Seniors Head Back to School Through Osher Partnership and Resident-run Keese School

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August 17, 2012
GAITHERSBURG, Md. -  As thousands of area students once again prepare to hit the books – some excited, many not – residents at Asbury Methodist Village can’t imagine life without school at their community.

Adding to its long-running resident-run program, The Keese School of Continuing Education, Asbury has also joined with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Johns Hopkins University, bringing two of its most popular classes to the community for the fall semester, offered Sept. 24 - Dec. 10.
“Here at Asbury, aging becomes an adventure in living,” says Don Woodward, current dean of the Keese School. “We believe that participation in the Keese School and now Osher classes promotes mingling of residents on the basis of mutual interest and intellectual curiosity. Retired people enjoy study that stimulates the mental processes, opens new interests and inspires ongoing education.”

The Osher classes will be held on Mondays at the Rosborough Theatre in Asbury’s Rosborough Cultural Arts and Wellness Center. The new partnership offers an “Associate Membership” to attend Osher events held at Asbury to residents. Non- residents over 60 can register for a fee of $125.

Renowned musician and music historian Saul Lilienstein will present “For the Love of Schubert” Mondays from 10 a.m. to noon. Two of those lectures will include concerts given by members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

The second course, “The Arts of Film,” will be presented Mondays from 1-3 p.m. by film moderator and lecturer Stan Levin. Both he and Lilienstein attract standing-room only crowds to their Osher-affiliated classes at the Johns Hopkins University campus in Rockville.

The Keese School, founded in 1978, offers classes, lectures and educational tours on topics that range from serious to silly to sublime. Taught by professors from area universities, industry professionals, scholars, scientists and artists, as well as Asbury residents, last semester’s offerings included “An Illustrated Guide Through The Divine Comedy” and “The Healing Power of Laughter.” The catalogue features 20 pages of such classes, lectures and tours that residents can attend for the bargain price of $1 in advance or $2 at the door. Some 200 residents take advantage of the program each semester. In mid-January, a group of residents from Royal Oaks in Sun City, Ariz., traveled to Asbury to see the school in action and get advice on re-creating a similar program at their community.

As the region’s most extensive (and least expensive) on-campus, continuing education program, the Keese School is truly unique in the D.C. metropolitan area. Further, it plays a philanthropic role at the community by granting educational awards to dining staff. Since 2002, there have been 42 recipients of such awards, with voluntary contributions from residents augmenting Keese School funds and allowing awards of $1,200 to be granted.

Asbury Methodist Village is a CARF-CCAC and EAGLE-accredited continuing care retirement community that is part of Asbury, a management organization providing life-enhancing services for older adults. Asbury is ranked by LeadingAge and Ziegler Capital Markets Group’s AZ 100 as the 15th largest not-for-profit multi-site senior living organization in the country.  Asbury Methodist Village is also a member of LifeSpan Network.


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