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El Paso Thrive After 60

Explore New Horizons: Discover UTEP's OLLI Adult Lifelong Learning Program

Jun 27, 2023 11:32AM ● By Bella Ramirez

Who says learning has to stop as we get older? In fact, it's the perfect time to indulge in your intellectual curiosity and learn new things!

We sat down with Lynn Provenzano, the Executive Director for OLLI, to learn more about the program. Ms. Provenzano taught meditation and energy work as an OLLI instructor for over 10 years prior to taking on the program as the director and still takes a course herself each term. 

Why do people join OLLI and sign up for courses?

Members tell us they come for the intellectual stimulation of the courses and activities and stay for the people. We believe that learning and curiosity never get old. When new catalogs land in our hands, we often hear comments regarding the interesting variety of courses and tours. With so many interesting courses to choose from, "What should I choose?" is a question that comes up among members. 

Besides learning opportunities, what other benefits are there to joining?

We nurture a community of caring. So, OLLI members connect through clubs and activities outside of classes. The OLLI lounge is open in the afternoons to give members a place to socialize before and between classes. We also have an extensive lending library for those who enjoy reading and holding a book.

What times of the year are courses and what are examples of popular courses?

Our OLLI has three terms, Fall, Spring, and Summer. The Fall and Spring terms consist of two 5 or 6-week sessions.  The most popular courses fall under the categories of music, humanities, food, and movies. We've added a lecture series that broach engaging topics in literature and health. Recently, we added a fitness and fun category that offers fitness, line dancing, and martial arts for seniors. 

The historical tours led by El Paso historians Prince McKenzie and Ron Leiman have been very popular. Even native El Pasoans are discovering gems in the history of our Sun City and the border region. This past year, we launched a Solo en Español series for Spanish speakers. There is something for everyone to enjoy!

What does membership cost and what is included?

Membership is only $40 for the entire year from September 1 through August 31. Courses are on campus, online, or onsite. Membership includes unlimited courses/tours/lectures, access to clubs, the OLLI lounge and lending library, OLLI activities, and volunteer opportunities.

Whether you want to master a new language, learn about the latest technology, dive into a topic you've always been curious about, or just make some new friends, OLLI is a great option. You'll be surrounded by like-minded individuals who share your passion for learning and making the most out of life!