College of General Studies
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Trips & Events

Fall Term 2017 Events, Tours, Trips, and Travel 

Attending special events and traveling with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) introduces you to new ideas and experiences, and is a wonderful way to meet other members who share your interests and have fun. Guests may attend trips, events and travel, unless otherwise noted (*members only), and all require pre-registration. You can click the links to review an individual option or scroll down to see the entire list.
The events, tours, and trips will be posted soon!
Tours Around TownDay Trips
My Tale of Two CitiesBehind the Scenes Zoo ExperienceGettysburg Natioanl Military Park and Battlefield with Guest Speaker, Louise MayoIceland's Magical Northern Lights
The Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989: the Perspective of a Refugee from Communist East Germany  Colorado Rockies
Global release date of Michael Meyer's latest book: The Road to Sleeping Dragon
 Sunny Portugal

  Other Upcoming Trips



My Tale of Two Cities
Carl Kurlander

Kurlander has written screenplays under contract for Universal, Disney, Sony, Orion, and Paramount. Kurlander will present his documentary, My Tale of Two Cities, about his return to Pittsburgh and this area’s funny and heartfelt comeback story that tells the tale of a once great industrial giant that built America with its steel, conquered polio, and invented everything from aluminum to the Big Mac, which has now, like many cities across America, been challenged to reinvent itself. This proves once and for all that you can go home again and that it is never too late to comeback. Kurlander will also discuss his current work as CEI of the Steeltown Entertainment Project, a non-profit whose mission is to build a vibrant and sustainable entertainment industry in Southwestern Pennsylvania, educate youth, and discover new talent.

Carl Kurlander is a Hollywood screenwriter (St. Elmo’s Fire), Author of The F-word with comedian Louie Anderson, and a television writer/producer (Saved by the Bell).


The Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989: the Perspective of a Refugee from Communist East Germany
Katja Wezel
Thursday, October 12, 2017 from 10-11:50 a.m.

In the memory of many Americans, the fall of the Berlin Wall is connected to Ronald Reagan’s saying “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” However, neither Reagan nor Gorbachev were directly responsible for the events that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989—even if Gorbachev’s policies in the late 1980s had some impact. This lecture will discuss who brought down the wall, what impact this event had on Germany and Europe, and how it influenced the life of people in the east and west of Germany. Special emphasis will be given to the notion of whether there are still two Germanys—the former East and the former West. We also will address the rise of Germany as a leader of Europe, and the impact of Chancellor Angela Merkel as a politician who grew up in the Communist East.

Katja Wezel, PhD from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, is the DAAD visiting assistant professor for European history at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests are memory politics, nationalism, the history of Communism and European integration. She has published several articles in English and a book in German on the history of the Baltic states.


Global release date of Michael Meyer's latest book: The Road to Sleeping Dragon
Michael Meyer
Tuesday, October 10, 2017 from 1-2:30 p.m.

From the highly praised author of The Last Days of Old Beijing, a brilliant portrait of China today and a memoir of coming of age in a country in transition. 

In 1995, at the age of twenty-three, Michael Meyer joined the Peace Corps and was sent to a tiny town in Sichuan. Knowing nothing about China, or even how to use chopsticks, Meyer wrote Chinese words up and down his arms so he could hold conversations, and, jumped into teaching his students about the Enlightenment, the stock market, and Beatles lyrics. With humor and insight, Meyer puts readers in his novice shoes, winding across the length and breadth of his adopted country --from a terrifying bus attack on arrival, to remote Xinjiang and Tibet, and his future wife's Manchurian family, and headlong into efforts to protect China's vanishing heritage at places like "Sleeping Dragon," the world's largest panda preserve. 

In the last book of his China trilogy, Meyer tells a story both deeply personal and universal, as he gains greater - if never complete - assurance, capturing what it feels like to learn a language, culture and history from the ground up. Both funny and relatable, The Road to Sleeping Dragon is essential reading for anyone interested in China's history, and how daily life plays out there today.



Behind the Scenes Zoo Experience

Friday, October 13, 2017 from 10:30 a.m.-noon
MEMBERS ONLY  Fee: $15 (this fee is nonrefundable)

Put on your favorite walking shoes and join us at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium as we explore three behind the scenes areas and learn from the highly dedicated and knowledgeable staff. Get up close and personal with some of the animals and get an insider's glimpse of what it takes to care for and protect the zoo's inhabitants. Afterwards, you can spend time on your own at the zoo until closing. This tour may involve considerable walking and it runs rain or shine.



Gettysburg National Military Park and Battlefield with Guest Speaker, Louise Mayo

Wednesday, October 11 from 6:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
Fee: $90 for members and nonmembers  Optional Fee: Parking at Soldiers and Sailors garage for $10.

Travel to Gettysburg and the year 1863, considered by most military historians as the turning point in the American Civil War. We visit the museum and visitor center at Gettysburg National Military Park that opened in 2008 to view the feature film, A new Birth of Freedom, narrated by Morgan Freeman, and the refurbished Cyclorama. The film tells the story of the Battle of Gettysburg and its important role in our nation's history. The visitor center's exhibits, artifacts, sounds, videos, and setting combine to provide a deeper understanding of the war and its impact. We will then have a guided tour of the battlefield.

OLLI instructor and historian, Louise Mayo will give two talks on the bus. On the way down, she will speak about the events leading up to the Battle of Gettysburg and on the way back, she will discuss the impact of the battle including Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.



Iceland's Magical Northern Lights
January 15-21, 2018
Price: Single $3,799, Double $3,499 per person, Triple $3,469 per person

Click the link below for more information!


Colorado Rockies
August 3-11, 2018
Price: Single $3,999, Double $3,199 per person, Triple $3,169 per person

Click the link below for more information!


Sunny Portugal
November 2-11, 2018
Price: Single $3,299, Double $2,999 per person, Triple $2,969 per person

Click the link below for more information!

Information Session on Tuesday, October 17 from 3-4:30 p.m.

Call 412-624-7308 to register for the information session.


Other Upcoming Trips (all tentative)

Treasures of Egypt with Rebecca Denova – Date: TBA

Art and Culture of Italy with Rachel Miller – Date: TBA