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Explore and learn with us!

We offer fall, spring and summer courses at various locations across Stillwater. Topics change each semester and range from art, history, culture, cinema, cuisine and more.
OLLI students learning to make pottery

Stillwater Summer 2022 Course Offerings

Course registration opens April 4.


  • Grand Dames Revisited

    Tuesdays, 6:30-9p | 8wks | 5/17-7/5

    Format: Presentation
    Instructor: Dr. Vickie Sturgeon, Retired Film Studies Professor

    Location: Legacy Village
    Important Info: $25


    Join us for further exploration of the films of the ever-delightful Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Helen Mirren. These remarkable actresses have mastered both historical roles and contemporary characters. We will watch the movies, then compare and contrast their work. Films planned for this round of the journey include Tea with Mussolini (1999) with both Smith and Dench in 1930s Italy; Ladies in Lavender (2004) with Smith and Dench as sisters living on the coast of Cornwall; Esio Trot (2015) in which Dench plays a widow with a tortoise for a pet and an interested bachelor neighbor played by Dustin Hoffman; My House in Umbria (2003) with Smith as an eccentric romance novelist in Italy; The Long Good Friday (1980) in which Mirren’s character navigates gangsters and political issues of the late 1970s; and finally Mirren’s Academy Award winning role in The Queen (2006).

  • Okie for Life: Oklahoma Writer Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel

    Wednesdays, 1:30-3:30p | 4wks | 5/18-6/8

    Format: Presentation
    Instructor: Dr. Karen Neuhor, Research and Outreach Librarian for the Oklahoma Oral History Department, OSU Library and Wilma McDaniel scholar

    Location: Legacy Village
    Important Info: $25 with a la carte membership


    In 1936, poet and writer Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel migrated at age 17 to California but proudly identified as an Okie and wrote about Oklahoma for the rest of her life. Join us as we consider sense of place by reading and discussing not only her poetry, but also her vignettes of everyday life and written correspondence. We’ll watch an award-winning documentary, listen to examples of her reading and clips from oral history interviews with her family and friends. We’ll even sample some of her recipes, reflect on our own lives and try our hand at poetry writing.

  • Comedy & Drama from European Cinema

    Wednesdays, 1:30-4p | 4wks | 5/18-6/8

    Format: Presentation

    Instructor: Dr. Vickie Sturgeon, Retired Film Studies Professor

    Location: Legacy Village

    Important Info: $25 with a la carte membership


    Spend the summer with a European perspective on comedy and drama through two unusual romantic comedies and two interesting dramas. We’ll start in Paris with “The Old Lady” (2014). Mathias tries to salvage his life by claiming a Parisian apartment, starring Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline and Kristen Scott Thomas. We’ll hop the channel to England for “The Girl in the Café” (2005). Kelly McDonald and Bill Nighy star in this story of a shy civil servant who meets a younger woman and bumbles his way to romance in London and Reykjavik, Iceland. For drama, we’ll visit Belgium and watch as a historic, vocal competition engulfs the lives of mentors and students in “The Music Teacher” (1989). We’ll finish in post-WWII France for “In The Chorus” (2004) as a teacher of choral music improves the lives of boys in a reform school.

  • Drawing

    Wednesdays, 10a-12p | 3wks | 5/18-6/8

    Format: Hands-on

    Instructor: Tandi Memmot, Artist

    Location: Art on 6th

    Important Info: $25 with a la carte membership. Students provide own supplies. Max 12. List provided upon registration


    Drawing is the foundation of art, and it's never too late to learn the fundamental practices that will teach you, step-by-step, to look at your world in a new light.  Working from a variety of references, including still life objects, you'll draw on gray paper which allows adding highlights with white pencil.  Bring a couple of photos that you would like to use for reference.

  • Garden Gnomes

    Thursdays, 1:30-3:30p | 2wks | 5/19-5/26

    Format: Hands-on

    Instructor: Missy Hitch, Artist

    Missy Hitch a lifetime resident of Stillwater who started her clay/pottery journey at the Prairie Arts Center.

    Location: Prairie Arts Center

    Important Info: $10 with a la carte membership. Max 12. $25 material fee


    Join instructor Missy Hitch to create and customize your own ceramic Garden Gnome set! Give each of your gnomes a unique personality and style. No experience is needed.  All gnomes will be bisque fired and ready to paint with either acrylic or watercolor paints at the second-class meeting.

  • History of Modern East Asia: China and Japan

    Thursdays, 1:30-3:30p | 3wks | 6/2-6/16

    Format: Presentation

    Instructor: Dr. Yontao Du

    Yongtao Du is associate professor of history at Oklahoma State University. Born and raised in China, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 2006. He joined the OSU history department in 2009 and is now a U.S. citizen.

    Location: TBA

    Important Info: $25

    Recommended Text: “East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History, Volume II: From 1600” by Patricia B. Ebrey and Anne Walthall

    ISBN-13: 978-1133606499
    ISBN-10: 1133606490


    This course will cover the cultural and political traditions China and Japan received from their long histories, and how these traditions went through modern changes, particularly the encounter with the West and the rise of nationalism.

  • Contemplative Walking

    Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:00-10:00a | 5wks | 5/17-6/16

    Format: Hands-on

    Instructor: Dr. Haridas Heitz, Associate Professor, OSU Department of Philosophy

    Haridas Heitz received his Ph.D. from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in 1999 in Comparative Philosophy, focusing on a comparative study of the early thought of Martin Heidegger and the Zhuangzi. He is currently Associate Professor of Philosophy at OSU, where he teaches Asian and Comparative Philosophy and Existential Phenomenology. A student of the late Zen teacher, Maurine Stuart Roshi, Marty also practices Taiji, Qigong, and traditional Chinese medicine, as well as forms of Hindu yoga. Previously, Marty has taught Chinese Medicine, Practical Meditation, An Introduction to Daoism, Dialogue Sessions, Tai Chi & Chi Kung, The Spirit of India, & Zen for OLLI.

    Location: Boomer Lake & OSU Botanic Gardens

    Important Info: $25 with a la carte membership


    Slow down. Go outside. Cultivate openness to the world around you. Practice the art of contemplation and learn how to combine it with meditative walking. Participants will meet twice a week, at Boomer Lake (at the sundeck) on Tuesdays and the Botanic Gardens (in the main parking lot) on Thursdays, for up to 90 minutes with the instructor to discuss theory and practice. Then participants will practice contemplative walking with Haridas at that day’s location. This gentle art will soon become a cherished time in your busy life.

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