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Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Boise State University

  • Osher Lectures

    The Osher Lectures feature freestanding lectures on a wide range of subjects.

  • Osher Short Courses

    Osher Short Courses offer a wide variety of academic courses taught by university faculty and community individuals with expertise in their topic.

  • Osher Special Events

    Members are able to register for the Institute’s Special Events that may include trips, workshops and unusual one-time opportunities.

  • Become an Osher Member

    Become an Osher member and engage your mind both inside and outside of the classroom setting.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is a membership-based lifelong learning program for adults 50 and better. No exams or homework!

Osher Short Courses

Informative and stimulating short courses are available to Osher members.

Osher Lectures

There is no additional cost to Osher members to attend lectures, but registration is required. If space is available, you may bring a non-member friend.

Osher Special Events

We offer a variety of learning opportunities as special events outside the classroom.

Other Osher Institute Groups

For Osher members who wish to become more involved in the Institute.

Support the Osher Institute

It’s easy to become an Osher member – just click on the orange button to engage your mind.


Winter Osher Courses

Presidential Elections and the 2016 Contest
This course will cover general presidential elections with a specific focus on the 2016 election. We will explore the process of the election cycle (primary, general, Electoral College, etc.), combining what we know as scholars about elections with contemporary developments, allowing us to discuss history’s relevance to contemporary contests. The course will coincide with the early key primaries and Super Tuesday to allow informed conversation around what we see happening in these important contests and why.
Presenter: Dr. Justin Vaughn, Associate Professor of Political Science, Boise State University
Dates and times: Wed., Feb. 17, 24, Mar. 2, and 9, 10 a.m.-noon
Cost: $45
To register: Visit Presidential Elections and the 2016 Contest registration page.

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Reinhold Niebuhr: America’s Conscience
Reinhold Niebuhr is unknown to most Americans, yet he is a pivotal figure in American history.Niebuhr’s theology of human nature, power, and justice informed his critiques of liberal Christianity, his incisive observations on economics, his arguments about the use of armed force, and his Cold-War era call for the responsible exercise of power on the world stage. He also influenced the thought of Nazi resister Dietrich Bonhoeffer and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Through it all, Niebuhr managed to prick and shape the conscience of a nation during the most turbulent periods of the 20th century. In this course we will explore Niebuhr’s life and career in three sections: his biography, his thought, and his legacy.
Presenter: Dr. Andrew Finstuen, Dean of the Honors College, Boise State University
Dates and times: Tue., Mar. 1, 8, and 15, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $35
To register: Visit Reinhold Niebuhr: America’s Conscience registration page.

The McCarthy Era in Idaho – Lecture Two
The late 1940s and ’50s were turbulent and fascinating times in Idaho politics. The period produced two of the state’s most controversial political characters: the very liberal Senator Glen Taylor, a “singing cowboy” who had to fend off charges of communist sympathies after running on the Progressive Party ticket for vice president in 1948, and the very conservative Senator Herman Welker, who earned the nickname “Little Joe from Idaho” for his diehard support of Senator Joseph McCarthy. This lecture will cover their very different approaches to Cold War-era issues, which helped define the state’s politics for years and paved the way for the political career of Frank Church.
Presenter: Marc Johnson, Of Counsel at Gallatin Public Affairs
Dates and times: Tues., Apr. 19, 10 a.m.-noon
For more information and to register: Visit The McCarthy Era in Idaho – Lecture Two registration page.