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Spring 2024 Special Events

*Non-Members may participate in special events for an additional fee. See FAQs for details.

Single-Session Lectures: Open to Non-Members this Spring!

The Imminent Solar Eclipse

On April 8, a total solar eclipse, a rare and spectacular event, will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Only 21 total solar eclipses have crossed the lower 48 states in the entire existence of the United States, and those within a 124-mile-wide band in the state of Ohio will experience a front row seat. Why is this a big deal? Because the last total solar eclipse visible in Ohio was in 1806, and the next one won’t come our way until the year 2099, so you’ll want to learn how best to experience this special astronomical event.

Instructors: Jerry Riesenberg has been an amateur astronomer for more than 45 years. He has built his own telescopes and has traveled to five national observatories and has observed four solar eclipses. Stephen Alexander is Associate Professor, Miami University Department of Physics, and also teaches astronomy.

1 Thursday: April 4; 4:00–5:15 pm
Format: Hybrid
Location: Online or Richard and Carole Cocks Art Museum

The Manhattan Project: The History of the Atomic Bomb

The Manhattan project was a secret project started in the 1940s to develop the world’s first atomic bomb. Hear about the people who raced against time and ultimately changed the course of history, including: Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb; Leslie Goves, overseer of the facilities that produced the materials; and Enrico Fermi, developer of the first nuclear reactor in which nuclear energy was released. Learn about the materials that were used to build the atomic bomb including Uranium 235 and Plutonium 239, how they were produced, assembled, and ultimately tested.

Instructor: Carl Bishop is a chemist who spent 32 years working in the nuclear industry including some time working in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

1 Friday: April 19; 2:15–3:30 pm
Format: In person
Location: West Chester, VOALC, Auditorium

Live Longer? Yes! Live Better?

There is no doubt that we are now living longer than our ancestors. The question is, can we live better, fuller lives than seniors experienced in the past? The answer is a resounding “Yes” if we follow the common sense principles outlined in the Seven Dimensions of Senior Wellness.

Instructor: Roy Franchi was born in London, England. After a spell in the Royal Navy he joined the U.K. division of Procter & Gamble, eventually becoming Director of Sales and Distribution. He transferred to the U.S. to work in a range of companies. Today his primary interests are the aging process, new approaches to retirement, and whole person wellness.

1 Friday: April 26; 2:15–3:30 pm
Format: In person
Location: West Chester, VOALC, Room 100

Renewing Your Mind by Training Your Brain

One of our most precious gifts is our brain. How do we maintain a healthy brain while countering the effects of aging? Doug will provide practical tips and strategies to renew our minds, not only spiritually, but physically as well.

Instructor: Doug Dunlap is the Wellness Director and Chaplain at Chesterwood Senior Living. He is also a medical exercise instructor at the East Butler YMCA. Doug is a certified Medical Exercise Specialist, specifically in the areas of arthritis, cancer, and Parkinson’s disease exercise programming.

1 Friday: May 3; 2:15–3:30 pm
Format: In person
Location: West Chester, VOALC, Auditorium

Frolicking Not-So-Far Afield (FNSFA)

FNSFA: Spring Grove Pruning Tour

Location: 4521 Spring Grove Ave, Cincinnati
Date/time: Friday, April 5; 10:00–11:30 am
Cost: $5.00 | Members only

Join the renowned Spring Grove Cemetery horticulture team on this short educational walking tour. These experts will discuss pruning and the best accepted practice for any selected tree or shrub. They will explain the different types of pruning and trimming that can be done to plants. Remedial pruning to improve plant structure and appearance will also be discussed. Learn from the best and go home with ideas to try in your own landscape.

FNSFA: Miami University Health Services Complex Tour

Location: 421 S. Campus Ave, Oxford
Date/time: Friday, April 12; 10:00 am-noon
Cost: Free | Members only

Miami University’s Employee Health Center and Student Health Services have moved to a new home. You may have seen an impressive complex of new buildings on S. Campus Ave just north of the parking garage. Let’s take a tour of these buildings and learn what healthy offerings are packed inside! You will learn about the academic departments found there, the student services provided, and see a demonstration in one of the skills labs as we tour the buildings.

NOTE: A special pass will be issued to waive fees for the adjacent parking garage.

FNSFA: Fernald Preserve Tour

Location: Visitors Center, 7400 Willey Rd, Hamilton
Date/time: Friday, April 19; 10:00 am-noon
Cost: Free | Members only

Enjoy a visit to the Fernald Preserve Visitors Center, where we will learn the history, significance, and processes associated with the Fernald Uranium Enrichment site. Explore local history, all the way back to Native American communities, pioneer settlement, farming, uranium production, and environmental cleanup eras, as well as the recent ecological restoration mission.

NOTE: May include short walks on natural surfaces, gravel, or grass trails.

FNSFA: Loveland Castle Tour

Location: 12025 Shore Dr, Loveland
Date/time: Friday, April 26; 11:00 am–12:30 pm
Cost: $5.00 (paid at door) | Members only

Château Laroche, also known as the Loveland Castle, is a museum on the banks of the Little Miami River. Built in the style of a Medieval castle, construction began in 1927 by Boy Scout troop leader, World War I veteran, and medievalist Harry D. Andrews. Learn the history of the castle, the man who built it, and the Knights of the Golden Trail. Take a step back in time to admire the dry moat, gardens, games, and possibly ghosts during your self-guided tour!

FNSFA: Matthew 25: Ministries Volunteer Session

Location: 11060 Kenwood Rd, Cincinnati
Date/time: Friday, May 3; 9:30 am-noon
Cost: Free | Members and Non-Members

Matthew 25: Ministries helps the poorest of the poor and disaster victims throughout the United States and around the world. In a previous tour we learned that volunteers play an essential role in the work of the organization. Would you like to be a part of bringing hope to the poor? This volunteer session will include sorting, counting, packaging, and palletizing donated household goods for shipment to various parts of the world.

NOTE: Comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes are recommended. The temperature in the processing center fluctuates with the season. No large bags or backpacks are permitted.

FNSFA: Berkeley Square Tour

Location: 100 Berkeley Dr, Hamilton
Date/time: Friday, May 10; 10:00 am-noon
Cost: Free | Members and Non-Members

As a proud sponsor of ILR’s Spring Semester, Berkeley Square is excited to invite you to their campus. Learn about Life Plan Communities–what they are and how they differ from other types of communities. See the amenities and benefits offered, learn about the levels of care and types of residential options available, and experience why residents choose to move to a Life Plan Community. Tour the newest homes on Serenity Drive as Berkeley Square continues to expand their campus. These garden homes are currently under construction with several ready for move-in. We will meet at Coach House; please follow signs for Coach House parking.

Please Note

Every semester we offer a diverse range of classes and Special Events that await your exploration. As you embark on your journey of knowledge and discovery, please be aware of the situations that may arise.


ILR events/classes involving walking/hiking/exercise may be strenuous for some.

Please use discretion when registering.
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The opinions and advice given in ILR classes are not necessarily those of the Institute for Learning in Retirement or Miami University.

While healthy debate is welcomed, instructors and students offering opinions differing from yours are to be respected. Anyone disrupting a class will be removed.

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Seek additional professional guidance before accepting any diet, exercise, medical, or financial advice.

The Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR)

The Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) at Miami University provides opportunities to explore, develop, and share knowledge and skills in a wide variety of topics. Courses taught by volunteer instructors, complemented by a variety of special events, enable participants to broaden their horizons and engage with other lifelong learners.

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Contact Us

106 MacMillan Hall
531 E Spring St.
Oxford, OH 45056
513-529-5896 (fax)