Learning For

helen's story

the osher lifelong learning institute at the uw provides the opportunity for adults over the age of 50 — like veteran Osher student Helen Oppenheim — to learn new things and meet new people through a range of exciting programs.

Helen Oppenheim has lived a full life, raising a family and enjoying a long career in marketing on the East Coast. When she retired and moved to the Seattle area, she felt that she needed to keep learning and growing. 

"Especially as you age, it's important to not only exercise your body but also exercise your mind," Helen said. 

That's why Helen was excited when she heard about the UW Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She's taken dozens of classes — on topics ranging from art history to infectious diseases — since the program started in 2006. 

"The variety of courses is just fabulous," Helen said. "It's very rewarding to take stimulating classes, and the instructors are so knowledgeable and engaging." 

Helen's children and grandchildren are quite impressed that she has explored so many fascinating subjects through the program. 

"They're envious that I can sign up for whatever course I want and not have to worry about prerequisites, term papers or grades," she said with a laugh.