePoint.  See below for additional information on this exciting effort to work together to strengthen and advance our communities.

Age-Friendly Initiative

Jackie Haight, Age-Friendly Coordinator, Clare Decker, Administrator of Community Programs, SourcePoint

Offered via zoom

Thursdays, 2:00-4:00 pm (November 11, 18)

SourcePoint leads the charge in Delaware County in implementing the Age-Friendly Initiative, working with community partners to innovate and improve six domains of livability – key areas that influence healthy aging. The six domains are Housing; Transportation; Outdoor Spaces and Buildings, Community Support/Health and Safety Services; Community Engagement and Participation; and Communication and Information. Learn how focusing on these six areas are designed to make a difference in the lives of people of all ages and abilities, making our community more age-friendly than ever before.  Age-friendly is an international effort led by the World Health Organization and facilitated in the U.S. by AARP.

Understanding the United States Constitution

Scott Wolf, Esq., Partner Firestone, Brehm, Wolf, Whitney & Young LLP

Fridays, 9:30 - 11:30 am (October 15, 22, 29, November 5, 12, 19)

Class Location: 1st Floor Benes Room in the OWU Hamilton-Williams Campus Center.  The Campus Center is on the map found at:

Trace the history of the U.S. Constitution through the challenges facing it today.  The course will move from the Articles of Confederation, the first written constitution of the United States, to the Bill of Rights and the subsequent 27 ratified amendments. How much do you know about this vital document? 

Your Local Government at Work

Representatives from select City of Delaware departments

Fridays, 1:00 - 3:00 pm (October 15, 22, 29, November 5, 12, 19)

Class Location: Delaware Community Room, Delaware County Main Library, 84 E. Winter Street, Delaware

Drawing from the City of Delaware’s popular Citizens Academy, representatives from City government will provide a behind-the-scenes look at various departments including “essentials” like public safety, water, sewer, streets and parks, as well as how local government works, and in some cases, doesn’t work. As local government is being called upon to serve a rapidly growing and diverse community, participants will learn how City leaders plan and respond while becoming further engaged with city officials and departments.  Come with questions and ideas!  Even if you live outside of Delaware, everyone will gain an enriched perspective of local government at work


Lifelong Learning Institute Contact Information


Ohio Wesleyan University
61 S. Sandusky St.
Delaware, OH 43015


Email or call Debbie Lewis at 740-368-3078.